Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Karen and I stopped sending Christmas cards and messages some years back but, as some of you know, our faithful canine, Niko, intervened and wrote some rather unflattering letters about us.  Sadly, Niko answered a higher calling last summer.  Thus, we were going to run with our earlier decision until...

Wow, what is this?  Ooh, white pegs to hide peanuts under.  I just have to dance.  Oh look, when I do the Sassy Squirrel Shuffle, I see marks on the screen behind the pegs.  Neato!  I’ll just keep on dancing.  By the way, I’m Sasha the Supreme, the red squirrel overlord of the deck.

I moved into their attic with my family last spring, but the grouch found out, evicted a small herd of us and pronounced my digs, “squirrel free.”  Ha!  I learned you can’t run around like a couple of loose bowling balls in the attic and not garner attention.  The grouch and the pretty lady just don’t know about me because I tippy toe.

It’s been a shaky year here -- ushered in with a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that rearranged the pretty lady’s rock collections and knocked a few things off the walls.  So what does the grouch do with sirens wailing out tsunami warnings.  He heads for the internet.  Of course!  He claimed he wanted to see when it was supposed to hit.  No use rushing out in the dark to join the rest of town at a higher spot when he’s not feeling real sociable at midnight.  Before the tsunami was scheduled to arrive he found Al Jazera news saying warnings were canceled in British Columbia.  Meanwhile Petersburg along with the rest of southeast Alaska was fleeing to higher ground.  If British Columbia was safe, why not Petersburg?  By the time outer coast towns were reporting tsunamis in the range of inches and with him feeling pretty sleepy at that hour he went back to bed.

This spring the grouch and the lady who feeds me peanuts read that it’s good for artists to have blogs.  He likes to write and she does everything else around here so, “why not?”, he said.  It would be a way for them to share their paintings with the world.  The paintings part mostly fell by the wayside when she kept taking such good photos that he just had to share them instead of their paintings.  Looking at the shiny box in front of me I see over 40,000 of them.  He says they both like to take photos, but can’t bear to throw any away -- that’s there’s a bit of redeeming value in at least one pixel on each of them.  

In July they flew north for daughter Tamia’s wedding to Cash Philo -- an outdoor affair above timber line with temperatures a tad above freezing (on the third of July) and the wedding party dressed like they were on a Hawaiian beach -- but so romantic because the upper Willow Creek fishing hole is where Cash and Tamia fell in love.  David (our pizza deliverer and computer repairman) chauffeured Cash to the creek with a coat over his head so he wouldn’t see his gorgeous bride until she walked down the aisle -- OK, it was across a culvert on the gravel road.  The grouch says she was absolutely dazzling.  Tamia may be the first bride on record to go fishing (in her wedding gown) on the way between the ceremony and the reception.  Cash must really like to eat salmon and trout. 

Inspired by Tamia, the grouch planted a garden this year.  The carrots stopped growing when a deer ate all the tops.  Then the pretty lady pulled the remains a day or so before they set off on a fall road trip.  Figuring they wouldn’t keep, she gave most of them away.  The grouch did get to sample one, though.  Yum.  The potatoes -- they hope potatoes are that good in Heaven.

The road trip began as they set off for the sunny south -- Cape Meares, Oregon with daughter Mandy (now a nursing student) and her Mike, the coast of Washington’s Olympic National Park and  three days admiring the tail end of a Typhoon near the southern entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Sunsets “plunging” into the sea, the thundering roar of ocean waves, misty salt-laden air, foam flowing out of a dishwasher, the typhoon’s rainy offerings -- they’re ready for a rerun -- except the typhoon part.

They headed in different directions for the last 2/5ths of their odyssey.  She flew to Iowa to link up with cousin Connie and her Bob, splitting time between Iowa and the Groth (Karen’s family name) home at Wisconsin’s Four-Mile Lake.  Brother Peter and his Mary Ann have put the place up for sale so it may have been her farewell to that link with her childhood.

Meanwhile the grouch headed east as far as Montana following his nose for two weeks.  The idea: plein air paint his way home.  He missed the pretty lady, but he knew his agenda (there wasn’t any) would have driven her crazy.  She doesn’t thrive on -- Hey, there’s a road.  I wonder where it goes?  -- day after day -- sometimes covering maybe 300 miles, other days ending up at the same motel he slept in the night before.

Uh, oh, I hear someone stopped snoring.  Gotta go.


Oh no!!!  KAREN....  Have you seen the computer this morning?

Karen and I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and may 2014 be filled with many, many blessings.  Now, KAREN, where is that squirrel live trap?

It is Not Important Whoo You Are, but Whose You Are  9 x 12 inches  Watercolor by Karen Cornelius


Dana Konings said...

Karen, your paintings are a joy for the eye, thank you for sharing! Have a good Christmas you two, be happy and enjoy, may the next year bring you just as much joy as this one :), hugs!

Cindi said...

You two sure seem to have fun! Thanks for the humorous year in retrospect and keep painting (and taking photos)!! Merry Christmas!

Diane Eatherton-Watt said...

Merry Christmas Grouch & pretty Lady...I'm so glad you are my friends. You inspire me to have a beautiful day, Everyday!

Love & Joy

Don and Karen Cornelius Artwork said...

Thanks Dana, Cindi and Diane: A special Merry Christmas and good wishes to each of you, too.

Terri Mappin (Seasons 365 Project) said...

LOVE it! Your wonderful letter and superb painting! I hope you both had a wonderful Christmas and wish you all the best in 2014!