come in many forms and shapes, and for me, the past several days, they've been in a box.
Friends at Dayspring church of Christ in Edmond asked me to decorate their new Blessings Box, a gift to community people who may need help in these difficult times.
These generous people built the box, painted it blue and yellow and erected it in early March on their property on Chowning Ave., northeast of UCO.
They, and others, stock it with food, free to whoever need it. Member Scott Hale did the lettering.
"Paint something whimsical,"--not a landscape--was my only direction from members David Lowry and Cary Williams.
That took some time to sink in, think about and search for possibilities. Then I measured the sides, 30" by 29" on the back, sides about 13" by 14". Plus a triangle over the doors. Once I decided on flowers, I did rough scaled grid sketches on paper, chose colors--purple, red, orange, blue, green, white, plus the yellow of the box. I also kept a few plastic containers from home for mixing colors like grays, dark green, red orange.
I penciled in a rough grid on the box, and tried to think about sequence of painting. I penciled in the rough shapes of the possible flowers on the box grid from my paper sketches.
March weather didn't cooperate, first with wind, almost constantly, and then with cold or wet weather on alternating days. One bad omen delayed the first day on March 9. On the way to try to start seriously one sunny, but windy morning, I turned the corner and heard something fall over in the back of the car. When I stopped, I found that most of the remaining gallon of yellow paint had spilled onto the vinyl mat in the back of my Subaru.
I hope God forgives a few expletives that result when you're on a mission. Back home, it took an hour and a half, lots of water, rags, steel brush and scrubbing to clean up the car, and me.
The first two or three complete days were basics, shapes and so forth. The last complete day was when "whimsy" set in, some fun and real creativity. Yesterday was completion day, touch ups and final details.
While I was painting, some UCO students would come by and comment, smiling, and say "God bless you." One lady with a little dog walked over from her nearby department, praised my work, and said she was so glad to see such a project, noting that there had been a time when she'd needed such help. She put a few groceries in the box.
So here are the results, a blessing for my spirit in these times.