20 May, 2009

More than We Can Chew, and an Homage to Dad

Oh dear, oh dear, what made us think that we could paint, install new lights, and rewire the upstairs unit by June 1st--when we have a family reunion in Iowa to go to between now and then? Arrrrggghhhh...

In the meantime, we've achieved almost nothing on our own unit in recent months. Our kitchen still has three different kinds of beat up cabinets, our dining room and living room sport "test" patches of paint colors, and you still need to use the bucket in the bathroom to dump extra water down the toilet to encourage it to flush everything away. (And I apologize now to Ted's parents, who will be visiting us in a few weeks; the toilet is not on the short list of things to do.)

But, we did manage to find a good spot for this:

My Uncle Russ, my father's older brother, is an artist. Last Christmas I commissioned him to paint a portrait of Dad, who died five years ago this summer. (Hard to believe it's already been that long.) I was a little nervous asking him, unsure how hard the task would be emotionally, not to mention technically. But he was very gracious and agreed.

It was also hard to pick a photo to base the painting on, because my dad HATED his picture being taken. Photos of him smiling are as scarce as hen's teeth; I have photo albums filled with pics of him ducking behind other people, turning away at the last second, hiding behind his finger--his middle finger. This photo was one of our favorites; he was happy, laughing, and enjoying some good playtime with Jakob, his first grandchild. It's how we like to remember him.

Thanks, Uncle Russ! You captured Dad's smile beautifully!


Tonia said...

That's a beautiful portrait of your dad. He looks like a lot of fun. And it's not only the subject, but the artistry. What a lovely memorial to him. You and your uncle should be very proud.

Jen said...

What a lovely portrait!