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Heartwarming Small-Town Romances and Thrilling Mysteries

Cast your break upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1

While I don’t think Solomon had my story in mind when he said this, the verse still came to mind after an extraordinary experience this past week. But first, let me back up about 30 years ago….

When my children were young teenagers, we lived in Spearfish. Outside of town was a small woodcarving museum and art gallery where I took art lessons. There were just four students and an amazing instructor named Mike. He taught lessons once a week for a year and a half or so. Once or twice, the museum had art shows for the public where we could display what we’d done in and outside of class. I sold an oil painting I did at one of those shows.

Mike was an amazing instructor. He only let us use red, yellow, and blue color pencils, paints, and pastels. He taught us enough color theory that we could mix our own colors. I’ve used this technique in a lot of things since then. He made a big impact with me.

Shortly after we left Spearfish, the little museum closed. I heard through friends that Mike died not long after, as well as the wood carver who owned the museum. I never found out what happened to my artwork still hanging inside it.

Fast forward about 28 years to where I’m checking my phone for messages and see one from my sister-in-law. She says that a woman is going to contact me about some artwork she found in her father’s stuff as she was cleaning it out. Later I got a message from someone I didn’t know who attached three photos of artwork I’d given up as forever gone. It was like a time warp caught me and sent me back to the art lessons in that little museum.

I met that lady, Laura, for lunch where she returned my artwork from many years ago. Not that any of it was very good or special, but there were two that caught my eye. They were some of my favorites and had wondered what happened to them. Now I know. I took pictures of the artwork and threw some of it away. The paper is yellowed and deteriorating (kind of like me) so it won’t get hung up. I may keep the two special ones for a while and let my kids throw them out when I’m gone.

Laura was a very nice woman, and we chatted like old friends over German cuisine. Her dad was the woodcarver who owned the little museum and took art lessons with us, and I worked with her mother on the literacy council for many years. Even though we were strangers, we had ties that went way back in time.

The whole experience was a reminder of how much fun and how much I learned from people a long time ago, and how much of it is still with me. Old questions were answered and resolved. The memories made back then have come back to me and make me smile when I remember Mike, John, Emily, and Richard. We had a good time back then, and I have the pictures to show it.

2 Responses

  1. Awesome Carol and your artwork is beautiful, I’m really super happy they found their way back to you. Truly a blessing

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