Although I’ve never had dandelion wine in my entire life, it somehow jumped into my head with today’s prompt. More likely due to the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. I didn’t have much time, so I did a fast and loose sketch of what I think it must look like. The entire concept intrigues me. When I was growing up, dandelions were simply thought of as a weed that was meant to be eradicated so the lawn would look green and wonderful. Well, that was something I learned from the neighbors, actually. In our yard they were usually left to grow. We’d mow them over and keep the grass short, but didn’t spend any time on what one might refer to as landscaping. We just weren’t those type of people. Our yard was often filled with these “weeds” and I always thought it looked rather lovely. A plain green lawn was sort of boring in comparison. But the idea of boiling dandelions in water and fermenting them into a drink is something I would now rather like to try.
It’s actually strange we didn’t have dandelion wine in our family. We would definitely have been those type of people. My dad actually had a moonshine still in the garage as his one and only hobby that I can ever clearly remember. There was always a mixture in a large plastic garbage can that smelled foul and left the whole garage smelling like a backwoods distillery. The strangest thing is, my dad never drank it. He just gave it out to friends as one might give a basket of fruit. It was so strong that I’m sure it could have powered an 18-wheeler truck and trailer, but I’ve been told the folks who sampled it said it made a mean margarita. Incredibly mean, I would imagine. But between the moonshine and my mother’s fabulous sewing and crocheting skills, I can happily say that I come from a family of makers. It was just part of my heritage. The need to create something is a wonderful need indeed. It fuels my spirit and won’t remit until it’s satisfied. We may not have been the slick family with the perfect lawn, but we were a family that loved to create.
Sometimes, when I look back on my life, I feel like much of it has been a whirlwind of ideas and new things happening too fast to remember. Mostly self-induced with my insane urge to “DO” and never give up. And sure, I’ve probably forgotten many of crazy things I’ve tried, but I can never forget that wonderful feeling of actually trying them. That drive to create isn’t always as strong in everyone. But I feel it’s still always there. We’re all naturally creative. Just spend a day with any mom on the planet and you’ll see a level of heroic problem-solving and creative thinking that would make Einstein look a bit simple. Dads too, of course. Creating and raising a family is probably the most amazing feat of making that exists. And proof, that each and every one of us is creative in their own incredible way. Perhaps that’s why I’m hoping to create a little family of artists right here on Doodlewash. Life is better when you’re surrounded by people who love the same things. Whether it’s watercolor, crafting or moonshine. Or even perhaps, a glass of dandelion wine.
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Azo Yellow, Azo Orange, Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue, and Neutral Tint. Alvin Draft-Matic Mechanical Pencil in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.