This is a mural in our home. Painted by a woman nearly 50 years ago, it takes up an entire wall in the living room. As luck would have it, I know a woman who used to live across the street and knew the former owners of our house. She described the painter, who lived where our neighbor Sylvia lives today, as “slow.” I believe it was a polite way to say “mentally retarded.” The story goes that the painting illustrates the courtship of Paul and Vi, the previous owners of our house. The landscape is a condensed, folky representation of the route that Paul used to travel to see Vi, from St. Mary’s Lake to Pigspittle. Vi lived here from 1958-2003. Paul died sometime in the ’80s. You can see our/their house on the right side, the greenish-blue one just above the teacup set.
On the driveway is a “little person” (again, our friend’s polite way of saying “dwarf”) who is walking a pet rabbit on a leash. Vi is also in the driveway, greeting the dwarf and his rabbit. Apparently, the dwarf and the rabbit lived across the street from Paul and Vi, in the house that my friend later bought.
At first, we had planned to cover the painting—it’s so bright and jarring—but when we heard the backstory, we couldn’t do it. Our real estate agent told Vi, who was days away from death, that we planned to keep the painting. She cried.
I never want to move from this house.Here’s a detail that shows our house
(but not, sadly, the little person and his rabbit):