12.18.2013

December 18th.






"Michele" by Armand Merizon, 1963.


I am writing about my sister, Michele, who passed away 8 years ago today. You may think, 8

years is a long time. Certainly time enough to get over it. But death is not something you get over.

The older I get and the more life experiences I tuck into my psyche, the more I understand that losing

one you love is not a linear experience that fades off into the distance. The knowledge or emotion of

death and loss, changes, ebbs and flows, sharpens and softens in every manner of which way, and at

any time.

Michele was 53 when she died. It was in 2005 when she was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma and

another type of uterine cancer all in one horrible nightmare of a sentence. It was June 3, my mother's

birthday, the day that my next door neighbor, Heather,shot and killed herself in her basement because

her own cancer had returned.

Michele called me at Aimé's Paul Rose Road house where I was dog sitting for Aimé while she was

at Bear Lake Creative Writing Camp. She told me that she had been having a stomachache for the

past couple of weeks and was wondering if it could be diverticulitis, a condition that our mom had

dealt with. A condition that was bothersome and no fun, yet something that did not kill you.

Right here, I am ashamed to admit that I was irritated to receive such a call. After all I was

 on a vacation of sorts, way up in Frankfort, MI, out in the country, just enjoying myself with

Clovis and Honey, Aimé's doggies. I had not yet gotten the call from Wayne about Heather. I was

ignorantly blissful for a short time that morning. I did not want to think that my sister was ill. I did

not want to go there, as we all had just gotten over Aimé's bout with breast cancer, chemo and illness.

No, I did not want to hear it. I told Michele that she needed to go to the doctor, because the more she

talked the more alarmed I became. The details are a bit fuzzy to me now, but her description of

symptoms did not remind me of mom's divertickles as we would refer to moms occasional flair ups.

I remember, I was lying in the sun, out on Aimé's deck. It was particularly beautiful outside. The

summer sky was so blessed blue. The sun was warm and wonderful on my skin. But there was

something ominous. There were turkey vultures floating on the breeze. They would land on the big

dilapidated white barn every now and then for a break before gliding off over the orchards. I thought

they were fascinating. I did not feel that anything sinister was afoot.



Michele and Leah




There were a few back and forth calls between Michele and I and Leah. It was finally decided that

Leah was to head to Chelsea to take Michele to the doctor. I was relieved for just a short time before

I received the call from Wayne that our neighborhood in GR was surrounded with firetrucks, police

cars and ambulances. I jumped into my car and headed back downstate to pick Wayne up and bring

him back up to Aimés with me. I don't know why I did that now, but that is what happened.

Anyway as the days passed, the nightmare blossomed into full swing. Doctors and nurses, hospitals

from Chelsea to Lacks here in GR to Boston, back to Lacks. There were alternative healers involved,

special diets, chemo, radiation. It was an absolute surreal summer, that of 2005!

Michele lived part time here at my then parents house, part time at Leah's house and part time at

home in Chelsea. René jumped into action doing what she knew best and that was making huge

flower containers for Leah's deck so as to make Michele feel more at home. We were all just

heartbroken to see our girl, our second girl, lose all her hair, and grow thin and gray. Yet no one ever

spoke about the very real possibilities of Michele's dying. At least we couldn't speak about it in front

of her. She wasn't having any of it even though her whole life was disrupted, uprooted, all fucked up!

Up until then, our original family unit of 7 had remained intact. Death had touch near with the loss of

our brother Mark's wife Margaret and Aunt Beth, Aunt Jeanne and all of our grandparents, but we

still had our immediate family. I don't even really think that we could comprehend the idea that we

could actually lose one of our 7. If anyone, heaven forbid, surely it would be mom or daddy.

Certainly not one of us kids?!



Michele and Mom


Having Michele around was always exciting, so it was great having her over here on this side of the

state. (She had lived on the East side of Michigan ever since she was married back in the late 70's.)

 It was because of her unique curiosity of people and fun. She always had some great new idea or was

doing something out of the ordinary. Michele was always so full of life! When we we kids, at the

dinner table it was she who made all the funny faces that would cause us kids to laugh and giggle

with delight. If he were in a bad mood, daddy would yell at the ones laughing, not knowing who the

true rascal was! That was Michele!




