This was originally the Second, Third and Fourth Story for Memory Art, but since I posted it at the same time as my weekly post, not many people looked at it
When my blond haired, blue eyed daughter was sixteen she wanted to go to Holland. She had not been there since she was 4 years old. This was her first trip overseas I calmed down my nervousness with the thought she would go with a friend.
A months before they would go, her friend backed out. My daughter decided she would go alone. My nervousness spiked, and wished I was not one of those cool mothers who had told their children they could do anything in life when they sent their mind to.
I managed to tell myself that she was street smart, so she would be alright, and she would go to a friend in S. of France. This is not the end. She thought she would go by train from the airport to my brother’s house. She have never gone by train, didn’t know how to change train system in Europe, nor did she know to change trains 3 times! So, in knots, I called my brother, to pick her up from the airport. He’s an M.D. and always super busy, but I didn’t care at that point. My brother has two daughters, so he understood my plight.
To make a very long story short, she didn’t tell me till years later that she also lost her luggage, and she missed the flight back to the USA. She could keep that secret, because on her travel back home, she would visit some friends in Atlanta before coming home.
Come to think of it, maybe it was her guilty conscience that she brought these Delft blue egg cups back for her parents, and Evelyn and Crabtree fragrance from London., which made me an instant fan of that brand.
Finally more than ten years later, now she is a mother of three herself, we took the time, to paint the board blue, to change the supports, and to hang the egg cups. You know you can’t be a Dutchman (woman) when you don’t love delft Blue and tulips.
THIRD STORY for Friday
We had only one week (plus 2 travel days) in China, the year before the Olympics came there. So, nowhere signs in English, only in Chinese. My son had been there a year teaching English, and could make clear to taxi drivers (after a moped, and subway the cheapest way to travel) where we wanted to go.
We had this week with 4 different cities to go to: Nanchang, (12 hrs. W. of Shanghai), Guang Zhou – the largest street market ever, Shen Zhen, the most affluent and Western city on mainland China -just half hour across from Hong Kong), and Beijing, the capital, all the way in the North.
We traveled by plane. My only wish for this week in China is to go to Tienanmen square in Beijing, because of the historic significance. However, first it didn’t look like we would even be able to make it to Beijing, because we got on the wrong bus in Shen Zhen. Then the bus was a few hours late! We just made it in the neck of time for the plane to Beijing.
During the three days we stayed in Beijing, it did not look like we could make it to Tiananmen square. Saw the Forbidden City, and I painted in the streets, while hubby and son went to see the Great Wall. We were so tired out, that sadly we had to let go of my wish to see Tiananmen square. That is where the massacre of the students happened, now more than 22 years ago.
On the very last day, we went souvenir shopping in an open air market, because who knew we would ever come back to China? When it started raining, we ran to cross a square, got into a restaurant, where we ate hotpot. Delicious when you are cold and hungry. After we were done with our meal, the rain had stopped, and went back over the same square, to go back to the hotel and pack for our flight back to the USA.
When looking at the statues on the square (obviously communistic subjects) it finally dawned on me, that the square we crossed WAS Tienanmen square!
FOURTH STORY for Saturday
Two years ago, after my three workshops and art exhbits in the Netherlands we were incredibly tired and glad we had scheduled a week’s vacation in Lucca, Tuscany in Italy (an hour W. of Florence). The plan was that I would paint there – paint a lot.
Instead it turned out to be more of a lounging vacation.
This day we went to Cinque Terre, 5 small touristy towns at the Mediterranean coast. The main attraction seem to be to tan at the beach. We wanted to visit some of these little towns. The only way was by train or walk. Since this was a 100 degree weather day, we chose the train. Very interesting, because it was filled with tourists who spoke no Italian. And the Italians did not speak English. A great recipe for confusion and frayed nerves.
This was Corniglia. When the crowd left the train en masse, we saw this hill in the distance. Not long after I saw “things moving” on that hill.
“Did you see that?” I asked hubby. “I think they’re people,” I continued. After some moments he agreed with me.”Do you want to climb that anthill?” I asked.
We both shook our head, and turned back to the train station.
Coming back to the main town Montegrosso, we were in dire need of just hanging out on the patio of a restaurant with a drink and dessert – which we did. I couldn’t go back without having painted something – anything – in Cinque Terre, so the only thing that came to mind without having to paint in the burning sun was a watercolor of my shorts, with feet up on another chair with a drink in hand.
It was so incredible hot, that we ditched our grand tourist’s plans after our third dessert and traveled back to the hotel. For the rest of the day we enjoyed the rest of our spoiled brat’s day in our air-conditioned suite, hubby just reading, and I painting. Come to find out around 6 pm on Facebook that it was Fathers Day. The strangest Fathers Day ever!