On the advice of the weather gods and cautioned by the Channel 4’s Weatherman’s dire forecast of winter storms, Bob and I cancelled our RV trip to Lancaster. We had high winds on Friday and nearly freezing temperatures all day. This morning we were told that Palmdale (close to Lancaster) received a small amount of snow. Although I was disappointed that I would not see Kristi and twins, I am glad to be warm and comfortable at home and not walking dogs in the sleet or rain. Ugh, I hate to think of how much dirt they would bring in after each potty break!
So homebound for awhile, I took time to look over my recent writings and this comment from Mary at Momma’s Corner to my post Fruits of My Labor caught my eye. Mary is wise and astute and deeply understanding of human nature. She wrote, “You have made your work area not only efficient but still managed to keep things around you that mean a lot to you.”
Indeed she had caught something that I was truly not aware of. . . my office is both a place to work and a place to hold photos I have taken, awards I have won and treasures I have collected. No wonder, I feel so comfortable in here. This is my life!
One of my favorite things in the office is this picture. My Aunt Mary had one like it in her living room and when I was very young, she told me that the little girl reminded her of me. Every time I visited, I found myself staring at the picture to see if there was a resemblance. I was pretty sure there was and it was such a warm and wonderful feeling to think Aunt Mary thought the girl looked like me.
Aunt Mary passed away when I was a teen-ager. I don’t know what happened to the print, but I knew if I ever found one at a yard sale, auction, or antique store I would buy it. I half-heartedly looked for one over the years, but did not find one until about four years ago when I visited my daughter, Dawn in Oregon. Dawn and I love to antique shop together so it was not surprising to find ourselves in a little shop in LaGrande. As we searched through treasures, I mentioned Aunt Mary’s print and began to describe the girl, the birch tree, and the robin. The dealer who was half listening to our conversation, smiled and pointed to the back wall. “Is that the one you are talking about?”, he inquired. Oh yes, There it was in all its sweet sentimental glory. I was so excited and equally thrilled when Dawn offered to buy it for me as a gift. What a wonderful gift to receive and I promised to pass it on to her someday.
When it was time to return to California, I carefully packed it in the center of a large suitcase, tucked clothing securely around it and prayed for gentle airport luggage handlers.
As you can see it arrived safely and has been given a place of honor in my office. There is a little beanie baby robin that always sits next to it. The little robin was a gift from my grand daughter, Jade, after she heard the story about Aunt Mary and how back in the day, I looked like the little girl in the print. She found it at an auction and insisted I take it home to go with the print. It will always be right there bringing back special memories.
The change in plans has left me with time on my hands so I decided to find out what I could about the print. I googled spring – robin – girl and sure enough I found the print on Ebay. It is called Spring Song of the Robin and it is the work of a German artist by the name of Simon Glucklich. It was painted around the turn of the century and prints of it were very popular in the 1920’s. They were sold by Sears and Roebuck and other mail order companies. The colors are often changed. The hair on the little girl can be brown, blond, or even red.
The most interesting fact that I found however, was that it is thought that the girl is Glucklich’s blind daughter. In the early prints her eyes are closed. In the later prints, the eyes are open. I checked my print closely and although I had never noticed it before her eyes are shut. At a glance, it looks more like she is looking down, but on closer scrutiny the eyes are closed.
I am anxious to know more about the artist, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on line. I have found about three other works by him and have heard there is one called Autumn Song of the Bird. How fun to find that one, too and if you know more about Spring Song of the Bird please let me know. Since it was so popular during the 20’s and 30’s surely others remember it hanging in a parlor somewhere.Just think of how many folks, during long winters, have looked at this print and longed for Spring. Maybe, just maybe looking longingly at it and wishing for an early Spring might be just what we need to bring the Robin and his promise of warm weather our way.