My name is Jonene Ficklin, and I'm a full-time wife, mom, writer, and professional artist. I've been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I use colored pencils, oil paints, and watercolors. I love what I do!

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Fourteen-year-old Computer Genius, Liver and Masterpieces

Okay, what do all these things have in common? Just wait ‘til you hear.

Let’s start with liver. Many people love it. I don’t. I mean I really don’t. My mom prepared it every conceivable way in hopes that I’d be converted.

It didn’t work. By the time I was ten, just bringing a piece on a fork toward my mouth would summon the herky-jerks. She gave up and from then on, I got to eat beets instead. What’s the tie there? Well, they’re both natural sources of iron – which I needed since I was slightly anemic.

So with that history in mind, I’d like to take you to one of my favorite and one of my worst memories. My father is Sheryl Bodily and he’s a professional Western artist. (Google: Sheryl Bodily, art, and click on images to see his paintings.) His art studio was in our home, so he was always there. It was a wonderful way to grow up. I was horrified to find out that other kids’ dads were gone most of the day. Dad was always there to talk to and he liked to take us kids, one at a time, to art shows with him.

It was my turn. We drove to Kalispell, Montana, to this beautiful, expensive home high on a hill. It overlooked much of the Flathead Valley. I was impressed. It wasn't often that art shows were held in a home. Usually it was in a gallery. Lots of cars were parked in their circular driveway. More people were coming.

We walked into the house filled with people: men in suits, ladies in dresses and heels. A vast front room spread out with a baby grand piano at the center. Artists stood by displays of their paintings and Dad led me over to his. It was right by the refreshment table. I smiled over a delectable variety of hors d’oeuvres.

The pretty hostess came over to welcome Dad and me. She was very nice and invited me to help myself to a treat. Oh, joy!

While she and Dad talked, I struggled to decide what I wanted. I finally chose a cracker loaded with cheese, with olive slices and garnishes on top. It was beautiful, but the cheese spread was strangely brown. I didn't care. Hey, I was a ten year old. I was hungry. And I wasn't about to waste time taking a dainty bite. My back was to everyone anyway, so no one would know.

Nope. This isn't me. She's too young and she's taking a very dainty bite.
As I undaintily crunched down, liver paste flooded my mouth. Pate! I gagged just as the hostess asked my father what he considered his masterpieces.

I felt his hand on my head as he answered, “My children. They are my masterpieces.”

Ack! Another gag was building. My eyes were watering. I had no idea what to do. If I held still another second, the gorgeous refreshment table was going to get sprayed with something very unappealing.

I knew they expected me to turn around and beam. I wanted to. I’d have given anything to go back ten seconds and take the strawberry, my second choice. But I drew a deep breath through my nose and swallowed it all. Mom would have been proud. Shards of cracker cut my throat. My stomach jerked.

Tears streaming, I faced the grown-ups.

“Aw,” the hostess said, no doubt touched that I was crying . . .

Sorry. I don’t remember the rest.
But I do remember the incomparible complement our father paid us. And now, I agree. Our children are our masterpieces!

My fourteen-year-old masterpiece is a computer genius. He was the one who pulled my artwork into the background of this blog. He set up the galleries. He went in and tweaked the settings, using bizarre programming lingo, so that it would do just what I wanted. He’s been doing this for years – figuring out all sorts of programming, web design, power points and other high-tech stuff.

I could bust my buttons, I’m so proud of him. He’s a walking, computer-genius masterpiece! Thanks a million, son!
And thank your lucky stars that I'll never try feeding you liver.


  1. LOL. What a fun and horrible memory. :)

  2. Leisha,
    Life is an adventure. It was your blog that brought back that memory. Thanks!


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