Today is meant to be a day where you can take a break and spend some festive time with your family. It’s actually held at different times of the year in different parts of the world, but a day like this deserved to be celebrated every time it happens. Philippe and Phineas are my only family here, but we worked today so we’ll have to celebrate Family Evening instead. Phineas didn’t work today, to the best of my knowledge, but I’ve really no idea what he does all day when he’s home alone so I can’t be entirely certain. Perhaps he’s going to wow us with a novel he’s been writing. This is a bit far-fetched, I know, as a novel about dental treats and pork is probably not going to make the bestseller list. But stranger things have likely appeared there, so who knows? And in truth, we usually spend each evening in a roughly similar way with me painting before dinner while Philippe cooks something and Phineas paws at us both for whatever thing he thinks he’s entitled to get next. A simple ritual, to be sure, and nothing terribly exciting, but it’s my favorite part of each day.
For today’s doodlewash, I landed on a fruit tray because this is what always appeared at larger gatherings with my extended family. Well, this and a “veggie” tray. My family avoids the word vegetable like it’s a curse word. And a bunch of mixed fruit seemed like the perfect metaphor for family in general. No matter how much we have in common by being related, the differences are what keeps things interesting. When Philippe first attended one of my family gatherings, his plate was filled with only fruit and veggies. When I asked him why he didn’t try more things, he just asked me, “What exactly was in that slow cooker?” To be honest, I had no idea either, but that, of course, didn’t stop me from trying it anyway. After trying it, I still wasn’t completely sure of the ingredients, but it tasted great to me! I love family gatherings like that and all of the food that appears. Some of it is the requested favorites that an aunt has become almost legendary for creating, and some are brand new recipes tried for the first time. I love and admire the daring involved in attempting something like this. And I’m always the first to try it!
Of all of the dishes from those gatherings when I was young, I think a certain strawberry pound cake still wins first place in my heart. It’s been years now since I had it, but I can still remember it like it’s yesterday. I loved those days when I was growing up, but they don’t really happen any more. Times change, people move, and the world tilts in a different direction. And these days, we only see our families once a year or going on two years now for our family in Paris. But each time we see each other, it’s like no time has passed at all. That’s the bit I cherish most. No matter where in the world my family might be, a visit always feels like coming home. So I’m super excited for December and January when we will have a chance to be reunited with them. Until then, you’ll find me here at home with my French chef and African basenji. And though we may not require an entire fruit tray for an evening’s snack, we can still enjoy each little moment that we spend together in our own special way. And, I always end each evening feeling really lucky. Even in the bits of normal routine, it’s wonderful when you live like every day is family day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Benzimida Orange, Leaf Green, Quinacridone Red, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!