While most folks take a trip for the spring, there is one special person to me that stays and endures all of the elements of Leland year round, and that is my Grandmother Janie. Janie turned 100 in June of 2013, and she is truly a marvel. In fact, she generally dislikes "when people tell me how remarkable I am". She has lived through so many major historical events, and she has a memory and ability to tell a story like no one else I've ever known. She has helped me learn the art of conversation, which is sadly a dying art form, and one that is so important. She is a good listener, and has great delivery when telling you details of when she met my Grandfather, Cliff at the University of Michigan.
Janie and Cliff were married almost 70 years. This is a picture of them, both in their 90's working in the garden together. The garden, that my mother and I have both painted dozens of times still highlights what is now the Leland gal Tree in the distance of my painting of "Janie's Garden" below.
While Janie is on her own now, we have gotten her a new companion, Dolly, who is keeping her warm during these winter months. That's right, she still lives on her own, and drives and everything. Our little Leland watches over her in the post office, the Merc, and all around town. My cousin and I head north today to check in, and take Janie out to dinner. I will be doing my best to snap a few pictures of her work to show you where all of the creativity began with this amazing, creative talent; Janie.