April 13, 2011

30-Day Photo Challenge - Day Seven

Day Seven 
~ A picture of your most treasured item ~ 

You're so lucky you're not in my head with this whole photo challenge thing.  My friend Joanne is the only one who truly gets my insane over-analysis of every tiny, insignificant thing.  She would laugh at how I sit here and break down each day's assignment, as if it were the prompt for my entrance essay into heaven. 

My most treasured item? Is that like the one thing I'd grab if my house were on fire? Or the most expensive thing I own? Or do they mean the one thing that has the most sentimental value to me? God, why can't they be clearer about this? And I have to pick one thing? I'm a borderline hoarder, people, don't make me pick one item.  Do they mean, like, my senior year scrapbook from high school? My Grandma's bible? My wedding ring? My kid's first tooth? God I need a drink.  Whose idea was this challenge?

Whatever.  And I wonder why I need drugs.

Here it is.  It's my signed Salvador Dali print, that I have loved, loved, loved for years.

I used to love it hanging in my parents' house, when we lived overseas. My parents bought it in the late 70's at Bonham's Auction House in London for some ridiculous pittance; my dad remembers it to have been in the $150 range.  Who knows what it's really worth? It could be nothing, or I might take it on Antiques Roadshow someday and be that woman who passes out when the guy tells her the old painting will settle the national debt. 

Funny thing is, I can't remember where it hung, but I know it always brought me peace and struck me with its beauty, every time I looked at it. When I was older, I told my folks that someday, I would like to have it.  You know, how we - as "kids" - start picking out things that will mean something to us when our parents are gone.  Only with my parents, I had to start early, because they're the opposite of me.  They're Anti-Hoarders.  They started on this "downsizing" kick a few years ago that, quite frankly, was a little worrisome.  They were getting rid of things that seriously mattered to us, my brother and I.  Like the time we were home for Christmas and, while making tacos, Brother John discovered that the red taco shell pan was gone.  The one we'd been frying taco shells in since the dawn of time. Red on the outside, cast iron. Perfect taco shell size. Just gone.  Like it's possible to fry taco shells in anything but. 

"Oh, that old thing? Here. Use this new one." our mother said, in a painfully off-handed way. New one?  We didn't need a new one.  We needed the red one

Anyway, I digress.

So I mentioned I'd like this painting, and the next thing I knew, it was mine. Good thing I said something. It wasn't even hanging up anywhere by that time; it was sitting neatly stacked in a closet, framed in this old, canvas-matte, unfinished wood frame that was, honestly, hideous.

I brought it home with no clear idea of where it might go in my simple house - void of any "real" art whatsoever - until I decided to have it reframed.  I hung it proudly above my fireplace, center stage, and to this day, find the same joy in it that I always did as a child.  Now it's above the wine rack, but I like it there too.

When my parents came to stay, my Mom walked into the room and stared at it.

"Edward!" she exclaimed. "Look at that! Look what she did with that painting!" They stood and admired my prize, then she turned to me and said,

"Can we have it back?"

Um, no.

It's my most treasured item,  Mom.


  1. What a great story. Love the taco pan bit. Sounds like something that would happen at my house. And your painting is lovely. No wonder it's your most treasured item.

  2. Takes one to know one I guess....xo

  3. Your neurosis are hilarious... and slightly (okay mostly) familiar to me.

    And I've had the same conversation with my parents (I want the painting my dad did of the Swiss Alps) (and the donut making pan..... the amazing - whenever it snowed or we had birthdays or wanted to celebrate we made the best donuts in the world in it pan.... where the heck did it go????).

    The painting is fabulous. Good choice. :)