Tongiht was a fundraiser at our local Berman Museum. It is a one time a year fundraiser that has a lot of food vendors and spirits distributors that come and share their wares with us all, and in turn we pay a fee to get in and have a go at it all. So its been a date my husband and I have kept for years. We try to go every year and reconnect with old friends we dont see except at this place and time, but its always so special. We like to go and eat from the various restaurants and sample the goodies they bring. Sometimes there is a new ale that hasnt been in the stores yet and we might have a sample to see if we think it might be a big seller. But most of all, its a great time with friends and music and food. And lots to look at and discuss.
This year, the fundraiser added a new item. You could purchase a half price ticket if you agreed to decorate a piece of wood they had cut out in the shape of the SOLO Cup or in the shape of a beverage bottle. So I purchased two (one of each shape) and asked my brother for help. He is an artist and lives about 100 miles from me, but I asked him to help me do one of the shapes and I would do the other, but it would be great advertising for him. He is in several galleries in the Montgomery County, Alabama area and his art is fabulous, if I do say so myself. He has sold I have no idea how many, so to have one of his original works of art here in our fundraiser area I was thrilled. So he got the piece shaped like a Solo Cup and we made arrangements to meet again in a few days for me to pick it up.
I was amazed. He had taken a photograph from one of the area magazines showing a mountain range and these huge boulders that have been flattened by nature. The place is Cheaha Park and the huge rocks that folks walk out on is called BALD ROCK. He painted the cup shape blue to capture the azure sky and the white clouds and then painted the rocks. There were leaves and trees in the background but you could just see the view below and almost picture yourself there on those rocks. Feel the air sweeping around you. Oh, it was beautiful. On the other side of the SOLO cup shape, he painted it red with a white part showing at the top, just like you are looking at a Solo Cup. On the red side, he painted a scene from a photo that was taken years ago by him while he, myself, and my husband were on a fall ride to Cheaha and we happened upon a lake. The reflection in the lake was of the colored changing leaves and he made every stroke of the brush almost to the point where you could smell the Fall air. You could hear the whistling of the trees and the leaves. It was so real looking. I was just speechless.
My work of art on the other hand was more of the area around our city of Anniston, and Calhoun County was depicted on the other side of my bottle shape. I had everything from Samuel Noble Statue on it to the museum logo and all sorts of trees on the main artery Quintard Avenue that goes through our town. I cut out and ModgePodged those intricate pieces of paper on that bottle shape so carefully and covered every spot. I was proud of my work, but next to my brothers I felt a little ashamed. He painted, I just glued.
So when the evening was drawing to a close, I looked and his held a large yellow SOLD sign on it. Someone had purchased his work of art. Works of art since there is two sides and each was a special scene. My glued photos and arranged pieces of paper were still in their same position, not moved and no SOLD sign on it. I sighed and resigned myself to the fact that it just wasnt in the cards for me to have sold mine.
My husband was sitting at the table and listened as I told him how very proud I am of my brothers work and that maybe I will sell my piece next year or at least they can use it as a door stop or something, but I was ok with it. I knew it wouldnt sell. But thats ok. Everybodys cant sell. It was much like feeling like being a beauty pagent and being number 51 in winners when there was only 50 girls entered.
I began to take the plates and bottles and cups off of our table and wound up talking to several folks around the area. I wanted to at least help the museum workers that had put on such a wonderful event and I knew they were tired so the least I could do was clean off our spaces.
When I came back to the table, my husband was sitting there finishing up a beverage and he said to me the most beautiful words I have ever heard.
"Your piece sold." I lept to my feet and looked all around the area for the bottle shape and I didnt see it. As I sat down, I said well, they must have already taken it away. But inside I was so happy, you just cant imagine.
Then he said, here it is. I looked and looked all around the place and he pointed to it and said, here, on our table. So I read the card and it said:
My husband bought the piece of artwork I had done. He purchased my bottle shape.
I couldnt believe it. I still cant believe it.
I have never been so honored and shocked and emotional all at one time in my life. To say I was speechless is a really big deal because I am never at a loss for words. But I was then. I cry when I think how he went to whomever he had to and told them to let him purchase that piece of wood I worked on. He brought it to the table we were at and he surprised me with it.
I am not a woman that has a lot of diamonds or a new car. I wear clothes that come from Walmart or Kmart or wherever there is a sale. We are not proud people and so therefore we are comfortable with what we have and are not envious of others.
But let me tell you, when he bought that piece of work I had done, and he had watched me do in the middle of the nights, I can tell you, there is nothing in this world that can make me ever forget the way I felt then. And do now. And will every time I see that thing.
When I asked him why in the world he bought it, he said, "because I wanted a piece of your work in my room where I can see it anytime I want to."
Before the event, I asked a lady to take our photo. She did and right before she snapped the picture, I reached over for his hand and held it. I jokingly told him, I think we have been married long enough we can hold hands. The lady asked how long and I said almost 30 years.
She smiled and said and youre still happy........
Oh yes, lady. I am still happy.
After 30 years, I am still as happy with that man that bought my artwork, as I was the day we married.
I am one blessed woman. A mere honeymooner after 30 years.
No riches can replace that. Nor can they replace this work of art comprised of cut out pictures and ModgePodge. But to him its a treasure, and to me, he is a treasure. So sometimes riches come in the strangest places and ways.