Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer is Over

When I was growing up, summer vacation was always something that I would look forward to.
Long days that seemed endless, and playing late in our neighborhood.
Cramming into the car and driving to Cape Cod for a few weeks each July.
Now that Erin has been in school for a year, it is something that I can look forward to again. Every kid looks forward to that break from classes. A reason to slow down for a while and try to relax, although with a 5 year old, who's relaxing?

I guess that the summer '08 is officially over for us.
Today was the first day of the school year and Erin is back in classes.
She says it was the best day of school ever, so I suppose that's good news.

Now it is time to get back to work. I have several new projects that I'll be working on this fall and a painting trip in a few weeks that I am really looking forward to.

I'll be posting dates for two 5 day plein air painting workshops in March '09 very soon.
Oh, what the heck.
March 9-13th and 16-20.
I'll post costs and info soon and start saving spots.

Now back to the bit about our summer vacation.
This summer has been about trying to spend as much time not thinking about work as we could get away with, and still take care of business and obligations, like bills.
I usually travel with my paints and finish at least a few pieces every week. This year I refrained from whipping them out for three whole weeks. Julissa had to work a bit on vacation, but she had deadlines to worry about.
If you are a regular reader you know that we went to the States for three weeks in July. We visited my family and had all sorts of fun.

As a tribute to our summer vacation, I will bore you with a few snap shots of what we did this summer. Fun stuff, from a kids point of view, and mine.
Sorry, no art in this post.

Erin on the Dragon Raft on Lake Winnepesaukee, N.H.
I bought this guy 19 years ago and he is still holding up strong.
Erin is checking out a loon out there in the lake. See it?
Winnepesaukee is much bigger than what you see here. We are up at the end of a harbor. The main lake, or "The Broads" is about 23 miles long.

Erin running on the beach at low tide on the Cape Cod Bay. This sand bar is under water at high tide.
We visited our good friends Peter and Kathleen for just a day on our way back to New York. Erin really loves them.

But we had to keep going...

We had a plane to catch...

To visit Erin's favorite friends...

Chip and Dale.
She did not know about this part of the trip until a day before.
Five very fun, very humid, very fun days.
My sister joined us with her two kids which was very special for us.

Erin has also been taking riding lessons since May. Once a week or so, just when she wants to. She is really into it.
Isabella is a champion jumping horse. She is a beauty, and very friendly with Erin.
Last week Erin got to ride her out in the country instead of around the ring where she had been practicing.

Here is the little one taking her horse back to the stable after the ride.


Marian Fortunati said...

Summer is a special time of the year... A time to enjoy, relax and regroup! Seeing it through the eyes of a child makes it all the more special!! Glad you had a great trip! My little guy still has two and a half weeks of vacation.

mike rooney studios said...

dont want to get sappy but check out my post today. you gave me something to think about my friend. seems like you have such a firm grasp on what it means to be passionate about painting AND having a real life. the post is relevant to anybody that is overworking, whether it be painting or stocking shelves at the grocery store, at the expense of everything else. i'd have to say that reading your post today was like getting checked against the wall by the biggest guy on the hockey team. thanks for making me snap out of it. i hope to make some concrete changes for the better because of it
(told you it was sappy!) LOL

Anonymous said...

"Best day of school ever"!!! THAT is a great report!!!
"Cramming into the car" for a few weeks in Cape Cod - wow, what a picture post card of the ideal
American summer vacation! They make movies about summers like that...

The pictures and travelog were such fun to read! Thanks for sharing all of that with all of us. A reading delight! (May I ask what Julissa does - is she also a painter?)

Tbanks! And, again, so great about Erin's first day of school!


Frank Gardner said...

Hi Marian. "Enjoy, relax and regroup" Great way to put it. Summer is a busy time of year here in the gallery and I had not taken the time off until this year when Erin finished her first year of school and we had our window of opportunity to travel.
It is good to see through the eyes of a child sometimes isn't it?
Enjoy your 2 1/2 weeks that you have left of vacation.

Frank Gardner said...

Mike, sorry for the body check. Hope I didn't knock out any teeth. LOL
Not sappy at all man.
Good interpretation and response.

Frank Gardner said...

