The sun is shining brightly as you sit lazily, stretched out in a lawn chair, cool drink in hand and the lyrics to Margaritaville playing softly in the distance. Aw-w-w, life is good. No chores need to be done, no place that you have to go. Just daydream while enjoying the day.
You have just met Todd. A faithful fan of Jimmy Buffet and oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Tibbons. And now I personally know Todd and would enjoy telling you the story of how our new friendship was born.
Mrs. Mural and I both received an invitation for dinner at the Tibbons'. I called to say that we would both love to come and asked Mrs. Tibbons to allow me to make the dessert. Since my "new found life path" seems to have been paved with coffee cake, I had no problem deciding what I would make. Dinner was delicious and mixed with interesting conversation and good friends. While relaxing on their patio, Mr. Tibbons told us that their son was coming to visit and that they would love for us to meet him. They extended another invitation which Mrs. Mural and I gladly excepted.
Todd arrived safely from making his little journey to visit his folks and we all had a wonderful visit. I found him as pleasant and witty as both his parents. It seems kindness and good hearts run in the Tibbon family and it is a pleasure to be around them.
During our visit, Todd informed me that his parents had sent him pictures of the paintings I had done for them. He told me that not only was he pleased that his parents finally brightened up the old homestead, but that he was very impressed by the job I did. I felt gratitude seeping from my ears and a smile reaching out on my face to meet it!
Todd asked, "What kind of things do you enjoy painting with that brush of yours?" I truly enjoy whimsical characters and such, but I do keep an open mind along with an open paint brush and am willing to try just about anything. I guess it's a way of testing myself by staying "outside" the box. I also know that if a new endeavor did not turn out well, then I could just erase-erase-erase!
This is when I found out that Todd is an avid fan of Jimmy Buffet. "Do you think you would enjoy doing Buffet?", he asked. Wow! Of course my mind instantly kicks into high gear. The creative side conjuring up images while the logical side is trying to decide on how to answer that question. But before any words could come out, Todd announced, "I've always wanted some kind of artwork in my den and if you are willing, I'd love for you to paint something with a Buffet kind of feel."
Did I get to know Todd better? You bet I did and also the walls in his den! My new philosophy in life is "Go for it" and I did just that.
Todd graciously offered to pay expenses and Mrs. Mural and I packed for a mini vacation. I asked her if she would make the trip with me and we were like two girls going out on the town, but better. We leisurely drove, enjoying the ride and the beautiful weather, arriving safe and happy.
We checked into our motel room, unpacked and went to see Todd. There it was in all it's glory - my new, empty canvas just screaming out to me! I had done my homework. While visiting with Todd at his parents, I asked him to tell me more about the Buffet craze. What was his favorite song? His favorite image of the whole Margaritaville scene and I listened while the paint brush danced around in my mind.
So I welcome you to Todd's piece of Margaritaville. I missed a call from him recently but he left this message for me. "I found myself carrying my lap top into the living room every day because I had no desire to stay stuck in the den. Now, you can't get me out of it! Love it, love it! Thanks!"
Thank you, Mr. Buffet and thank you Todd. Every time I wear my flip flops, I will think of you both!
There is no doubt that times are tough for everyone. Paychecks are squeezed to the last penny and often, one doesn't know how the next bill will get paid. Unfortunately, I don't know how to solve a world wide problem but I know that I can be a part in a small way that may brighten another person's life. There are so many little things we all can do for another that would ease their load, be it emotionally, physically or financially. A friend of mine plants a garden every year just to share what grows with anyone who would like some. Others volunteer or go visit an elderly person so they can have company and someone to talk to. Any little gift of kindness that you can show to another will change that person's life in some way. It will produce a chain reaction and the person you helped, may likely pay it forward to someone else. My reward in all this? I had a wonderful 3 day vacation, a girlfriend to share it with, and I made a new friend who grilled me the most delicious steak I ever had!
Just spread a little kindness, you will be amazed at how far it travels!
By Mary from Palm Coast, FL
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Great human interest story and what a fun time you must of had doing this one for Todd. A painter's "thumbs up" to you!
What a great time was had by all it sounds, and some wonderful advice for all of us to follow. How neat someone plants and shares garden bounty just because they enjoy sharing. Neat thing to do!
Absolutely Amazing! Your murals seem to keep getting better & better. And your reputation is spreading farther! I enjoy reading about your adventures in painting, your beliefs & humbleness only make you more special - I can't wait until the next installment! Thanks!
BTW-I really love these, I wouldn't mind having them on MY walls. And what a great idea to use the parrots & lizards instead of people. Someone should send the photos to Jimmy Buffet!
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