Found: Watercolor

Day 13 wants the opposite of what day 4 wanted:

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

I didn’t actually do what day 4 told me to do for the topic – I just focused on the twist and created a bunch of features, instead. But I can’t get away that easily today and I don’t need to.

When I was back home, I went through a box of my old stuff that I’d left in my room when I went to college. My mom had wanted to toss it, insisting I’d had plenty of chances to take what I wanted. My dad, ever the pack rat, wanted me to go through it one last time to be sure.

It was only a few things, mostly photos and robotics memorabilia. I tossed the photos and most of the robotics things, the photos too blurry to be scanned and the trinkets were from teams I didn’t recall (though I did keep my medals). One of the things in that box was a watercolor painting in a brown, geometric-styled frame.


The painting was familiar and seemed to be tied to someone or something important, but I could not figure out what. Had my parents had it hanging somewhere for years, in a little-used corner of a room? No, they didn’t recognize it. Did I buy it myself somewhere? No, it didn’t look like anywhere my parents had taken me and I’m not one to buy watercolors, anyway. (Ok, not back then – now we get one per major trip.) Did someone give it to me?

Matt tried to help. It was familiar to him, too. “It looks sort of like Maine. Did I get it for you?:”

The painter’s name was just legible enough to read: Wini Smart. Google to the rescue. Ms. Smart is famous for her watercolors…particularly of Maine landscapes.

In the summer of 2003, Matt went on vacation to Maine with his parents and cousin, Alison. He sent me a postcard every day he was there and brought me back a watercolor. (I think the postcards are part of why my mom awkwardly asked me at Walmart – a week or two later – “Is this Matt guy more than a friend?”)

Just that afternoon, we’d talked with my parents about our  tentative plan to visit Maine next summer. Matt told us about the small towns and the breathtaking scenery and cheap lobster. And here was this watercolor, kept by my dad because maybe it meant something to me. We took the painting back with us, the frame getting dinged in the process.

My reminder of that summer, right before Matt and I officially started dating, almost lost for good.


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