Monday, October 26, 2009

Norman, New England and the Darling Clarice

....Or "What I did on my Summer vacation".
Yes, I realize it is the end of October but we are now in the stage of life where vacations are not dictated by the public school calendar. So, last week we headed up to Connecticut and Massachusetts to retrace steps in one of our former neighborhoods and to check out the Fall leaves. Yes, MD has colored leaves in the Fall, but the grass is always greener or the leaves always colorfuller...yadda, yadda.

We passed through Litchfield, CT and stopped to visit a college friend, meet her family and talk to the animals. Clarice is a beautiful llama, one of two, and queen of the farm. ( I won't mention what Louise's husband calls her. Not flattering but funny. ) Shy of hands, she welcomes you with warm fuzzy kisses. Love is a warm fuzzy llama kiss.
We continued on, (in the snow ) to Stockbridge, MA our base for the week. One of our day trip destinations was the Norman Rockwell Museum, just outside of town. Now, Norman gets a bad rap for being a self professed illustrator and too American quaint, but I like his work. Call me sappy but I do. And it was a thrill to see one of his studios that had been moved to the museum location. With the use of older photos the staff had arranged the studio as it was when he used it, including the order of the placement of the books on the shelves. One photo reveled a napping Rockwell curled up on the green sofa perhaps recharging after a morning of painting. Another reason to like him, justifiable naps !
I of course sent the link to this blog to my friend and her response follows. I thought others would enjoy it ! One obviously needs a sense of humor with a llama.

.... the pic is lovely, and the words capture the essence of llama. One loves the llama for just being a llama.... nothing more. How simple life is when you break it down that far! Dogs demand (sun connures, I guess, take demand to a whole new level....) kids expect,
and so it goes. The llama just enjoys life for the moment, spits when the need arises to resolve conflicts and arguements, then goes back to relazing and enjoying life. They do pause for "tea" daily at 3, retreating to their shed for an hour of quiet(er) reflection, then back out by 4:30 to await dinner service. Queen though she is, Clair is a benevolent dictator. And yes,the only thing better than a soft llama kiss is one followed by the sweet scent of grassy-burp right in your face.


  1. Much of my inspiration comes out of the Berkshires. My sister-in-law, also a painter, used to work at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Now she is curator at the Stockbridge Library and does bus/walking tours in Stockbridge. Wondering if you went on a Stockbridge guided tour?

  2. Arrrg Palma ! Could've known that a week ago. :)

  3. Janet, Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on it. It is so great to have artists friends who have taken time away from their busy scheduals to drop me a line wishing for speedy recovery. Gonna be a long 3 months but at least I am getting a little painting in if only an hour here and there. Don't ever crush an ankle. It is no fun and not worth all the tender care my wife has given me.
    Looks like you are getting a little traveling in. Sounds like a very fruitful trip.

  4. Janet, you have an award coming your way! And it's from me, too! Please come to my blog to pick up your Kreativ Blogger Award. Just copy/save the image and post on your blog if you wish. You deserve it.:)

  5. Hi Janet!
    How nice to know about you. It seems you had a great time! Wouldn't it be nice to turn into a llama for a while,enjoy life and pausing for a tea together 'retreating from our daily routines for an hour of quiet reflection' as you say ;-)