Dollar tree food art

I wasn’t even looking for another thing to hang on my wall. In fact, I don’t have much wall space that isn’t covered already But I had to have this.
My 4-year-old daughter, Tess, and I take weekly outings to the local Dollar Tree. She takes her little purse and I take my big one, knowing I won’t spend more than a dollar or two and Tess really enjoys picking something out.
Today we searched for stickers. After looking them all over, she chose some very-girlie Barbie stickers for both herself and for her sister.
I began looking through the photo frames. Every once in awhile, I find a decent frame there. But today, I found this photograph, already mounted and ready for a frame. I could not put it down. (The picture is on the left, further down the page.)
I don’t know what I like best about it. The coffee cups are retro-looking and exquisitely cool and they are the sturdy kind that fit nicely into your hand. I would enjoy spreading my fingers around them, feeling the heat of the steamy coffee,and sipping it, perhaps, gulping it. The dessert bread looks good enough to bite into. I really like the crumbs on the table. I wonder if it’s raisin bread?
The newspaper on the table is inviting. I hear folks saying that newspapers are no longer the popular way to get news. But I don’t think they will ever go away, simply because of the joy of holding one in your hands. Nothing else feels like or smells like a newspaper. This paper looks read and the type is in another language and backwards.
And then there is the old key on top of the paper. What is it doing there? I like it there, it seems to belong. But I can’t say why.
I really like the way the light is pouring over the cups and bread. It is, perhaps, a bit overexposed in places, but it does not take away from the cozy feeling of the photograph. I wish I could walk into it, sit down, and relax there. Right there.
I am not sure this photo would have affected me in this way had I seen it months ago, before the photo shoot with Ed Anderson. I watched him work to make slices of pie and sunny-side-up eggs look like art. And he did that. And the shots he took of ladles and pan lids on shelves are still fresh in my mind.
It dawned on me this morning, as I was imagining myself at a cafe somewhere in Italy, drinking out of these cups, that this book has been a tremendous growth experience for me, in ways that really have nothing to do with writing or the publishing business. (Even though there is definitely that, as well.) I have always said that what is important to me in my work is that I keep growing and learning, but I never realized that enrichment would lead me to a “light-bulb” moment at the Dollar Tree.

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