My daughter said, “Mother, know your reading audience. This article is perfect for your Bible study ladies, but not for the newspaper.”
“I’ll work on it.”
She added, “I’ve learned in Pagosa, don’t talk about religion, politics or Walmart.”
And I added, “Or cell phones.”
This is my story and I’m sticking to it. Tuesday was the day. My leg hurt, I had a broken blood vessel, a dark day to boot, couldn’t get anything done, and I thought, “Tomorrow had to be better. I need prayer.”
On Wednesday morning the activities department called and said, “You have six students, we forgot to call you last night. Be here at 8:30 a.m.”
“Oh Me! It’s 7:45. Yes, I’ll be there.” I went into overdrive, a three-minute shower, a comb through the hair and off the Blanco in 15 minutes. Mind you, I still needed prayer.
I arrived and readied the room for the class. The students showed up on time, bright eyed and bushy tailed. They were anxious to learn and I moved into even a higher gear.
I went into my element. Performing with great gusto; the paintbrush danced across the watercolor paper, it was magic. I shot brilliant and dazzling information to them. Miss Personality had arrived. My leg was still killing me, but art overshadowed the pain in my leg.
The students were all beginners except one man. This man, from Texas, taught a high school art class. Everything was going good so far.
Four students from the same family; one set of grandparents and their college age granddaughter and her fiancée were attending the class. The art teacher sat at the back of the room and an older lady sat next to him.
The teacher and the older lady were busy working on their watercolor when the black belt fundamentalist grandfather whammed me with the question. “What church do you go to?’
I told him. He started thumping the Bible at me. I couldn’t get away from him.
“God help me,” I cried. He wouldn’t quit. I finally said, “I’m a believer, believe me, I am a believer. Let’s get back to painting.”
The granddaughter who was not of his persuasion began to talk in defense. The fight broke out. The grandfather continued to rant. Mind you, I needed prayer and now I’ve got a holy war on my hands.
I lassoed them back into painting. Then the granddaughter’s phone rang.
I said, “No phones in the class.” She looked the other way and dismissed me with her hand, and continued to talk on the phone.
The brushoff immediately stirred the pride in me and I thought, “How rude! Hey, it’s my class.”
When she got off the phone, I told her, “Please, don’t take any more calls, it harasses the class.” Whether it did or not, it was harassing me.
Then I looked at the art teacher and ask him, “Do you have trouble with phones in your school? How do you handle them?”
He replied, “Our school’s policy is no phones on the property.”
I said “Good. That’s the way it should be.” (Mind you, I’m still off my game from the day before and now stirred over the dismissal with the hand.)
Then the young girl said, “My teacher tells us to go online for an answer. We need our phones.”
Then the grandmother jumped into the mix. “My granddaughter has to take calls from her mother, if she doesn’t answer the phone, she will be in big trouble with her mother.”
“During class?” I asked, “Well, her mother needs to learn boundaries. She should know better.”
The Bible thumping grandfather said, “Yes, her mother needs to learn boundaries.”
The grandmother rolled her eyes. I had apparently entered into a family feud and I didn’t have enough sense to keep my mouth shut, I was now a part of it.
Three hours and six finished paintings later, I cleaned up the classroom, climbed into my car and collapsed. “What just happened? Lord I need prayer, deliver me from myself.”
Final brushstroke: Best not leave the house without praying. Holy ground is different for different people. Walk carefully.
“One today is worth two tomorrows; never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. See my work on http://bettysladeartistlandscapes.blogspot.com and read other articles from the Artist’s Lane on http://bettyslade.blogspot.com. Coming shortly, The Artistic Works by Betty Slade, a Virtual Store.