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Calling artist to Earth!

Earth to artist, come in artist!

When did it happen? While I was busy creating, Al moved in! I mean, he really moved in. The big brown leather chair remains as an eyesore in the middle of our beautiful bedroom and it’s not going away any time soon. I didn’t realize Al had become so comfortable nesting in it. He has moved in literally lock, stock and barrel.

I realize last winter was long, hard and cold, but as I was busy being creative; painting, writing articles and working on a book, Al was busy sitting in front of the television with his remote, clicking on hunting channels, cleaning his guns, calling turkeys from his brown chair, and with his faithful Labrador by his side, he was dreaming of his next hunt.

Seemed pretty innocent, I thought.

We were cruising around Mexico in the spring, now it was mid summer, and it was time to do some deep cleaning. When I began in our bedroom, to my surprise, Al had little by little moved in his whole hunting experience into every corner, every drawer, in the closets and under the bed. The top of the beautiful antique dresser, his mother so adoringly gave to him, was piled up with such things as screws, nails, and matches, the usual things from his pockets. In the frame of the mirror was stuffed hunting cartoons, pictures of him and our son-in-law standing proudly with their deer, elk and fish.

Under this beautiful antique dresser, he had moved in five or six batteries, belonging to his lawn mower, the four-wheeler, the R.V, and the tractor… all of which needed to be inside during last winter. He had masterfully draped a cabbage rose throw over them.

“Al,” I said, “These batteries go back into the storeroom. Why aren’t they in the vehicles?”

“Well, I had to put them somewhere from out of the cold.”

“But it’s summer.”

Al plays dumb when he doesn’t want to be confronted. I have his number by now.

I pulled out one of his dresser drawers. I gasped in disbelief. Hunting books, hunting videos, turkey call apparatus, buck knives, twenty pocket knives, a small hatchet, rabbit’s scent in a bottle, a small portable cassette player with cassettes of squealing rabbits, and the list goes on and on. In between was wedged his underwear and socks.

“How many subscriptions are you getting? Are you reading these magazines? They need to go to the library.”

“I haven’t had time to read them; there is so much work around here to do. Don’t throw them away; I need to read them first.”

Al had a handkerchief drawer which now has become a junk drawer.

I said, “Al, I don’t want anything in this drawer except your handkerchiefs.”

Lo and behold, after I had cleaned, Al had chinked some Trapper Magazines and a hunting dog book into the back corner of the drawer. “Al, I am reminding you again. This drawer is for your hankies only.”

In his bedside table, he had put more hunting paraphernalia; red plastic ribbon to stake off his kill, old hunting licenses, a survival kit, more hunting knives, two pair of binoculars and about 30 lip balms. In the double doors beneath the drawer were fifty batteries from triple A to D, fifteen cameras and stacks of hunting and fishing pictures.

Next, his closet!

It was a nightmare too; four hunting jackets, ten camouflage outfits, hunting boots, hunting chairs and more. No wonder he had moved into my side of the closet.

“Al, everything hunting goes upstairs to your room where the wildlife roams. You have made yourself at home and have turned our bedroom into a hunting lodge. I feel like I’m living at Cabellas.” When I looked in his man cave, it was empty. It had all come down over the winter.

Calling artist to earth! How did I not see all of this stuff?

Hunting season is around the corner; all the gear will probably come out again. And once again, I have a feeling most of it will find its way back into our bedroom. Is there a moral to this story? My son-in-law, who also hunts, was appalled that I would write about it and put it in the newspaper. “It sounds like you don’t want Al to go hunting and he’s hen pecked,” he said.

“Not at all! I don’t care if he goes hunting, just not in our bedroom.” I want to blame the big brown cumbersome rocking chair which commands all the attention in the bedroom but maybe that’s not the problem. Could it be, I have been in my own world of art, and I haven’t noticed that the every day life is going around about me?

I think I’ve been too busy creating to see what happens when I leave a busy boy alone. I’ve got to keep a better eye on him.

Final brushstroke: Creating takes us away to another world, but we better stay tuned to earth.

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Artist’s quote

“Words can never adequately convey the incredible impact of our attitudes toward life. The longer I live the more convinced I become that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it.” — Charles Swindoll, pastor and author.