I Traded in My Blue Suede Shoes for Ruby Slippers

If you have been following long you know I have been singing the blues since August when we left our home of 17 years, our adult children, our parents and moved to Cordova, TN so my husband could go back to school. I have tried to be brave, daring, strong and inventive since I have been here but it has been a roller coaster of effort.  Sometimes good, sometimes not so much.  I am happy to say that fitness has been on the agenda though since the first week I arrived, suitcase in tow, moving truck unloading all my favorite things into this strange new environment.

But, drumroll please, I am now a contributing partner in my community, I HAVE A JOB! I am working as a painting instructor for the franchised, Painting with a Twist. Its only part time and I won't get rich but it is a way to be involved. My AA connection told me the other day that to be happy and fulfilled AA suggests you "Find something bigger than yourself and get involved".  That is how I feel - I feel happy and excited because now I'm not just here taking up space and keeping a 1,000 square foot apartment clean (yawn), I have a purpose. 

Some folks (art snobs) might think working at a studio that teaches the general public how to paint a predesigned piece is beneath them, a job anyone could do.  And while I admit, anyone with any skill or training could do this, I think it is of great importance.  People who have never tried their hand at painting may appreciate a Monet or a Michelangelo but having looked at a blank canvas and felt the weight of trying to create something pleasing, they can appreciate fine art so much more.  I love it! Or a woman with a stressful job can come in and paint for two hours, leave her cares at the door and go home with a creation all her own and a renewal in her spirit from a shared creative experience. I love this too!  I don't know if I have ever been this excited about a job!

Today I feel like Dorothy. I have been travelling this crazy path in a foreign land. I may not have a witch after me but I have felt the fear of the unknown and the overwhelming sadness of being out of my familiar surroundings with my loved ones. I have that realization, "I don't think we are in Kansas anymore". I have met a few friends while on the path and they have lightened my load as I have lightened theirs. I have finally made it to the land of Oz. I am full of wonder and excitement. 

The only problem is, I still can't go home. But suddenly, somewhere deep inside is the reminder, all I have to do is click my heels together and I will be home.  I had the power in me all the time to go home, I just didn't realize, I had really never left.

Home may look different and life my be different but I still have my family and my friends and even though I may not see them as much as I once did their presence is still very real in my life. No more singing the blues.  I have my ruby slippers, "There they are and there they'll stay" and all I have to do is click them three times and repeat "There's no place like home" and when I open my eyes I will be home. Everything is gonna be alright.

The first piece I painted as a try-out for my new job.  
 Look for a Painting with a Twist studio near you!


  1. I think it's fabulous! Do you get to teach your own designs, or ones they have assigned?

    1. They have predesigned paintings we teach that are copyrighted and owned by the company. I can submit original work but they have thousands of works already. As you can imagine, some are nice and some are just okay. Either way, it feeds a part of me that is good and kind and I just hope I can deliver. Ty for your encouragement!


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