When I opened up the chicken coop on Halloween morning, Helen and Jane ran out as usual … but there was Georgia, dead on the floor. No obvious cause, but my sweet, beautiful and lively bird had not laid an egg for close to a year, a sign of hen-old-age and that the end was probably near. Regardless, she certainly seemed to enjoy her “retirement”, and she made me happy every day. Georgia was one of my original flock of three chickens. (Agnes and Pearl are already in chicken heaven.) I’m glad she had a peaceful and natural death. These things do happen.
This day originated as “Armistice Day”, commemorating the armistice, signed on the battlefield at the 11 hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, to suspend the hostilities between Germany and the Allied forces. The formal peace treaty was signed the next year, ending what was then known as the Great War (1914-1918) or what was hoped was “the war to end all wars”. Sadly, we know this not to be true. The Great War is now called World War I because there came World War II; and there came (and still come) so many other wars. Thus the meaning of Armistice Day has broadened, and it has been renamed. No longer observing the cessation of hostiles, it now focuses on the people who have served in our military, people whom we honor on Veterans Day. The flag flying here today is the pastel drawing that I made after 9/11.
Just a reminder that a selection of my artwork (including these pastel paintings) is available at the marvelous Art Elements Gallery in Newberg. 604 E. First Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5. Hint: Look for an announcement of a major show of my watercolor, charcoal and pencil paintings/drawings coming up in March! (www.artelementsgallery.com)
Here is a photo of my current show of watercolors/text hanging in the main hallway of the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel, home of the Benedictine Sisters. Called “Wildfire”, the show is about my son’s two seasons of service as a wildland firefighter. The Monastery is located at 840 S. Main Street and is open to the public Monday-Friday 9-4. The work will be on display through the end of the year. All are welcome to visit! (www.benedictine-srs.org)