After almost 18 years of living in this home, it is now officially sold and in the new owner's hands. The huge room above the garage was my studio for most of those years, as we developed that space soon after we moved into the house. 1000 square feet of space in which to paint, teach, exercise, and have our computers. I loved the warmth and coziness of the studio, and I enjoyed creating in that beautiful environment. I do not know what the current owners will use the studio for, but for me, it was a great studio which I am sure I will not have the likes of again.
Just after selling the home, we began to madly pack up all the "stuff" that one accumulates after so many years in one place. We made many trips to the landfill, gave many things away, purging and cleaning like crazy...and then the flood of the century hit. My son and his family were evacuated from the town which was hardest hit - High River, Alberta. And because we were packing up everything, and only had 3 weeks left to possession, we could not offer them a place to stay for the duration of the evacuation, which turned out to be much longer than anyone anticipated! In fact, as I write this (almost one month to the day from when the flood happened) there are still people who cannot return to their flooded homes as the water remains up to the ceilings of their houses.
For my son and his family, we are so thankful that they had friends who took them and their dogs in, and created a safe haven for them for the 2 weeks they were evacuated. His was one of the few families in the town of High River (population of 13,000) whose home was totally untouched by the floodwaters. They still had damage - the front door was broken into by the RCMP to ensure the occupants were out and to assess damage in order to code their house. (It was "green".) As well, my don had to seal up their freezer and have it taken away as the power had been off, and the mold inside the freezer from the spoiled food was hazardous to health. But how minor were those things compared to losing everything you own - and having to start again with nothing. So tragic for so many families.
After my son and family were able to return to their home, out moving day came. And that, my friends, was a whole other story! The short story is that the moving truck/trailer unit could not make it down our dirveway, went off onto the grass softened by all the recent rains, and got very, very stuck before even loading any of our possessions. Three hours later, after the huge tow truck came and pulled the unit out, loading could begin from the road instead of from the garage area of the house. Eventually everything worked out, the damage to the grass and trees which were driven over and chewed up while getting the unit out was remediated before the new owners came, and the sale of the house was finalized 2 days ago.
So, it is goodbye to our beautiful home of 18 years, and hello to a month in Spain! We leave tomorrow to travel to Spain to visit my daughter and her family. This is our first time in Europe, and we are looking forward to it with great anticipation. While we are in Spain, my daughter (Kim Peters) and I are going to Italy for a week to study with portraiture artist David Kassan. I am so very blessed to have this opportunity, and to go with my very talented girl is a fantastic gift to me! We will be in a town which is about an hour outside of Rome, in the Italian countryside. A whole week of instruction in a Master class with a world renown artist/teacher - I am terrified and elated all at the same time. :-)
Once I return from Spain, we will be searching for a new home, on Vancouver Island. It may take us a while to locate just the right home, but we are hoping to be there by the end of October. I will attempt to keep you up-to-date on all that is happening, and show you some of the sights from Spain, as well as the work we do in the class with David. So, until the next time I am able to blog, I wish you a wonderful and safe summer with your loved ones.