Dreaming of Smithtown

Yesterday, I participated in a small craft fair at a Jewish Center near my mom’s house. I was invited by someone who had seen my work at a big fair in November. My mom and I grumbled about it…disorganized, no advertising, no one is going to be there, and when they did come we judged them, overweight, frumpy, what’s with all the yarmulkes? Well, guess what? I had the best single day in sales I’ve had yet. Not one of the people who showed up looked like my work would appeal to them. But it did. Is there a lesson here? Of course. We look at ourselves and others so critically, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, no taste, too old, too old. Too old. My mom loves her watercolor class at the Y and wants to take more classes. I suggested she check out the Art League. Her response? “But it’s in Smithtown!” Like I had suggested she sign up for the shuttle to Mars. My mom is talented and youthful and vibrant and more than capable of driving to Smithtown. But she probably won’t, because it’s just a little outside her comfort zone. But the next time you see someone older, maybe a little frail and out of date, and they don’t seem to do much, and you think their life is pretty much over, think again. They may look like they’re napping but in reality, they’re dreaming of Smithtown.

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My mom, the beautiful Sybil Ronis at the Manetto Hill Jewish Center.

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