Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me and Doug!

Horizon Lines (41), 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 36x48

Well today, August 12, is an interesting day, in that it a. is mine and Doug's wedding anniversary and b. has been exactly one year since my youngest daughter was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.

Because both events happened on the same day last year, it is easy for me to look back at the whole year and see and hopefully come to some sort of understanding about it all.

Last summer my sales began to really slow down and the first of several galleries closed, leaving me with very few projects on my studio schedule. At first I enjoyed the extra time, I had grand plans to paint other subject matter (I did that, but not to the extent that I had hoped to), totally reorganize my entire house, clean out our barn, begin working on a neglected flower garden on our property and any number of other things that I had always wanted to do but never had time for because I was so busy in my studio. But when Ginger got sick last August, I began to get lost. Gradually I gave up many of the things I draw energy from (painting, knitting, reading, gardening) and spent way too much aimless time on the computer and worrying. I was in such a funk!

And of course this affected my relationship with Doug. We have now been married 16 years (together 21) and every year but two have been amazing and wondrous even. So when we hit the rough patches, we both tend to overreact, from shock, maybe, because mostly we are so happy together and have always been a great team.

Anyway, I am beyond thankful that we are back on track even if we aren't actually together on our anniversary, for the second year in a row. He and Julien are out digging fossils at his quarry in Wyoming (last year he was on the same trip but cut it short when Ginger was in the hospital), they only had a short window of time to be out there this summer and this was the week. But that's ok, I went to the mall today and Doug bought me a new stereo with an iPod dock for my studio. Heh.

And in the last month or so I have been nearly brimming with a new energy for everything. I am excited about some new work I have been doing and have been working in the studio almost everyday, my gardens are shaping up despite the slow start last spring (while I was wringing my hands) and I am busy with all the little projects around the house that I have been ignoring for so long. I think I have read at least five books in the last few weeks and yesterday I pulled out some yarn for a new knitting project.

The only thing that still escapes my day is posting here more often, but I might have to blame Facebook for that. Well and maybe Bush too, because he is a very handy scapegoat, hehe.

I guess this qualifies a bad year for me, but it could have been way, WAY worse and I am very thankful that it wasn't. Ginger is fine, my marriage is fine and I feel like I have a slightly improved version of myself back. I think I have learned a thing or two about a thing or two.

So it's all good......


M.A.H. said...


Denise R said...

I am glad to hear you are on an "up" time! It is so easy to slip into times like you describe for many of us. I, too, have had times like that and it is always nice to come into better and more productive times! And also, Happy Anniversary to you and Doug! Me and my husband celebrated our 25th anniversary last month and is nice to have a great relationship like ours in my life.

Natalya said...

I am very happy for you Tracy! congrats!

Claire said...

Hi Tracy, I've been reading your blog for years and I'm so glad things have been getting better for you lately (I was so bummed when you mentioned your separation but it feels weird to comment about it since I don't know you in real life...)

I can understand how the illness of Ginger caused a big bump... my nephew is autistic and it knocked the stuffing out of my sister for many, many years(she is a painter too)

I look forward to reading of your work and your family for many years to come.

Robyn said...

Happy anniversary to your both, Tracy and congratulations on finding each other in the first place.

It's a very bumpy time for everyone but your talent and vitality are rock solid. In fact you are amazing :)

Kim Hambric said...

I can't help but think that the map for a marriage (always made in hindsight) must look a lot like a flood map for a river. Some years are normal, some years it floods, there's probably going to be year for a 30-year flood or a 100-year flood. Often things go back to normal quickly. Sometimes the flooded area is still rich and fertile, but now new things grow there and the old things are dead. Sometimes people write lengthy comparisons such as this and others get irritated by such comparisons. Oh well.

Happy anniversary! Happy 364 non-anniversary days.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...


be*mused jan said...

Happy Anniversary to you both, Tracy. I'm a long time reader (and happy owner of one of your lovely little paintings!) and I, too, was so sad to hear your recent news. I'm happy that things have worked out and hope that your relationship is stronger now for having experienced a difficult time yet emerging together on the other side.

