Another hiatus - and another update.
I make my own canvas panels from watercolor paper, acid-free glue and extra-fine 100% canvas in a miniature weave, AKA white bedsheet. Left over from each watercolor sheet is a strip 1 x 12 inches, and I've begun to turn these into 1 x 6 in. mini-panoramas.
The first - sunrise over the Columbia river.
1 x 6 in. mini panorama, oil on canvas board. Available in my Etsy Shop
I wake early, even on vacation, so I left our Amtrak Empire Building bedroom and made my way up to the observation car. I sat down next to a teenager. The sun was just giving a little color to the summer sky.
"You're up early," I said. Yep, he said. "And you're going where?" I and my sister are riding to Pasco. "Washington?" Yep.
He and his sister had taken the eastbound Empire Builder the week before, hopping off at Cut Bank, Montana, where their mother met them and drove them back to Helena, where she lived with her new husband. I miss her, he said. After a pause, he said, There's nothing to do in Helena. I was bored out of my mind.
"How old are you?" Fourteen. "Ah," I said. "At fourteen, boring is easy. At my age, nothing is boring. There is nothing you get to know enough about. There's always something new to dig into."
She makes the best peanut butter sandwiches, he said. I thought to myself that there is nothing to a peanut butter sandwich - what can you possibly mean? A year later it came to me: his mother made it. It was something in his life that he would now have only once in a while, and only after many hours by train and car.
The sun was now up and the train, having skittered catty-corner down from Spokane to Pasco, slowed to a stop. My new friend got up, woke up her sister who was sleeping across three observation car seats, and they left, saying goodbye.
The train pulled out again, following the Columbia river, wheeling directly east when the river did. The sunrise was magnificent.
Sunrise in Crofton
1 x 6 in. mini panorama. Available in my Etsy Shop
Later in our trip, having rented a car in Portland and visiting old friends who had moved from the Boston area, we stayed on Vancouver Island at a bed-and-breakfast in Crofton, British Columbia. The little town overlooked Saltspring Island, where, it turned out, there was a quirky but excellent little seafood restaurant. An hourly ferry took us less than a mile across Vesuvius Bay and we lucked into a seat. It was August 17th, our 45th anniversary, and the meal apparently was meant to be: we walked in just as someone on the phone group was canceling their reservation.
Our seat on the outdoor balcony overlooked the bay and the weather was perfect. At the table next to us (one table closer to the bay) was a couple celebrating their first anniversary. Next to us was a couple celebrating their one week anniversary. We all enjoyed the coincidences, even the people dining on down the balcony. A perfect evening.
The mini panorama is on the Crofton side, and the little bridge is part of the tiny town's Shore Walk.