Things are slowly coming together. We are in our new place, but still awaiting our household goods. But that hasn’t stopped me from setting up the studio and getting back to work. I received my oil paints in the mail a week ago. On Friday, we got our unaccompanied baggage, which included my acrylics, brushes, and a card table. And I’ve acquired a stack of fresh canvases, some new brushes, and tabletop easel from a local art supply store. I even found a handy storage shelf in the garage.
We also scored a lovely dining room table for just $35. I’ve come to realize a good solid table is truly the best place for this artist to work. I could see it in my mind’s eye, too: a solid, natural wood table, a little beat up, and unwanted. I got my wish. We found someone who was getting rid of just such a piece.
To retrieve the table, we started out on a journey that took us twenty miles over winding roads through small German towns. The drive was lovely. First we ambled along an elevated ridge, looking down on rolling, verdant fields interspersed with clusters of squat houses and groves of trees. Truly, Germany has always reminded me of home. It does not surprise me at all that my own German ancestors chose the Ohio Valley to settle and farm over 150 years ago.
Following the road through several small villages similar to our own, we found the house and met our “friend with a truck” there. We loaded the table up with no problem. Then our real adventure began. Our GPS became possessed. First the volume inexplicably cut out. As I was messing with it, we took two wrong turns and Tom Tom had us take the “scenic route” back.
The fun didn’t end there, however. After unloading the truck, we had a run-in with a farmer whose tractor was blocked by the truck, parked on the narrow road beside the house. Apparently, the previous tenants routinely parked their van on the side with the tractor path, requiring the farmer to always get down and ask them to move it. They never acted like this was a big deal to us, but I think this farmer hadn’t revealed his true feelings to them. In fact, I believe he had bottled up his emotions and waited for us to move in before he unleashed them.
When we came outside, he blew up and was off at full speed on a well-rehearsed rant about how “there is always a car parked there and it isn’t permitted and I don’t know what your landlord has told you…!” We repeated over and over that we were brand new in the house. As this information finally sunk in, his expression became confused, then conciliatory, before he fired up his tractor and went on his way. I’m not looking forward to the day when we have a moving truck parked out there!
A little rattled, we gave our truck owner friend some gas money, apologized for the drama, and went back inside. As I looked at my new table, though, and thought about all the great art I was going to make on it, I knew it had been worth the money, the gas… and the grief.
…And I wasn’t wrong. Here are a couple of new pieces I’ve created using my lovely new table. Both are views outside of my studio window.