Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Goodness...

Goodness, I am so ready to write about some art instead of the craziness of my life -but alas not yet. First- I am so glad I got to make the trip to Baltimore to visit Patrick along with my other brothers, Robby and David because only a week after I got back (this past Monday, June 15th) I got the call from David that Patrick was not doing well (starting to have the same sort of expressions Dad had that last day or so before he passed away) I had tickets to come up on Thursday but made a mad dash to the airport to catch the first available flight. Unfortunately, Patrick died a couple hours before I got there. David did put Patrick on speaker phone so I had a chance to say a few last words, let him know I love him and give my good-bye before he died. I also got a chance for closure before they took his body away. As I stood there with David, Robby, Stephen, Karen, Krisha, and my girls, I swear it seemed his mouth would slightly curl into a smile and his chest rise as if taking shallow breaths of air while we, in typical Smith fashion, recalled stories through tears and laughter. Yes, I know it was my mind playing games but it felt so real. 

By the next morning, niece Megan had made it to Nashville and by that evening niece Emily arrived. It was so surreal. Too much, too fast. Dad, Mom, and now my youngest brother, Patrick. Barely over a year. Really God, really.

Then on such a diminished scale, the move, the new job (which I have only actually gotten to work four days) the unpacking (or not), the car in the shop, the process of getting the big house ready to rent, …. Overwhelming!  Deep breath, Laurie, it is going to be alright. Well, eventually it will be anyway.

Planning Patrick’s services was harder than planning my parents. Patrick was such an individual. Sarcastic, witty, loyal, rigidly moral, but with an amazing love for family. We eventually decided on three events, all in Fairhope, the first on Friday night was a wake at the bar “Plow”, then a short quiet dignified service graveside (we each played a flower which I guess is now a family tradition) then a large open to all picnic down at the bay. We wrote on balloons and released them over the water. (I’m sure Patrick was looking down and cringing but it was really moving) We also came up with a quote for his tombstone, “No Excuses, No Explanations, No Regrets” Quite fitting!

Can you believe my MamMaw, at 98 years old was able to make it? Oh how hard for her to have lost so many recently. I know she wonders why not her instead. Somethings are just beyond my comprehension and understanding. One day, we will see the whole picture, but for now, it looks like a jumble of colored threads. Rhymeless and chaotic.

Flitting back to the present, it is Sunday afternoon and I am on a plane back to Key West. I’m tired and dirty and achy. I spent the morning, starting really really early, fixing things at the Fairhope house then staging the rooms along with David and Stephen’s help. It is hard to release control and not be able to see the final result. I definitely have some trust issues (some not unjustified, I’m afraid) One more time -ok Laurie, just breathe.

I am more than read to paint. I may have to live out of a suitcase for a few days longer so that I can unpack a studio box or two and create. I’ve got that hair on edge prickliness that I tend to get when I haven’t been able to get my fingers into any paint. My emotions need that release that only comes from artistic doings. I’ve got quite a few images to put down on paper. There is this a male angel with a faraway look in his eyes along side colored balloons drifting amongst the background that is swimming around in the streams of my mind. Hopefully he’ll come to life in my next post.

Well for now, I’ll leave you with music from Simon and Garfunkel.

RIP: Patrick Charles Smith

Saturday, June 13, 2015


What a whirlwind. Right now I'm on a plane heading from Fairhope to Baltimore to see my youngest brother (after a scary turn where we thought his lung cancer had invaded his brain) then the return flight will be to Key West, my new home. Ok, the packing isn't quite complete (affirming the fears of Peter and other family and friends) so I'll need to take a flight back near the end of June to do some final bits as well as getting the house ready to rent but I'm really doing it. Ah... change. I'm both freaked out yet remarkably calm.
Card by Curly Girl Designs

This is some major downsizing. Basically I will almost be reducing my footprint by 75%. No baby steps here. 25 + years of accumulation plus I still hadn't gone through all the items from Mom and Dad's house. It hasn't even been a year yet since Mom died so everything has a memory. I've tried to disassociate and select a few special mementos instead of holding too tightly to every single thing. I've been marginally successful. Once I move there will be another purging, particularly of clothing. The unexpected time crunch means clothes are simply being bagged up without evaluation (Thank you so much Peter) and driven down.

I bought and read the book, "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up -The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" by Marie Kondo.  I plan to implement her process as I need to cull half my clothes (at a minimum) There are items two sizes to small and some well over a decade beyond stylish along with some of my mom's old clothes (perfect for a 70 year old but really Laurie, come on), jeans so ripped and torn that no amount of patching will ever put them back together (held on to mostly with the idea of a cool beach quilt to be created in the future) you see, I have a tendency to see potential in everything. And sure with enough time and creativity all my imagined projects could happen BUT really when it been 8 years or more and nothing except additional accumulation has happened, what are the odds I am going to actually do these projects. When I had the room to store extra stuff, it was ok to let things ride, but now I'm afraid not.

It is a perfect time to redefine my clothing to reflect who I am in a more conscience manner.  How fun could that be?  Sort of similar to what I'll be doing in my new little townhouse.  I'm thinking bright clean and happy!  A fresh palette for a fresh start. Turquoise, Red, Coral, Lime.  A modern mash-up of Tropical Boho!

Well I am about to land so until later -Look for the Lovely and Enjoy the Artful Life!

Music: A Little Buffet Fun
Jimmy Buffet -Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes