I haven’t had enough artist’s dates recently.  Every time I imagine taking the afternoon off to enjoy something–a friend, a meander through a bookstore, a movie–I start fretting about what I’ll have to give up to get that. Work or exercise mainly.  I won’t give up the afternoons with Amara, which are artist’s dates in many ways, and there is a garden to put in now that the ground is warming.  Gardening can be an artist’s date, of course, especially a little later in the season when I’m buried in flowers and emerging vegetables.

Hilary, the wild-mind, tattooed bad girl who does most of the heavy lifting, has been rebelling as a result of this neglect. I realized it over the weekend and made a resolve to do more for her–let her direct us to shoot photos in the morning before we start writing, arrange some flowers, spend an afternoon a week out doing something like wandering the shops on the westside or having tapas with a friend or…whatever.

Yesterday, I went to Pueblo to see my parents.  It’s been way, way, way too long since I’ve seen them–another example of my neglect of the rest of my life–and we went to lunch on the Riverwalk (actually, we ate at Angelos, which is the site of a pinnacle scene in The Garden of Happy Endings), then meandered back to the car along Union Avenue.  There is a massive and wonderful antique shop there.  We stopped.  All of us look at different things, though at first my mother and I look at each other’s stuff, then we wander into our own worlds.  I never know what will catch my eye, if anything.  I’m pretty ruthless about bringing too much stuff into my house.

Almost as soon as I walked in yesterday, this caught my eye.



A window. The screen is still intact, and despite the worn look of the paint, it’s quite solid, $25, with 20% off, making it $20. I was smitten, but forced myself to walk away until I’d gone through the whole place.  When I circled back, I still wanted it, my mind offering possibilities–it could be a mini greenhouse. I could put a light inside and photos on the windows and hang it in my dark basement.  It could form the structure for a collage.  It could even be a backdrop for photos, studio-like, if I set it up right.

Whatever. I thought about whether it would even fit in my Mini, especially since my mom was riding in the backseat. Maybe not–but I could always have my father bring it to me.  I just knew that it would be one of those things I’d think about later, wishing I’d given myself permission to play.  Check out the chain.

So I paid a whopping $20. It fit just fine in the back of the Mini, especially once I dropped my parents off and could put the seats down.

And I’ve been happy about it ever since.  I might paint it a very light aqua and cream or just clean it up and distress it.  Or put shelves in.  Whatever. Hilary is happy and occupied, playing with ideas and possibilities. Giving her this little present is exactly what she deserves.

Oh, I also bought some charming little bottles for flower vases, but wordpress is not letting me post a photo.  Who knows why.

A great artist’s date–and I spent time with my parents, too!


6 thoughts on “Possibilities

  1. I’m assuming Hilary is one of your ‘girls in the basement’. You know her so well she has a name and tattoos. That is fabulous. Must be one of the reasons why your books are so strong and raw and beautiful.

  2. Kelly

    Wow, great window! I love it, and the possibilities are endless. I’m going to want to know what your creative self comes up with. Or should I say Hilary?

  3. Marty Voisin

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the net for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

  4. Hi, Barbara. Loved finding you again, first on Jane Friedman’s website, and now here. I took your memoir writing workshop in Santa Barbara years ago (2008??) and now I actually have my memoir, Blush, coming out in the fall. Thanks for being a hand along the way! And congrats on all the publishing and awards and good success you have had in the intervening years.

  5. stephanie

    what a wonderful find!! that is an awesome window.

  6. Love your window. And I’ve never thought of my afternoon wanderings as ‘artist dates’ but I love that term.

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