Janis, my partner in life and business has always supported me in a big way. She's one of the main reasons we are successful. Janis provides balance in our lives, sometimes by holding me back (until the timing is right) but just as often by giving me the push and encouragement I need. It's a very good thing. In a few weeks we celebrate thirty-nine years of marriage, living and working together.

The very first year we were married I still worked full time for a grocery store, doing my art on the side, dreaming of the day I would create art for a living. Janis worked across the street in a bank. Beside the store I worked in was a bookstore. One day there was book in the window that caught my eye... a book about Disney animation. But the book was incredibly expensive, especially for two newlyweds just starting out. But I mentioned to Janis how I loved that book. Christmas was a few weeks distant and she snuck into the book store and purchased the book. She had them leave the big, expensive book in the window however until a day or two before Christmas. She wanted it to be a surprise for me and knew if the book vanished I would know exactly where it had gone.

From time to time in those weeks before Christmas I'm sure I mentioned my desire for that book but in my heart I knew it was far beyond our means. Janis didn't put the wrapped book beneath the tree either, for she knew too well that if I saw the present I would instantly guess it's contents. Just the same, Christmas morning when she handed it to me she saw my knowing smile. I had been hoping beyond hope since the day it had disappeared from the bookstore window that I had checked each day on the way into work.

That beloved book still is in my library in my studio, well worn and dogeared from many, many readings. It has been joined by hundreds and hundreds of other art books through the years. Janis understands my love of good reference books and has a special column called research to document their expense.

This week Janis and I snuck away from daily routine for a few days together. Our travels and stops included a bookstore or two where a few more art books were purchased to join all of the others in my library. Once again (as always) Janis didn't question the price but instead encouraged me to get them.

We are having a great time relaxing together too.

-grampa dan

Dan Sawatzky1 Comment