We returned last evening from a wonderful trip to sunny Florida for the MASF show opening and a lovely visit with my family for the past week. We arrived in Okeechobee last Monday afternoon and were anxious to see how much our nephew Tyler had grown since we last saw him in October. That evening the entire family enjoyed a delicious supper together including my mom’s yummy fried okra (or okry as I call it)! Tyler was more than happy to let his uncle “Wase” as he calls him, feed him his supper, even though he was afraid Wes was going to eat more than his share!
Tuesday morning, Wes, Mom, Tyler and I headed over to West Palm Beach to meet our very dear artist friend Janet Heaton for lunch. We really enjoyed getting caught up with both of our recent happenings, especially in the art world. It’s always a treat for Wes and me to get to visit with Janet as we refer to her as our “Art mom”. After a couple of hours of talking, laughing and eating, we said our goodbyes and we ventured down to the Wakodahatchee Wetlands. It was a gorgeous day filled with sunshine and a nice breeze as we walked along the boardwalk that gently curved and wound its way through the beautiful refurbished wetlands area. The entire setting was alive and filled with so many different species of birds and turtles, dotted with an occasional Alligator here and there. As I took numerous photos, I could just visualize each and every one as a future miniature painting! Tyler absolutely loved it! He was continually reaching out trying to pet the Ducks or Egrets that he thought was close enough, not realizing that they were certainly too far away. It was so encouraging to see the great interest he already takes in wildlife and the outdoors.
We returned in time to have dinner with the family once again Tuesday evening. Wednesday was spent outside helping my dad with some work on their house, while also playing with Tyler. Throughout the day Whitey, the chicken, would spot me and come running since she loves for me to turn over big rocks or boards and scratch up the dirt underneath with a stick, while she sits there watching and clucking to me. When I have it nicely prepared, she prances up and commences to scratching and eating all of the yummy buggy delicacies that surface. We did this time after time with her following me all around the yard, clucking and talking to me while patiently waiting. I would find a possible new buffet source and squat down and here she would come running clucking with excitement. If nothing would surface, she just looked at me like “Well that was a loss”. It’s a very fun and rewarding game to play with her. She has been the subject in one of my past miniatures, so she deserves it!
Friday evening my brother Marshall came over bringing his very large BBQ grill that he himself made and grilled some delicious shrimp, coated in his own special seasoning, for all of us. After we finished eating, he and I went out and I tried my hand at climbing trees with his tree stand. After getting the hang of it, it went pretty smoothly as I climbed up one of my parents Sable Palm trees. What a great feeling to be up high and looking down on everything below. Marshall and I have always loved climbing trees and as kids that was our idea of a great way to spend an afternoon, up high in a tree! It’s always fun to do something that reconnects you with your fond childhood memories. The stand only got stuck or put in crook a couple of times while I was using it, thus giving Marshall and myself a great laugh!
Saturday morning, we all went to a restaurant located in the Okeechobee airport, and enjoyed eating breakfast from the best seat for viewing everything that was going on. Even though it’s a small airport it was a buzz of activity with planes and helicopters continually flying in and taking off. Tyler especially was taken with it all. A nice man I had kindly asked to take a group shot of us surprised us afterwords with a personal tour of a couple of Leer jets that had recently been reupholstered and painted. What a treat it was to actually see inside of them and Tyler even got to sit in the pilot’s seat for a minute. After saying our goodbyes to my brother and his family we packed and drove to North Florida with my parents to my granny’s place. We started the trek home after saying goodbye to my mom and dad Sunday morning driving most of the day in the pouring rain. Needless to say we were beat by the time we got home last night and were happy not to hear the drumming sound of the rain beating on the roof of the van. Now it’s time to once again get back to work.
Please visit our website for information on current exhibits of our miniatures:http://www.artofwildlife.com/exhibitschedule.html
Until next time ~ Rachelle 🙂