A sketch of my life . . . . .


I am in Paradise again, for the winter, and of course it is beautiful here, as always. Yet year after year I manage to dream up some little flaw to color my experience. This year it was a visit to the Urgent Care Center because my leg had turned bright red. I knew at .once it was cellulitis, a rather serious condition, because it happened to me once before.

I was lucky to miss being sent to the hospital and ended up at home on antibiotics . . and on the couch with my leg up on pillows. Not too bad for watching TV, but with the TV climate right now I didn’t find that an uplifting place to be. So I found I could write with my computer on top of my lower abdomen and I wrote a couple of new pieces for the book, which is finally shaping up.

I had signed up for a class in sketching, right next door in a community center. I had bought a small sketching kit and the class was to be yesterday. But of course I couldn’t go. Today the leg has improved. I went out to the lanai where I could still elevate my leg. I took my tablet and some sketching pencils and decided I would draw what I saw in front of me. I actually made a few strokes on paper and then I thought “Are you out of your mind? In front of you is the ocean, the beach, lots of trees, a big church, a big hotel, 2 streets full of traffic, a swimming pool, a tennis court, and way to the left a large park and, finally, Diamondhead.. And you, Doris Markland, don’t even know how to draw a leaf.”

I guess that is a lesson that some of us have to learn over and over. I remember the first meal I cooked for my husband. Gene and I were just engaged. I was living in someone’s home, where I had my own bedroom and bath, and that was all. The landlady told me I could use her kitchen for some special occasion. And this was it. I would cook a meal for my husband-to-be. Some years before I had done some cooking at home but I don’t remember that I planned and cooked an entire meal.

Now I learned there’s an art to planning things that taste good together, that can be done about the same time, and that your guest might enjoy. Furthermore I was in someone else’s kitchen and I didn’t know where things were.

But I got through it, and Gene said the meal was wonderful. It wasn’t. The pork chops were tough, the escalloped potatoes not quit done, and the creamed carrots were lumpy.

In retrospect I wondered why I hadn’t started a little smaller. I could have made him a sandwich.

Still, when you age and find time going by you so swiftly, you are more likely to jump into something and give it a try. What do you have to lose? So I’ll sketch next week, and for starters it will probably be a leaf..