The West Michigan 8! 

top row from left:  Chris Stoffel Overvoorde, Larry Blovits, Jack Brouwer, Jon McDonald.

bottom row from left: Collin Fry, Carl Forslund, Armand Merizon, Jim Markle

This picture was taken either in late 2007 or early 2008,  judging by my dad, Armand Merizon's plaid shirt and suspenders! He is holding his ever present coffee mug, which took the place of holding a cigar in public situations, such as this. He  passed away on April 2, 2010.

This show of "The 8" was meant as a memorial to my dad, agreed upon by the other amazing artists. They will all be present at the reception and will each have 3 to 5 paintings on exhibit and for sale.

The reception will be held Sunday, April 1, from 2 to 6pm at Merizon Studio, my present home and former home of my mom and dad.

Address is 9087 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Caledonia, MI, 49316. Call 616 485-5752 with any questions.


Musings of spring, weather and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

When I lived in the city, I always had mixed feelings about spring. I did not revel in the beauty as I do now. Spring meant facing all my neighbors who were all of a sudden, out and chatting to one another. Although I sometimes miss hearing the sounds of laughter out my window, activity, human life,  the coming and going, it was difficult for me to shed my reclusive self and pull my social skills back around me.

painting by Armand Merizon, Scherzo, which means vigorous, light or playful compositon.

Now, things are different. I listen for the birds. I can't wait to go outside and just be quiet, feel the sunshine. I throw my arms into the air and stretch my tired limbs. I take deep breaths. I laugh out loud. The country has it's own celebratory song.

Last evening a storm came out of nowhere. The sky turned a yellowish orange. It began to rain with a vengeance.

Then after a little while, all was back to normal again and the sun slide down behind the field, quietly.


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


The Story of Michele's Cabin

I came across these pictures the other day and I remembered. This was the last day of existence for the original "Little House" now known as Michele's Cabin". It was May 5th of 2005, a beautiful spring day, and we were all gathered for the tear down.
I have always had a hard time with change, was against this move toward progress and let everyone know it. I took off to the far end of the nature path and stayed there until this little cutie stood no more. That was the day that Wayne stepped on a nail. That was the day when we were all blissfully ignorant of the cancer that was quietly growing in my sister Michele's belly.

Michele was the one who had thought up this great idea of converting the little house into a real house where she could stay when she came to visit from Chelsea. After all, it was just sitting there, slowly being swallowed up with vines and weeds.

Michele's husband, Lee, a builder, was eager to complete this task for Michele. My parents were agreeable, thinking it would be a nice place for their children to stay when they needed a getaway.

A month later, June 3, to be exact. My mothers birthday, Michele called me while I was babysitting Aimés pups up in Frankfort. She told me she had had a stomachache for the past two weeks. She wondered what I thought since I was the so called family nurse.

From then on the six month nightmare unfolded, painfully, heartbreaking;  evil cancer had invaded my sister. FIrst a visit to Boston, Harvard Medical School. The cancer was two fold, a carcinoma and a rare sarcoma, living in Michele's uterus, soon to spread to her lungs, liver and brain.

Lee began construction on the house and worked at it as often as he could. Michele was living between Chelsea, my parent's and her daughter Leah's house here in Grand Rapids. Her two dogs, Little Sister and José in tow.

There were good days when the chemo wasn't keeping Michele down. I clearly remember her standing in the framed in little house deciding where to put counters, windows, shelving. She took lots of notes. I watched her closely. I wanted to remember, but never for a moment entertained the idea that she would not be here soon. That's the way it is with cancer. You don't believe it. You  can't.

A long story short, Michele passed from this life on December 18, 2005 in Leah's home. The little house standing unfinished in the darkness.

The next spring Lee finished the job and shortly after that, Leah moved in for awhile. Healing slowly began. Life moved on. That is how "Michele's Cabin" came to be.

Mirror over the sink, blasted in memory of our girl.