My “Home” does not want to wait to be shared and is demanding a gallery outing now, perhaps because these days home and homemaking are very much on my heart and mind as David and I approach the fourth anniversary of our marriage following our many years spent as solitaires.
Fatefully brought together by artCentral, our home away from home, each of us is very aware we do not have time to waste as together we work the learning curve created by the wedding of our two separate souls, our distinct personalities and our unique artistic inner lives.
Oh how blissfully precious were those early finding and falling in love months: David’s discovering my photo in Show Me the Ozarks magazine’s February Valentine issue; our first real time meeting at Josie Mai’s art party where I was signing up new artCentral members (David joined!); our emergency first Caboose wedding officiated by photographer/former artCentral board member Jane Ballard and witnessed by then artCentral board member Gail White and artCentral’s Outstanding Volunteer Lora Waring; finding and purchasing, with Gail White’s skillful guidance, our 1890’s home we lovingly call Paradise; celebrating our “real” wedding in the loft of Jan Stukey’s vintage Avila barn and David’s singing “Unchained Melody” (whoa, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch, a long, lonely time) at artCentral’s Annual Membership Picnic four years ago.
Today we have come full circle four times—growing together and on our own with each revolution. After more than fifty years of committed drinking, for four years David has chosen and kept his promise of sobriety. I have lost my beloved brother and only sibling with David at my side to compassionately support my mourning. To David’s dowry of his ancient feline, Ding, (now 23) and feisty Whoodle, Chiquita, we have added our feathered flock of hens for whom David has built the Chickie Palace decorated with twinkling lights and Tibetan prayer flags waving high above. Our newest family member, our amazing Aussie Lasyrenn, found us by way of a poster on the door of the Midwest Ag Supply.
At artCentral we have deepened artist friendships and made many, many new ones. We have celebrated lives and shared in saying final good-byes to some of our local art and artist heroes, as well as guest exhibitor, centenarian Edward Lee, of Seattle and Ottawa.
At artCentral we have touched up and tidied Hyde House again and again, weeded weeds and hauled off recycles. We have worked at Art Walks and promoted artCentral in every way we can imagine. David continues to encourage me every time there seems to be more than I can accomplish. I continue to thank him profusely for each and every time he steps in and takes on another task that is more than I can handle.
David and I each dearly love working at artCentral—I as your Executive Director-Curator, David as your Prepitor (art handler) Extraordinaire. Mostly we love being at artCentral as creatives—members of artCentral’s community of practicing artists. Very soon we will feel privileged once again to display our own art with the art of the many, many gifted artCentral member artists showcased in for our ANNUAL EXHIBITION.
My membership entry “What makes a House a Home” begs the same question for all of us: What does make a house a home? Whether you are on your own or daily linked with another someone, I believe a home is made when there is at least one extra chair. At artCentral we have many! One is always waiting for you. Please do come and sit a spell and feel at home at Hyde House!
The Philip Ledbetter: PAINT in MOTION exhibition continues at Hyde House through May 15!
The ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP EXHIBITION opens at noon on Friday, June 14, 2021. The PICNIC and AWARDS will be in the evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Reservations for the catered picnic dinner, $10 per guest, may be made at (417) 358-4404 and firstname.lastname@example.org.