The folks in the little blue house at the end of the road are enjoying some rest and quiet time this Sunday afternoon.
We were covered up with work around here last week.
Paul is focusing on the oil painting he is working on. He has enjoyed the art of painting for many years.
Christmas of 1978, I gifted him with a Paint by Numbers kit that contained a canvas of "The Last Supper."
The fact is, when I was a kid, paints and similar kits were favorite Christmas gifts I received more than twice.
I knew my choice was an unusual gift to give someone that never showed an interest in art other than in a museum in the states, in books or during his tours of duty abroad.
He opened the box, neither rolled his eyes nor made comment in either direction.
Time passed and still the box sat on the shelf undisturbed. I began to think the gift was a mistake.
Just about that time, I decided to apply the vivid colored paint to the canvas myself.
Before my left hand could grab a brush and my eyes could scan the plan, Paul made his move toward the picture.
He decided to take matters into his own hands and began to work his way around the bountiful table.
Armed with his early grade school teachings and memories of the "Puzzle Page" works, crayoned in and penciled, no lines experienced mess-ups -- the picture was still perfect and beautiful.
He gave the project his all.
Because of that special, but simple gift, Paul began to draw and paint without the help of numbers.
I observed he was blessed with a God-given talent that was worthy of further exploration and study. Clearly, he truly enjoyed the art of painting.
In 1979, Paul began taking correspondence courses, saw the work to completion and earned high marks for his endeavors.
The other day, I suggested Paul should help clean his main closet. As we were checking out the art associated books and blank and finished canvases on the top shelf, we came across a 16-by-20 portrait he sketched and painted of me for a class project in 1979.
The twin images are in black and white and/or color. The likeness of his subject is striking. The grade was an "A."
Of course, all of his necessary information was written on the back.
Only one thing was wrong: The budding artist did not sign the front.
So it is, 33 years later, at my request, the aging "Master" painter of this household placed his "John Henry" just above the bottom right-hand corner of the walnut framed picture of his "twins" hanging on my bedroom wall.
This goofy night owl must admit I become a wee bit spooked when two more of yours truly are watching me in the middle of the night. Whenever a little bit of light from the window wakes up those smiles, I hide this head beneath the top sheet.
I swore off a TV show called "Ghost Adventures" after I experienced the first frightening nightmares I have been a victim of in a long spell.
Now all of those big, so-called "bedroom eyes" that I do not need to squint to recognize scares what little bit remaining of my wits out of me.
Come on now, you know what I mean. When a dog sees its own image in a mirror, he or she starts barking or growling. As for me, I am a dreamer and that is bad.
When I lived on Alabama Street, I placed two large prints on the paneled hall walls. I appreciated the ornately framed vintage pictures.
Our girls hated the male subjects, dressed in finery, be suitable of royalty.
The sisters claimed the eyes followed them.
They didn't give a hoot about the significance of the reproductions of fine art at the time.
The yard sale put an end to their fears. A widow woman bought the pair. The big brown wandering eyes sold themselves.
Starla and Lori are so proud of their father and they shine in his eyes as well.
Father's Day is set aside to honor our dads, and that we do. But, in their eyes, none are more worthy than theirs.
He is so pleased they display his paintings in their beautifully appointed homes and request more of the same.
Both girls are gifted painters and crafters. Lori is into abstract art and Starla paints breathtaking images of natural beauty in acrylics as well.
Each of their children and our eldest greats have artistic interests and proven abilities, also.
I like to think I deserve some credit for all of that with the introduction of that low-cost paint kit. I planted the first seed.
A gesture of good intention so simple and sweet bloomed into a colorful bouquet of talent -- picture perfect. But the truth is, it was heaven sent.
Thank you, Paul, for being such a good father to our children. You deserve a special day.
Happy Father's Day to all.
And to all of those fathers whom we are remembering in spirit, "May the good Lord bless and keep you until we meet again."
I will always love you dad.
I can be reached by phone at 446-4852 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.