Monday, May 20, 2013
Jim and I have declared this week our "stay-cation" week. It's a tricky balance between being on vacation (holiday for those non-US folk), and still being in our home. The great thing about being away on vacation, like in Victoria, BC, or even Whidbey Island, Washington, is that we are forced NOT to attend to daily chores and diversions. We only have to deal with things like, oh... "OMG... I didn't pack my toothbrush!" Or, ..."'room complete with kitchenette' means broken, burnt Teflon pans and lipstick on coffee cups?" or, .... "Honey, I TOLD you we needed to turn off fifteen miles back!" or... "Our room is three flights up? Crap!!!". So, instead, we check the stock market, do laundry, we answer calls, we are reminded that we haven't called the painter and scheduled her crew to come tape and prep, and we clean up cat vomit in the morning. Other than that, we're basking in the serenity of ... well.... cloudy and rainy days in which we try and figure out what it means to relax.
Trying to keep in the spirit of that vacation mode, I put on my sketch bag as I walked down to post the Netflicks in the mailbox. I was hoping to be distracted by something on our (really very pretty) property that begged to be sketched or painted. It wasn't until I got back to the house that I saw a weird bird in the bird feeder. The closer I got, the more the "bird" looked like a chipmunk. She was so very pre-occupied with stuffing her face, that I stood maybe five feet away without her startling. She did look up at me periodically, and each time she glanced up, her cheek pouches were bulging even more than the last time. She was packing groceries for the kids back home! In total, it was maybe ten minutes she was sucking down the seed before she plunged to the pavement below, running off to the nest, her back end decidedly higher than the front. It was time enough for me to quietly pull my sketchbook and pen from my bag and sketch her outline. For another 45 minutes after her departure, I was able to paint in the landscape. For one hour, I felt I was on vacation.