There’s something so nostalgic about “Bells,” our prompt for today. They’re certainly an icon of the season, but my family never had a fancy silver bell like this one. Our bells were plastic and plated in gold or silver paint and used for decorations. They didn’t actually ring. Trying to ring one would only produce an odd hollow clunking sound. But, I remember there was a group of bell ringers that we’d see at the fair this time of year. This was a group dressed in Victorian costumes that could play the most beautiful melodies with each person playing only one or two notes at a time. It always seemed so magical to see people coming together in such a harmonious way. And I was thrilled each time I listened to their music. Much of my nostalgia for the holiday season comes from the fact that it’s a season built entirely on nostalgia. Though there are updated and modern ornaments to enjoy, it’s difficult to make something really look, feel, and sound like Christmas without bits of the past. A past that predates all of us, but we still love to remember all the same.

Tonight, we took Phineas to the pet resort as we have to catch a rather early flight in the morning. He was not pleased and while the receptionist was attempting to check him in, he rushed behind the desk and frantically tried to hop up on the chair as if he were going to cancel the reservation. Then she said the magic words, “do you want a treat?” and he promptly left with her without a second glance back at his two dads. Though the full packing for a trip is a very last minute thing with us, we’ve started to think about the things we might need. Mostly power cords. Of all the things one needs to pack, a missing power cord is the most horrible experience of all. I end up with a few extra ones that I had to purchase while on the road. The same was true for earbuds and I have several cheap pairs I’ve purchased in airports over the year. They weren’t cheap when I had to buy them, of course, but certainly not optimal in sound quality. Yet, when trapped on a plane or trapped waiting for one, anything to block out the rest of the world is a lovely thing indeed.

As always happens before I leave, I realize that my watercolor palette is getting seriously low on a few colors. Not being particularly organized, I’ll have to go find the tubes and see if I can add a bit more, and hope it dries a touch overnight. If I fail to do this, my colors could get really odd and inventive in the coming days. But, truly, I don’t mind. What I love about this time of year is that I just let whatever happens next happen. I don’t try to create a plan of any kind, outside of the lovely family traditions to come. For me, traditions reign supreme during the season and are the only things that deserve what little planning talent I possess. That said, even after typing this, I’m most certainly will forget a power cord. But, I’m so thrilled for the days ahead and excited to be back with my family. Though the basic rituals are the same, each year it’s always totally different. Often in an amusing or ridiculous sort of way. My family isn’t a terribly serious lot at all, so there’s much fun and frivolity ahead. And though we may not show up in those Victorian costumes of holidays past, we’ll still manage to experience all of the magic that comes from a more metaphorical ringing of the bells.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Staedtler Pigment Liners 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!
Bird Bell Holly Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail


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22 thoughts on “Ringing Of The Bells

  1. Power cords are the devil’s invention. I’m sure of it! One of these days, I’ll get organized and label all my cords and wrap them around a something so they won’t get tangled. HAhaHa! Never going to happen! Have a safe and enjoyable flight!

  2. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings!

    Since I’ve become a non-traveler, Xmas has become very low-key. Thanksgiving is where I shine and we are much more likely to have company as we did this year. Xmas is so much more likely to bring snow and bad roads.

    I haven’t decided what to make us for dinner yet We like a good curry, but there is always seafood and that would be very easy to cook and clean up after. Hmm?

  3. Looks as if the little bird is wondering who has the better song – him or the bell. The painting is beautiful, all your favorite reflections.
    Have a wonderful visit with your family. I’m sure that unless your mom lives in the hinterlands, you can find a power cord that will do.

  4. There is magic in that painting. The reflection of the bird on the bell adds to it wonderfully
    and the sprig of holly is gorgeous. Everything is shining, like a kid’s eyes at Christmas.

    I can just picture Phineas changing those reservations. What a joy he is!!

    I hear the echo of joy in every word. May all your dreams come true!!

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