Yeah, how 'bout THAT Solveg? Best school day ever! Didn't see that one coming this morning when we woke up and it was raining. LOL
I'm glad you saw that in my minimal description of our vacation. It says it all. Kind of like my last painting, how few words/strokes, do you need to get the point across.
Summers WERE ideal back then. (late 60's-70's) at least for a kid. And your right, it IS the stuff for movies and books. I had been wondering what had happened to those days so tried to bring it back a bit.
We weren't THAT crammed in I guess, it was a big car. But the trunk was full and bikes on the back. And the back seat SEEMED crammed riding with your sister. Just kidding :)
I got my paybacks for all that "Are we there yet" 'How much longer" stuff this summer. LOL

A fun topic for discussion.
Thanks guys for joining in :o)

Oh, Julissa does freelance design and web sites etc..

Barbara Pask said...

Your daughter is precious, enjoy these years they fly by. Sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, do you ever think about moving back?

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Barb!
Yeah, I know. That's what I keep saying. I'll paint later when she doesn't want to hang around with old Dad anymore.
I thought my day of doom had come at DisneyWorld when she said she wanted to go on the rides with her cousin. HUH? not ME!!!! I was hurting bad. LOL
Actually, she was a real Daddy's girl there and I ate it up.

You ask that a lot. Think about it once in a while. Have to weigh all the pros and cons and we still like it here better.
I'm heading up again in a few weeks and that will be enough for a while. Life is good here too you know.

Christine Mercer-Vernon said...

great post frank! erin is so adorable and looks happy as ever standing between chip and dale (who wouldn't, right?). sounds like you had a magical vacation. it's good to put the paintbrush down once and a while and rebalance with the family. nothing beats playing with your kids!

i got a chuckle out of the picture of erin running on the beach....most pictures of shelby lately are like motion of some sort....she never sits still!! too funny!

Jack Riddle said...

Frank--nice change of pace, thanks for sharing. THe last shot of Erin leading the horse would make a nice painting...

Anonymous said...

Frank- these are the kind of posts that contribute to the complete " picture " of a person and their life.

So although I love seeing one of your new paintings appear when I check your blog, this is just as meaningful.

The last photo of Erin pulling that lovely chestnut horse by the reins, sure has the stamp of a future FG painting if ever there was one.....

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Christine. Oh yeah, Chip and Dale are her favorites.
Yes, yes, yes... always in motion and talking or singing.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jack. That one would make a nice painting.

Frank Gardner said...

I agree Bonnie. It helps round the story of who I am for all of you that have never met me.

Might need to paint that one.

FCP said...

Lovely post, Frank - the pictures say it all. Obviously you are a great dad.
I agree with Jack and Bonnie - you MUST paint Erin with her horse.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Love your snapshots Frank and Erin is a real treat.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Hi Frank-- I love that shot of Erin and Isabella. Glad you're passing on those "endless summer days" to Erin. Truly a gift!

I really appreciate hearing your take on balance between work and family. It seems to be in constant motion I think! Good to keep it all in perspective. :-)

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Thanks for sharing your vacation with us. That last shot of Erin with the horse is fabulous. Look at all the confidence in her little body!
It's just like you say in your front page. Bloggers are folks who might never otherwise have met, and find out that they're all in the same traffic jam on the Cape each summer!
Who knew?

Carol Schiff Daily Painting said...

Frank, It is so wonderful to hear of a successful artist (person), such as yourself, who knows what life is really about. Take time to smell the roses and enjoy your daughter while you can. Time passes way to fast. You are giving her memories that she will always fondly recall and so will you. Carol

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Oh yeah, and I like the white chicken in the background, too.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Faye.
Jack, Bonnie, Faye and Erin all want me to paint that one.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Sheila. I'm glad you stopped by.
Yeah, Erin is a sweetie.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jennifer, Thanks.
I think that you and I had similar summers growing up.
I remember discussing it a bit on your blog.
Longing for those care free endless summers as a kid makes me want to experience it again with Erin.
Like watching Erin catch lightning bugs with her cousins on a July night. We don't really have those here, so it was new for her, but it seems like such a part of summer to me.
The only bummer for me was that Wall-E was not at the drive in while we were there.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks for checking it out Mary.
Yeah, Erin is pretty confident up there.

Your right about all the experiences that we all share etc.. It's great to be blogging!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi again Carol.
I'm just trying to make my way through doing the best I can.
Time does pass fast.
Thanks for commenting.

Frank Gardner said...

Glad someone saw that chicken Mary.
Actually it is a rooster.

Jennifer Thermes said...

Yes Frank, I think we did! Lucky. Great to relive those days through the kids... (as long as it doesn't make ya feel too old!) ;-)

Alicia Padrón said...

I LOVE this post Frank!