"Michele" by Armand Merizon.


She dared to become a ballet dancer when the odds were against it due to her age and her height.

She got herself hired as a cook for a wealthy family once even though she did not have the first idea

how to make one single entré. That was Michele!

In October, less than 2 months before she died, she and my mother dressed all up as goblins and

went to the annual Ludema Halloween gig at the greenhouse. They seriously scared a lot of people!

Michele was such a creative person with so much imagination. She was always very generous and

giving. She was no good at saving money and didn't care to be. If she saw something she liked or

thought someone else would like, she would buy it. She bought my wedding dress for me as she

knew I didn't like to shop. She bought a painting from daddy once because she knew I loved it and

later let me make payments to her until the painting was mine.

Michele went to school and learned how to artificially inseminate cows, which she did for years,

traveling from farm to farm in the rolling hills near Ann Arbor.  She also was the best animal

photographer I have ever known, capturing the absolute soul of any animal that she pointed her

camera at.



painting by Armand Merizon, that Michele bought for me.


In the late fall of 2005 it became quite obvious that our girl's health was deteriorating rapidly.

Yet she still went Christmas shopping with her husband Lee for new work boots for herself.

At Thanksgiving she was in a lot of pain and had to lie on the couch while the rest of us ate.

It was strange. We acted like nothing was out of the ordinary, but yet our lives were about to be

altered forever.

The Tuesday before Michele died, she was pretty much bed ridden. Her voice had a sort of rasp that

had not been there before. I remember I made her a smoothie, and as she sipped it, she told me that

the hard part was here and we all needed to work extra hard to help her though this time. I know it

really doesn't make much sense, especially as I write it, but then, nothing really made much sense.

A few days later, Michele slipped into a deeper state of consciousness. Her speech became garbled

when she spoke but that was becoming rare.

All of this, and yet we still carried on. We had a pizza while all sitting around Michele's bed. Now I

can't even imagine such a thing. I mean, how in Gods name could we have a pizza party while our

girl was dying right in front of us? Gradually her breathing became labored and the chain stoking

or the death rattle began. I remember lying on Leah's couch listening to Michele breathing on the

baby monitor.  It still wasn't sinking in.

Early on Sunday morning, December 18th, Michele's breathing became quiet and still. Leah and

Aimé who were with her were suddenly aware of the silence in the room. She had crawled

out of that diseased body and once again became free. I will miss her forever with every fiber of

my being.  I love my big sister, Michele.


10.23.2013

October 23rd.



Today is a cold and wet October Wednesday. I am sitting at my computer with one eye out the

window so as to spot any visitors that may stop  by. 

So far today, and it is just about 3 pm, I have had one customer. A gentleman who brought over a

Merizon pen and ink that he inherited.  He wanted to either sell the drawing or find out the value. I

told him that in my opinion it was valued between 500.00 and 1000.00, but that if he wanted a

professional appraisal, to go to Perception Gallery in Grand Rapids, and talk to Kim Smith,

my go to for any info that I am not quite sure of.



The Torch Dancer, by Armand Merizon.


I really love this piece for many reasons. It is not a typical Merizon by any means, so therefore,

 I think it must have been a commission which was something my dad did quite often in those days.

I like the way the main subject, the singer, is so detailed, right down to small little rivets on her

shoes. She looks a bit like Katherine Hepburn, with a popular hairdo common in the late thirties and

forties. Very glamorous! 

 I love the small glass she has in her black gloved hand. I imagine it to be a brandy or a Grand

Mariner, some type of wonderful intoxicant! 
 
 The pianist reminds me of Artur Schnabel, my dad's favorite pianist and composer. The way he

combs his hair back and from what I see of his build, is quite similar.

I love how the people in the background, including the piano player, are all either gestures or

shadows with vertical lines. These lines are complimented by the horizontal lines on the piano.

And then there are the wisps of smoke rising here and there!


Ah, the good old days!


9.06.2013

Old family photos.

