What an exciting and busy week I have had since my last newsletter!
Not only did I celebrate Christmas with my family, but there was also
a surprise snowstorm in Mathews and our friend and dealer Tim Finn’s
baby girl was born!
Last Monday, in addition to signing at the Museum, I was delighted to
pay a visit to my grandson Picco’s school to draw the winning
raffle tickets for two of my prints, which had been donated to benefit
the school’s Technology Student Association (TSA) club. The money
raised will be used for the TSA group to participate in state and national
competitions. I’ve written about Picco’s involvement with
TSA before, and I can’t stress enough how wonderful this program
is, giving children hands-on experience in the use of technology for
problem solving and every day applications. The teachers volunteer their
time and are truly dedicated, so I was all the more delighted when one
of the names I drew was that of Diane Snyder, one of the TSA teachers!
Pat draws the winning raffle ticket for Picco's TSA club. Helping
Pat are (left to right) Dan Farrar, Assistant Teacher/Sponsor for TSA
group, Betsy Agee, Principal of Stuarts Draft Middle School, and Andrew
Baker, Main Teacher/Sponsor for TSA group and technology teacher for
Stuarts Draft Middle School.
On Wednesday my daughter Ginny, her children Picco and
Chiara, their family dog Winnie, and I drove to Radford, Virginia, to
my oldest daughter Mary’s house, where the children were treated
to a visit by Santa Claus. My son John and his friend Maureen were also
there, although they are too old to sit on Santa’s lap! Mary’s
oldest daughter Kate’s boyfriend Dylan DeHart and his family were
there, too, as well as all of Mary’s neighbors who have small
children. It was a full house but great fun, and the little ones were
awestruck by Santa.
A Family Christmas with Santa. Pat and her gang enjoy the Holidays
together at daughter Mary's house.
Ginny, Picco, Chiara, Winnie, and I drove back to Waynesboro
to attend the candlelight service at the Tinkling Springs Church on
Christmas Eve. Tinkling Springs is the oldest church in the Valley and
one that is dear to my heart. I’ve included it in several of my
paintings and prints. The next day we all went back to Mary’s
house for Christmas dinner.
One of Pat's prints of the charming Tinkling Springs Church, now
no longer available.
The day after Christmas, Ginny and her family and I got
up bright and early to start driving to St. Petersburg, Florida, where
I’ll be staying the next three months. There was no snow when
we started out, but as we headed south through the Carolinas we saw
that the mid-Atlantic states had been hit with a coastal winter storm.
The storm started with ice in South Carolina and zoomed up the Atlantic
seaboard, delivering a belated white Christmas to the coastal areas
of North Carolina, Virginia, and New England. Mathews, which doesn’t
get as much snow as other parts of Virginia, received up to a foot in
some places, including my house! I was a little sad that I didn’t
get to see it, but my staff took a picture for me.
Pat's house in Mathews, resplendent in a new coat of snow.
We arrived in St. Pete around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night,
anticipating the arrival of my daughter Becky and her family from Italy.
Their plane was due to arrive shortly after 11:00 p.m., but their flight
from New York was delayed due to snow there. Tim Finn, who represents
my work in St. Petersburg, had graciously offered to pick Becky, Roberto,
Sofie, and Michela up from the airport, but Mother Nature had other
plans. As Becky entered the airport around 1:00 a.m. Monday, she heard
her name being paged for a phone call. The caller was Tim, apologizing
that he couldn’t pick them up because his wife Mary was in labor!
Congratulations, Tim and Mary, on the birth of Rylee Nicole!
Welcome, Rylee Nicole! Congratulations to Mary and Tim Finn (owners
of Finn Gallery, the P. Buckley Moss dealership in St. Petersburg, Florida)
on the birth of their first child.
This has been a truly memorable Christmas for me, and
I hope that all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday. I wish to thank
everyone who has sent me Christmas cards and e-mails. I love hearing
from you and appreciate your taking the time to write. Have a happy
and safe New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day!