Brushes: Apricot Triplets. Three gorgeous apricot roses. These were fun to paint, with all their curled petals and all the variations in color. In a week where we’ve had light snow twice and then 20″ of heavy, wet snow, and I’m feeling a sense of dread with the approach of winter, this painting reminds me that spring really isn’t that far away.
Books: In one of those interesting twists of fate, the book that I was reading this past week while visiting my parents and my in-laws was Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic, a book that’s all about family and the competing desires to return to the best of our childhood while simultaneously distancing ourselves from our parents. Russo is one of my favorite writers; I love his ability to tell a compelling story based on ordinary lives, his effortless command of the English language, and his inclusion of goofy slapstick scenes that make me laugh out loud. As soon as I had read the last page, I turned back to the beginning to reread my favorite lines:
“That, he now realized, was how he’d been feeling two days ago when he’d packed that bag and headed to Boston alone—thirty flours up and half a bubble off. Plumb the last time they checked, but no, suddenly, plumb some.” P.66
“The problem seemed to be that you could put a couple thousand miles between yourself and your parents, and make clear to them that in doing so you meant to reject their values, but how did you distance yourself from your own inheritance?” p. 70
“Attempting to corner her was like trying to put a cat in a bag; there was always an arm left over and, at the end of it, claws.” P. 77
“Late middle age, he was coming to understand, was a time of life when everything was predictable and yet somehow you failed to see any of it coming.” P. 248
“All your father’s pleasures are guilty,” his mother claimed, “and deserve to be.” P.11
And during the climactic comedic scene, which involves a wedding, an old man in a wheelchair, identical twins, and a thorny hedge, you’ll find my favorite line:
“Had the bush been burning, the whole thing would have been biblical.” P. 210.
Lucky me—I had another of Russo’s books in my ever-growing “to read next” pile, so I’m already halfway through Bridge of Sighs; that mitigates the feeling of loss that I had when I finished That Old Cape Magic!