Ten years ago I made a winter journey down the Shenandoah Valley to visit friends and see the beautiful countryside off-season. One day I stayed at the house of one of my friends' parents. At that point the lady of the house had passed away and her husband maintained it himself. The house was full of handmade treasures, and was decorated for the Christmas season with home-made paintings and crafts. In the parlor and dining room, there was an old black iron stove which once had provided heat but was now decommissioned. On top of the old stove was a miniature artificial Christmas tree just like the one I have displayed for more than 25 years in my own home.
I am told that this family actually behaved decently during the holidays. From what I remember of them, I believe it. Imagine a warm and welcoming Christmas where commercialized illusions and cliche's were transcended by reality. The people are gone and the house is in other hands now, but I remember their hospitality with this little drawing which I did on site many winters ago.
Brown ink and colored pencil on sketchbook page, 5" x 9", December 15, 2004.