My walnut tree fell victim to Isabel and now lies across the drive. This is the saddest of my loses to the storm. The damaged roof, the torn porch screens, the broken windows and the flooding of the barn can all be put right in due course but the tree can never be replaced in my lifetime.
The tree was a major feature in the appearance of my house and with it down the landscape is dramatically changed. It was also the shade for our cars during the summer months.
I am sharing this with you because as collectors of my art you know how much trees mean to me and can understand my sense of loss.
Enough said about the tree. I am very fortunate that my property and the buildings of the Moss Portfolio got off lightly. Others in our county were not spared to this extent. Malcolm's friend Gilbert had 3 inches of water in his house and another neighbor's house was completely destroyed as was the Seabreeze Restaurant. Those of you who have been regular readers of my letter may recall the photo of my six children and me in front of the Seabreeze on the day after my surprise birthday party. The restaurant was our family's favorite place to go for lunch because its menu fitted perfectly our varied tastes.
There is still no power in our corner of Mathews County and so I have remained at The Barn in Waynesboro, where I have been painting in my alternative studio. My daughter Patti is driving in from Colorado later today and if the power comes back this week, we will go to Mathews and start to clear the driveway. Patti is very practical and a good hand with a power saw. Malcolm had called saying he would come back early from Panama to help but I told him to stay there and finish his book because he is far from practical and would probably end up cutting his arm off.
Ten days more and I will be headed to Dayton for our Convention. The demand for tickets tells me we are set to have a good weekend and I am looking forward to seeing some of you there. If you have not yet made up your mind about attending, you can just turn up. A three-day ticket, including Friday night's wine, beer, soft drinks and finger food reception is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. A two-day ticket for Saturday and Sunday is $6. The Saturday Dinner Dance is $35.
Before making my way to the convention, I will be attending the 100th anniversary of The Woman’s Club of Lynchburg where I will be giving the keynote address. After the convention I will be returning to Waynesboro to put the final touches to the preparations for the Fall Festival at home at the Museum and the Barn.
If you are planning to give a piece of my art to a spouse, child or other loved one for Christmas, now is the time to order the piece and have me personalize it for you. Moss dealers have the right to ask me to personalize a certain number of pieces of my art each year. Each year this means a lot of signing for me to do as Christmas approaches. You can help me by making your needs known to your dealer ahead of the rush.
I work to ensure that amongst my available art there are pieces particularly appropriate to hang in children's bedrooms. I grew up with pictures on my bedroom walls and I still remember each image clearly. A gift of a piece of art to a young person helps to develop art appreciation and to stimulate the imagination. I advocate the use of art in teaching, not only in the school but also in the home. I am sure that as art appreciators yourselves, you share my views on this but it never hurts to keep reminding us of the importance of art in our lives and in our society.
Until next week.
News from Panama:
Malcolm has completed the first rewrite of his book and is using the last week to check on the detailed facts.
He had a surprise visitor swim to the farm house. When he saw the head held above the water, he thought it was a turtle but when the creature came ashore he saw it to be a three-toed sloth. Quite unconcerned by Malcolm's presence the sloth slowly climbed on to the house dock and stood surveying all before him, before moving off into the trees. It is rare to see a sloth on the ground, let alone swimming in the water.