Fall and football have always provided me with such joy and entertainment. Obviously the colors of fall would entice any painter to paint, but why be drawn to football? I guess the answer is I grew up with it. My parents lived in Ann Arbor, MI while my dad attended the University of Michigan Law school. I spent ages 3-5 romping the campus. I’ve always loved the feeling in “The Big House”, U of M’s beautiful stadium. When the Wolverine band plays “Hail to the Victors” I still light up and cry.
As I consider life transitions, I can’t help but mention how many college teams have been added to my cheering list over the years: Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan, University of Georgia, Universities of Texas – Austin and San Antonio, and of course the great Michigan State Spartans. I followed in my brother’s footsteps to attend MSU in East Lansing. I met my husband and earned a degree at this gorgeous campus.
When I cheer for the various colleges attended by loved ones, I’m also cheering for my family and our shared love of learning. I have “woofed” with my younger brother while watching the GA Bulldogs, toasted wine with my older brother after the Spartans beat Ohio State 28-24 in 1998, taking on their rightful position as season-spoilers. I cried when my babies graduated from UT and UTSA.
Now that my daughter is a professor at the University of Kentucky, guess who has gained my loyalty? One artistic benefit of this is my new love of painting bobcats. Go WILDCATS! Go BIG BLUE! (except when you’re playing the MSU Spartans)
Thanks for listening,
P.S. – Here’s me, my husband (right) and brother celebrating MSU’s 1998 football victory over OSU.
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The dogs in this painting/card are named Mufasa and Rafiki. As the card suggests they are truly friends. They are friends because they live together, and to a large extent because they are both dogs. I met them when I first submitted a rack of my cards to the Decorator Warehouse in Lexington. Mufasa and Rafiki are “store dogs”, happily spending their days with shop owner Natalie.
Ironically and more unexpected friends: Sam, our family dog many years ago, and “George”, the orphan baby blue jay. These two became friends as I nursed George back to health. I fed George every day with Sam, still a puppy, watching. As the jay learned to fly Sam became very interested, especially when he saw the bird poop on my friend’s head and my drawing in the same day. When he was ready we released George near the town home where we lived at the time. When I walked Sam the blue jay would follow us, flying high in the sky. When I swam in the complex pool, George perched nearby on the fence. When I opened the door to our house, George would fly inside take a bath in the small tub of water on my drawing table. The entire neighborhood came to know and delight in seeing George and Sam frolic together.
It was the perfect yet dangerous (for George) friendship, a result of how a baby bird imprints on whoever it spends time with, in our case a dog and humans. Following this imprinting experience with George I learned how to care for wild animals in a way to prevent such connections. My ignorance in George’s case gave us the opportunity to really appreciate the antics of George the Jay, and our puppy Sam.
Thanks for listening!
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