Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Introvert vs. Extrovert

Over the years, I've always considered myself an introvert. Writing and painting are mostly solitary occupations--the activities of introverts. Or so I thought.

With the isolation of the past two weeks, I've decided that perhaps I'm more of an extrovert than I
"In my gallery at Crossroads" ©Mary Montague Sikes
thought. Two Art Gallery Open House events last week were cancelled. One became a three-hour long virtual event which was good, but I still missed actually being there. I had planned to do a painting demo at Crossroads Art Center in Richmond during the Open House. I also wanted to change some of the artwork in my gallery there. Those things didn't happen.

I also miss going to the gym three times a week. Not only does my body feel the lack of group exercise, but I really miss seeing my friends there. Maybe a little bit extroverted?

Although writers might claim to be introverts, a lot of them thrive on watching others. After all, one learns a lot out in public, viewing interaction between people. That's where we discover our "what ifs?"and more.

The new norm of isolation has made me more appreciative of the beginning of this year. In January, I enjoyed chatting with visitors and other artists at the opening of the "Winter Blues" show at Gloucester Arts on Main. I smile when remembering I was accused of being an extrovert while there. During January, I attended meetings and enjoyed the people around me without truly understanding what a wonderful opportunity it is to be with others. I also taught an oil and cold wax workshop that I appreciate even more now.

In February, we went to Florida for the St. Louis Cardinals spring training games. What a joy the beginning of baseball season was. I enjoyed every moment of it. And we got to see some of our favorite people at the Islander Grill & Tiki Bar where we dined every morning for breakfast. I didn't take any of that for granted.

Now, January, February, and even the beginning of March seem years ago. I would like to slip back in time or, perhaps, go a couple of months ahead. I can be an introvert in my studio for a while, but those days of the extrovert beckon me. I will forever appreciate art openings, book signings, workshops, and meetings far more than in the past.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

How Quickly Things Can Change

"In the Dugout with the St. Louis Cardinals 2020" ©Mary Montague Sikes
We went to Baseball Spring Training a little early this year. It's my favorite time of year, and I look forward to next year the moment we return home.

This year was a little different. Near the end of our two weeks in Florida, the players grew more hesitant to sign autographs. Then, just a little over a week after we got home, Major League Baseball shut down Spring Training. I felt a little sad for those who planned trips to Florida or Arizona for the final two weeks. However, I was glad we chose to go early.
"Watching Jack Flaherty Warm Up" ©Mary Montague Sikes

We enjoy sitting in the section behind the bullpen because we get a perfect view of each pitcher as they warm up. What a joy it was to watch our ace, Jack Flaherty, as he got ready to pitch. And we always like to see our long-time ace, Adam Wainwright, closeup. All the other pitchers--lots of them at the beginning of Spring Training--gather to watch the game's starter get ready. This is really a fun time.
"Kim Throwing Warm Up 2020" ©Mary Montague Sikes

The new Korean pitcher Kim was impressive to watch from the sixth row of our favorite section. We also saw Andrew Miller throw so many wild pitches that the coaches decided to shut him down instead of sending him out to pitch an inning in the game. This reminded us of a time, years ago, when we were watching Rick Ankiel on the back fields. He threw so wildly that day that he decided to quit pitching. (He worked hard on his game and came back as a good outfielder instead.)

Now, we can only wait to see what happens with baseball and with everything else as time stands still. Perhaps the virus will teach us patience.