Monday, November 15, 2010

Sixty-Fifth Birthday ~ November 14, 2010

Jim & Peg ~ Gone 'American Gothic' in Utah?
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2010 jim otterstrom

My 65th Birthday gift, a beautiful sturdy pitchfork, inspired this tongue-in-cheek parody of the severe tone of Grant Wood's 1930 painting, 'American Gothic', which depicts a 19th Century farmer with his daughter in front of their farmhouse.

Well, I'm not quite old enough to be Peggy's father, she's only seven years younger than I, but we had fun making this image anyway, and we are portraying a husband and wife team here.

Peggy has an authentic weary expression on her face because she was getting tired of holding up that heavy basket of apples as I experimented with camera settings and tripod adjustments while making several different exposures.

We think her strained expression suggests something of the difficulty in being a hard working farm wife married to the ornery old coot she's standing next to, and Peg says she's also amused by the way her glasses slid down her nose to give it that pinched look.

The apples, from my mother's orchard (directly behind where the camera was located), were later baked into my birthday pie and Peg also made a cheesecake for the occasion.

Our son, Jimmy, who shares the same birthday is here too, so he and I conjured up a bar-b-que under a canopy out of the rain which began falling shortly after the photo was made.

The home-cooked food was delicious; my birthday dinner consisted of a deliberately tiny, lean, and tender steak, asparagus stalks grilled with rosemary, thyme, & pepper (Jimmy's recipe), a small baked potato dressed in olive oil and cracked pepper, a small broccoli salad with red onion, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, and other secret ingredients, and, of course, a sliver of Peggy's scrumptious wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, apple pie with allspice, nutmeg, and fresh ginger. Oh, and another little sliver of that irresistable cheesecake with the graham cracker crust.

And, I received gifts too, the pitchfork, a pair of Carhart workpants, thick winter socks, and some extremely warm & soft insulated elk hide gloves.

Jimmy's gifts included a new amp for his electric guitar and he spent much of the day entertaining us while I was also enjoying a couple of glasses of Moab Brewery's tasty Dead Horse Amber Ale (the last of my 'growler'), and later some nice Merlot.

I can assure you, a very enjoyable day was had by all (especially grandma I think), and I appreciate more every day what a rare and priviledged time we live in, very unlike the recent past, and the very near future.

~enjoy each precious moment~

Click on painting to enlarge - 'American Gothic'
circa 1930 by Grant Wood

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