ART & INSPIRATION BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER
Both my husband and I grew up in the city. I lived in a 4 story apartment building which required walking up four flights of stairs. It was a modest old brick building, housing many blue collared workers. My husband lived on the other side of town in a beautiful mansion, in a once prestigious part of the city. His home was above the funeral business that his family owned.
Living as we did as children, both of us longed for time away from what was the norm. For him it was a farm that sat at the entrance road that led to their cottage on the lake. For me, it meant a five hour trip up north to visit my grandparents.
The pastoral simplicity of farm life is just the right medicine for any kid. I have fond memories of those days spent looking for new adventures that would soon be forgotten when summer wafted into back-to-school time. The excitement of playing in a haystack or experiencing new life coming forth – chasing farm cats – holding a tiny chick – watching as grandma hand milked the cows – the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning – all contributed to the wonder of it. What a magical escape from the noise and clamor of life in the city.
For my husband, it was an opportunity to work on a farm for his summer vacation. He drove tractor, tossed bales of hay onto a wagon, built his muscles and put his energy into doing his work – creating a strong work ethic that continues on.
This summer he had the opportunity to work on a farm again. A local home for assisted living, memory care and independent living wanted to dress up their under-ground parking area. He and a few of his choice students took on the task. Their reward for doing this was having time in the darkness of a dank parking lot, painting a beautiful mural and several of the pillars surrounding it. In the heat of a muggy summer, Paul drew out the main mural and joined his students in creating art on a larger scale. As you can see, the detail of the work is amazing. Everything is crafted with love and all the memories hatched so many years ago on the farm.
Today we’re living in an old farm house which has been updated and restored. It’s kind of a montage of our love for both city and country living. The house was built in 1885 – went through a tornado in 1948 – saw a town spring up around it and businesses move in. A highway to support the infrastructure eventually cut through some of the land. So now we have the best of both worlds. We live in a place which conjures memories from our childhood while providing convenience at the same time.
When we look at what we don’t have – when the grass sees greener in our neighbor’s yard – when we grow old and feel sorry for ourselves, the best place to be is home.
He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe