Tuesday, April 14, 2015
I'm sure it's rude to ask someone if they have ever considered retirement.
"Did you ever think you may enjoy a retirement?" Obviously the previous statement was an afterthought.
Rather than answering she says I have this story you'll love.
(I love when people say I'll love their stories because I feel like they have figured me out, unlocked the key to my happiness and are about to give me a gift. Who doesn't love a good story?)
Lin was widowed early. Her husband was only forty-eight when he passed. She says, "I went through seven years of an empty nest syndrome. All my children finished college, were marrying and starting families of their own. I had a high end dress shop, but then nine eleven happened and I had to decide. You know there are times when you have to decide to give up or keep going. I decided to give up on that one."
She has just finished a day of cooking and serving and smiling and two busloads of people along with my Daddy who couldn't get a strawberry pie 'cause she had served her last piece for the day by the time he got there. It's okay. He ordered one for tomorrow. There is not a drop of sweat on her brow. She has this way of making work look like as much fun as you can have in a day. Why would she stop that?
"Of course I was painting, and I had this large canvas in my studio. One evening I came home, had a glass of wine, looked at that canvas and just started with a palette knife putting some blues and working away. Thick paint spreading across the white. It was nothing I had seen and before long I was tired and went to bed. The next morning I awoke, made me a cup of coffee and looked into that studio. Something about the morning light and what I had started the night before made me see an image of a statue of a woman who was waist deep in water. There were palmettos around her, and I just began painting her on that canvas and when I was done I looked at her and could not tell if the water was overcoming her or if she was walking out into it but I knew at that moment she was me."
I am in heaven eating crawfish étouffée and listening as the woman who prepared it continues because yes, there's more to her story and I was always a huge Paul Harvey fan.
"I took her to get her framed, and the lady from the frame shop called me to ask, 'Do you want to sell her?' And I don't know why I wanted to keep her, but I did so I told her, 'No.' The next day she called again to make sure because a lady had returned to the shop and really wanted her. It didn't make any sense that I wouldn't sell other than I didn't want to so I kept her and hung her in my home."
"After that was when a friend introduced me to Ken, and after a while he brought me from Louisiana to Mississippi to see his place. When we turned down his driveway I saw that palmettos lined it, and I knew this was where she was meant to be."
Today I am grateful for a warm plate of food on a rainy day, the Louisiana Hot Sauce on the table.
I am grateful for a woman who found her place.