After a year “at home”, I am hitting the road.
It seems like I traveled most in recent years between my home in Raleigh and my birthplace of Indianapolis. My mother had begun her slow decline and I wanted to spend time with her while she could enjoy my presence.
So back and forth, I went, sometimes with my husband and sometimes solo. We had our little routine of stops along the way and the road sometimes seemed as much home as our house.
But that all ended with her death last year at age 95. I was able to share some of her last few weeks and then she was gone.
Her death came just before our trip to Paris with friends and I found myself mourning her loss even more in that beautiful city.
She had been to Paris once with my father and hated the place. A garbage strike and a bad plate of mussels for my father turned her off to Paris’ charms.
I so wanted to share with her that Paris – when not reeking of uncollected trash – is très charmant. The architecture and public art, the beautiful parks and museums, and the picturesque Seine are all worth the trip. Paris’ citizens are friendly to and tolerant of the hordes of tourists and the transportation system is easy to negotiate.
On the day of her funeral, we were in the then-intact Notre Dame. I found the chapel of St. Anne and said my last goodbye long distance, far away from all my homes. When we returned from Paris, I mostly just wanted to be in my own house and my own city.
During my year at home, I painted six pieces of iconic Raleigh scenes including the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Dix Park sunflowers, and Raleigh Rose Garden. They make their debuts this month in my gallery along with a few of my Raleigh restaurant pieces. When I hung them all for the show, I had to smile, and was ready to roam once more.