When Betty and I are not on the road

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Ever since Betty and I found each other, I have done my best to be on the road as much of the time as possible between May and September. When I was working full-time, I would add a vacation day to a several weekends and meet up with friends. A week or two travelling with my sister to meet up with siblings somewhere a bit more exotic than Edmonton was something that happened most summers. So did multiple days of camping with friends. In the past two years, I enjoyed several road trips on my own.

This summer, Betty and I are taking a break from the road. Travelling and camping on my own can be a bit lonely at times. That is okay and certainly manageable when I am wanting to get away from daily commitments, get outdoors, get quiet. With COVID 19. I have already had lots of time to be on my own (like many others). Now that a little more social gathering is possible, I want to be around, see people, connect safely with family and friends. So Betty is staying safe and being physically distant while I find places to be and things to do this summer.

In this and future blogs, I’ll share how a summer without Travels with Betty is going
Drive in the country
It started with a quick shopping trip to Leduc. Heading out from the store, the late afternoon sun and warm breeze prompted me to head west on Highway 39. In a short while, the sign for Telford Community Hall appeared. Why not? It was only 15 kilometres so I turned south on to the gravel road. I was a pokey driver on the gravel road because there was no one else heading in the same direction, I was in no hurry and I wanted to have my windows down.

canola field2The views were breathtaking with the colours of blue sky against deeply rich green trees and grass, and the bright yellow canola. I did find the hall and it looks like it serves the community well, but the gates were locked so I carried on. Meandering my way west then north, I came across the signs for Rabbit Hill Ski Club and Shalom Park. It has been quite some time since I skied there and thought I would check it out. It was on the final part of the road before turning into the park that I had to stop and take pictures of the scenery so typical of Leduc County farms this time of year. Ahh, Alberta countryside in the summer cannot be beat.

TELFORD HALL website link:

Watercolor painting classes on line
For a few years, I have taken acrylic or watercolor painting courses once a week at local community locations. It was always fun to be with people for 3 or 4 hours, creating our own masterpieces, chatting in between. Physical distancing has put that activity on hold.Painting a Pear

I hardly miss the classes now. Surfing the web one day in March, I came across a website offering two free watercolor painting tutorials. I was transfixed by how detailed the pear painting was on annamasonart.com where Anna hosts an on-line painting school. Wanting to be able to paint a pear like that, I immediately registered for the tutorial. The timeframe says 3 to 4 hours, but over several days I probably spent 3 to 4 hours on each day, watching the steps Anna took with mixing paint and talking about tone and the importance of seeing the light, medium and dark colours.

I was so proud of my first attempt at a pear painting, that when an offer came to join for a year at 50% off (about $70 and cheaper than any 4-week painting class I have taken so far) I signed up. Now I am six paintings in and have a photo album on my coffee table with realistic-looking watercolor vegetables and flowers. The detailed instruction works for me as does the pace.. I do not even negatively compare my painting to others in the class who are more experienced than I because there are no other students at my kitchen table.

Anna Mason’s on-line school website link:
More to come…

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