Mark


 My brother, Mark, in our kitchen on Thomas Street before the linoleum was changed. I love that old pattern and have seen it since some place. The white table behind Mark is where my mom did all her baking prep. I love Mark's cowboy boots and striped shirt. The epitome of the 50's!



René, Mark, Chantal, Betty and Michele.


 My mom read to us all the time! In the evening, right before bed and when we would come home from school for lunch. I am so indebted to her for this! I love reading to this day, because of my mother.




Aimé and Mark



 Aimé and Mark on the lower landing of the stairwell. There is a mirror to Aimé's left. It looks like she was playing "dress up" one of our main pastimes. Mark appears to be wearing his Cub Scout shirt. He is in typical form while having his picture taken. Look at the design on the wall. This plaster application was what I grew up with. I soon learned that most houses did not have this type of wall. I think I actually became self conscious of it when my friends came over. Now I know that it was very cool. They just don't make houses like that anymore. This was also Thomas Street.



Betty holding Chantal with Mark and one of the twins looking out the window.


Out for a summer evening "ride". Since we lived in the city, our dad would take us out to the country every possible evening  in the summer time. We would go out to the train tracks mostly, but sometimes we would investigate abandoned houses. There was a specific house out by where the airport is now.  My dad coined it "The Spook House". This very well could be it.






8.27.2013

Tuesday, August 27th



I had a nice visit today, from a cousin of my dad, Dennis Merizon 

and his lovely wife, Kate, who live in Jenison. I could recognize 

the "Merizon" in Dennis's eyes. A certain twinkle. I liked them both

immediately. 


The visit came about thanks to Kate. She is one of my facebook 

friends and also "likes" my Merizon Studio page. She saw a floral

print that I posted, and noticed that it was one of which I have had

giclée's made. Kate got in touch with me, ordered a print, and

we set up an appointment out here at the studio to look at some 

framing options.


While discussing our meeting plans, Kate mentioned that she had an

older "Merizon" portrait of a woman, and that she and Dennis would

bring it along. I was delighted, as I always am at the prospect of 

seeing a painting of my dad's that I had not previously seen, or 

have not seen for quite some time. 


The painting was carefully wrapped in a cloth and then bagged in 

plastic when Dennis pulled it out of the trunk of the car. It 

weighed a ton! We got it into the studio and Dennis unwrapped it, 

revealing a most unique, life size portrait of a dark haired women 

dressed in black with a wrist watch on her crossed arm. She looked a

little nervous to me. I have noticed with my father's portraits, 

that the different expressions on the subject's faces, mirrored,

to a degree, the feelings they had for the painter. I am sure this 

must be true with all artist's and their models! I do not believe

this woman felt very comfortable having my dad study her as painted.


I was told that the Merizon's were given the painting by a relative 

or friend. It is crazy that I already can't remember that fact. 

There was a paper taped on the back saying that the painting was 

from 222 Houseman Building, downtown, Grand Rapids. That was one of 

my dad's old studios from the late 40's through the early 50's. The

painting was done in oil on sanded, 1" plywood, 24" x 30".






photo I took of portrait in the studio.



photo I took including the frame.



photo from my dad's slide archives taken in his back yard of the Merizon family home on Bates Street, Grand Rapids, late 1940's, I'm guessing.



The frame was the same one from the photo I had seen before from my

dad's slides. It is heavy and rustic, with a now, browned linen

liner. The shape is reverse, which is perfect for portraits. My dad 

must have just taken the photo after he had gotten it framed and 

while preparing to give it to its owner. 


Kate mentioned that there was another paper stating the woman's name

was "De Young" a receptionist, and that the portrait was done in

exchange for a debt owed. That info rang true as I know my dad often

did portraits in exchange for loans. Life and times were hard for 

him back in those days and that is how he got along.


I feel a little sad that there is no family member that has claimed 

this portrait. Where is this Miss De Young? That is a common Dutch 

name around here. In fact it is my fathers mothers maiden name.


It was great to see this painting up close. The line work alone of 

the back ground must have taken a very long time to execute. The 

watch is very detailed. Her face is beautiful but a little pensive.

Mysterious.

8.26.2013

Monday, art and cookies.



Today is Monday, August 26th. 

