Time Well Spent

Time together is time well spent,  And time with our children is heaven sent. – Author unknown, found on a vintage sampler

In the above painting, which is more endearing, the fairy or her habitat? No question in my mind, I pick the fairy. Of course, it would be fun to discover the magic of her home, but she, herself, is what would ultimately charm me. I found life imitating art while visiting my daughter in Vermont.

We had been planning my October trip for months. Five days with my Bridget in a land of eclectic shops and bistros at the base of foothills woven with color. We had every day brimming with activities. I couldn’t wait to get there and begin our adventure. The first two days went according to plan. And then on day 3 it happened, without warning,  my back went out. Moment by moment, the pain worsened as we scrambled to get an appointment with a doctor on a Friday afternoon. We were lucky to find a chiropractor who squeezed me in. I did feel better after her adjustments but was advised to take it easy for the rest of my stay. Both Bridget and I were disappointed we had to cancel most of our plans (although, in retrospect, we really just felt bad for each other.) So that afternoon instead of taking her rescue dog on a hike to the reservoir we went to a movie.

Saturday we managed to browse a few shops before my back insisted we return home and ice it. That evening we had no choice but to stay in and watch a movie and sip some wine. But do you know what? We had a blast. We came to the realization the whole point of my trip was for us to be together. Sure Vermont is a beautiful place to explore but it doesn’t hold a candle to the pleasure of my daughter’s company. That night as I lay in bed my heart echoed the words of Kitty Carlisle Hart, “Each morning I wake up and say, ‘Dear Lord, I don’t want anything better; just send me more of the same.'”

Always my muse, Bridget modeled for the above illustration at age 10.

Always my muse, Bridget modeled for the above illustration at age 10.

Bridget and Nelson - a moment captured on my trip.

Bridget and Nelson – a moment captured on my trip.

All text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.


16 thoughts on “Time Well Spent

  1. Dear Sue, Thank you for sharing your beautiful painting, the photos of your lovely Bridget and your “wonderful words of life.” I send prayers and good wishes in this time of recuperation. Blessings, Lois


  2. Dear Sue,
    What a lovely essay! I am going to be sure to read your blog religiously. I have been thinking of starting one of my own and you have inspired me. Your paintings are beautiful and I am looking forward to spending more time with you via your writings. It was such a pleasure to meet you and now I know why Bridget has turned out to be such a sweetheart. Cindy Mayette



    • Thanks, Cindy. Brooke is a delight too. I only wish I would have felt better when we met. I think you only got to know an aspect of me. I look forward to our paths crossing again and to your blog too. xo


  3. What an incredible truth you experienced and shared with us. I love the way you presented it as a question about your painting. Although the rest of God’s creation is marvelous to behold (Vermont in the fall), thank you for reminding us that spending time with people who are special to us is like heaven on earth no matter what the backdrop is.


  4. Sounds like you & Bridget made the most of your time together despite your back pain, and in the end had a wonderful time together. I could tell before you left that as excited as you were to see Vermont in the fall, it was Bridget you were most excited to see. Glad you had a wonderful time with your lovely daughter. And I’m sending up a healing prayer for your back. Hope you heal fully soon!


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