Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Friday, January 16, 2009



By Charmaine Anderson, December 2008

Red tulips in winter are heavenly. On a dreary winter day my grandson Michael and his mother Colette came bearing a little bouquet to gladden my weary soul. I put them in a small teal colored vase and enjoyed every glance their way. They were so inviting I couldn’t resist painting them. It wasn’t a great painting but it’s hard to ruin red tulips too much. The small painting sat around my studio for a few months still cheering me. I finally put it into a frame and hung it in my main floor powder room. It looked nice there.

In October my daughter Maren went to Buffalo, New York with her boyfriend to visit his family. When she returned she wanted to send something to his mother and asked me if I had a painting in red she could have to send to her. I gave Maren the painting of the red tulips and she left knowing it would be just the right thank you gift.

The painting then got wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard, taped up ready to mail, but in Maren’s busy schedule the mailing part never happened. It was fine, she decided, because they were going to Buffalo again for Christmas and she could take the painting with her.

Two weeks before Christmas Maren and the boyfriend parted and the red tulip painting sat in her living room still wrapped for mailing. Shortly after that my husband Mike and I were at her house doing some work in her attic. Maren had sorted through some of her stuff and she had several bags of things for Deseret Industries. When we left I loaded the bags in my car to drop knowing that Maren was so busy that they might not get disposed of very soon. She pointed to the taped box as I was toting the bags to my car and said, “Please take the tulip painting as I will not be needing it now.” I picked it up and tossed it in the back of the car with the DI bags.

We discussed stopping at DI on the way home but were tired and decided that we would leave them in Mike’s car and he could dispose of them after work some evening. The first part of the next week Mike called me on the way to DI wanting to know which of the bags I was saving for Colette to go through. It was a short conversation. On Saturday afternoon I went looking for the tulip painting thinking it would be a good gift to take to my brother’s gift exchange party on Sunday. It was not in the car and then in horror I feared that it had been taken to DI with the bags. My fears were confirmed.

I was not nice. “How could you be so stupid as to drop a taped up box not knowing what was in it? You called about the bags—why didn’t you call about the box ready for mailing?” I stomped and yelled, “I am so mad! How could you have done this?” My youngest was here witnessing it all. He said he had never seen me yell at his dad like that.

Mike got in the car and drove to DI to see if there was anyway that it might possibly still be there. I tried to talk him out of going knowing that it would be useless. While he was gone Maren called and I told her what had happened—still steaming. She chastised me telling me that I needed to apologize, that Dad didn’t mean to do it and if things had been different the painting would already be gone. She was right, of course, and before he returned I was feeling very repentant and sorry for my ugly tantrum. My commitment to be a healer was lost in a minute of bad behavior. When Mike came in the door I tried to apologize but he was still feeling stung and a chilly silence prevailed.

A few days later I backed out of the garage and broke the mirror on his car. After getting a bid to get it fixed he said, “Well, your little accident is going to cost a lot more than that little painting was worth.” But, it wasn’t about the money. Actually, I don’t really know what it was about. It just seemed important to know who had my red tulip painting. A phone call Christmas night would get me my answer.

‘Hi Charmaine, this is Jolene. I want to thank you for a Christmas present you gave me. You don’t know that you gave it to me but you did.”

What a happy surprise to know that my dear friend and neighbor Jolene Allphin had the red tulip painting. I am thrilled that it will hang in her home. Here is Jolene’s part of the story in her own words:
The Christmas TulipsBy Jolene Allphin

I’d heard the ad on the car radio over and over that week before Christmas:

“. . . only 1 hour left to get this beautiful Christmas tulip bouquet from at this price”

“. . . extended only 1 more day - order your Christmas tulip bouquet now to get this special price”

“. . . your last chance to order this beautiful Christmas tulip bouquet from”

Exactly one week before Christmas, I was on my own crazy deadlines. As I struggled to drive through the heavy traffic to my next shopping destination, images of the beautiful tulips danced in my head. How wonderful it would be to order the bouquet! “Perhaps another year when the Christmas spending money wasn’t quite so tight,” I thought.

I turned the car into the new Deseret Industries parking lot in Layton. I had a few things left to purchase for a Sub-for-Santa I was doing with a couple of my daughters. I had searched in vain for a carpet remnant I could afford for the trailer house my friend lived in. I knew it was a long shot, but was hopeful that the DI might have something.

Upon entering the store, I was directed to the back of the store and then to the outside sales room where bicycles, exercise equipment, strollers, lawnmowers, bed mattresses, and other odds and ends were displayed. I was disappointed that there was no carpet, but the new stuffed animals on a rack in the corner caught my eye. I went to look as one of my friend’s granddaughters had said she would like a toy dog.

I was gratified to find a very cute stuffed dog for the sub-for-Santa girl, and a teddy bear for her sister, but imagine my surprise when I also noticed two brand new pairs of girls’ snow boots in that same corner. Snow boots were the only thing the 8-year-old girl had asked for, and I had planned on getting boots for both girls, but hadn’t made that shopping trip yet. It seemed truly impossible that these boots would be here in the back of the outdoor section of the store, marked for sale at a great price, and the exact sizes that the two little girls needed. I know that angels and miracles are still hard at work in 2008, especially for two little girls whose parents needed a little help with Christmas presents that year.

I offered a silent prayer of gratitude as I stood there with my arms full for a few moments. I was amazed and wondered why the boots and stuffed animals were not inside the main part of the store where those items were supposed to be. Then as I started to walk away with my arms full of these affordable gifts, a precious painting caught my eye. It was a beautifully framed original painting of red tulips in a vase. I marveled again, “What is that doing back here in this corner?” A closer look revealed the name of the artist as Charmaine. My heart skipped a beat as I excitedly thought “Could this be MY Charmaine, my very talented friend and neighbor in Fruit Heights?” I loved her paintings and intended to buy one some day. I turned the painting over and was delighted to see her full name on the back. “Yes, this was her - Charmaine Anderson!”

The picture was marked at only $5.00. I quickly stuffed it in my already full arms and headed for the checkout stand, fearful that someone would come take it from me and say there was some mistake.

I had only gone to do a good deed for someone else, but had been blessed instead as the recipient of my coveted Christmas tulips. And these were tulips that would last a lifetime; the best kind of Christmas present.


The rest of the story . . .

I hesitated to tell Charmaine about my purchase of her painting. I was afraid that she had given it as a gift to someone who didn’t appreciate it and had subsequently given it to the DI. On Christmas day, I needed an ingredient for dinner that I had forgotten to purchase. After checking several stores and finding them all closed, I called Charmaine to see if I could borrow from her. I decided to thank her for the Christmas present she didn’t know she had given me. I was very glad I decided to tell her, as I soon learned that the revelation of my purchase was about to give her family an unexpected Christmas present also. Truly, God loves us. He sent us His Son, and all good gifts come from Him.


TnD said...

What an amazing reminder that things just work out. And as to Mike, the next time he has a meltdown, your quick forgiveness of it will be your payback for your meltdown.

carmen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carmen said...

My two thoughts were these:

1. It is as if every time a boy breaks up with me an "angel get's it's wings" or a painting.

2. There is a mother in Buffalo that has no idea where her painting is.