Happy Valentines Day, All! Yesterday a few things landed in my mailbox and I didn’t open them till this morning. Not only did my morning cup of tea warm me, but what was enclosed in each envelope made the day special.
My little granddaughter who is two weeks shy of her 3rd birthday is now of the age when she is beginning to make things, and seems to really enjoy it, too. My dear daughter-in-law Meghan has been very good at seeing to it that Charlotte has all sorts of stuff to create with. I received my very first handcrafted Valentines card from my little granddaughter. It made my heart zing! Love it and you, Charlotte!
And there is more … What was inside my sister’s Valentines package was another example of this twin telepathy thing we’ve had since we were born. Briefly, a few years ago when I was thinking of the cover design of the 2nd book of the Neighbor to Neighbor series (Heart of Community) I did some splashing around with watercolor sketches of what I envisioned. The sketchpad was put in a box several years ago when I had used up every page with my art dabbling. My sister had never seen the two renderings. So imagine my surprise when I opened her gift, a one-of-a-kind painting she made for me for Valentines Day. The likeness to what I’d put on paper is incredible, but she has added a few elements which make the painting more endearing – images of children, a dog, a community garden, the American flag etc. Thanks, Jan! I love it and sometimes it’s astounding how often our two minds think about the same thing, even when it is at two different times.
For more about Jan’s decorative paintings, visit Twin Creations on this website.
My hope on this Valentines Day is that we can restore our broken communities in America for the sake of our grandchildren. Revive it to a state of how it “used to be! Back in the time when my sister and I grew up, children could play outdoors freely, and their parents didn’t need to worry so about their well-being. Let’s put “heart back in America.” The American heart used to pump proudly for the red, white and blue and all it represented. We all need to do our part and love America again!
Painting above by Jan Batton Smolca 2023
My sister Jan Batton Smolca’s Valentine painting at top
My renderings of an envisioned book cover for Heart of Community
– my Main Street America images
are on the spiral sketchpads.
Above is the second of my renderings of what I
envisioned for the book cover of “Heart of Community”
it is more of a “cityscape” image.