The first truly hot week of the summer ended this past Saturday; I am not a fan of the heat, having spent my early childhood in New England and subsequent years firmly in the upper Midwest. My heart will forever belong in part to coastal living, and I definitely am comfortable only in cooler climates and prefer temperatures below freezing to anything close to triple digits. But years of art fairs and now farmer’s markets means that not only do I have to be able to work outside in the heat, I need to make my products. And although that can be challenging, I am an early riser so am able to complete my batches of salsa, jam, or scones often before 9 am and at least beat the heat that way.
It is also quite necessary to arise early as the bulk of nearly every day is spent caring for the birds in my rescue. It is never something I dread, and in fact virtually every day I can hardly wait to unlock the front door and hear the chorus of cheerful greetings from my current residents. The minute I walk in several will mimic the sound of the security alarm being turned off, and others call out a cheery hello. Some will also impatiently start yelling, demanding I immediately open their cage; while my calmer residents patiently wait for me to get to their cage. Although I would like to say I make the less mannered ones wait, they are of course the first ones to have their cage door popped open, often before I even get all the lights on and the curtains opened, so I can have a bit of peace.
Because I made my living as a painter for so many years I sometimes wonder how my life took such a turn away from the life of a studio artist. I certainly think often about getting back to it, but I also know there is very little about my life today I would be willing to give up. And quite honestly, painting doesn’t interest me the way it used to. These days I am quite happy to work on various other projects and ideas which are many and varied. The truth is I love it all, and most importantly, my son is now at the age that he can not only be truly helpful, he still enjoys hanging out with me. He has been helping at the markets, as well, but fortunately was absent this past Saturday when a large storm came through. Within minutes, I went from packing up my things casually while watching the sky, to frantically grabbing bins to put in my car. Unfortunately the storm moved in very quickly and before I knew what had happened a gust of wind flipped my tent upside down and within seconds it was a twisted, wrangled mess of metal. As there were several lightening strikes nearby I decided not to even attempt to completely fold it up and wedged it off near two garbage bins, hoping a gust of wind wouldn’t pick it up and slam it into a car, or worse, a person.
So this was an unexpected expense, but that is life. The bigger problem is finding another tent quickly so I can continue my season. It is considered a seasonal item, and I have had trouble locating one in the usual big box outlets. Saturday’s market was a good one, and I might have sold out my booth had I continued to sell at the clip I had been selling at. Ultimately, because I can’t attend the market today, I have a bit of free time to work on more product, or perhaps deal with Mount Washmore; which is the pile of currently unwashed laundry I have been choosing to ignore. And so my life, however banal from the outside, continues on. For every day is a new day and a chance to feel grateful for the opportunity to do what I love: creating art in the spare moment, products for the markets, spending time with my husband and son, and taking care of the birds I cherish.