I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
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Friday, October 14, 2011

"Scattered" and a Giveaway!

Sometimes I feel like I live in Mayberry. I went to school with the same kids grades 1-12. The same kids at church. The same neighbors. One of my childhood pals even went to college with me. I say “Hi” to someone I know most times I’m in downtown Willoughby. They will obligingly give me the latest on everyone I’ve ever known. I swear I don’t do anything interesting enough for people to gossip about, yet they know what I’ve been up to lately, including medical, dating, and job status. Sometimes I feel like screaming, but I guess I’m a cog in the whole pattern. Mom told me about Dave, and I told her about running into him at Kleifelds Restaurant. Aaaargggh! I’m part of the gossip stream. Nooooooo!!!! I’m sorry Dave.

Sometimes it feels like no one ever moves away. If my nephew mentions a pal, I recognize the last name and ask if that guy is So-and-so’s son. Of course he is. Then I can’t resist laughing about what So-and-so did at a party or something. Then I hear about what So-and-so’s son did at a party. I’ll probably repeat this at Kleifelds and hate myself for it. Though just to be clear, I don’t divulge real secrets. Passing on information about births and deaths or somebody’s latest drunk and disorderly arrest isn’t the same thing as airing someone’s private pathos. I’ll take quite a few private confidences to the grave.

Living near where I grew up gives me a sense of belonging to a larger family of often embarrassing relatives, but some people have disappeared and scattered like feathers in the wind. Of course, occasional updates of escapees will crop up. This guy is studying rocks in the desert. These two married and have an overachieving child or maybe a disabled kid. There’s a constant stream of gossip flowing through our collective unconscious.

In the olden days, my girlfriend from grades 1-12 would’ve lived her entire life in the same village. I would’ve gone to her wedding, seen her children and grandchildren grow up, watched her hair turn white, and eventually would’ve gotten buried in the same graveyard. In the real world, I lost track of her after graduation. I called, nervous about how she would remember me when my teenaged self-perception is full of self-recriminations. She was my “good” friend, the friend who stopped my bad behavior with a glance of blue eyes. In fact, I found myself sitting up rather pertly as I tapped her number into my phone. While she is still the “good” girl, within seconds the years fell away. We fast forwarded through the decades and laughed and commiserated about the turns our lives have taken. We learned the secrets of each other’s childhoods which we had both suspected but never discussed when we were actually living them. My heart filled with happiness connecting with her again.

This web of connections is visible when I look at Facebook and LinkedIn. Young faces cascade through my mind in a vivid waterfall. I feel joy when I find an old friend from public school, or college, or an old job. I loved these people, and they took part of my heart when they disappeared across the country or across the world. Collecting them lets me collect parts of myself and to give back parts of them too. It’s too easy to lose ourselves in the process of living and paying bills, and we often don’t see what we’ve lost, or recognize where we should look for those aspects of ourselves.

Finding old friends is a chance to say “You matter to me, and I’ve wished you well through the years.” As we age, we collect our scars and disappointments and lose sight of the fact that our lives have an impact on people we seldom think about any more. Some people I’ve known are doing terrific things. I smile at their postings on Facebook and feel hope for the world.

eeee GIVEAWAY! eeee

In this attitude of gratitude, I’m going to offer my first giveaway to celebrate my upcoming 100th post. Woo hoo!! Just 2 more to go! I really appreciate all of you who stop by to see my posts. All you have to do to be in the drawing is leave a comment in the next two weeks and become a follower. (Thanks to all of you who are already following!) The prize will be a set of 4 cards with original watercolors (6 7/8" x 5"), which are shown in this post.


  1. Lovely post, and I can relate to what you tell about finding 'old' friends on FB.

    Almost 100 posts! Congrats!
    (I am already a follower)

  2. I'm leaving a comment and I'm already a follower! :D I liked your post today (as always!) as I'm constantly thinking about all the people I've met and of whom I perhaps never knew not much more than their names but somehow they've stuck in my memory and I can't help but wonder what they're doing now. But it does make me feel a bit like I'm snooping ... and I think it's probably a bit of an obsession of mine! ;)
    Your watercolours are beautiful - I really do like feathers so I think that one's my favourite. Congratulations on hitting a cenutry! ;)

  3. I've lived in 5 countries and I can assure you that gossiping doesn't need s closely knitted village. It is everywhere where humans are. I often wish people obeyed the rule that you never say something harmful about people that aren't there to defend themselves.
    Congratulations with the upcoming 100th post! It will be the talk of the town :-)

  4. I suppose I'm one of the scattered ones myself, since I don't keep up with anyone much even though I don't live far from the small town where I grew up. Kind of makes me wonder if anyone out there really does think of me as scattered, though. Ah well, they'd only have to ask my dad if they were curious. Gotta love that small town connection thing, eh?

    And yes, I'm already a follower. A follower who has a bad habit of never commenting. This time? Not really about your giveaway (although congrats on your hundred), but more because your post got me to thinking. Thanks for that.