Rob Ross said...


Wow, what a year it's been! Did you know that our newest Supreme Court Justice, Sonya Sotomayor, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when she was 8 years old? Not that I would wish anything as drastic as a judgeship on Ginger, but it just goes to show that she can have a long, full life in spite of her diabetes. Love your paintings and your spirit!

Ruth Armitage said...

Happy Anniversary Tracy! I take great comfort in hearing about your journey through creative and personal ups & downs. You are an inspiration with all you do!

madcitygirl said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Doug! My parents also celebrate their anniversary on August 12 -- yesterday was their 48th!

Deborah Paris said...

So happy to hear things are on the upswing and all is well between you two. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for many more!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary and thanks for your candor in these posts. I really appreciate reading what you're up to---all the ups and downs.

Bravo for all you've done and will do. Best of luck for next year's anniversary that you'll be together. :)

Tracy said...

Thanks Mary and I can't recall how to make the check mark anymore, went to do one recently and couldn't!!!

Thanks Denise, i am glad too. I know things could have been worse but I am happy to be happy again. And congrats on your 25th, so awesome!

Thanks so much, Natalya!

Claire, I know, it was strange to talk about it in such a public forum, and especially since we got back on track within a few days of that. (I have been slapping my forehead ever since I brought it up!) And while I am sorry to hear about your nephew, it is comforting to know that someone else got their stuffing knocked around too ;) Thanks for mentioning it.

Robyn, thanks, I am very lucky to have found Doug and am glad we have decided to keep each other ;)

Kim, That is a wonderful comparison and very true. Thank you! I think since Doug and I usually are so happy together, we lose sight of the map when we aren't. I hope we have more faith in it next time;)

Um, is that a good wow, G? Or a bad wow? ;)

Thanks Jan, they tell me we will have a better relationship after going through a tough time and I too hope that is true')

Rob, I had not heard that she has diabetes but am so glad to know! It was a pretty exciting day around here when soon after Ginger was diagnosed, Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brother went public with his diabetes;) It helped A LOT!

Ruth, thanks and I guess that is one of the reasons I finally did mention the separation here, it was affecting my work and well, that's what this blog is mostly about; the ups and downs of being a painter.

Thanks madcitygirl and congrats to your parents, 48 years is amazing!

Thanks Deborah!

And thanks Kim, I appreciate your kind words.

Anonymous said...

How cool that you can look back and know you have both overcome the obstacles. May this year bring love, laughter and health to the three of you.

Martha Marshall said...

Tracy, I got way behind on my favorite blog reads and didn't know until now that you were having a difficult time. I agree that the stuff of life affects our art, and you were brave to talk about it so openly. I'm so happy that things are settling down a bit for you. Sounds like it's all headed in a positive direction.

I know what you mean by Facebook becoming a . . . er, distraction of sorts. Though I'm thinking it's just another great networking tool for artists (and everybody else.)

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Doug...glad to hear you are feeling positive again. we share the same date of anniversary;our wedding date: Aug 12, 1978.

Aliaena said...

Hi Tracy,

First of all many congratulations(!!!) on your wedding anniversary and the great news that you and your husband are doing better together, and that your daughter's health is good now. I've been reading your blog for a few months and was really sad to read your post re the possible separation, but didn't leave a comment because it felt a bit invasive, since we've never had any direct contact. But please accept my best wishes for you and yours in all ways to you in the futures.

Second, I was on vacation out in the deep countryside in France last week and wanted to show an old friend my new art blog - what a surprise to see a bunch of links from Steven LaRose' s site and to read that you had sent him a link to mine! Thanks so much - I was really surprised and honoured! I find your art very beautiful and am inspired by your use of colour - it was surprising to realise you had taken notice of my work. Thank you very much for passing the link along.

Wishing you all the very best in the future - all the best regards, Aliaena

Jack said...

Belated wishes..Happy Anniversary to you both..congrats as well..keep going..

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