eye of the beholder


This little work of art has beautified our office reception area for more than five years now. I can’t say I notice it every time I walk past it, since that might be 15 or 20 times a day, but now and then it will catch my eye and I’ll pause to admire it and remember its origins.

My kids might say I was a decent mother, but it’s for sure I didn’t get it right a lot of the time. Like the time Quinn brought this little beauty, along with several other masterpieces, home from her high school art class. I think I might have chuckled a bit. I’m sorry now, of course. If I were given a do over, I’d probably…okay, I’d probably chuckle a bit. I am who I am. So I covered my parenting failure by putting pens and pencils in one and who remembers what in the others. Eventually the pieces got moved to some less visible location, but at least they didn’t end up in the big can out back.

For some reason they remained in my possession, not hers, so I imagine she considered them a gift to me. Time passed, she moved out, life changed. I downsized, packed my valuables, and moved to Oregon. So you already know that one of my “valuables” turned out to be Quinn’s work of art. And this one as well…


When she comes to visit, she teases me that I pull them out of the closet just for the duration. But here you can see that this piece has a place of honor in our entryway, holding my mother’s paintbrushes (another valued treasure).


(The globe is from my first in-laws’ estate, the clock from my dad’s, the washstand a Macy family treasure—I’m a sentimental fool.)

I bring this up because today the husband of our new quarter-time pastor to seniors came in to the office so I could take his picture with Karen for this week’s newsletter. As Roy passed by the shelf he stopped abruptly to ask about that wonderful art piece. He admired its color and its composition. He asked if he might pick it up. All the while, I’m snapping pictures, of course, already anticipating sharing this story with Quinn, who, though never crafty, demonstrates artistic gifts in decor and design. I just had to say.




I’m serious, Roy’s attention to Quinn’s creativity absolutely made my day.

This entry was posted in family matters, nostalgia. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to eye of the beholder

  1. Craig MacDonald says:

    Roy’s good! Was he a politician before he came on staff? (JK)

  2. Taylor Carlson says:

    You didn’t comment on the entertainment center your equally creative son assembled. How about a do over. 🙂

  3. Q. says:

    A mother’s love — who can explain it. Cuz those things are hideous…

  4. Lisa says:

    I’m not an art critic, but I agree with Roy, I like the color and composition!

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