"I always picked her wildflowers..."
(Photo Transparency, Collage, Acrylic Paint, Ink, Encaustic Medium)
Soon after we crossed the creek and just before we topped the rise of the hill where the farmhouse came into view I would shout out "STOP! Let me out here and tell her I did not come!" I would slide out of the old Ford Falcon near the Horton's tipsy old mailbox and sit on a roadside rock listening to the tires pop and crunch over the old dirt and gravel road. My signal to begin my surprise appearance being the sound of car doors slamming greetings being hollered to and fro from car to porch. I could hear her feigned disappointment at my not being present and I would grin. This was our game. I knew that she knew that I was there anticipating my arrival as much as I anticipated seeing her.
(BEFORE, the above photo shows the collage and painting before adding the encaustic medium)
I would abandon my perch and slowly meander up the rest of the rise and around the curve secure that the aged stone wall and roadside bramble hid me from view. I would study rocks for fossil shapes, listen to bird calls, think names of trees, weeds, and wildflowers just as she had taught me. I zig-zagged across the road plucking wildflowers, grasses, weeds, and leaves all the while arranging them in a bouquet as I went. Sometimes I was lucky enough to find a feather to tuck in as a special adornment.
(DURING: the above photo shows the very scary part of encaustics, covering up the collage with the wax. Yikes was I nail nibbling here until the wax dried and cleared so I could see the final result.)
Once I had gathered a good sized bouquet I would trot up the road and slip behind the sweet gum tree at the edge of the yard to see if she had gone inside. With the coast clear, I would tiptoe across lawn and up the front steps crouching under the open window to listen for her voice. She would always say, "I sure wish Nay would have come." With a gap toothed grin I would spring for the handle on the screen door, throw it open, and march in, hand behind my back and screech, "SURPRISE!" "Bet you thought they left me in Little Rock didn't you Granny?" She would grin back and say, "They gee! You did surprise me, I thought they left you at home!"
(AFTER: After a bit of scraping back and fusing I got the soft dream like memory effect I was after!)
On my way to bury myself in her embrace, where her cherry red apron would cradle my cheek and her feather soft kiss would brush the top of my hair, I would present her with my gift of hand picked wildflowers. She never failed to ooh and ahh over them as together we placed them in a vase and set them on the kitchen table. Our game never ceased, it carried over into adulthood where I would slide out of the car, sometimes accompanied by one or both of my children and we would pick her wildflowers as I told them the story of a long ago little girl who liked to trick her Granny.
I still pick her wildflowers, only now she views them from heaven. I still put them on the kitchen table and before leaving the farm I leave them on her final resting place and I hope she knows that "Granny's Girl" has been there to surprise her.
The encaustic piece featured in this post was inspired by this fond memory. The photo transparency is one I took of the cattle gate at the farm where her Flowering Almond bushes bloom every spring. Loving what I am learning from Ivy Newport in her Whimsical Portraits and Dreamy Landscapes online class!