I finally pulled myself out of bed at 9:30 after having my phone 

whistle at me a couple of times, signaling texts from any number of 

persons needing to clue me in on something. New things are 

happening. Get up, get up. I have to tell you something....



I am on my second cup of coffee. I already ate three molasses 

cookies left over from Saturdays opening for Debra Sportel. If I eat

another one any time soon, I will be sick! I knew when I was making 

them, that I was going overboard by at least 1 extra recipe. I was 

still baking when Deb arrived at 3:15,45 minutes before the opening 

was to begin. She exclaimed how nice it smelled on her walk into the

house. I shot my sister a quick,"see?" look. 


Aimé had been there with me as I kept pulling the dough out of the 

fridge, rolling little balls, sugering, flicking with water, and 

popping in the oven. Then I would disappear for 8 minutes to do some

chore in rather late prep for the shindig. I would hear the timer go

off and head back to the kitchen to pull out fresh, spicy round

wafers of  pure goodness. 


At one point Aimé, in her no nonsense tone of voice, suggested that

maybe I should shower and get ready. She indicated that maybe I 

should be putting the dough away. I told her that Deb had read some 

place that the scent of cinnamon actually induced men to spend 

money, and strawberry for women. I wanted to see it this could be 

true. I think I heard some grumblings from my sister, but I kept 

quiet as I knew she had been under a lot of stress, same as myself.

I just kept baking, and running around.


I have made this particular cookie for most of my art shows. I just 

like to make them. They remind me of my mother. I make them in her 

kitchen. I think it calms me. Helps me focus. Although, maybe the 

next time, I won't wait until the last moment.










Anyway, the opening was nice. It was different than the others. 

There really are never any two the same. I was slightly concerned 

that since I hadn't had a show since last December, that the turnout

might be questionable. But no, the house was always full of people 

for over four hours. There was the constant sound of voices,

laughter, music all mixed up in one pleasant auditory stimuli.



Debra was radiantly beautiful! Her sense of style is perfectly

agreeable to me. You wouldn't have believed that she is actually a 

grandmother, 7 times over. Nope. She looked marvelous! 

Deb and I hung the show Friday afternoon. It took us a couple of

 hours, but it turned out really appealing. Her "palette" she uses 

in her art, earth tones, jewel colors, contrasted with the stark 

black and white of her photos, create a perfect effect. I will enjoy

having this show hang for a few weeks!













7.09.2013

The Jester and other news.








I have been spending the last couple of months working on closing 

my dad's estate, among other "must do" but not very interesting 

things. In the meantime, as I write this, summer has come, and is

in her glory.

 Little by little I can see progress in our lives out here in the 

country. Wayne and I have lived here 3 years now. Again, I am 

flabbergasted by how fast time flies.

To have my name finally on the deed of 9087 Kalamazoo Ave, is a  

huge relief, on one hand, and a big responsibility on the other. 

It's not easy keeping up an old farm house, a barn and 5 other

out buildings. It's not easy, but it is so worth it! I am very 

grateful to have a handy hubby who love's me and who takes great 

interest and pride in this place!

Our next project is putting a new roof on the studio. I don't think 

it has been replaced since my dad first converted the chicken coop 

into his "Pavilion of Intelligence" as he fondly referred to his new

work space. That was way back in the early 70's. It will give me a 

great sense of satisfaction to complete our mission of restoration 

to this wonderful building. I will be sure to post "after" pix once

the job has been completed.


Merizon Studio


There have been several inquires about art shows or events here

and if there are plans to continue them. The answer is a resounding,

yes! We had jumped right into having these fantastic gatherings 

early in the spring of 2011 when Charles LaRue, one of my favorite 

local artists, raised the idea. His memorable show was the first of 

8 altogether. Each of which, were interesting and fun to put on, in

their own way.

 These shows do take time to plan, and a lot of elbow grease to 

prepare for. That is why there has not been any thing going on this 

spring or summer so far. I wanted to take some time to re-evaluate 

how to go about honoring local artists in the most effective and 

economical way possible. Also, as I mentioned, attention to some 

basic issues took priority.


