One morning of each week I encounter reminiscences of our working days. The night before we pack our supplies to prepare for the busy day ahead. Hubby will join his artist friends in Kingston for a morning of painting and I am off to the creative writing group in Napanee.
In retirement we have found time to follow our interests. Both our passions stem from early childhood. The old guy drew on the back of calendars as a boy and was delighted when his parents bought him a set of oil paints for Christmas.
In public school I wanted to become a writer. Unfortunately I allowed the adults in my life to discourage me. I was told that I would starve by being a writer. Instead I followed a career in business. While I enjoyed the work I still pined for writing. During the final years of work I was busy writing job instructions for co workers. This is a very different type of writing and there was no room for imagination. The writing had to be concise but still detailed. Now that I am retired I can pursue my desire without having to worry about paying the bills through writing.
I have found so much to write about. As I look around my world I am aware of the interesting people and events surrounding me. This is something that a younger me would never have realized. Through the years of being married to an artist I have learned to see the colours and textures as they exist around us. The purple colours that emerge with the budding of trees and clouds scudding across the always changing shades of the sky are obvious to me now. Sunrises and sunsets are a display of colour that most people would not believe to be true when captured in a painting. The rough texture of old brick, crumbling buildings tell their own story. It is important to have these buildings immortalized in a painting before they collapse and disappear into the landscape.
I cannot take a brush and paint to create a master piece on canvas but I can use my words to allow my readers see what is in my imagination. It is surprising how ideas pop into my head for stories. My brain; uncluttered with work; takes me on a journey of fun and make-believe. A story might be triggered by antiques in a local shop. Who owned it? What did it mean to the owner? A family album with stoic looking people posed like statues depicts someones history. Why is there no one who wanted keep this memento? Has the family died off and no one is left to care? With no available history I can create any story I want for these people.
Stories from my childhood come rushing back. As a busy child; read badly behaved; I often found myself on the wrong side of my parents. The time I released two hundred chickens to allow one hen to come to the house and lay an egg for me was not received well by my father as he had a buyer coming to take the hens to market. I used heavy-duty machinery grease to style my hair on one occasion. My mother had a challenge to wash it out of my straight blond hair. It seemed that I could always find an interesting way to spend my day.
You might call us an ‘artsy, f’artsy’ couple but these passions lead us to explore galleries, art shows and used book stores. I will almost devour a good book. I prefer a real book; something I can hold in my hand and turn the pages. I immerse myself into the setting and characters of a mystery and try to solve the case before getting to the final pages. Most authors are so skilled in their craft that I am surprised by the ending. It is not unheard of to see me at the stove stirring a pot with a spoon in one hand and holding a book in the other as I try to reach the end of an engrossing story.
When we return home after our day out there are stories and paintings to admire and critique. We settle in for a quiet evening at home; with a glass of wine and know that retirement is a very special time for us.