Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040, 904-557-1195 cell
Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
is almost Christmas so this story will bring you up to the present.
Not much has been happening in town unfortunately. It is
quiet--too quiet for the Christmas shopping time. The first half
of this week we had a negative $260 and that is not that easy to do.
So...if you have any last minute things to pick up we are open
all the way up until Christmas Eve.
I am finally to the catch up point with my stories. November was abuzz with stuff going on in my life. I had a
wedding, a trip to Tennessee, and the beginning of Christmas here on
wedding was a friend from Kentucky who loves the island and at 50+
years and a first time wedding she wanted it to be special and here on our
beautiful island. The weather was perfect. She had
chartered the Amelia River Cruise so that she could introduce her whole
family, which had traveled from different parts of Kentucky and California
to share this special event with a very special lady. A Pelican
wished us bon voyage as we pulled out of port.
would be a rush with the time change to get to Cumberland Island in
time for her guests to see the horses on the beach. The sun was
already getting low as we headed North.
was able to catch some of the brilliant red reflections in the water
from the giant red cranes which wait ever patiently to load or unload the
next ship which docks in our port.
colors which the camera catches and the intricate patterns in the
reflections suddenly caught in mid motion are unlike anything you could
ever visualize with the naked eye.
cormorant sails off into the sunset and seems to be accompanying us as
we made the deadline of catching the horses before they headed into the
trees for the night.
was an unbelievably long colored sunset which lasted until we finally pulled
back into the marina to finish our trip. It was a fitting evening to
begin a magical weekend for a very special couple. Debra and Mike
began their journey toward becoming life partners a few years back.
Debra had been friends with Mike and his wife with an in common
shared love of Bassett Hounds. In time Mike's wife died with
Debra had been their friend through that ordeal. She had helped
host a Memorial party for Mike's wife after her death.
often make the best basis for a romance and it was not too long until
Mike was calling Debra often and at first she just thought it was
someone who needed a friend. When he asked her out for dinner on
Valentines she realized his intentions were of a different nature.
Even though she said no to that evening thinking that it was too
much of a jump into a relationship she left the door open and as they
enjoyed a day out with their Bassett Hounds a the Bassett Hound Waddle
the next day the path was set on its course. The Cormorants
preparing for the night were part of the dramatic sunset for the
perfect wedding weekend.
sunset continued to beguile all those on board. There are no two kinder, soft hearted people than
Mike and Debra. I met Debra
in the gallery when she came in with her Mom once upon a time.
She fell in love with one of my paintings and even shared with me
where she would like to put it. She did not buy it. The
fort looked very majestic in the evening light.
sunset in the Marina was still beautiful as the time on the water was reaching an end. It
was almost a miracle that this could be. Sunsets usually last
only a few minutes. But miracles are part of this ladies life.
She re-entered my life about a year later. She walked back
in the gallery and asked about the painting she had liked but was no
longer hanging on the wall. I said, "I just moved it, and if you turn
around you will see it setting it the floor in the back room". I
also said, "you came in with your mother and you were going to put it
over your bed". She said, "how did you remember that" and I said,
"darned if I know". I can barely remember my own mother's name.
the midst of the wedding day we managed to have our Veteran's Day Parade.
A very patriotic event that we always have on Saturday instead of
the actual day, who knows why.
is a float that I always look for because I always see my Dad sitting
on it. Each year the group seems to be getting smaller.
was a good parade. I was happy to see lots of people
participating. I don't like to think that we would ever get
forget this day of remembrance.
Bean was our Lady Liberty again even though she had to use her walker.
You have met this happy lady often in our parades and she is just
as perky in person as you see her on my pages. A recent hip
replacement has made this local dancing lady have to engage the use of
the walker. She still runs her dance studio though. That
will be me in a few more years still running my art gallery.
wedding day arrived for a late afternoon wedding with continued
perfect weather. The sun was low and the wedding had been backed
up 30 minutes, because there was the fear there would be no time to
get photos with a 5pm wedding. With small weddings you can do
trio of local string musicians provided beautiful music for a close
group of friends and family. I love weddings which are simple
with the emphasis on making it a happy day and not a show for hundreds
tables at the Ocean Club at the Plantation were lovingly done by close
friends who only had about 30+ minutes to get all the decorating
done between closing the dining room and the start of the wedding.
I had borrowed shells from another friend who had used them in
her wedding, and using Debra's colors I stuffed them with
flowers. Others brought sand and shells collected from
the beach that morning and a simple flower of hydrangea made it a
beautiful setting. Swags of fabric, Spanish moss, and white light
then Boomer, their favorite horse on the island, showed up to take them
back to their honeymoon condo located nearby in a beautiful white
carriage. It was a grand wedding.
the wedding it was nose back to the grindstone. A shelf of glass
in its raw form is readied for the firing as I try to get the another
kiln load done for my gallery before Christmas. I had sold all
the Sea Turtles in my previous load. The glass I use is scraps
left over from breakage from glass blowers. The pieces are not
flat but pieces of a goblet, a bowl, or some other object which because
of some misfortune in the process, ended up breaking. Because the
pieces are rounded and odd shapes adds to the adventure of creating a
piece of recognizable art. This shelf is ready to be loaded into
the firing, and a day of cooling, the kiln is opened and it is time to see if it turned out.
