Thursday, May 23, 2013

What I did on my spring break, part II

Spring bloomed along a narrow road near
Barry and DeAnn's home.
The children who could, and sometimes their spouses, have taken their turns looking in on Barry and DeAnn Lewis at their home in in southwestern Oregon the last few months.

I was mostly useless and harmless during my turn. I helped watch TV. I ran errands, shopping for new things to replace broken things, sorting out the recycling. I took the first meager step in getting their little wooden deck ready for a new coat of paint; a task my wife and one of my brothers- and sisters-in-law completed.

I swam each morning in the little nearby lake, and I painted from memory — in watercolor — what I saw at the lake and around the quiet park where my in-laws live. Barry Lewis passed away Saturday.

I already posted one batch of paint sketches from the leather-bound watercolor pad my sister had given me. Here are some of the rest.

Barry and DeAnn's home is a peaceable kingdom, which the park inhabitants built in a seamless transition between civilization and nature. As a result, deer and jackrabbits and turkeys roam through as if nothing had changed of their feeding grounds, as if the humans are just another species uninterested in doing them harm.

Modified golf carts are indispensable in the park.
Neighbors never fail to wave at each other at the park, and at interlopers like ourselves.

The pervasive quiet of the humans allows nature to sing — whistling wind, hammering rain, even, I daresay, the rustle of hawks' wings in the thermals above the spruce forests.

Little Cooper Creek Reservoir ought to be warm by now … it wasn't exactly cool in March when I swam it. Fishing boats are probably thick on the water, forcing me to swim earlier and earlier next I get the chance.

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