Artistic Gerri

Sometimes life comes full circle. 

I was born in Norfolk, Va., middle daughter of Gerald and Elizabeth Hedge.  They had started life, respectively, in Dublin and Blacksburg, Va., children of hard-working farmers. Dad got a case of wanderlust and joined the Navy before he married mom.  That was what caused me to come along in the Navy town of Norfolk.

Dad's assignments led us to many homes in the U.S., nearly always living near the sea thus requiring us to spend many days on a pier waving hello or goodbye to ships of gray carrying Dad off to somewhere for some length of time.

A serious illness caused the Navy to assign my father to safer duties ashore when I was in highschool and that meant we moved to the landlocked state of Ohio where he was a Navy recruiter for several years.  When it came time to retire Dad knew he wanted to return to Norfolk and end his long career surrounded by ships and sea once again.  I followed not long after that and began my adult life once again in familiar turf.

Throughout all the many moves we made, our home base was always the farms in Dublin and Blacksburg.  The Blacksburg farm of Essie and Tom Epperley was great fun for a kid to run around barefoot, learn how to milk cows, slop hogs, feed calves and collect eggs.  When our parents tried to broaden our horizons with a trip for the summer to some place other than the farms, the cries of protest were strong from the three daughters and back we went.  The heck with Canada.  As an adult dealing with the trials of life, the farm on Happy Hollow was where I went to heal.  It is still there and lovingly cared for by the new owners, Jenny and Trevor Smith.

The years brought marriage, divorce for me, death for my father and grandparents, turmoil in my job on that same waterfront which attracted my father.  By 1992, I was on a plane to work and live in Germany, still serving the military but now dealing with groceries for the troops instead of supplies for ships. 

I said I'd stay three years.  By 2010, it was time to retire, ending an incredible experience of working and living and travelling to places I never thought I'd see.  It was time to come home.  The European years brought a wonderful man into my life who suggested we settle in, of all places, Blacksburg, and here we are about three miles from that wonderful healing place.

I have come full circle.

My artwork is dedicated to my beloved baby sister, Pat, the one on the left in the photo. She sits by my side in my art studio and warms my heart daily.  1946-2011, walk with ease, beautiful sister.