After our pal Ted died, my friend Katie and I decided to honor his being in our lives, with a road trip.
Ted used to grab his stick, and match a stylish hat to his shoes, and lift the plastic handicapped parking sign from the kitchen hook and into the truck we would climb to wander the island in search of painting ideas.
Ted knew everyone and every corner on Martha’s Vineyard. Even after he lost most of his sight, and all of his hearing, and none of his wits, he could still navigate us to the most god forsaken dirt road dead ends, and take three steps further, and be standing before beauty.
Gay Head lilies, at the end of a meadow, that we reached by marching straight through a woman’s yard to see.
Should we knock first Ted ? No, she won’t mind. Turns out she didn’t.
The towering brickyard chimney, at the bottom of the steepest rockiest dirt road the truck had ever seen, which all but bounced his own self into the heath. PG was in the front seat, and Ted was folded like a Gumby in the tiny back jumper.
Climbing to the top of Crick Hill, all the while swinging his cane dangerously close to my head,
to illustrate his historical narration.
Posing, unknowingly, at the top of the beach steps alongside
Pete in those weathered moccasins.
And so, so much more.
So, anyway, Katie misses him too, so we are now doing Ted Trips.
On this one we did most of our looking from the car, because my new knee was still pretty new, but we did manage to climb around Cedar Tree Neck long enough to get the tick that gave me Lyme Disease, and we did some knitting parked at the beach in Menemsha eating our snack, and Katie wanted to take me to see the new library,
where she spends some quality time with friends and literature.
But it was closed.
We walked around the building, getting a glimpse here and there of the shiny new interior, but coming back up the hill to the car it was the big old grey mailbox that caught my eye.I had told her of my rambling idea of painting “Up Island Openings”, gates and windows and granite pillars and such. Not a theme yet, just a whisper of a concept really.
She thought the mailbox would fit right in, actually I think she was humoring me and inwardly suspected that the cheese was sliding off the sandwich. But she’s a gem and a kind soul…
and after some consideration her razor sharp brain came up with Portals.
Yep, that’s much better than openings.
This is the first in that whispered at series…
notice how I got it to fit into the more concretely thought out “Bird Series” ?
That was sorta fun.