One of the things that I am excited about are my "Open Studio

 Wednesdays". Since early spring I have designated Wednesdays' as a 

time when, you, my friends and customers, can feel comfortable

in coming out whenever you feel like it, bring your framing needs, 

knowing that I am in the studio, ready to assist you. 

This way, Merizon Studio is like any other store on Wednesdays.

 Open for business!



I met my next artist at one of these "Open Studios". Her name is

 Debra Sportel and she is lovely!

Deb grew up around here and I actually knew her slightly when we 

were kids. She went to Byron Center and I went to Caledonia. Her 

family, the Maiers', still live this area. They were the first

family we met when we moved here from Eastown in 1968.

Anyway, Deb is one of those people with whom you feel instantly 

comfortable with. She brought some of her photographs for me to 

frame and we ended up talking for a long time. She eyed a painting 

by my dad that I had just acquired and fell in love with it.

 Two days later she was back again. This time, to buy the painting. 

Debra is a professional photographer and painter. I was delighted

to learn that she lived right around the corner on a farm with

her husband, Randy. Deb invited me to her home to see more of her 

work. I liked it very much, and together we made plans for an 

August 24th show, of which you will hear more about in the up 

coming weeks. I am totally geeked for this one!








Aside from being a great person and refreshing artist, Debra is 

also savvy with photoshop! She helped me design a card logo that I

 plan to use for the sales of my dad's giclée's. I have had

this image under wraps for several weeks now. I love it so much I

 didn't just want to throw it out there, but then I guess there is 

no time like the present!







Jester, by Armand Merizon


Isn't it cool?!




4.25.2013

Out the Window



Yesterday was my "Open Studio" Wednesday.I 

needed to be out in the studio with 

my doors open by 10 am, for anyone who wanted to come visit me.



I was racing around, getting ready to head out when I happened to

 glance out the kitchen window to 

see a total turkey extravaganza in the farm yard. There were maybe

 20 turkeys, all milling around, 

pecking under the bird feeders. Some of the brave turks were 


standing under one of my reachable feeders, craning their long necks

 upwards, and feasting away, with gusto.






 

  In the meantime there were three, very sexy males strutting around


 in full "puff" splendor!  Their feathers were

 spread out in huge fans which made them look like giant pinwheels

 from behind. Designs and intricate patterns of browns, beige and


 white. So amazingly beautiful!

 In contrast, their faces were all a ghostly white which would turn

blue and then back to white. They also had really large, bright red 

balls under their chins or rather ,on their necks. Wow!

Every so often, actually often, they would do this very proud, slow 

motion turn around. Their heads were held high and they would


 rotate!

 It was the strangest sight! The wind would bend and turn their fans

every which way.

 The hens or ladies seemed to ignore these glorious visions except 

when one of them would start to run at her, with his big fan and 

major desire, pushing him forward! 

And here I thought humans were complicated...






















 Finally they began to wander off toward the field. What a show!

4.07.2013

Coffee, Brownies and Art.










A Sunday afternoon look at subtle, palette impressions! 

Paintings by Armand Merizon.





Armand Merizon, 1980.





This one is appealing to me first of all,  because of the extreme horizonal shape. The wispy, abstract, background with the realistic trees lined up creates a calming, almost comforting feeling. Natural order.







Armand Merizon





This is actually a very small painting. It measures approx 8"x 6", maybe a bit smaller.
The luxurious, heavy impasto technique creates huge impact for such a petite piece. A painting of spring, renewal and optimism!














Refreshing in color and light. The vertical beams of atmosphere and the seagull, are essential to the composition. They invite the eye to go up and around the painting.









The Third Brother, by Armand Merizon.






 A somber, yet beautiful painting. The renewal of spring, the celebration of a life lived. It's natural and right.








Armand Merizon


Simple and beautiful.

Thank you for stopping by!

@

4.02.2013

April 2nd

Today is April the second. 12:30 pm this afternoon will mark the passing of my dad,

 three years ago.

We, his girls, were sitting all around him that day. René, Aimé, Leah, Bon, Al and myself.

 He had been in the deep, somewhat comatose state that many people linger in before

actually passing over.

His eyes were slightly open and very dark, like deep pools.

