August 31, 2010. Obereggenen, Germany. I like the names of these little German villages. This particular one is just up the road from us, and I had a free moment to go and sketch it today. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind, as we flew back to California for four days to attend the memorial service for Claire, then returned for the opening ceremonies of the school year. Although my heart has been heavy at the loss of my brother/cousin's wife, I was very encouraged to see the love and support of so many good friends from their church. Claire was only 35 years old when she entered eternity, but she lived her life showing love to those around her. Three weeks before she passed away, she planned out her own memorial service, which was a gift to those she loved most. The message and the music were a testimony to God's grace and faithfulness. I consider myself privileged to have known you, Claire. Our prayers are with you now, Cam, as you look to God for your strength and hope.
August 15, 2010. We had heavy hearts the last couple of days. Our dear Claire passed from this life after her long struggle with cancer, yet at such a young age. She married into our family and brought compassion, joy, a deep love for God, and a spirit of excitement wherever she went. She taught us how to endure difficulties, how to smile through trials, and how to trust God in the shadow of death. We love you, Claire, and we long for the day we will be with you again after this life is over.
August 12, 2010. The winner of the last post was Ryan, who found the location of the drawing to be Bilbao, Spain. That means that one of the artists listed on my blog list lives near that area, if you want to give it a try. I'm not sure what kind of prize I will give Ryan. If you have any ideas, let me know. Maybe I should do a new cartoon of him for his profile photo. Here's a sketch of somewhere near Mexico City. As usual, I have chosen a well-worn architectural scene with unusual characteristics, which seem to be my favorite.
August 9, 2010. I did this drawing today just to see if anyone can figure out what city this is. As you might know, I'm a teacher, and I do goofy things like this every now and then to mix it up. By way of a clue, I've never been to this city, but I know for certain that one of the readers of this blog lives near this spot. (And, by the way, I also know for certain there are at least 2 people who follow my blog. One of you, a complete stranger, walked up to me the other day, introduced yourself, and said you enjoy reading the blog. I won't mention your name, but I will say that you are from Houston, and this is definitely not Houston.)
August 8, 2010. (Updated post) So my daughter's 16th birthday party went well. I asked some of her friends how they prepared for the 80's theme, and a couple of them said that they looked up the movie "Grease" on you-tube. We had to explain that while that movie did perhaps have a strong impact on the kids of the 80's, the fashions were about 30 years off. Nevertheless, everyone came looking like the cast of Breakfast Club, and a great time was had by all, so they used to say. They're a great bunch of kids who are good friends, and we like them all. It's pretty cool when you see a group of high schoolers who don't need to smoke pot and chug beers to have a good time. I thank God for my daughter. She's a gem, and I wish I could freeze time, as I am realizing how fast these years are going... and on that subject, I realized today that I am almost the age my dad was when I got married. (Ack!) So, here's the quote for today from H. H. "Breaker" Morant: "Live every day as if it were your last, and then some day you'll be right." (I know, it's a little morose, but I'm a firm believer that funerals are sometimes the best reveilles.)
August 3, 2010. I lost track of time with this one. I started after dinner and kept drawing until 2 am. Time to call it a day. My daughter's still awake, planning her 16th birthday party with her friend. Big stuff. She's going for an 80's theme- you know, back in the old days. She was playing old 80's tunes downstairs and I found myself singing along. Pathetic. (Later): Some explanation for this drawing- I am not in LA right now, like this would suggest. Someone tipped me off to something called "google street view," so I looked it up and instantly loved it. I found myself cruising down the streets of Southern CA, finding my old houses and haunts. And then I got my sketchbook out and started drawing a typical scene from downtown. Way too fun. I wish they had this for Germany.