Door County NewsPixels™ & Wish Books & Brochures MAG. THE DREAMING ISSUE - Page 81

“Eek! Whoa! Whoops!” I felt a hand grab my coat, as another hand pushed me toward the edge of the ledge. I lurched into my easel and grasped the trunk of a nearby birch, narrowly avert- ing a tragic and messy end to my life on the rocks below. Slowly I turned around to see who had so rudely plowed into me. I had to look twice. It was a little old lady. She had slid right past me and was now clinging to the rocky ledge. I wasn’t smiling, but she was. “Whew, that was close,” she said, for the under- statement of the year. Slowly she hauled herself up. Looking at me with extremely bright blue eyes that belied her advanced age, she added, “I am so sorry. Did I ruin your painting?” I whirled around to see the fate of my painting. It was still secure on the easel which was leaning against a splintered tree trunk, thank heavens. I looked again. I had been painting a swishy wave at the moment of impact. The frothy white line now squiggled across the width of the art board. I sighed, but said, “No problem. I’ll just turn the squiggle into a few seagulls or something. Are you okay?” She nodded as she stretched her neck, flexed her fingers and hobbled over to me. “I’m okay. My, that is one slippery slope.” We both looked at the skid mark her fall had created. It ran a good ten feet. “What are you doing out here in a blizzard?” she asked. “I might ask you the same question,” I replied. “I’m plein-air painting. And you are?” She started to walk toward the edge. “I’m heading home,” she answered, pointing vaguely in the direction of the cave. “Uh-oh. A nut case,” I thought. I warily eyed the path, planning my escape route. “But she doesn’t look all that crazy,” I argued with myself, trying to calm down so I could continue to interrogate her. I was driven by overwhelming curiosity. She spoke. “Want to come down and warm up with a cup of tea in the cave? You look cold.” “Oh, I’m not that cold,” I answered too quickly. “Why don’t you go and I’ll just continue painting. I want to get my basic composition on paper before the snow covers everything. Um, where did you say you live?” “In that cave. The one on the right,” she replied. “Tell you what, I’ll go down and put the kettle on for tea. I can heat up some scones, too. You should be done by then and you can join me.” “Oh, that’s a great idea,” I said, playing along. “You call me when everything’s ready.” I couldn’t help but smile as I bent down to pick up a pastel. “See you in a little bit,” she said. As I straightened up and readied myself to reply I realized she was gone. Like vanished. She wasn’t there. Did I imagine this? I wondered. I wasn’t sure. But I was certain that I was not going to use temporary insan- it 䁅́