Those eyes! Together those eyes and that brain created more than 2000 finished works

and who knows how many unfinished drawings there are. I am still finding them here

 in the house and studio.



Hopes and Memories by Armand Merizon, 1991


I remember the sun was shining through the window, just as it is now, as I write this.

He would not be missing that last segment of his life! His room was one of many rooms,

 holding amazing people who were sick and in different stages of dying.

His room was in the stately, Trillium Woods Hospice, just over here, across the highway,

north of 84th street.

He had been there for almost 2 months, passing the days sleeping on a low mattress

with sides around it. He had a tendency to be restless. He wanted out of there!

 It was heartbreaking to visit him everyday and have him ask me if he could go home now.

He was being medicated all the time to keep him "comfortable". Those two months sucked.

His 90th birthday, February 28, was celebrated there, in his room.

He held his little dog, Teddy on his lap.

 By that time, I think he had removed himself from this plane of consciousness.

 He was not coherent during those last weeks. He spoke in whispers,

a mystical cryptic jargon.

Armand Merzon.


My dads breathing was labored and somewhat irregular. We petted his big old nog.

 The head that held that brain. What was going on in there during those last moments?

 Three years gone by, and I am still just as mystified as I was that day. How can this be?

 What happens to our spirits when we pass?


Self portrait, by Armand Merizon




With my dad, I think, there is so much lost. It is obviously, the very same when any person dies.

 I just mean to say, that when he left, there was so much that left with him.

His talent, thoughts and ideas. The man was a very deep thinker.

What happens to all of that?

He created so many paintings with spiritual implications.



by Armand Merizon.




I remembered feeling the same things when my sister, Michele, was obviously no longer "in there",

when I rushed to the house where she had passed only minutes before. Where was my girl?

Then again with my mother,

who I remember, or at least I think I remember, sat up, coughed and was gone after almost 5 days

being present, only physically. I may be a little unclear about that, as she died here,

at home and we were exhausted to the point of hallucinating.




Body and Soul by Armand Merizon


Where do we go? Its the ultimate question, What happens when we die?

I like the white light idea personally. I like the thought of going toward a light with happy

anticipation of seeing my long lost loved ones again. The feeling of awesome peace.

When my dad finally passed, there was a great sense of relief, I think. All around.

It felt as though the body of which we were sitting around, was smaller and without tension.

 Suddenly not the powerful presence it had been just moments before.

The room was even lighter than it had been. Suddenly, sounds of life came back.

 Birds outside the window. Peoples voices in the hall. Even at that moment,

life kept moving on.




Schetzo by Armand Merizon.


 I am frustrated not to be able to articulate more clearly these feelings I have.

I miss you, daddy, even when I do feel as though you are still here.

I look forward to seeing you again someday, if that could be.....



Breakout, by Armand Merizon.


3.29.2013

Spring Survey


For the past two days, I have been able to resume my walks around the path with Mot.

This was an activity that had been discontinued months ago when the snow made passage for a cat way too difficult. For a person? Speaking only for myself, I was not interested in clomping around in the snow, cold and especially wind.

A constant when you live on top of a hill.








Looking east to the barn.



Starting out on the path means heading westward. Upon looking behind me I see the barn looming quietly.  His back bone has a subtle, tired dip in the middle.

I noticed the other day, when driving from 92nd street, that there were several shingles missing on the southwest slope. I have seen them lying in the driveway.

I will be calling a barn specialist this summer.







Looking back at the house.

 I take a last look back toward the house. It looks bright in the sunshine. It stands out clearly, now that there is no snowy competition. It gives the eye a relief from all the tawny browns.




My roaming buddy, Mot.




Mot, who follows me faithfully, stops to revel in the warm sunshine. It is obvious that this one hasn't had much active exercise over the past few months. His girth is impressive. These walks are important for both of us, me thinks!







The furthest, western point of the nature trail.




 The nature trail is a large, quarter mile circle behind the farm yard, surrounding the top of the hill.

 We live on one of the highest points in Kent County, MI. Now there are trees blocking the view to the west and part of the north, facing Grand Rapids.

When my family moved here in 1968, you could see for miles in both directions. The property goes back from the house in a big 27 acre swath. Trees cover the sides of the hills.

