Tuesday, April 30, 2019


This post had to be delayed until today, due to computer difficulties that arose during our move to Kingston. Thankfully, our kind webmaster - designer Brenda Stanley corrected them (as always) in a quick and painless fashion. Thank you Sweet Lady!!

Celebrating Allison's ongoing presence
Friday, April 26th, 2019 marked the second anniversary of our dear daughter Allison's passing... over. Personally, I choose to express that event in her too short life in these terms. Our family... as a whole, I believe feel the same way.

We came together, as always at her fledgling... but thriving ginkgo tree. It was planted in her honour by her Queen's student family to remember her gifts to them in life. We choose to come together as her earthly family and friends to share laughter, good memories. We decorate her now budding ginkgo fulfilling our own need to nurture the spirit of her "being"... to kindle and keep it alive through our combined ongoing love and respect.

Others of her friends could not be present to join us. Their tributes to her did so from ever so far way through Face book. Allie sensed the presence of " legions of angels who continued to watch over her... never leaving her to feel alone, even in this darkened time."

Death still cannot extinguish the 'Light' that she shared so generously... with so many during her brief lifespan.

Perhaps the most comforting words that were sent online came from a quote from a very special Venetian friend, Jill Weinreich - Luppi was Allie's very special person during her time in Venice and has become a very special friend to the Sherman Family as a whole. Her soothing tribute:

To live in the hearts we leave behind... is not to die." Thomas Campbell (1777 - 1844)

Allison possessed many gifts... and used them all to perfection. Her way with words was perhaps the greatest of her assets. So in closing out today's post dedicated to her presence and legacy, I will leave a selection of a significant few of her own that clearly demonstrate her proficiency with language:

" Even in this darkest dark, I have never for a second felt alone hanks to your loving energy, prayers, messages, visits and gifts. You are the best evidence I have that I have made some good decisions along the way for they have brought into my life.

We cannot feel fear and sadness at the same time as gratitude. Fact."

Though I continue to miss you each and every day, gratitude is all that I feel today my darling Allie. Gratitude and Joy. That you came to us from out of the mysterious cauldron of Creation in this vast Universe. "You" travel with me in my heart... through to Eternity.

Each heart shaped stone forming this heart mold "found" me on different days... reminding me that you still  exist everywhere... and visit me mysteriously from out of nowhere.

We both loved Pooh so and we both practised the simple ... but generous ritual of sharing ... on every level.

    Allie's Mom Joan       Dawn Lloyd Allie's-Friend and Dept. Secretary  Deb et Moi

                            Spring has arrived at the Ginkgo... just not fully  to Kingston

This was the top of a side table that I created as an art gift to commemorate Allison's undergraduate Art History Degree at Queen's University . The iconography and message contained therein foreshadowed her accomplishments and her many gifts... her ever radiant Light.

I wish to conclude today's tribute to Allison using "pictures" from Allison's remarkable journey to speak for themselves. 

Undergrad moment toting her beloved "Hanno" his grad credentials matched Allie's... marching to the platform on each and every occasion to receive "their" diplomas. No fear!

Allie's last trip to Italy... note the bobbed hair. This is Roma... What was she thinking??? I wonder....

                Allie in the presence of master Veronese's "Adoration of the Magi"''' her fav!!!

                                             La Venezia di Allie by friend Peter Coffman
Inscription quotes Allie:

"I've encountered so many wonderful students and they know how much I love them, how much they've given me and how proud I am of them."

These last words very near the end of her life most eloquently offer significant evidence which supports my belief that Allie left this life fully aware that she had modelled for herself and her students... The Art of a Life Well Lived !

                                                             "First Gifts From Venice"

                                   "I" love "You"... FOREVER Jemima Puddle Duck


Saturday, April 20, 2019


Spring dripped in... ever more slowly it seemed this year than usual. Despite several false starts... it has finally tumbled in fully. Temperatures have risen dramatically... as have the creeks and streams... swollen to overflowing with melt water. Winter is definitely in rapid retreat. Hope has replaced despair. New choirs of bird song are added daily it seems... piping in swelling thoughts of Rebirth... and Resurrection.

Rockport Resurrection... Faith and Hope

                   Drip!... Drip!... Drip!... Sweet Taste of Spring - oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches

         Past memories shared... can still be felt... and held if not in the hand... then close to the heart

A largish watercolor memory entitled "Afternoon Recess" of a glorious spring day spent with the Drummond Family near Spencerville... and the sharing of hot pancakes dripping with Canadian liquid gold and locally made sausages. Annual rite of spring... for them... and myself! 

The result of a fifteen year "sweet" springtime relationship with the Smail Family near Groveton, Ontario. A portrait of "Old Majestic"- now disappeared... along with the Smail operation and bush. A 400 year old sugar maple whose ancient hatchet slash wounds just above the roots whispered the presence of indigenous harvests using birch bark containers... long before European settlers' feet first sullied the landscape. A sweet taste of renewal... even back then. The elixir of spring that brought  long and treacherous winters of hunger and hardship to an abrupt end. Life is a cycle governed (mostly) by Nature! 

Human Passage and Transition

Human existence is no different. It is simply the earthly stage passing beyond into another plane of existence. The same laws and tragedies play out in our own daily lives as well. The difference lies only in our ability, or inability to respond to these changes and to permit safe passage, or transition through these tests.

I can assure you that one never "gets over" such losses. They follow you through the rest of your measure of time and they rear their wretched heads unmercifully at times. Each of us must choose our own path and find touch points to maintain positivity and health. Both come into play... and must be addressed... or lost. But in our own time frame and unique way.

Fortunately, I have a uniquely wonderful collection of family who has chosen to join hands to keep Allison's memory alive and present in an active fashion in family celebrations and events. My painting... and my writing/sharing here in this blog are ways specifically carried out by my hand alone. 

On Thursday... Joan, Deb and I met at Allison's commemorative ginkgo tree on the waterfront to decorate it with the colorful handmade Easter eggs which Deb crafted in stained glass and Joan had purchased. After some quiet sharing... we met back at Joan's house for a wonderful lunch of spinach quiche (Allie's fav food) and a rich brew of stiff coffee to warm up the bones after the biting cold wind coming relentlessly off Lake Ontario.

Here are some quiet moments from Easter Celebration - 2019

                                                 Easter eggs-actly... at Allie's ginkgo tree!

                                        Mom and Dad... with you in spirit... ALWAYS Allie!

                             Dad and "your other Mother", as you called her...  honoring "You"

                    "Choose Love"... the Taro card that you selected for me Brave Heart... AND I DO!!!

The portrait  "Il Camino di Allie" that I completed to honor you has been entered into the Kingston Prize portrait competition for 2019. Fingers crossed!!!

Stay tuned...

Happy Easter to you Sweetheart... and to all of my blog Followers!! 

PS More transition to come. Our move to Kingston is complete. We made a final trip to gather the last dregs of "stuff" to be dealt with. We definitely are "living tinier"... and that will take some getting use to over time, We attended a fish fry at the home of good friends Captain Wayne and Mate Jane Green of Rockport in his man cave/gathering place. A friendly gathering of river folk that we have enjoyed during our ten year stint in Rockapulco.

Stay tuned... for further updates... one is already in the making...