Martha Thinks

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Painting Essex Day

Essex, Mass is the dreamiest town, I've always thought. I imagine a tourist who does not live on the coast driving around here on vacation falling in love with the place. The marshes, the salty air, the seafood and the charm. Filled up flowerpots and windowboxes, funky treasures and antiques spilling out of storefronts make it a really special place.

Yesterday was "Paint Essex Day". There has been a lot of roadwork done on the main drag and the businesses have suffered. So this was a wonderful effort to get people back walking along Essex. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., there were 45 painters tucked in all corners of the village and a red balloon was tied to their easel. Then from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. there was a silent and live "wet paint" auction at the Cox Reservation.  This was the first year, but it seemed like a great success so I think it will be the first of many.

This painter was inspired by Woodman's as he set up across the street (and so were we). 
  Yum.  The slightly damp weather kept the crowds away.  Maybe not good for the artists, but good for a nice outdoor seat.
Everything for sale has a certain patina, a certain age, a certain history. 

It's in the details, the way you feel grounded.  The old granite, the tilt of the home, the old iron strappings on the wooden door.  

A former diamond, now a bit in the rough.  But even this Victorian Colonial looked a bit dreamy, like a painting herself.  Yet still a wreath in the door and a light in the window (Mary Margaret...for Margo..)
The kid is getting a new bedroom now that both brothers are going off to college.   This is the painting that we were watching the artist paint (see above photo).  The kid said he would love it for his new room.  Way to get to me.  So mom and the boys came back from Essex around 3:00 pm and the grown-ups went back around 5:30 pm for the "wet paint" auction. 

We had the loveliest all seriousness...go next year!  The paintings were all set up in this magnificent old barn, hanging on all of the walls.  There was cold beer and wine and tables set up outside under an apple tree with vintage tablecloths.  A local caterer had fabulous cheese and dips and fruit and crackers and white twinkle lights were strung through the trees - and a bluegrass trio played.  Another perfect summer night.

And one lucky boy.  The painting was in our price range and he has offically started his art collection.
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Monday, August 13, 2012

He's missing Shark Week

That's the first thing I know.  Carter flew off to Indiana on Sunday to attend Purdue.  And he's missing Shark Week for the first time since he was 7 years old.  The other thing I know is that I need to keep as busy as possible so I don't take to my bed and weep over missing him.  Then I think it's important not to be over dramatic.  It's just college.  But my left arm might as well be in Indiana.  I'm just sayin'.

We went up to our favorite place in Maine for a few days before the big departure and had a great time.  We rented a kayak (brave for us) and all took turns using it.  Carter had been many times before so he was our instructor.  The brothers now all getting so old.  Two in college, the "baby" alone with us for seven more years.  Unthinkable when Ronan was born that this day would actually come. 

The simple things, right?  Having a meal together when every one is together not really thinking that you won't share many more until Thanksgiving.

The light of the Maine Coast before sunset is so pretty that alone will give you a lump in your throat.

And then you see them all together listening to some groovy tunes at our favorite ice cream spot and ...ouchies again.  It really is like you have the flu, stomach feels all achy and tingly.  Heart a bit heavy.
Thomas the Train Engine, stegosaurus and brontosaurus and the dinosaur collection, 5 a.m. day after Thanksgiving Toys-R-Us runs to scoop up Pokemon cards, endless soccer games, proud band tuba player.  Trying not to let these waves of memories drown me.

I'm glad I was there.  The volunteer.  The brownie-baker.  The cheerleader.  The birthday party planner.  Perfection?  Nope.  But I got up every morning and tried my best.  And in return so did he.
We had a great walk on the beach that morning, my boy in the purple sunglasses and me.  I love them all, of course, I do, but he says "yes" and "sure" and "ok, mom" more than they do.  He doesn't get worked up about stuff.  He was born on the sunny side I always said.  When I asked him to take a walk with me on this beautiful morning he jumped right up. 

He won't see the shore again until he comes home.  But everytime I go I will think of him.  And every time I see the empty bed and every time Ocean's Eleven is on and every time I need someone to shoot hoops with Ronan, I will think of him.  Truly I do not want to be sad for long.  It is a good thing.  Honors Program!  Purdue!  But it hurts just much as any newspaper or magazine article I have ever read about the passage from high school to college and being the one left behind to sort through the past.  The right thing to do is let them have fun and come home and tell you of their great adventure.  Understand what they need from you and what they don't.  Dry those mommy tears and keep calm and carry on.

And hopefully by the end of this week I will have inched closer to the goal. 
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