This past weekend has been one of those rare three-day periods (Fall Break Day today, so no classes) where things were relaxed, quiet, and just a real joy. A nice blend of family time, alone time, and time with the Grand Duchess. For instance, the two of us enjoyed a campfire in the portable firepit late Saturday evening. Chilly, dry air, a slight breeze, and the spicy aroma of woodsmoke plus warmed apple cider flavored with cinnamon sticks. It was a delightful way to end an otherwise delightful day.
On the painting front, I've also managed to sit down to the painting table for about 90 minutes or so the last couple of evenings to work on the drovers and drivers, which, as you can see from the photograph above, are just almost done. The horses are finished too, although their harnesses and such still require a few judicious dabs of brass and silver to suggest buckles, bits, and baubles.
You'll also notice that a few of the horses have not had riders attached, and that is because I'm waiting to get my hands on a few of the new Minden Austrian and Prussian horse team riders with which I'll finish everything. And, darn it, it seems like some new Minden Austrian and Russian ammunition wagons and carts are poised to hit the market before long. And you know what that means? Yep. The supply and logistics train that I've plugged away at since the spring of this year will absolutely have to have a few additions. Models as nice as those that Der Alte Fritz produces just scream "Add me to the collection!"
I might be able to steal away for some painting this evening, but it seems doubtful. "Why?" you might ask. Well, the Young Master turns five today, and we'll celebrate with supper (he has requested pasta with a sage & butter sauce of all things), a cake, candles, cards, and gifts plus a bit of playtime before bed since he does not have preschool tomorrow. I got him up, dressed, breakfasted, and off to school this morning, and clearly he felt special today. The greeting he received from his teachers and classmates was also lovely to see. I kissed his cheek and told him to have a good morning, but I don't really think he noticed me leaving. It was one of those moments when your heart swells so much with happiness for your child, and a bit of pride too, that it feels like it will just burst.
Time is such a funny thing. On the one hand, it seems like years have gone by since I brought the Young Master and the Grand Duchess home from the hospital a few days following his arrival. And on the other, it seems like no time at all since we were in the midst of 11pm, 2am, and 4am feedings for a little, wrinkled, squawking bundle, who refused to sleep anywhere except on his mother. The poor Grand Duchess had almost no sleep for the first two months, and it wasn't much better for Dad either. But time marches on, and the Young Master is really becoming quite an interesting, funny, and even charming personality.
For example, on Saturday afternoon, the three of us visited one of our local cafes for refreshments following a couple of hours at the park. As the Young Master and I waited at our sidewalk table for the Grand Duchess to join us with the beverages, I began speaking to him in German, the language his mother has spoken to him since he was a newborn. Although he is effectively fluent in that language at this point, the Young Master answered with, "Dad, please speak in English."
When I countered in German, reminding him that he and I can also speak together in German, plus Norwegian, he replied in a humorous yet firm tone just as the Grand Duchess arrived at the table, "Yes, but we don't want to right now!" Sigh. Young Master -- 50. . . Dad -- Zilch. Laughter ensued on all parts in any case.
That particular linguistic slap-down aside, I cannot wait for the Young Master to unwrap his brand new Ibanez acoustic guitar after supper and cake tonight.