Oil on canvas, 16x20,I left home about 5:30 Tuesday morning. It was dark, but I'd been up for hours, and I was itching to go.
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So I finished packing the car, I took the dogs for an early, early walk, and I set off, as excited as I've been in months.
I love a journey. I love getting in the car and going somewhere, even if there's traffic, even if the drive is long, even if the day is sweltering. I love to see things, different thing, different towns, different roadside attractions. I love watching the dawn go from black to navy to gray to pink to orange to white and to blue. I love crossing state lines, and seeing different license plates, different roadsigns, different laws. I love the trees and the foliage and the flowers, the town names and traffic patterns and street signs. I love the rest stops. I love everything about a road trip.
I was aiming on Tuesday for Crisfield, Maryland, which (15 years ago) proclaimed itself, loudly and repeatedly in billboards along the spine of the Eastern Shore, as having the best crabcakes in Maryland.
So I drove through Connecticut, and New York, and New Jersey and Delaware, and finally I was in Maryland, on the Eastern Shore, then nearing Crisfield, and looking for the billboards, and looking, and looking. And looking.
The little town is down at the heels these days. Downtown was deserted, lined with empty stores. Half the houses were for sale. There were no fishing boats at the pier. A high-rise condo stood there, at the end of the pier, and stood empty, waiting for a foreclosure auction.
I stopped at the hotel where Peter and I had stayed, 15 years ago, smuggling in all our dogs and cats. The office door was locked, and a sign told me to knock at Room 8. I did, and was almost back at the car when the door opened and a woman in a nightgown came out.
Well, there were a couple rooms upstairs, but she didn't know which ones. She didn't know if they had the internet. Didn't know how much the room would cost.
I left and drove to St. Michael's, and when I got here, I wished I'd just started out here. The town is charming and busy, the stores and restaurants bustling and shiny and full. Tilghman's Island, where I made this painting, was calm and quiet and sun-soaked and gorgeous to see.
I chased a memory, driving to Crisfield. We'd had a nice day and evening there, so many years ago. We'd delighted in the little town, and felt we were discovering it.
I had good memories of Crisfield, and in spite of everything, I still do.
Wonderful travel tale... You think of/about being on the move very much like me - and I feel I just took a wonderful drive with you.
The painting is wonderful, and I'm looking forward to the next one/s. Hope you continue to have a great time.
hi, Patrice, and thanks for the note. I'm so glad to hear that you're a traveler, too. I mean, this is not a trip that would thrill most folks - but I'm loving it, and I bet you would, too. I really enjoy just letting my brain go while I'm driving. I do my best thinking then, get my best ideas - well, while driving and while painting, and so a painting trip is perfect.
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