Magic Toes

Charlie, northern exposures

Charles Schuler
She Painted With Her Toes-031

She lived in my aunts’ Old Folk’s Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas during the late 1950’s. How many of you remember the iron lung? It breathed for her. The doctors called it state of the art health care – how quickly the world turns! I don’t remember her name anymore, but I do recall her smile and her sweet spirit, content and undefeated. Her upper body and lungs were paralyzed but her feet worked fine so she taught herself to paint and sew with her toes. Magic! Dad bought one of her paintings and proudly displayed it in our home for many years but it is lost now, a victim to time. It was a seascape of waves crashing against the coast. I wonder if she meant it as a self-portrait? Her spirit, brave as the sea, threw itself indefatigably onto the rocky shores of her life. Valiant lady!

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