Life at the Crossroad / Lost Garden 3 © Sue Schlabach

Back in 2010 I subtitled my new blog 129 Twig and Vine ‘At the Intersection Between Art and Life’. All these years later, I am living—literally—at an intersection. We moved into the little brick house in late April and the year of work is slowly ebbing from our achy backs and knees. The house is mostly finished, so our sights and energies  have moved to finding and rehabilitating the former owners lost gardens (They lived here since 1941).

Life at the Crossroad / 1900s village © Sue Schlabach

This is our village in the early 1900s. Our house is hidden behind the cluster of white barns in the right foreground. The barns are gone and the previous owners planted their garden in the foundations (the location of the foxgloves).

In these last days of July, I’m still learning the daily routines of tiny village living. Road crews have been busy, and my nephew comes through weekly to mow the neighborhood lawns. Tractors and hay wagons have been going by for a few weeks and the occasional log truck slows down and manages to make the turn. On Sunday the churchbells (it is just past the bridge) ring at 9:30.

Life at the Crossroad / Lost Garden Foxgloves © Sue Schlabach

My studio faces the village intersection, so past the plaster wall by my desk, I can gaze out my east window to the old village store (now a residence), or from the south windows see across to the Community Hall. Past the store is a bridge above a little swimming hole, and it’s not unusual to see people go by in bathing suits with towels draped over their shoulders. There is a signboard at the intersection, and quite often a cluster of neighbors—who are out with dogs or kids—gather there to chat. We ourselves don’t get too far when we go out with the dog.

Life at the Crossroad / Lost Garden 2 © Sue Schlabach

After years of end-of-the-road living, this social interaction is refreshing. Everyone is quick to tell me that there will be times I want to hide in the backyard. Sure. No doubt. We have a little hidden patio behind the barn for when we want some solitude. For now, the stimulation is energizing, and creative works in the studio are the natural result of this inner contentment after a few years of upheaval, letting go, hard work and transition.

Intersection Between Art and Life — I guess that’s my new address. Back to the easel.

Life at the Crossroad / Plein Air Painting © Sue Schlabach