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A week and a half ago I received notice from the post office that I had a package waiting to be picked up. I was a bit puzzled as I had not ordered anything recently, but then remembered a mysterious email I had received from a long-distance friend asking for my mailing address but not telling me what he was sending. Needless to say, I was very, very curious!

The package arrived just as I was leaving for Calgary to catch a plane south to Yuma, Arizona. I picked it up but was not able to open it until I arrived in Calgary, three hours later, as it was well-wrapped and I did not have anything with me that was sharp enough to break through the tape. When I finally, finally was able to open the package I laughed out loud in delight! Inside was something so unexpected and so beautiful… It was a PAINTING!!! And not just any picture… It was a picture of ME!

When I wrote to thank my friend, Omar, he told me that he had only just started painting this past Christmas! (Can you believe it?) He had liked the post and photographs (particularly the one below) last fall on the hike to the teahouse, having visited the same place with his wife, Kay. I was quite amazed (and inspired) at his talent and asked if I could share the painting here on the blog. It was such a lovely, thoughtful surprise… I just couldn’t keep it to myself! I cannot wait to have it framed and then choose a special place in the cabin to hang it… This painting will always take me back to that lovely day hiking last fall, as well as that fun weekend I once spent at Omar and Key’s cabin in northern Saskatchewan many years ago. Thank you so much, Omar! I hope to see more of your work in the near future!