Finding the Painting

As I wrote in my Happiness post the other day, joy came to me when I found the painting. Vague, huh?
Because it has a story. I’m sure it has a much longer, more interesting story before my section of its story came to be, but no one seems to know it, so here is my version:

In the late 90’s, I took Tori to my grandparents’ lake house, where I spent many a childhood summer. Since we had almost no furniture in our townhouse, my grandmother encouraged us to take some while we were there. The back of Tori’s SUV wasn’t empty enough to snag a sofa, but I mentioned to my grandmother that there was a painting I wanted.
I described the painting, “It’s a little white house on a dirt drive? There’s a bush in the foreground, looks like a man’s coming out of it? It used to hang over my bed? I would wake up to it every morning?” My grandmother was completely puzzled, but she said to try looking in the basement, and to take anything else we wanted while we were down there. Well, yeah, forty years of lake living and never pitching a thing made for quite a search! We didn’t find the painting.
I moped a bit.

When my grandmother passed, The Mister and I made another search for that painting, and turned up empty-handed.
My parents asked me if there was anything else I wanted. I did not want anything else. I wanted that painting.

There was an estate sale the following summer, and my parents set aside a pile of things they thought I might like. Not one of them was the painting, and like I said, I didn’t want anything else.
In the pile of stuff they thought I might like was a large photograph of toddler me, in my overalls and sprouts of ponytails. (It has a story too, but I’m not telling you that one today.)

Why my mother thought I wanted this, I could not fathom. She didn’t even lie to me and say that everyone in the family fought over my incredible cuteness or anything. If she didn’t want it and no one even tried to beat her down and take it, why would I want it?
I did, however, think MIL would like it for her baby wall, and my mother said that was fine.
My MIL wasn’t my MIL then, but I was like her third kid, and it seemed only fair that my cuteness should hang on the baby wall, too.

Years later, MIL took this photo of Sassy and Moo in front of pictures of The Mister and Me, so we could all see how much Sassy looks like her father and how much Moo looks like her mother (in case we were all blind):

newsflash: our children look like us

newsflash: our children look like us

Then, we recreated this photo with toddler Moo:

totally my kid

totally my kid

Isn’t that nice?
It’s no wonder Moo thinks all my childhood photos are of her. Of course, she also thinks that The Golden Girls are people she met at Grandma’s house…

Anyway, my mother used to paint over photos, giving them greater dimension and a bit of a sheen. I dunno, I think it was a 70’s thing, or somethin. I dunno, my mother is ridiculously talented. MIL needed the little me portrait framed in glass to match the other photos on the baby wall, so …

Guess what was behind that unnecessarily large portrait of me?



It was destined to be mine.

I know, I know, you’re all like, “What’s so special about the painting?” I have no idea. I just love it. Always have. I don’t think it’s valuable to anyone except me. When people ask what I would take from my burning house? This painting.

If the fire was clearly unstoppable, I’d prolly ask the firefighters to throw my dining table out the picture window, too, but I’d for damn sure save this painting.

Have you ever had to hunt down your heirlooms? Do your parents have grossly large portraits of baby you? Do you want to tell me about your prized possessions?

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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27 Responses to Finding the Painting

  1. That was a great story. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely story. i definitely think it was meant to be that you ended up with that painting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    How cool that it was behind your picture the whole time! Makes it all that more special.

    My grandmother had a painting of a mother and child walking down a rainy street that hung over her couch for years. I always loved that painting, even though looking back now, I’m sure it was a cheap purchase she’d picked up somewhere. But I wish I could’ve had it. I have no idea where it ended up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would be really neat if you could find that painting.
      I think mine was painted by someone she knew, but like I said, I have very little information on it. I always think I’ll look the artist up, but I never try, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dan Antion says:

    I like the painting. Im n


  5. Dan Antion says:

    Ok. My fat fingers at work. Here’s attempt #2. I like the psinting. I’m not sure I’d risk life and limb for it but I can see why you would want it. As for baby pictures, I was kid number two when film was expensive. I guess it was a choice between my formula or pictures. Lots of pics of older brother. Not many of me. Oh well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I understand your sadness about the lack of photos. I’ve heard this from many people, and feel sorry for my first two not being born in a digital age 😉 We still have three rolls of film undeveloped. One is from Iraq and one is from the summer of 2006, no one knows what’s on the third…One day…
      I’m glad you like the painting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. cardamone5 says:

    This is a lovely, and inventive post. I am so glad you found the painting.

    My father sent me all my baby photos during a three year stint when we weren’t talking (such a subtle and classy move.) Of course, I’ve countered with some equally nasty and unsubtle counteractions.

    There is supposedly a portrait of my mother painted by my paternal great aunt that is in my grandmother’s possession. My father is the one who made me aware of this and nagged me that I should have it. I asked my grandma about it, but she doesn’t know where it is. I am headed to her house for a memorial service for my step grandpa this weekend, and am tempted to look for it, but, honestly, I think it would be thoughtless given she is dying. I would love to have that portrait, although I don’t know if it still exists or what it looks like.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I desperately want you to look for it while it may still be there, Elizabeth. It is not thoughtless. Given the situation, it would at least be wise to mention how much you’d like to preserve it for posterity. ❤


  7. Wonderful! Just wonderful. That story gave me chills and I love the painting. I would hang it proudly in my house. As to heirlooms…well, there are lots of things I treasure from my family’s past especially from the German side. I suppose the letters I have written in my grandparent’s spidery old-fashioned German script are most important to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hollie says:

    What an awesome story, destined to be yours for sure! So, so cute that Moo thinks the Golden Girls are friends of your Grandmother’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not the kind of person who gets heirlooms. I’m the least favorite child of two least favorite children… not much trickles down that far. When my grandmother died, my grandfather gave me one of her aprons. That tells you everything you need to know about his view of women. I threw it away. I did manage to get one of my favorite things from my mom’s house, but it wasn’t given to me. I stole it. It wasn’t one of those “hey, I’m stealing this, okay?” kinds of theft. I really, truly stole it. It’s a hand carved wooden face with Tanganyika carved into the back, and no other markings. When I was little I was afraid of it, and wouldn’t go into the same room with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Veronica says:

    I love your baby portraits! Your little Moo is adorable! Unfortunately, most of our family treasures were thrown away when my parents moved out west. I wish that I kept all my Hello Kitty trinkets. I had a whole collection of jewelry and storage boxes… just random cuteness. Glad you found your painting. I like it. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sammy D. says:

    Such a heartwarming little story with darling toddlers in two generations. i TOTALLY relate to your emotional attachment to a painting, and I am thrilled that you found it. I’ve yearned for a specific book of my grandmother’s that disappeared long before I was old enough to declare my affinity for it or have a voice in what was saved when she died. You know how I feel …

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Its a lovely story and you can’t put a price on things which hold memories for you. Perhaps the fates were smiling at you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elle Knowles says:

    Yay! So glad it turned up! Who would have thought? ~Elle


  14. lbeth1950 says:

    I guess it wanted you too. Those pics are precious.


  15. suzjones says:

    How wonderful. 🙂


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