Monday, March 28, 2016

Bootsie's Spring Art Show

You may not know that I am a connoisseur of art, but I am. This is because I have a five-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter who is an artist.

One of the hidden pleasures of tidying up after all the grandkids have been here for a big Easter weekend is exploring the more obscure nooks and crannies of the house. Inevitably, in so doing, I will find remnants of their visit that I was too busy to notice while they were here.

One such treasure is the many drawings left behind by Bootsie, who expresses her talent through the media of colored pencils and paper snitched from the laser printer. Here are just a few of her masterpieces of the weekend past, along with a little Googie-analysis of her technique and her motifs. I am calling this installment of her work "Images of Spring," and I share them with you here.

First is a pastel I have named Spring Promises. Here, we find the promise of fair weather, indicated by the blue sky and the sunshine in the upper right corner. The cross on the top of the building, along with the stained-glass windows tell us this is a church filled with the promise of resurrection and life that comes with Easter. A second religious theme is executed in the rainbow that reaches earthward from the sky and completely envelops the church. Even casual observers have to admit that, for a five-year-old child with one piece of paper, there is a lot of promise in this one.

This one I like to call Pink Ocean. Here, the artist gives the color blue, routinely reserved for bodies of water, to a dolphin, which constitutes the focal point of the piece. Instead of blue, this water is pink, and it is obvious that this makes the dolphin very happy. ( I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never seen a dolphin with a smile this big.) Looking on, two winged creatures--an owl and a goose (maybe)--hang suspended in the orange spring atmosphere wishing they, too, could immerse themselves in a vast pool of pinkness.

Finally, we have Leaning into Springtime. Here, the artist adds an international flair as she juxtaposes Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa with the majestic tulips of Holland. Of the three pieces, this one displays the most vibrant and varied colors, and I would not hesitate to award it the coveted title "Best of Show." Unless you have tried this yourself, you can't imagine how hard it is to draw a tower that leans to this precarious degree without falling into the tulips.

Left behind along with Bootsie's artwork was a story by Sooby, "The Serpent of the Island of Rapheliaton." But I will share that with you another time. It is close to bedtime, and it might bring on the nightmares. So for now, I will leave you with the soothing and optimistic images of Bootsie's spring art show and wish you sweet dreams.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Beenie's Bounce House Birthday

Four years ago today, on our thirty-first anniversary, Pa-pa and I got a pretty special present. That day, Beenie entered the lineup as our fourth grandchild.

A couple days ago, we looked up the anniversary list to see what special designation the thirty-fifth anniversary has. Since we couldn't figure out exactly how to work coral and jade into our day, we opted to spend a glorious day at Beenie's fourth birthday party. So instead of coral and jade, we celebrated with superheroes and an inflatable bounce house.

This great day, which we shared with all the grandkids ages two through eight, started off with pizza, cycled through presents and the raucous cacophony of six bouncing children, and ended with cake, ice cream, and gift bags.

With the possible exception of snorkeling off Black Rock on Ka'anapali Beach, I don't think there could have been a better way to spend a milestone anniversary. Indeed, we were blessed with the combination of unbridled merriment and no broken bones (at least that we know of now). Although our unpredictable Missouri weather was a little on the cool side, there was no rain, and there was too much jumping going on for anyone to feel the slightest cold.

Beenie liked coming down head first:

But some of us, though exhibiting impressive form, were not quite so brave:

Thanks to Beenie's daddy, son Teebo, for coming up with this wacky idea to celebrate the joy of family on this most special day. If you ask me, the photos above commemorate a thirty-fifth anniversary better than any amount of coral or jade ever could.

And as for you, Beenie-Boy, I hope you have had the most wonderful of days. You got yourself a new stash of superhero gear and action toys and even a new Spider Man backpack for preschool next year. Your mama baked you the best cake ever, and you blew those candles out like an expert:

As I write this, your fourth birthday has most likely wound down, and, at the end of a day that couldn't be interrupted for the likes of a nap, I suspect you have already fallen asleep, maybe in those new Incredible Hulk boxing gloves.

I hope your dreams are full of hugs and bounces and sweet whipped-cream icing. You came to us as a special gift four years ago, sweet boy, and you remain so every day that we are blessed to share with you.