Painting While Waiting


I remember a few years ago my husband made a comment that changed my life. He observed that everyone wanted more time, but not the time they had. I asked him to clarify. He said “everyone wants more time right?” I was with him so far…then he added “but people are constantly given little pieces of time that they don’t want.” That seemed crazy to me. He clarified…” For example people are irritated if they have to wait on an elevator, or in traffic.”

He told me that he had started to recognize these little gifts of time in his own life. It is great to have such a wise husband.

Many days I do my painting while I am waiting…at ballet class, or voice lessons, or guitar lessons, or cross country practice, or at the finish line of an ultra marathon race. I keep a small bag packed, with little pieces of paper, reference photos, and a small box of pastels…and 20 minutes of waiting becomes a delightful little gift.

Here I am, painting while waiting for my husband and sons to finish a race, fortunately for me, they prefer to run trails, and it is often somewhere lovely to do a plein air study.

Confection Perfection

I spent my weekend playing in the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. My husband ran a 100 mile trail race through the woods called the Arkansas Traveler 100. The thermometer never dipped above 42 degrees, and it rained, or poured almost all weekend. He had a great race, and we, a great time, in spite of the weather. Around midnight we stopped at an aid station to wait for Matthew, and we were invited to warm ourselves by this fire. It was seriously the best campfire I have ever seen, these campers had been tending it for 3 days, so the rain did not dampen its lively spirits. The glowing coals were probably 8 feet in diameter, and they had s’mores!

Many thanks to the strangers in the woods who offered us hospitality. Here are some poems for the rest of you to enjoy.

Toasting Marshmallows
I am a careful marshmallow toaster,
a patient marshmallow roaster,
turning my stick oh-so-slowly,
taking my time, checking often.
This is art—
a time of serious reflection
as my pillowed confection
slowly reaches golden perfection.

My brother
grabs ‘em with grubby hands
shoves ‘em on the stick
burns ‘em to a crisp
cools ‘em off
flicks soot
eats quick.

I’m still turning my stick.
He’s already eaten six.

By Gregory K.

The campfire burns. It’s 9:08.
I feel so good cuz I just ate
Two graham crackers, and chocolate, too,
With marshmallow turned to warm, white goo.
A treat indeed, a dripping mess.
A touch of melty joy — oh yes!
It’s bedtime soon, but I’m not done.
I simply cannot stop at one.
Because, you see, it takes three s’mores
To make a night of happy s’nores.