It’s a bit late to write this, but…

I hope everyone out there had a fantastic holiday season!

Today marks the one month anniversary of my family having the flu. This meant that instead of running around to celebrations and special events, we stayed home for the holidays. Symptoms aside, it was really nice. We went to bed early, we slept in late, we read books, we watched movies, we played games, and we completed a few puzzles. When school started back up, I think everyone went back to their routine truly rejuvenated.

We are a busy family, maybe you can relate. We all have quite a few activities we enjoy. These enterprises keep us out of the house. Hibernating for most of winter break reminded me how much I like being home. My house is the perfect size with the perfect temperature. It’s filled with yummy food, my favorite people, and my favorite things. I made it my new year’s resolution to stay home more. I hope to live in this house for so many years that when I leave I need a picture of it hanging on the wall of my next house.

I used to think I was a landscape painter. The more paintings I make the more I realize I am a painter of Favorite Things. I paint seasons. I paint people. I paint pets. I paint food. And I paint places. In 2023 I was lucky enough that two people (no relation) asked me to paint house portraits. It was an honor. Much the same as when I paint someone’s child; I felt a responsibility to my representation of the home.

The first home I painted is featured above. It belonged to old Army friends. We were stationed in Ansbach, Germany at the same time. Germany holds a special place in the hearts of the American service people, and their families, that have had the good fortune to live there. The houses we lived in were charming, only to be out done by their gardens. Our landlords were friendly, and made us feel at home. Some of us birthed our children there, and watched them take their first steps in the orchards we called a backyard. We’re all writing our own story. Filling our current house with tangible memories from our past keeps us on a confident path towards the future.

I’m going to switch gears a bit as I get sentimental about this next home. When my mind drifts back to my childhood home I get warm feelings of contentment, protection, and joy. The pictures in my mind are filled with good food, my favorite people, and our favorite things. I drift along to also imagine my childhood friends, their homes, and the memories I shared there. These are the places where, as a kid, I began to learn about the world. By being in other people’s homes we broaden our understanding of style and culture, and ourselves.

Parents of a childhood friend (of mine) recently sold their house. This is not something that I imagine is easy to do, but necessary when the kids are all grown up and it’s time to simplify. Wishing to commemorate time spent in the house is essential for preservation. One beautiful image of the home, with its gardens in bloom can calm your mind and bring a smile to your face. If we’re lucky it’s going to be a long life with many phases. We can face each new chapter with courage when we celebrate our foundation.

I hope you love your home. I hope it brings you comfort and joy. It’s still winter out there, so stay warm my friends. Thanks for reading.