The Service of Others

I love genealogy and learning about who my people were and what they did. I’ve had a few “holy shit” moments of discovery. I’m thinking we all have or will have while digging in the past. Fun Fact: I discovered two people who worked for the same agency as I did that were related to me. Not sure how happy they were when I shared what I learned. 🤪 I also found a great uncle who abandoned his first family, changed his name and became someone else. We found his new family through DNA 75 years later.

Recently a family discovered a photograph of a great, great grandfather from World War 1. I wish I had such a family photo. What makes this photo so awesome was that it was taken of a African American military soldier. Do you know how incredible this find is?

When the United States entered the great war in 1917 Black Americans wanted to show their patriotism. 20,000 black men enlisted and after the Selective Service Act over 700,000 more Black Americans entered the military. But all things weren’t equal. The Civil War ended but bigotry had not. Black Americans were bared from the Marines and only menial roles in the Navy.

Draft boards were all white. The draft registration forms had the corner ripped off so everyone knew that this person was black. Their training would be segregated. Very few men got the opportunity to serve in combat. The black enlisted were treated badly by not being issued proper clothing, not given adequate food and forced to live in poor or brutal housing conditions. Our black enlisted men were not treated the same as their white counterpart. Sadly after the war it never got any better when they returned home.

I’m proud to have been asked to paint this family photo. This rare photo of a man who wanted to serve. Whose parents were likely born into slavery. Jim Crow would take over where slavery ended. Separate was never going to be equal. The killing, the lynching and the hate never stopped. It’s still alive today.

Not sure how much has really changed when it comes to racial issues. We seem so divided in this country. It breaks my heart to listen to the news. So much anger and hate. This painting was an honor to paint. It was an honor to paint this American who loved his country. Who wanted to serve. Who would one day have a great, great, grandson and a great, great, great grandson who would do a life of service in law enforcement. He did not live to know these things. He planted the seed that ran through his blood that flowed to the next generations. It is important to do something greater then yourself. When you become a law enforcement officer you take an oath of office. That oath is a promise to protect and serve others.

In the military the first oath for the enlisted military was given June 14, 1775. It was and still is a very important final step before going out into the world to try and make it safe for all of us.

WW1 US Army Soldier Roy Logan and his great, great grandson Adrain Logan retired Major Wisconsin State Patrol

Christmas Gifts

It’s that time of year where we look for the perfect gifts for the ones we love. Perfect gifts are hard to find. If you are like me I buy what I want rather then wait for someone else to purchase it. I’ve been told I’m hard to buy for, but I don’t believe that’s true. I love colorful and unique, which I think provides a pretty big spectrum of things. I believe that a gift does not need to be new. In fact some of the best gifts I’ve ever received were homemade or gently used.

I say “I don’t need anything” when asked what I would like for Christmas. It’s a true statement. I need for nothing. There was a time in my life where I needed to keep track of every penny. My checkbook was balanced to the nearest dime. Never anything extra. I think we all should experience what it’s like to struggle in order to appreciate good fortune. I now have so much to be thankful for.

At this point in my life what I really want can’t be bought in a store. I want good health for my husband. I want time with those I love and who love me. A prefer a phone call rather then a text message and to simply be “in” the pictures I see on Facebook.

Sometimes those we love don’t live close by. We still can be creative in showing our love with a gift just for them. I painted this German Shepard, who is clearly enjoying the sun rays on his face, as a holiday gift. A father wanting something special for his daughter who lives very far away. It’s nice isn’t, that a dad wants something special, something unique? I’m glad he asked me to paint her dog. I believe she will forever remember this gift.

Years ago my father gave me the gift of fishing. He taught me how to bait a hook and cast a line. Gifts don’t always come in a box or from a store. I hope my client’s daughter loves her painting. I hope she loves that her father wanted her to have a gift that was from his heart. ❤️

“Enjoying the Sun “ 16×20 Acrylic

Art in the Backyard

We noticed on Pinterest that pinecones can be turned into flowers! We thought this was a cool idea and we decided to try it. So off we went walking and gathering our supplies. We did need to make a pit stop at Michaels for some craft paint and now we have what we need.

Sometimes all you need is a spark of an idea. That described my granddaughter and I, we had a brilliant idea. We decided to make art from pieces that we found in the neighborhood. In her neighborhood there are a lot of pinecones, acorns, leaves and sticks. Surely we could make something creative with that. I know my granddaughter has a glue gun so anything is possible. We went hunting and gathering.

Painting and glueing was the fun and easy part. The challenge came when we started to cut the pinecones. We wanted to turn pinecones into flowers using only the bottom portion of the cone Has anyone ever tried to cut a pinecone? It isn’t too easy; in fact it’s almost impossible.

Here’s what we did and here’s what we learned: *craft scissors don’t work * mom’s scissors from the kitchen drawer doesn’t work and we knew we would be in BIG trouble if we used the sewing scissors* dad’s saw didn’t work but it did get the feeling you might actually be making progress-not *tried a saw with deep teeth which only scared us at the thought of losing a finger….*we then tried wire clippers which only cut the pinecone petals like toe nails which now were flying everywhere in the garage * finally we learned that clipping the petals and twisting the core with pliers finally got us a pinecone that looked like a flower!!!

We painted and glued and glued some more. In the end we liked what we created. Each backyard is full of possibilities so go and be creative. Make something that has never existed before and have fun.❤️