As mentioned in a previous post, my stepmother, Lois, passed away from her battle with cancer in mid-October. Her passing was also just two days before the Art With Heart kits were shipped. And this cycle is benefiting Step Up For Cancer. Poignant.
I drove from Maryland to Massachusets for the funeral, but just a few weeks before my stepbrother was married and I also made the trek! It was a fun and special day:
Now I don't know if you are familiar with the "95 corridor" up the MidAtlantic, but having lived in the D.C. area for the past 20 years, I have traveled that route many, many a time.
It is rare to have it be an easy trek. Approaching all the tolls, even if you have an EZ Pass, can be a traffic nightmare. Don't even get me started on traveling through or near the major cities!
So after TWENTY years of having what should be an 8 hour drive, end up being 10 hours or much more....I decide to go another route. And was I sure glad that I did! I took the interstates through Pennsylvania and central New York this time. Although this route added about 100 miles to the trip, there were tremendous amounts of added benefits. First of all - there was hardly anyone on the road. It only got a little congested near Scranton (we had lunch at the Steamtown Mall on one of the pass thrus - for any of you fellow Office fans!). Secondly - there was only one toll of $1.00 (as opposed to the over $25 in tolls on 95). So the whole trip including pit-stops was about 9 hours for every jaunt.
However, the best benefit was traveling through the beautiful mountain ranges on this route. It was, in a word, spectacular. The views were amazing. And depending on which part of the country, and what day in October, the foliage was stunning.
I grew up in New England, so I'm no stranger to stunning foliage....but somehow, this year, all the colors were sparkling and alive. After spending the summer really studying and experimenting with color theory, I was amazed at how many colors I was seeing. Typically when I think "Autumn colors" I think red, orange, yellow, brown...but what I was amazed to see, was the pinks, mauves and purples dotting the countryside. And green. The green is still there with the evergreens...but the varying shades that go along with all the changing leaves was pretty incredible too! I'm sure all these colors have always been there, but it was as though I was seeing it with new eyes.
So...let's circle back now to the subject at hand: Art With Heart Cycle 3. My kit was waiting for me when I got back from the funeral:
I had been thinking of a plan for this kit for weeks before it arrived. So...inspired by all the beautiful scenery and teeming with tons of emotion I went to work.
I've been thinking a lot about what to do with this piece. And I think my final decision will be to hold a raffle or an auction for this piece and donate the proceeds to Hospice Care in my stepmother's honor. Just need to figure out the logistics!