I can see you really had a great summer. Erin looks so happy! There is no better feeling in the world than to see you child happy, right? :o)

I adore the last photo. Specially because they are both so in synch while walking, same foot and looks like same pace too. I agree with the rest, this would make an amazing painting for Erin's room.

Stacey Peterson said...

What a fun post Frnak - it's great to see that you do so well balancing art/work and the rest of life. I'm a bit jealous since I feel like I could use a week away right now!!! It looks like you guys had a fantastic summer, and I'm glad that you got some quality time AWAY from the paintbrushes. It's always nice to take a good break so that we can get back into the studio with fresh eyes.

Your daughter is adorable! Love the pictures of her with the horse - I see a bit of my future there since mine already loves to go riding on her Grandma's horse!

Stacey Peterson said...

Hehe... Sorry I mistyped your name!!! Don't know how I missed that BEFORE I hit publish.

Frank Gardner said...

It is fun to slip back to some of those memories like that.
Old? nah... I don't feel old , usually.

Frank Gardner said...

Hola Alicia!!! How did you guys make out with that storm in Fl.?
We DID have a great summer! Now it is time to get back to work.
You are right about that. No better feeling than to see your kid happy. On so many levels.
Glad Erin can't read the blog yet or she would have me painting that this afternoon. ;oD

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Stacey. I try, and it's not always that easy.
I stress sometimes when I have work to do and have to choose. I have learned that not worrying about it too much is the best plan. I am no good to anybody if I have a heart attack and die because I was stressed about working all the time. I do better when my mind and soul are relaxed.
Take a break if you need one. The work will be there when you get back. Promise.

I really appreciate communicating with you and the other bloggers that have young kids.
( Alicia, Christine, Jennifer T., Carol M.,Todd, Marian, I know there are more that I must be forgetting at the moment)
It is hard splitting time and getting it right, and I like to see how others handle it and know that you can be a good parent and still accomplish a lot.

Thanks. I'm sure Aspen will be a big horse girl living where you do.

Amy Gethins Sullivan said...

What a wonderful summer!
Smart, not to let Erin in on the surprise visit to Disney Land.I learned a long time ago,(my oldest is 18)that time is a hard thing to grasp at the age of 5. It would have felt like a life time if she knew what she was waiting for.
Love these summer memory pictures, thanks for sharing.~Amy~

Anonymous said...

Fun-looking photos. Glad you had a nice summer vacation and that Erin had a good first day of school.


Todd Bonita said...

hey Frank,

I didn't know you were in Winnapasaukee too...are you sure we are not related? I'm a Cape/ Lake Winny guy too. Makes for a great summer, good for you guys, you seem like a very cool dad.

All the best my friend.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Amy. I think it was Juli's idea to not tell Erin. She is the smarter of the two of us. Yeah, as it was, she was real relaxed and enjoying herself at the lake.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Paz.
I hope that you are feeling better. I see that you had an operation or something. That happened while I was away and not checking many blogs.

Frank Gardner said...

We have had a place in Tuftonboro for a long time. Where do you go?
Well, you seem like a cool dad too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Frank: Yes, I had surgery a few weeks ago and am now recuperating. I am feeling much better. Thanks for your good wishes.


Elizabeth said...

Wonderful, happy summer photos.
Something to savour throught the winter.
Happy weekend.

ale balanzario said...

Hola Frank, al igual que todo debo decirte que post tan bonito, y las memorias que le estas dando a tu hija, todas las fotos de tu hija son preciosas, pero debe decirte que la que mas me gusto, es la de ella caminando al caballo, luce tan pequeña al lado de su caballo.
Y si, tambien leyendo los demas post, en Mexico, todavia podemos hacer muchas cosas y tener una buena vida....... Felicidades por un gran verano. Saludos.

Frank Gardner said...

It is good to hear from you Elizabeth.
Happy weekend to you too.

Frank Gardner said...

Hola Ale. Si verdad, se ve preciosa ahi con el caballo.

I guess I am going to have to paint that one of these days.
I love that about Mexico. I am drawn to that attitude about life.
Gracias .

Unknown said...

Sweet Frank! Julie thinks we're having a girl-based on the heart beat and when i see how full of life Erin is I really would love a girl.

Unknown said...

Sweet Frank! Julie thinks we're having a girl-based on the heart beat and when i see how full of life Erin is I really would love a girl.

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Eric! Girls are very sweet, especially Erin, but I would be just as happy with a boy.
Best wishes for you and Julie in these last few months.