The Covered Bridge: Not for Sale


There is so much to love about being involved in KMWP, my local NWP  site.  I love how I am rejuvenated as a teacher. As a writer I am inspired, challenged, and validated.  Also, I find a place where I am among friends and community, a group of similarly minded  teachers willing to give up their time to inquire, research, learn and grow. Even as a person on this continuous journey of life, I find myself finding voice for my introspective self. Summer time at KMWP is about being rejuvenated without mentally relaxing. Mental relaxation–July will give me time for that.

Below is a work of art by my mom. I have decided to explore writing memoir using my mom’s art. I would love your thoughts and feedback on this piece.   Thanks.Image

“How could you do that?” How could you put a price on the bridge, a gift from me?” my mom asked looking over the price list I had made for her art exhibit at the Smyrna Library. She laughed, but I could tell she was chastising me, her 45-year-old daughter.


On the defensive, not acknowledging defeat, I respond, “I put a high price on it. It’s Cartersville, a place close by—someone might want to buy it. I can change the price list if you want.”


“No, that’s okay, but you’ll have to split it with me if it sells. Then, I can use the money to buy supplies,” she retorts showing me that I can’t really sell her work and keep the money for myself.


My mom’s paintings are like her children, so she doesn’t sell them, and she rarely gives them away. Some pieces were coded Not for Sale, NFS; however, the expectation was that she offer some of her work for sale. Mom didn’t really want to get rid of her children, so she charged prices she thought nobody would pay.


The chastisement continued through opening day of the exhibit as Mom shared with the rest of the family how I had the audacity to put a pricetag on the gift of her art.


Why I put a pricetag on my bridge I still don’t know? To get a laugh? To make a quick buck? To show my mom that her art is worthy? I really don’t know.


What I do know is that the special gift from Mom should have come with a tag that read “NFS” showing Mom that her gift of love to me is more precious than a pricetag and is not for sale—not now, not ever.




Slice on Tuesdays with TwoWritingTeachers

Slice on Tuesdays with TwoWritingTeachers


8 thoughts on “The Covered Bridge: Not for Sale

  1. margaretsmn

    My father is an artist. I recently published a book of my poems with his Christmas cards. It was a labor of pure love that did not make us rich in dollar signs, but infinitely rich in our connection to each other and to others who enjoyed the book. I hope you will consider a project with your mother’s art, vignettes, poems, memoir, whatever. It is a worthwhile endeavor.


  2. Her art is amazing! It must be hard to put a number on a piece I’m sure took a lot of work! I’m glad you’re inquiring into this- it seems like great thinking to delve into at your WP. (I’m also doing something with my local branch of the NWP- what a wonderful organization!)


  3. It’s sounds like a project to love, Maya. Margaret’s book with her father’s art is beautiful, a treasure indeed. Perhaps you put a price because you were offering a compliment? It’s a lovely piece. Bridges hold such metaphorical thoughts in my eyes. I hope you start writing!


  4. I love this. First off what a unique family inspired kind of memoir to write. I wish you all the best in this endeavor. Secondly, the writing is superb. I look forward to reading more from you!


  5. Who knows why you did it, but by doing so you shared with your mom that you thought her artwork had great value. You can always declare it NFS and just keep it – for it is a beautiful painting…and now it has a story.


  6. What a beautiful story! Mother daughter relationships are so special. I love reading memoirs and artwork especially from your mom is a great way to get started. I look forward to reading more.


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