Taking time to water the grass – or Karen’s 2015 gratefulness recap


It’s been a challenging year (ok, every year has it’s share of challenges, but some have more than others), and as always, when the days get shorter and the mood tends to reflect the upcoming darkness of winter months, I try to actively remind myself (perhaps more often than usual) to be grateful.

I am unfailingly grateful for my son.

There is a strange and rather universal role reversal that happens as both parents and children age. I no longer have to provide basic safety instructions (like those in the vintage Russian posters above) to my now adult soon. In fact, it is often he who provides me with guidance – technical, certainly (with the requisite eye rolls), emotional, often (with equal measures of love, devotion and rationality), and sometimes even navigational (I still have a terrible sense of direction).

grateful 2015 provided me the welcome opportunity to lose myself in my work. While Amanda and Lillian held down the fort, I spent most of the spring in the basement of Windsor Station packing up the Canadian Pacific poster archives. CP has largely moved out of Montreal and with an archive worth millions of dollars, they needed to inventory, pack and move hundreds of posters in a relatively short amount of time.

the gang

Max Miron was my partner in crime in that activity and I thank him for his discreet good humor, his kind demeanor and his dedication to both the project and to me. By the time we emerged from the archives in early summer, I was ready, like the ladies of Ishoj and Frederiksberg featured above, the get out of the darkness and into the light. I’m grateful to the dedication of my L’Affichiste family – you all know how I feel about you. 🙂

This year made me realize how strong and determined I am. (Very.) My health is good (no need for anti-toxins like the one featured in one of my favorite posters, below), and there are few things that I want or need that I don’t already have.

1930’s Original Italian poster, Emo-anti-toxina, Prof Maragliano

I’m blessed with a family that loves me (like the family featured in the Walenta poster below), friends who forgive me for rambling and repeating the same tired stories over and over again and two kind dogs who seem to have managed the move from a house to a condo with no hard feelings (and not too many accidents).

2007 Contemporary Poster “Family” – Walenta

So yes, it was a tough, tough year. But I came through it – just as I have done every year before and will continue to do every year after this. As the winter days grow shorter I’ll continue to look for the light, and thank whomever it is that should be thanked for the gifts in my life. I’m a lucky girl – and I know it.


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