Sometimes it does and sometimes it isn't quite so successful. It looks like
this one has turned out pretty OK. I will just add eyes and some gold paint pen
enhancement, a bright ribbon and they will be ready. Of course
there is also the unglamorous job of making any rough edges are
smoothed with my very high tech equipment, a whetstone I bought from the hardware
it was a whirlwind trip to East Tennessee and Thanksgiving with my
mom and Aunt Helen. The family all pitched in to see that it all
came together as Mom at 91 and Helen at 87 are about to the end of
preparing a dinner for 15 people without totally wearing out.
Julie carves the turkey while my brother, Gary's, girlfriend
supervises. The dishes are starting to move into serving places.
My mom's kitchen is tiny with only a small table in one end to
accomodate food, no real dining table. I thought it odd one time when
someone I knew said they could not invite anyone else for
Thanksgiving because there was no more room at the table. I had
never even thought of that as a criteria, because as you can see, once my
mom gets all the dishes she makes on the table, there is no room for the 15
people who were there.
school marm niece, Nicki, stirs up the ingredients for a recipe, while
Aunt Helen has a rather frantic look on her face. Helen lives with my
mom but is my dad's sister. She never had children of her own, but
we all look upon her as our second mom.
Jeremy and his wife Donna wait for the dinner bell. Actually we
don't really have a dinner bell. But the aroma of burning rolls
emitting from the kitchen announced it was time. It seems that
mom had tried to
hurry their baking with the new stove she got last year for her birthday, and since she has not quite
learned how it works, had burned the
bottoms but the tops were still delicious.
Raymond and wife Betty make their usual Thanksgiving appearance. Raymond is my dad's brother's only son. With both
parents dead he is our steady man on the scene with his daily calls to
check on the girls, Mom and Helen.
Gary, who works construction, jobs specializing in nuclear power
plants, is home from a job and although he sometimes has a special
"glow" about him he is a lot of fun. I chided his expanding
waistline by telling him
it looked like he had been eating a few too many meals with mom. He usually comes by for lunch each day when he is home.
Susan tried to find a place for another bowl of food, since girlfriend
Patsy had the idea that people should actually have a place to sit at
a table, had insisted on setting plates for people to actually
the table, making food room scare real estate. But Susan being a
supper duper real estate agent can figure out that kind of logistics.
We actually have our own way of doing things and what is
traditional for us is to fill a plate in the kitchen from the table and
stove, then take our food to the living room and front porch and
sitting wherever you can find a spot, laughing and talking
It is probably a pretty hickey way of doing things but the
fellowship and the food are more important then the formality of a
television Thanksgiving dinner.
was almost ready with the addition of a few more dishes. Of all
the people I did not get a picture of it was Mom. Think that
brings us down to two places for someone to sit.
serenades Helen with a song he wrote especially for her. Helen is
probably a full fledged hoarder. She will not turn loose or throw
away anything, especially if it is something someone gave her.
She is also a terrible clothes hound who just can't afford to
pass up a bargain (you just can't afford to not buy this...its such a
bargain). The song had to do with her
having "too much stuff" and the course of the song went something like
this. Helen has got too much stuff (except it was a different
word)...build a fire...Helen's got too much s... Helen thought it
was funny, she knows she has too much stuff. She just says we can
figure out what to do with it when she is gone, so we hope she lives
had a beautiful Thanksgiving sunset over Chimney Top, the mountain I
had grown up watching sunsets over for most of my early years, at least
from 4th grade on.
drive back across the beautiful Tennessee/North Carolina Mountains remind me of how
very gray they are in winter time. I almost forget that after living where
it never really looses its green color.
got back to Fernandina just in time to catch the Christmas Tree
lighting downtown in the Historic District. Mr. and Mrs. Claus
had arrived earlier in the day to greet children and pose for photos,
taking time out from their pre-Christmas vacation on our island.
flock of birds, probably Pelicans fly into the sunset over the Marina
while we wait for the entertainment which will precede the tree
As always pirates are in attendance...
...and youngsters provide part of the Christmas program.
and Joey, some of our local talent, regale us with Christmas Songs.
They have done a great, very professional, video of Gospel Music that you should
catch on UTube. "I grew up on gospel" can be seen and heard by
following this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXt98rBzcvc.
Our tree, the flag, and a full moon on a warm Thanksgiving back home in my town.
happened to catch this gorgeous sunset on his way from the gallery on
the last Monday in the month of November. It was a definite 10.
I could see from my backyard, as I worked setting out some new
Butterfly Weed, that it was going to be a winner, but I was too
busy to chase it down. I'm glad that Bruce took the time to
head down to the waterfront for some great shots as it happened.
A winner for sure.
And finally I have caught up
after the loss of part of the summer with back pain that pain almost
put me out of commission for a while. It is better now
although not gone. It is manageable. With some adjustments
it seems it is something I will just live with. I have found that Thoracic
disc problems are not an easy fix. Surgery there is out of the
question. Major surgery and cracking my chest was not an option I
or any doctor would tackle. So making the best of it and working
closely with the pain clinic to keep it as good as it can be. Man,
getting old is not for the faint of heart, as my friend Steve's
birthday card said "Getting older is like frying bacon in the nude.
You know its going to hurt you just don't know where" I
might revise that to say, "you don't know where its going to hurt
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