I look forward to going home for the holidays all year. I spent several years after college not being able to come home for Christmas, so now I plan my entire Paid Time Off use around the holidays. Unfortunately this year my brother and his family couldn't make it, but my dad and I went down to their house on Long Island for a couple days.
My niece is as sweet as can be. She loves books, sing-a-longs, and getting up and down from the couch. It was so fun to see her open presents and then and giggle as she learned what they did. Of course, many of them were books, but two of her grandparents are librarians so what do you expect?
The holiday season so far has been crazy. So many projects all of the sudden and I ended up having to left some of them go. But here are the ones I actually got to:
Relieved to finally be at my parents' house without much more to do but wrap gifts!
In October, I made big plans to go see my family in Florida during Thanksgiving week. However, a few weeks before the trip, I took my guinea pig Archie to the vet because she had been having some breathing problems. The vet ended up finding a lump, did an x-ray, and together with the vet we ended up deciding to schedule a spay.
However, the vets ended up finding that the mass was far more along than expected and inoperable. Instead of bringing her home for the road to recovery, we had to say goodbye that evening.
This crisis ended up coinciding with the trip, and leading up to the surgery I made the choice to shorten the trip and change my flights. Instead of leaving on Saturday and coming back on Friday, I left on Tuesday and came back Friday. So the trip was quite short, and rather rushed as a result
But still, it meant the world to me to walk through my grandparents' house for what will likely be the last time in my life. Even though it was empty, even though it didn't smell the way I remembered, even though it wasn't filled with the people I love.
I tried to capture as much as I could, both to capture a place that meant so much to me, and to use as inspiration for the story I'm illustrating. I miss them so much. But I'm glad my aunt was there with me as a steward of the Misura household.
While I was there, I found a discreet orange tree growing in the brush in the jungle. I climbed in and picked an orange. I like to imagine my grandfather eating and orange an throwing the seeds into the brush, and months later, a fruit tree springing into existence. It makes his impact on the world feel more tangible and everlasting.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.