  5. Well you and I have been communicating though a lot of those posts Linda, well done on nearly getting to your 100th post. I so enjoy your illustrations and writing, you could put them all into a book, they all are very thought provoking. Today's is no exception,it is very true about meeting up with old friends and the years falling away, that is what happens with a good friend. I am so lucky that my dearest friend still lives quite near as she has been more like a sister to me that a sister could ever had been (I have just one globe trotting professor brother!) Here's to the next 100 posts and to more blogging friendship which I really treasure ;0)
    Jane x

  6. Wonderful post, Linda..so introspective and I do love that you find that hope as you visit those from your past..it's a good way to look at things. Lovely illustrations and what a wonderful generous giveaway..I would love a chance at your beautiful art. It has been super getting to know you, Linda and congratulations on your upcoming 100th post!! Here's to many many 100's more. : )

  7. heisann1

    I should be at sleep now, because I have responsibility for guiding my students around in the Roman Arles tomorrow.
    I admire your illustrations as usual. The accompanying text is comprehensive and perfect for the theme and always with a personal touch... this time, too ;:OD)

  8. Beautiful paintings! I can almost hear the birdie chirping.

    Although I treasure my anonymity living in a big city and avoid Facebook, I understand the warmth and comfort of feeling like you're part of a community. Isn't it wonderful how the missing years can just melt away when you find a long lost friend!

    100 posts. Wooohooo!

  9. Beautiful watercolors, Linda. I always love stopping by an looking at your work :)Congrats on 100! :)

  10. Thanks everybody! 100 posts wouldn't have been any fun without you! I'll admit I like the feather best too, but a friend came over last night who likes the chickadee best. It's always interesting how other people see things.

    Sometimes I do think about putting these posts into a book, mostly because I keep myself to one typed page or less for posts, and sometimes I think I have so much more I could say about something and a book would let me ramble a bit more :) Time will tell if a book ever happens.

  11. Such beautiful delicate illustrations Linda.

  12. Thanks Nicky and thanks for the follow Marie!!!

    I feel like I'm neglecting someone because my count shows 2 new followers, but I only see 1 on the list? If I'm missing anyone, just let me know so I can put you in the drawing.

  13. I love these beautiful illustrations and your wonderful posts! Thank you for sharing a part of yourself weekly. :)

  14. Count me in on the giveaway. And we should connect on linkedin and facebook. Everyone knew everyone in my small home town of 500. But now I'm a little artist in a big city.

  15. Hey, I grew up in a "Mayberry" too! I've often been tempted to delete the whole facebook thing - it's so conformist! But then a friend from Mayberry will find me, and I must stay!

    Lovely scattering of your artwork! Happy almost-100th post!

  16. Thank you Linda for your nice comment on my blog. I'm flattered. I've seen you website: You're an amazing artist! Your drawings are very elegant and I find your writing quite exquisite. Congratulations for the 100th post!

  17. Thanks everyone! I feel the same way about facebook sometimes Abby, but then it keeps dragging me back in. Too many nice people doing nice things, but I have to admit I like blogland best :)

    Thanks for the follow Genevice!!!

    And thanks for the invite too Sharon!

  18. Hi Linda, Congratulations on your 100th post. Looking forward to reading many many more:) Lovely illustrations, especially the scattering of lady birds.

  19. Thanks Amanda and thanks for the follow!!!

  20. So, we're kindred "feathered friends" this week with our feather drawings, aren't we? Love all of these images...they look lovely alongside that deckle edge of the notecards!

  21. As a small town 'escapee', I find it fascinating to sit and listen to my mother and aunts gossip about people around town, mostly because I have nothing personal invested in it. If I did, it would be an entirely different story.

    Congrats on your 100th post!

  22. Heh Linda :) Well I clicked on the Andy Griffith's link (open in new tab) and forgot I did (I have a short term memory) then while I was reading your story I heard this wierd phantom like whistling.... I thought "gee Linda has gone for the multimedia touch, and boy, is she not only a talented writer and drawerererer, but she could hold her own in the Kentucky Whistling Championships Open Division!

    Ah, your talent for describing your life is wonderful, I think you could get a job as a travel writer, you know. You have the gift of succinctness, of making the reader not only 'see' what you are describing, but also feel it.

    Do you know of Ray Bradbury. He had the same talent as yourself in describing "middle'? America of the late fifties/sixties (?)

    It's against the mundanities of our lives that extraordinary things can happen. I love how you weave the images and text - the relationship is almost subliminal, yet makes sense.

    I live in a town where I was not born - say 200,000 people here. All the 'haves' know the other 'haves'. Etc.

    My joke is that, to be accepted here, you must marry your sister and live next door to your mum and dad. None of the locals laugh at my joke, They don't think it's funny.

    Truth hurts.


    PS thanks for the headsup on the header loading time!

    cheers from 'ear. :)

    Congrats on your 100th post. I think I have enjoyed every one of them (well the one's I was here for :) )

  23. I can't take much credit for the deckled edge of the cards. They came that way :) You are all so good for my ego. I really appreciate your comments and encouragement. (Oh no, now I'm starting to whistle that theme song... That could be as bad as getting Purple Rain stuck in my head yesterday.)

    Andrew, I have read Ray Bradbury. Maybe he subliminally influenced me? My sister married the guy who lived behind us, so I can't say anything about intermarrying. It isn't quite 100 posts yet. I'm just celebrating early :)

  24. Congratulations on your upcoming 100th post! It's always a pleasure to read your entries and see your lovely art! Like many others, I've left the area I grew up in, but I've discovered that many of our parents are still connected... One day, I'm sure our generation's kids will say the same things about us!
    Hoping for a chance to win your cards, but will always be looking forward to your future posts! :o)

  25. Indeed, I often feel envy for the days when people stayed put. What a sense of community folks must have had, which depspite the gossip circles, had to have been good for them. Life seems so fragmented now. I personally hate Kansas summers, but I'm never going to move because my community is here.

    Great pictures!

  26. I hear Kansas summers can be brutal, but I guess my winters can be brutal too. Maybe spreading news is the best possible thing to do when you don't want to be outside? Thanks for the comment!