Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

Yes, love never gives up, just as Emily demonstrated so well throughout her Summer Drawing Camp experiences.

Part 1 through Part 3 showed her progression towards gaining self-confidence. Part 2 was perhaps my favorite as it opened up some interesting storyline possibilities. Part 4 was especially fun to write as it showed her newly found ability to take on anything and to challenge others (like me) to do the same.

Some of you caught the “and Emily” in the side copyright and signature in Part 4’s illustration. Did you also notice the feathers added to the red knitted flag? They were something not written about, just shown in the illustration.

I wonder if Emily may try to do some knitting herself with feathers instead of knitting needles…hmmm. They do have a similarity, don’t they?

Learning to knit is not as easy as I thought it might be. And if you do know how to knit, you can probably spot the obvious error (or errors) in today’s photo! But the good thing about knitting is that it is easy to “un-knit” just by pulling the yarn. Then you can start again. And if you’re wondering whether or not Emily was glad to help with this “un-knitting” part, the answer is “Yes!”

All of this is simply to say with Father’s Day coming up this weekend here in the States, it’s nice to think about all of the fathers who have not only taught their daughters (and sons) new things but have also learned new things themselves in order to bring joy into their daughters’ (and sons’) lives.

Learn new things. Be willing to fail. Letting others see how you face your failures is just as big a lesson as how you face your successes. Do your “un-knitting” and try it again.

Love is persistent. Love never gives up. Love learns to knit if it brings joy to a little one’s life.

It’s what Daddies do, even Chicken Daddies!

Feathers by Amelia and Emily. Bamboo Knitting Needles by Clover. Silk Garden Solo Yarn by Noro, made in Japan, 45% Silk, 45% Mohair, 10% Wool. (My little girls deserve the best.)

Emily’s Summer Drawing Camp (Part 4)

Emily’s Summer Drawing Camp

Summer Drawing Camp has definitely been good for Emily. Her artwork has helped her to be more self-confident as the goodness in her heart is expressed on paper right before her eyes. Her creation today fills in many details not found in the words as all good illustrations do.

It had been another week of evening thunderstorms with rain into the night. In the mornings, none of the chickens were particularly eager to do much of anything.

They wanted me to open the coop and let them out so they could check the weather and see what was for breakfast. But after their initial curiosity was satisfied, they were unsure just what to do. They might nibble a little here and there, but that was about it. Aimlessness is never good.

I missed those days when they could not wait to get down the ladder from their coop in order to greet their new day. Just seeing them hurrying down to examine everything in detail always makes me feel that anything is possible.

And that is how chickens look at the world most days.

“Today may be the day I will find the biggest earthworm in the entire world! It may take all of my strength to wrestle it out of the ground, but I will do it!”

But it wasn’t like that now.

A damp and humid melancholy seemed to cover us all. We longed for a spring-time breeze to freshen the air, perhaps one filled with the fragrance of daffodils and lilac blossoms.

If only the sweet osmanthus would bloom, it would quickly turn everything around with the clean and invigorating smell of its many tiny blossoms. It’s planted there by the path to our backdoor because I want to smell it to know for sure that I am home, the only home my chickens and I will ever share together.

“Emily, will you make a picture of our house and garden? Would you do that for me?”

“I would be glad to.”

“It has to be a special picture, please. Can you make it so that all of the flowers all over the yard are blooming all at the same time? Even though they don’t really?”

“I will need to do a lot of remembering for that.”

“Yes, that’s the point, I think. I want to remember and imagine and see it all at once. Even though life doesn’t work that way.”

“I will do my best.”

“I know you will. You always do.”

I thought back to how Emily had asked me if we could plant enough flowers in our garden so Amelia could look down from the moon and know which house was ours. Maybe I wanted to see all of the flowers blooming all at the same time because I missed Amelia so much.

Somehow Emily knew this. “She misses us too, and especially you.”

“How do you know?”

“Because we are practically like sisters even though we are different kinds of chickens. And I know I would miss you. We need a flag.”

“What do you mean?”

“A flag. A bright red flag to hang from a pole on the chimney. You can make it from the same red yarn that you used to secure Amelia’s travel bag. We need a flag.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“She will be able to see the flag from the moon. She will recognize the color. She will remember it from her travel bag. Even if no flowers are blooming, she will be able to tell which house is ours. Then maybe she will realize she misses us too and come home. We need a flag.”

“Now I see what you mean.”

“This is her home whether she realizes it or not.”

“That isn’t just wishful thinking, is it? Are you sure you aren’t trying to push what your heart wants onto her heart?”

“I don’t know how I know, but I know.”

“If I make a flag from the red yarn, I will have to learn how to knit.”

“If I can learn to draw and paint, you can learn to knit. We need a flag.”

“You can be quite persistent, Emily. You don’t give up, do you?”

“I know. But I am also persistent about who I love too. Love never gives up.”

So Emily and I both started our projects. Hers was to remember the past and imagine. Mine was to look towards the future and imagine. Both would represent home and the persistence of love.

My Life With Gracie (and especially Emily) taught me love is persistent. Love never gives up. Love always has a “Plan B.”

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!