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It was a day much like her drawing. Coming almost full circle. Layered. Going deeper and deeper and deeper. First, one of my favorite transitions – crossing the bridge, seeing the water and clouds – as we go from airport frenzy to full body sigh. There’s something about horizontal lines that calms me, soothe me, restores me.


Remember how we took Nancy to ride in Angela’s convertible when we visited last June? (That’s the visit when she made these 167 drawings, you know.) Remember how we couldn’t get her out of the convertible? Remember how I said in my best Miz Scarlett voice “With God as my witness, this womanchild will never ride in anything but a convertible so long as I live”? Look at that face. I rest my case.


And that I’m-a-girl-born-to-ride-in-a-convertible smile? It never wavered. Even as I type, our Nancy is sleeping with a face aching from a day-long smile.


I turned the camera on us and said “Smile, Nancy.” One look at herself on the screen, and I got my smile. Think somebody might be a little on the hammey side?


Nancy completed her pages in the Sketchbook 2013 Project. Now I’ll get to work on mine and get it sent off before the holidays.


I trekked down here with a backpack filled with watercolors, paintbrushes, sponge brushes (in case the watercolor brushes were too small for her to comfortably handle). I brought a little cloth and some yarn. Just a small assortment of different art supplies to see if she was interested in partaking of something new. My plan was to bring her to the hotel room where we could be quiet and let her focus on her art, but as it turns out, we were busy the entire day, so that didn’t happen. But I did have four sketchbooks (which she filled) and an assortment of richly colored markers (which she used). Turns out the markers were better than pens because she has a tendency to draw on the side of the tip and pens don’t like that but markers are fine with it. Before I’ve taken composition books, but this time I took bona fide sketchbooks, and I like that heavy textured paper much better. I don’t think Nancy cares one way or the other.


This, my friends, is the joyful face of creating. Of making art. Of expressing. It is how she looks as she draws. I’ll swannee, I can’t decide if I feel more glee from watching her or from joining her.


She filled four 9×12 sketchbooks today, and besides the magic that is Nancy and her art, besides a visit with Kathy (Nancy’s State Coordinator) and Penny (former caregiver extraordinare), besides the beautiful scenery and a day spent riding in a convertible (Nancy’s not the only one around here who likes that kind of thing), the Found-Delights Haul for today includes a feather (from a rather large bird who apparently had a rather bad day), a partially encased nut of some kind, and a hatless acorn I managed to get to before the squirrel. Is there a common thread here? Oh I definitely see it, do you?



She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning and read your way current.
And pssst: there’s a pinterest board, too.