When Your Luck Runs Out
or how I met my favorite Maine artist. plus a giveaway, baby goat snuggling & more.
It was just luck that I happened to have booked a trip to Georgia during the arctic blast weekend. The first weekend of February called for temperatures well below freezing in Maine, with wind chill temps dropping lower than they have in decades (“feels like” temp of -40 degrees!) Though I felt a smidge guilty leaving my husband with a weekend stuck entirely indoors with our kiddo, I was feeling awfully lucky to escape to visit my best friend with just a light jacket in tow.
Book in lap, smile firmly etched and seat belt secured, I looked up to see who was sliding into the window seat next to me. “Are you Sarah?” I asked as my seatmate got her belongings comfortably arranged.
It was indeed Sarah Madeira Day. My friend had introduced me to Sarah’s work a few years prior and after branding myself as someone who doesn’t know “anything about art” and who lacks the ability to even identify what she likes - it was upon seeing Sarah’s painting of Willard Beach that this finally changed. Her work is what I like. It’s beautiful, of course, but it’s also free of pretension and her commitment to make her work accessible makes me like it even more. It’s Maine - on so many levels.
Sarah, a Maine native, paints scenes of Maine that likely hold a special memory for you - think sunsets in Harpswell, the Falmouth Shoreline, Ferry Beach and Deer Isle.
And luckily, the artist behind the work is as effortlessly cool and down to earth as one (me) might imagine her to be. Our conversation filled the entire plane ride - trading stories of our kids, life in Maine and imposter syndrome. A sprinkling of our hopes for this year, and the next, and our day to day life that will ensue in between. You always hope that the people you admire will even slightly hold a candle to the idea of them you have in your head - but as the day had already revealed, luck was on my side. Sarah is entirely admiration worthy.
I was surprised (the old time flies adage) when we began to make our descent into Newark for Sarah’s final destination and where I’d make my connection. We were warned there would be some “slight” turbulence. Oof, we both said, shrugging off the first set of bumps, getting back to our conversation about summer camps. But then, suddenly, it felt like we dropped a few floors on an elevator.
Oh, right, those frigid temps I was lucky to avoid, the icy tundra taking over the northeast I had escaped - silly me, those severely cold and massive wind blasts were now really revving up and waiting for us in New Jersey.
It never let up. A woman two rows ahead of me, hands plastered to her face covering her mouth, ran to the bathroom at the back of the plane. Another drop, this time much more dramatic, waking a baby behind us. One by one, I watched passengers pull out the bags you absolutely-hope-your-seat-companion-never-reaches-for from the seat pocket in front of them. I tried to keep talking through the turbulence, attempting to be and stay cool, but I found myself interrupting my own thoughts with heavy, concentrated breaths. Eventually, nodding in silent agreement, Sarah and I picked a spot to focus on to keep our queasy stomachs at bay. Breathe in, breathe out. This is fine, we’re fine.
Eventually what was left of my luck ran out. After a mad dash to the back of the plane, I narrowly just avoided getting sick on my favorite artist.
Mercifully, finally, we landed. The flight attendant couldn’t get through her “hope you enjoyed the flight” spiel at the end without hysterically laughing at the idiocy of trying to stay on script. As folks began to shuffle off the plane, resembling seasick boaters trying to find their sea legs, Sarah and I compared trembling hands.
With a mouthful of altoids, flushed cheeks and sweaty palms, I gave Sarah a shaky hug goodbye. She’d have to survive an NYC cab ride next and I’d have to take not one, but two shuttle buses to my next terminal that would positively test my stomach’s capabilities. But I was on solid ground, even if overwhelmingly nauseous. Lucky to have a safe landing, lucky for seats 19B & 19C that provided the opportunity to grow from fan to friend. Lucky for the story, and for puke bags too.
When it comes to Sarah’s art, there’s something for everyone. You can invest in a piece for your home or grab one of Sarah’s prints beginning at $15 for an unstretched 5x5. Her prints are my favorite presents to give: pick one attached to a memory in Maine, grab a simple frame and voila: present of the year.
Want to win a (super duper fun) Mystery Print Pack made by Sarah?!
—> Enter to win in our giveaway below!
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