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Friday, July 11, 2008

Mountain Monsoons Are Bad For Boating

It was tough getting my eyes to open this morning. It probably had a lot to do with staying up until 12:30 last night playing cards. We had guests in for this Fourth of July and ended most evenings at the card table playing Hearts. Waking up this particular morning was also hindered a bit by the rain splashing down against the window pane. My thoughts get sluggish and my body seems to lose any kind of ambition when it is raining. We’ve had quite a bit of rain these past few days, so my get-up-and-go is all but gone.

The sun has tried to pop out since I finally dragged myself into a full standing position, but the clouds immediately rush in and dump more rain. It’s definitely a Mountain Monsoon!
Our guests were fun and interesting – my wife’s sister and her husband. She, Lynn, like Barbara and I is a watercolorist and her husband, John, is an amateur photographer. Needless to say our conversations about art were interesting and informative. They both also have a keen sense of humor and tend to roll with life’s punches. They live large compared to Barb and I. Of course, it requires them to both work at very demanding day jobs. I remember what that was like. Ouch! They have a 6-year old blond Lab named Sydney who helps take the edge off life.

I should get dressed and dodge the raindrops to my studio. I’m working on a nautical painting and it really needs to get past the “uglies” or I’ll never finish it. Several weeks ago I got this BUG to try doing a painting of a Marina scene. I took some photos while in New Bern, NC and finally selected the one I wanted to work on. I loved the way the sailboat masts slice up into the sky. This batch of boats had lots of colorful wraps, too. A cover for the mainsail and a cover around the headstay, or is it the forestay? Of course, not owning a boat makes this project all the harder. I wonder sometimes why I put myself in these predicaments! Knowing a subject, whether you’re writing about it or painting it, is so much easier than trying something you only have a vague idea about!

Of course I’ve been on small sailboats before but never captained one. All I know is that they have rigging, sails, and a rudder. How all this works together is still a mystery to me. My good friend Tom tried his best to show me the ropes (no pun intended), but I was more enamored with the water and sky to pay much attention to all the stuff about bringing her up in the wind or tacking. I always said that someday I’d really like to learn how to sail, but I haven’t got around to it, yet. Living way up here in the mountains doesn’t help much. I’d like to think that all Tom’s time and effort weren’t in vain, but I’m afraid he would have to start all over again from the beginning if I were ever really going to master boating.

I know this painting would go a lot smoother if I had listened more intently to Tom back on the Bay in Duluth, Minnesota.