The "Welcome" series is straight from my heart. I love life in the country. The first day we moved from the city to the country we finished moving in and then stepped out onto the back porch that evening and felt totally different - like we were our own people - we weren't following others any more. It took some adjustments for sure, the conveniences of town were missed for the first couple of months. I think we went into town at least once every day, but soon we learned how to manage that part of this new life and we set out to build our dream. Now don't get me wrong, life in the country isn't a dream, it was just our dream. The work load of the demands of animals and land weighs a bit, but it offered me something to do with my boys that we needed and it served us well. We found out, though, that all our friends (who had come by our city home daily) didn't want to make the trip out to our new place in the country and we missed the folks that would often drop by to visit. So much so, did I miss it, that I invited the UPS guy in for coffee on occasion. So with this idealic setting in the Smokey Mountains, I did a "no no" and left the gate open so you would feel the longing of your presence and the invitation for your company. I hope this open gate expresses your hearts desire for others to "enter in". The company of accepting friends and neighbors is the richest of blessings, Hope - I sincerely hope you have this wealth.
Welcome Summer The gate is left open just for you - so come on in and sit a spell, kick your shoes off, eat supper, and maybe sing a song. This is what we were meant to do with each other and in the Welcome Series, it is this "invitation" that I have painted for you. Sure, it is a attractive cabin that we would all love to experience, or maybe even retreat to. But more than that, I want you to experience the longing of being wanted and sought after. So, please, come on up to the rocking chair and sit for a while so you can hear the sounds of the night creatures and feel the warmth and love of good friends. You may not have felt the invitation of your presence strongly before, but I want you to feel it now, on this summer evening - Welcome!~ Mark Keathley