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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Making Pancakes with my Dad


“Making Pancakes with my Dad,” oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2014

“It says here, ‘Beat two eggs,'” my dad would say, reading the box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix.

And then he would take the two eggs, place them still in their shells into the mixing bowl, and raise the wooden spoon (or was it an old-fashioned hand-cranked egg beater?) as if he planned to beat the eggs, shell and all.

“No, no!” my sister and I would cry in horror, or mock horror, depending on whether this was the first time or the fifteenth time he had tried this game. “You have to crack the eggs first before you beat them!”

I suppose there came a time when I was too old and too smart and too sophisticated to play along, when this game was met with rolled eyes or disdainful silence. But I don’t remember that part of the story.

Only the pleasures of being a little kid in the kitchen on a Saturday morning making pancakes with my Dad.

I didn’t set out to paint this scene or story. The title of the painting came to me after the painting was under way. It may have arisen from that pink spatula-like shape (a repeat visitor from the painting, “Islesford Kitchen”–see below). Or perhaps it was the three irregular circles, the two on the right running together like uncooperative pancake batter.

It doesn’t really matter. What matters most to me is that the painting carries some of the pleasure of remembering–morning sunlight, a playful mood, and soon warm pancakes ready to be eaten.


“Islesford Kitchen,” oil on canvas, ©Sukie Curtis 2013

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Flowers for Lent?










Tall Pink Tulips, ©Sukie Curtis 2015

I was reminded recently by a friend that back in my “preacher days” (I was an Episcopal priest for 24 years), I gave a sermon once, if not more than once, about how the season of Lent doesn’t have to be about “giving something up” as many of us have been taught. It can be about taking on some new practice, especially something life-giving to your body, mind and/or spirit.

I remember clearly the first time I “dared” to break with the fasting/self-denial tradition and do something different for Lent. I should say, I remember precisely what I chose to do–go see a movie each week during Lent–and where I was–in Clarksdale, Mississippi where I was first Associate Rector, then “Priest in charge” of St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Two films I remember seeing during that Lent were “The Killing Fields,” and “Witness,” so a little online research suggests the year was 1985. It’s likely that in subsequent years I shared my experience in sermons in Foxboro and Concord, Massachusetts, and eventually at St. Bartholomew’s in Yarmouth, Maine, where my friend Jamie heard it and remembers it still.

All of this is a long way of saying that, although I’ve actually made a low-fanfare agreement with myself to write an hour a day during Lent, I might also be happy to “take on” buying a fresh bunch of flowers every week during Lent!

Sometimes I buy flowers with the “excuse” that they are models for painting. But why not buy flowers for the delight and encouragement they give to our winter-weary spirits? As bursts of color amid this winter’s very, very white landscape? As reminders to practice gratitude and compassion? Or as inspiration for your soul’s free-flowing contemplation of the beauty and mystery of the natural world?








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