Summer

I’ve found it almost impossible to stay indoors since the spring weather started. I felt restless and started wheeling around the neighborhood as much as possible. I wanted to garden but had to face my limitations. I can’t plant, weed, and take care of the little garden by my porch. I had to ask for help, which I have a hard time doing, though I have several generous friends who were available, and the garden got taken care of.

I spent time gathering plants and seeds for the porch, which I can mostly manage. I wanted there to be more turn around space for my wheelchair and not cover every available square inch with pots that I bump into. I mostly succeeded.

I’ve also spent a lot of time just rambling around my neighborhood. The city has been replacing the gas lines on my street, and my established routes have been dug up with lots of long term holes. Last week they accidentally broke a water pipe and the neighborhood was without water for half a day. When it got repaired, the water coming out of our faucets was murky, so my son got in gallons of water from his dad’s house, and we were good til the murk was flushed out of the system.

I think this should be my new car

It’s been so interesting living with my adult son, to see how the roles have switched, and have him take care of so much for me. How wonderful to find that this family love and care still exists, even though roles and personalities have changed so much.

Now the summer heat has forced me to spend more time indoors. I’m not a morning person, so often spend the late afternoon and evening on the porch, or wandering around.

I’ve had a hard time finding space in the apartment to keep working on my Look Closer series. My son has been staying with me for almost a year now. It’s a small apartment, 2 rooms, small dining area, small kitchen, one bathroom — so we’ve had space problems. He’s an artist, too, so we both have painted less than usual.

But he got a job at the beginning of the year, and now he’s found an apartment a few blocks away, so he’ll be moving at the end of this month (next week!!!). Both apartments will seem palatial. And we’ll both enjoy having our independence back, even though we know I will be calling him for help because he’s so close by.

I had just about decided to stick to 8×10″ paintings, or smaller, and get used to living small. I knew my son would not be here forever, but life is so strange now, I didn’t know how long it would take for him to find a place, but he found a practically perfect one, and life is about to open up for both of us.

Heart of Oak, by Joy Murray, 8×10″ painted for a friend

In another week, I’ll get to arrange the studio with more workable areas — bigger spaces to write and paint. More room to hang and store the paintings I’m making. I can do paintings in whatever size I choose. And there will be room for people to visit more, a lovely thought after over a year of social distancing and isolation.

This morning I woke up to the sound of children laughing instead of jackhammers or bulldozers. The schoolyard across the street had a little family fun-fair, with a bouncy house, frisbee toss, and other games. Later they had a water balloon fight — essential play for this hot summer day.

I hope all is going well for y’all. I should be back to regular blogging and blathering soon.

Stay cool.

The spring saga of the elephant ears:

Magnolia Blossom by Joy Murray, 8×10″ 2020

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