Here’s the first painting of 2021: I call it, Appraising the Times Ahead.

the first painting


 The cat is 2021; confined to my fishbowl, I  warily wonder what the future holds.

 Why am I Worried?

The storm COVID has moved closer, striking several of my friends, just as the New Year arrived. Their symptoms differ: from asymptomatic to sick, to deathly sick.  Nobody was being a daredevil.

If that news was not bad enough, current events are disturbingly dicey. So, worries have moved into my dreams, troubling me with images of unexpressed fears. Some wake me up – like an unexpected clap of thunder in a snowstorm.

Have you heard them?


I can’t both take a deep breath, and I hold my breath, waiting for the next shoe to drop.

Replace fear with gratitude, and your whole world changes. ~Terri Guillemets

As 2021 starts, I could count the losses. But,

 If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it. ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Doing anything about anything is trickier than it was January 2020. But consider: just being able to breathe, have a pulse, and read are simple pleasures  we didn’t realize back then. So we start 2021 with THREE specific reasons to be grateful!


Today if I can’t be grateful for what is in my life, let me be deeply appreciative of what is not,  I say as distant thunder rumbles.

When a man is at his wits’ end it is not a cowardly thing to pray, it is the only way he can get in touch with Reality. ~Oswald Chambers

Speaking of reality:

Anyone at any moment can start a new future through Christ! (Robby Higginbottom)

Remember, when we hear unexpected  thunder, if we have a pulse, we have a purpose, and singing invigorates our pulse! Sing with me: Jesus King of Angels.


inspired by Annie O’Brien Gonzales

The test of all happiness is gratitude. ~Gilbert K. Chesterton

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