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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 34

Bible study night was when Dee took some time to pick up extra supplies at Walmart.  Now as she came through the door carrying her stash of necessary and found things Sam was there to help  pick up some of her packages.

While they put things away on shelves, Sam made conversation.  “What was your study tonight?”

“Isaiah 61.”  Dee was tired and not very ready to visit.

“What was the theme?”  Sam knew how to distract her from any down feelings.

“Comforting the broken hearted.”   Dee was thinking though.  These days it seemed that could be a big endeavour.

“I'm double tired, off to the shower and to bed for me.”  Dee didn't feel up to small talk.

The next day when the phone rang she couldn't talk to her old friend and it wasn't until after the children were out of the house later in the afternoon was she able to return her friends call.  They chatted for a few minutes. They had known each other since they were girls.  Their lives were so familiar to each other not much could be changed or rearranged. Each one had their share of heart break.

Quietly Dee was thinking as she listened to some of the heavy things going down with her friend.   The thoughts of the scripture of last night Bible study went through her mind.

“Ask your man if he will put up with me going up to the Old Ranch place to work on my art for a couple hours a week.”  Dee had put off her art work for the time the children were so very small and needed constant attention. They still needed attention but it wasn't just a minute to minute situation.

Dee's friend's husband held the lease and it was just appropriate to ask before she walked onto what had been her parents as well as her own marriage's  starting place.  The quiet of the prairie pulled from her the spirit she needed to strike the canvas with enough power so that it would bounce back to the viewer with only half the force but, still this was often enough.  The old rock porch, thirty feet long with  stone banisters and tapering pillars artfully decorated by her father's hands somehow or another lent her the will to create another form of beauty on her canvas.

“I'll mention it to him, but I'm sure there is nothing wrong with you going up there.”

Sure enough when Dee called the next day and caught her friends' husband on the phone he was more than agreeable.  “Well, I'm not the owner, only have the lease, you know.”

“I know, but the last time I spoke with my cousin he told me to do whatever I wanted only to check with you first.”  Dee told him.

“Oh well, if this is the case, go on up there.”

With this out of the way Dee was already thinking ahead as to what they would have to carry with them. This time she was going to do things a bit differently. Her mind wandered back and forth to the lives of her cousin who actually owned the place. Theirs was a strange relationship, really.  Her cousin was older than she by probably, fourteen years. When the woman passed away leaving four sons to raise themselves, distance had created a division in their lives. The constant driving need to care for her disabled daughter allowed no time for anything on the side.

For the last few years she had tried to encourage the two sons left to return to their holdings in Oklahoma, but to no avail. Too many broken hearted memories were in their lives also. Discouraged with their lack of interest Dee too,  just dropped off going back to the old place to work on her art.

She couldn't get any response from her cousin but why should that keep her from doing what she had been trained to do as an artist. The scripture in Isaiah 61 called to her.  Comforting the broken hearted was what being an artist was all about. Whether that artist was a photographer, film producer, or painter.

This time she would do things differently though.  There would be more of a setting the goals of restoration dreams in front of those family members who would use their volunteer time to give back to their own. It was a righteous project.  Maybe with prayer and bit by bit of centering their total energies toward clean up around the old place the chance of catching her cousin's for agreement with her desire to create a museum and library center for the many family branches of genealogical information might work.

Remembering her Uncle while he was living there was easy too as they walked back on the grounds. What was that quote he always used?  “A time for all things?”

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