This weeks LPTG 52 Weeks theme would seem easy, but they threw in a twist…..From their blog: ” We want everyone to get to the core of this and find something that they like more than everything else and hold close to their heart. What is the one thing you would most likely save if your house was on fire (considering your family, including all animals, were safe). If you could only keep 1 thing (again considering you could keep your family and pets) what would you want to save?”
I fretted all week about just what I would want to take with me. After several chats with my sister, who is also doing the challenge, we both came to the conclusion that most things are replaceable. Family is not replaceable, family artifacts are not and one of a kind art is also not replaceable. If you keep your photos on a site like Flickr your photo memories are safe. I do have several scrapbooks that I would be very sad to lose. It would be difficult to live without my camera, but ultimately, it came down to the 4 paintings hanging in my hall. Are they mega expensive works of art? No. They are, each one, painted by a family member. Each is unique and one of a kind. They can not be replaced and they each tell a story from the life of the painter or at least a story of a moment of their time.
First we have this one:
A section from our painting by Nana, Troy’s Grandma, whom we lost just over a year ago. She was an immensely talented woman. When asked if I wanted it, I quickly said yes, knowing it would have a place in the hall along the other 3 paintings. What story does it tell exactly? I’m not sure, maybe a different one for each of us as we look at it and think of the woman who created it. For me, it is a testament to her many artistic talents.
Next we have this one:
A small area of one of my Uncle Duane’s very first paintings. He has developed this talent later in life and it has really bloomed and grown by leaps and bounds. As he started painting, he shared his art with the family, he’d given this to my mother (his sister) and she in turn gave it to me. My sister shared with me her thoughts and feeling surrounding this painting. She told me how looking at this bear reminds her of the story of our Grampa Sam, the artist’s father. When he was a boy and young man, he and his brother hunted to provide meat for the family. One day they were out bear hunting, upon having shot at and dropped a bear, my Grampa straddled that bear and prepared to slit it’s throat. The bear came back to life taking him for his one and only bear-back ride. The bear eventually rid itself of Grampa and ran off never to be seen again. I now see this painting in a different light.
Moving on we encounter this:
A painting I grew up seeing as it was done by my father. The back tells us it was painted March 1966 and that it is of Whitefish Lake in Montana. My father is a man of many talents, this just one of them. I have never watched him paint as that was something he did before I was born. I have seen him write poetry and watched him build things out of wood. For me, this is a side of him I never witnessed and it is also a reminder of my own experiences at a Montana lake. When I was around 12 or 13, we had a youth activity at a lake. Water skiing. My one and only attempt at water skiing. I never could stand on those skis and I drank more of the lake than I care to remember!
Finally, we come to this last painting that greets you as you leave my bathroom:
Painted by my mother through the instruction of my father. I think she did a great job, she thinks she has no talent. I don’t know that she’s ever painted another picture. I think it hung for many years in my grandparents home. I love it and I’m honored to have it hang in my home. She laughs and makes some funny remark about it every time she visits, but it is a treasure to me.
How would I ever choose just one of these irreplaceable items to take with me? Truth is, I think I would try to get them all! For the project, I chose my mom’s painting.
The question remains: What one item, beyond your family, would you save?