School supplies for Mom

The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step.” — Julia Cameron

Remember the late-summer thrill of buying notebooks, Magic Markers, and bright yellow Ticonderoga pencils for a new year of grade school? And who could forget the incomparable scent of a fresh box of Crayolas? For me, the ritual of buying school supplies softened the hard reality of summer’s end.

Even if your kids have flown from the nest, the beginning of the new school year still inspires personal growth and renewal.

Is there a dormant passion you’d like to rekindle? A hobby waiting for you to explore? My new column on Royal Oak Patch details the first season my son left home for college, and how I started a new “term” in the school of lifelong learning. Included with the essay are several photos of my art projects.  Please click here to read it. — Cindy La Ferle

Flushing out the holiday

A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.” — Morris Fishbein

So, how did you spend your Christmas vacation? Did you visit out-of-town relatives, take a trip to a warmer climate, or did you gather ’round the fireplace at home? True confessions: Our family’s Christmas holiday was intense, to say the least. You can read more about it in this week’s “Our Town” column on Royal Oak Patch. Wishing you a happy — and healthy — New Year! — CL