My brother Mark, comes over with his tractor every spring and cuts down the very top of the hill, in the center of the path. This forms a beautiful meadow of what was once a cow pasture.





looking west through the trees.






 You can get an idea how how high we are when looking through these trees. In the summer, this is nothing but dense foliage. You would not know you were on a high hill. This is the furthest point of the trail before it veers north.








Around the corner and heading north.




 I look back every few minutes to see my constant shadow, following at a distance. Pretty soon, he will run up silently and zoom past me. A very unusual cat! I have to smile when I imagine my "house cats" following me like this. It just wouldn't happen!

We have rounded the southwest end corner of the path and are heading north, toward Grand Rapids.
I am really looking south to my buddy, as I walk north.

There is a stubborn little patch of snow yet. Today, I'm sure it will be gone. The green in the path is moss. It is nice and soft on bare feet in the summer time.





walking back from the northwest corner of the field.



We have now rounded the furthest point of the trail and are coming up around the north side of the field. Looking north from where I am facing, lies Grand Rapids, far in the distance.

This is a nice view of the farm yard. The house and studio are on the far left and the the little house, closest to us.

Mark planted the pine trees around the farm for my mother. One is in honor of his late wife, Margaret. Mark lives about a mile away and is very helpful to us. It was Mark who designed and created the nature path.





Awkward pose!










Fork in the path.


 We now have traversed most of the trail. At this point there is an option to go straight to the house, or left, around to the "little house" or "Michele's Cabin". The Merizon Studio is straight ahead, behind the tree.







At the end of the road, on the swing.








Looking north from Leah's swing that sits in front of the little house.



Resting now on Leah's swing. We are looking back to the fork in the road and beyond to Grand Rapids. You can barely make out the city skyline between the trees.
Back in the day, there were no trees and you could see from one end of the horizon to the other.

Thank you for walking with us! Have a wonderful, Easter weekend!

3.27.2013

March 27th

I do believe, that in spite of the weak attempt to cover our earth in white again, Mother Nature has finally decided to gracefully move ahead with plans for spring.

The sparkling sun on the tree limbs outside my window is doing wonders for my state of mind this morning. I feel open and receptive to all that is good! (wink at Aimé!)

This past week has been a rather humbling learning experience for many in my family. You would think that by the time you reach your fifties and sixties, that you would have it all worked out. No more stupid decisions. No more impulsive actions.

Wrong! I am now inclined to believe the tendency to goof up, never leaves us! Maybe the forgiveness and ability to pull ones boot straps up and go on, is a little more forthcoming. Thank God for that, I guess. But yeah, when being led by the heart, sometimes the mind gets ignored.

The wonderful thing is that all is ok. Maybe better than ok. That is the mystery of life.

I want to wish my brother, Mark a happy birthday on this past Sunday, the 24th. He is now 60 years old! I find that incomprehensible. May you have a wonderful year, my best and only brother! I love you!





3.15.2013

Mot, again...

It's that time of day again. It's Mot time.
I can't just come out and see him any old time. I have to wait until the Big House cats are: a) sleeping, or b) eating!

Otherwise Maudie and Deezil both, just give me the most horrible, guilt provoking looks! But the worst of it is, should they get a wiff of Mot cat on me, they might just squat and pee right then, right there,
where ever they happen to be!! This terrifies me because cat pee is awful, seriously.

So basically I feel terrorized by my Big House cats, because I spend time with lonely, Little House cat.

And I love Mot more every day!
He is overflowing with character and comical cuteness. His purr is loud, and sort of like a baby raccoon. Kind of wild and insistent.

He does not seem to take me for granted like Maudie and Deez! We both just sit here, listening to classical music. His ears tell me that he is listening. I leave it playing when I go.

He loves to be brushed and let's me scrub away on him until finally he gets weary of it and takes a quick swipe at me. All the while, motoring away.

He's seen both sides of life, Mot. To have and to have not.

That's why he has so much love to give. That is why he has so much gratitude.

I hate to say it , but his life circumstances have made him so much more interesting.
No wonder the Big House cats get so pissed!