This painting again incorporates a lot of the wood canvas as the background. It’s a fun scene that again will make the viewer smile immediately. How can you not smile? The caption at the bottom says “It Sure Is a Beautiful Day”. This saying has been exchanged between me and my 10-year-old grandson many times. It is what inspired me to paint this for him. In fact, it also reminds me of a little short story I wrote about us on a journey through time. I’ll post it here if you care to read it, otherwise feel free to scroll on.
Saturday – Aug 23rd 2015
A 2 Hour Journey with My Grandson
My 9-year-old grandson Cameron and I decided to take a bike ride. It was a beautiful cool morning for an August day. I expected it to be a short ride just up on the trail in a local Park, and then maybe over to a much larger Sports related Park. That changed however coming off the north side of the trail. Gliding out of the paved and thickly wooded straight line bike and walking trail, we immediately rolled onto a typical wide suburbia street. As we peddled up the street further north, Cameron saw the City water tower in the far distance. “Grandpa I want to go there” Cameron yells. So, off we went. He was excited that we were going that far. On the way there, I told Cameron we couldn’t ride on the road any longer because it was just too busy and dangerous. He was impressed with the size of the tower when we were near it, and I was too. I said we had a choice to go back the way we came, or ride on west, and perhaps get lost a little. Of course, he chose the latter because of what I told him weeks earlier. I told him that when grandma and I were young we would drive for miles and miles in our car to purposely get lost. We used to do that stuff on many occasions, particularly a lot when I was in the military in Europe before we had kids. I’m talking 1978ish here. There were no cell phones, GPS’s or anything technical like we have now. Being unplugged from the world was the norm ALL the time. Someone young in these times can’t imagine what that world may be like. I personally loved that world, but I digress.
Turning south, I told him we could ride the side-walk until it ends, and we might have to turn back. As I suspected, that would happen and we did run out of sidewalk on the street we wanted to continue on. Luckily, we made a left onto a road that had more side walk. In the distance we saw a crowd of people. It was a garage sale. Of course, Cameron had to stop and see what they had. We found one of those old trunks that people used in the twenties and thirties when they crossed the Atlantic and Pacific in ships. It had a lot of stickers all over the outside of it with destinations like Los Angeles and Australia. He was fascinated with this piece because it’s old school, and he loves anything old school. Sometime I think he was born in the wrong era. Once satisfied with what we saw, we hopped on our bikes and we were off again. I found the street to get us back to our original park trail, but Cameron had other ideas. He wanted to continue on straight. I resisted at first, but as usual I caved into his request. I wasn’t sure about the biking conditions up ahead, but heading east I knew it would eventually lead us to a familiar street. Once we reached this street, and turned south, it was a long uphill climb back towards our destination. Finally, we reached the top of the hill. Right about then a real old couple came into view in their front yard. Their yard had a massive pile of fresh-cut logs. It was a humongous stack of cut timber all shapes and sizes. We stopped and made our way towards them. The old man was resting in a chair in front of a very large cut piece of oak tree. Two metal wedges (splitters), were stuck in the massive log with a sledge-hammer sitting nearby. We introduced ourselves to the old couple. He was 84 years old and his wife was slightly younger. As I began to talk with the old man about his younger years, steam engines, and the hunting he did there when he was a young man, Cameron was busily chatting with his wife.
He had a tree cutting service cut down the old oak. He told me he had planted it 60 years earlier. The rings were easily visible on the many large wood slices, and sure enough Cameron counted out 60 rings on one of them. I had a real nice conversation with the old man as Cameron occupied his wife and all along stuffing acorns in his pockets. The old man explained to Cameron that if he took a glass of water and dropped the acorns in it, he should keep the acorns that sink. Those are the seeds that will grow into a gigantic oak he explained. Before we left and pointing to his bike wheel, Cameron asked the old man if he used to also put a playing card in his bike tire spokes when he was a kid. Sure the old man said. “See Cameron”, I said. Taping playing cards in bicycle spoke wheels has been around at least 75 years or so. How long it’s been done for sure I didn’t know? After about 15 or 20 minutes of conversation, we said our goodbyes. The old man slipped on his gloves, and began swinging that sledge with some powerful whacks. I couldn’t believe a man his age being that physically strong and active. I could still hear the metal to metal strikes as we rode off into the distance. The air was still cool, and we noticed some dark clouds rolling up over the trees. It didn’t quicken our pace though; we were enjoying ourselves to much and we didn’t want it to end. Cameron and I were riding just fine (not a care in the world). We eventually found our way back up on the south side of the trail where we began our journey. Then all of a sudden his chain popped off. As I flipped his bike upside down to fix the chain, it began to rain. No matter, I thought. We were getting close to home now anyway. With his chain back on, we rode home at a leisurely pace with a steady rain smacking our face. The rain brought out the smells, and the drops tingled our skin. We were wet and liked it. When we got back home, Cameron couldn’t wait to share what we did with his grandma. Not long after, and emptying his pockets, he was dropping acorns in a cup of water. One by one with a curious look, he watched and waited. Out of all the acorns he put in the cup, only two sank. One for Cameron and one for me I thought. We will find a place to plant them, and I told Cameron that in 60 years he can come back and see how they have grown. I told him it will remind him of the day that he rode with his grandpa. In all, Cameron and I spent a good couple of hours losing our way and losing ourselves in those moments of life. Smiling, laughing all the way. Appreciating the beauty around us…we were able to say something that we had said many times before to each other…
“It sure is a beautiful day”.