Jack and I were NOMADS for over 10 years. When we met I had never traveled much, so Jack suggested that we go live in places people visit on vacation. I was still doing Medical Illustration at the time, as well as painting for a couple of galleries. Jack was also painting. The galleries and publishers didn’t care where we lived, as long as they received illustrations and paintings when they needed them! We got rid of all of our stuff except necessary papers and tax records. Stored those and then everything we needed fit in or on top of our Ford Explorer, LILY!
This was taken on arrival at the Motel 6 in St. Augustine, Florida. That was the best we could afford at the time. We would unload our stuff in the small room, set up and get to work. Then in the evenings we would explore our new hometown!
When we got ready to leave St. Augustine we were headed up the east coast; heavy rains were forecast. So Jack made a HUGE envelope out of a tarp. Then loaded all of our “top of the car” stuff in it. Of course our theme song was Willie Nelson’s ON THE ROAD AGAIN. When it came on the radio we’d belt it out at the top of our lungs. Glad no one could hear, we were awful. If you like to look at any of the pictures larger, just click on the image.
Here we are packed and making one last visit to the beach before driving north on I-95! It’s funny, I can look at the load and remember exactly where we were. The loads were always different, depending on the art supplies we had at the time of pulling up stakes and heading down the road again.
Ready to leave Galveston, Texas to head east to Cocoa Beach. Galveston was a fun place to live, we had a loft studio on the top of an old, historic building overlooking the Tremont House and the Strand in downtown. All the parades went right under our windows, Mardi Gras was incredible! Our six months in this wonderful island community went way too fast. The big round bundle hanging over the front windshield is a beach inspired comforter we purchased there. We may have been nomads but I wasn’t ready to give that up!
After staying on the “Space Coast” of Florida for a while we started west. We were going to California. But when we stopped in Midland, Texas to get gas Jack said, “Let’s stay here for 6 months”. At first I thought he was nuts, I had never considered Midland a Vacation Spot! But stay we did and it was one of my favorite places, the people in West Texas are incredibly friendly. We set up in an unfurnished condo, using cardboard boxes for tables and folding chairs to sit in. After unloading all of the crates, we put them on the floor, put two doors down and purchased a mattress to go on top of them. That was our bed. When we left we gave the mattress to Good Will, the little bench to our neighbors who had become good friends by then and headed out to California.
Finally, California. Seaside, right near Carmel. We leased a home on Monterey Bay, right on the water. Talk about amazing. The waves were massive, we could watch grey whales feeding out our studio window and listen to sea otters cracking abalone shells! It was a dream place, but so cold.We had to bundle up to walk on the beach. Jack and I are warm weather people, so after several months enjoying the Pacific Ocean we decided to go to Long Boat Key, right off the coast of Sarasota, Florida.
This was taken on another trip in Lexington, Kentucky. We spent a week at the Kentucky Horse Park before going to Louisville for the Derby. We didn’t have a clue how sleazy this motel was when we first arrived. After getting the car unpacked and all set up we found it fascinating that people were in and out of rooms quickly. I had to go to the office for some extra towels, there I saw a man and woman renting a room. I overheard them tell the desk clerk they only needed the room for two hours. He quite calmly said, “OK, here is our hourly rate!” OOPPPSS! But since we were already unpacked and there were no other rooms available in town we decided to stay. We had no problems, I think every one thought we were crazy artists and left us alone! Jack was proud of his packing job, also I have a feeling he was glad to be leaving our temporary home!
During all of the years we were together Jack and I would analyze the sky as we drove. What colors we’d use to paint the sky in different circumstances, paint mixtures, etc. Many times when the sun spotlighted a cloud he would remark, “Wow, the view from up there must be incredible!” As I was brushing Sissie yesterday morning the clouds were dark, then the sun came out and lit up the top of just one. I know God brought out His laser beam to highlight this cloud. I have a feeling He was showing me exactly where Jack was, enjoying the view and basking in His light. I waved and blew Jack a kiss. Just thought you’d enjoy sharing in some wonderful memories! We’ll be painting again in our next session. With BIG HUGS,