Coming Storm by Anne Littlewolf.
It's hard to start telling everyone about my spiritual twin.
We met at Wayland Baptist College as freshmen in 1972. At that time, she was Patricia (Pat) Penny. Her father was pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Farmington, NM.
For six months I lived in Farmington and attended that church. That led to our introduction, and that's all you needed with Trish, as we called her.
She never met a stranger. She was friendly with everyone and hard not to like.
Our names were so close that professors and other students would get confused. I was called by her last name and she mine. We laughed about it and decided we must be twins. From then on, we called each other twin.
We were both history/English majors and chess players. We talked a lot of history and played a lot of chess over those years.
Till the last time we met and laughed over lunch we talked about Mrs. Jamar's Literature classes and living and dying by Kate Turabian's style book for term papers.
She liked to crochet in the TV room of the Sub to relax. Two of her closest friends kidded her about be a granny and she started talking like a cranky woman, they imitated her, and it caught on. They decided they were a sorority sisters in Omicron Beta, it stood for Old Biddies. She was the last one, Judy passed in 2019, Nora in 2021.
One time she was in the TV room all alone and watching Englebert Humperdinck in concert. Two guys came in and changed the channel to a football game. They never knew what hit them.
Judy was my first wife. She was engaged to David, but his mother broke them up. We started dating and Trish became engaged to David. Both our marriages ended in divorce. She had a daughter named Karen Sue, and she is now working at the Smithsonian Institute in D. C.
I remember in Spring of 1976; we had a class together. She was six months pregnant and showing. The class was held in an old auditorium in Gates Hall. We sat in theater seats. I'd sit next to her trying to take notes without a desk and fussed at her as she used her tummy, that it she had an advantage.
We graduated and lost touch. I didn't go to the 10th class reunion, and she wasn't there for the 20th. Nora told me she was in an abusive marriage. At our 30th reunion, she wasn't there, but Nora had her phone number and e-mail.
She legally changed her name to Ann Littlewolf, was remarried and living in Gunnison, CO. We got in contact, and she drove down for a twin reunion. It was like thirty years never happened.
Linda and I drove up and spent a night and got to see her horses, then went on to Nebraska to visit Linda's brother and family. it's a long drive from Gunnison to Lincoln.
For a while she taught at BIA schools in the Four Corner's area but quit to become an artist.
She had horses and they were her life. She and her husband rode them, and she bought an 1890 Surrey that she fixed up and trained her horse to pull. They'd ride it at county fairs in the area and take friends out on rides.
She wrote and illustrated a children's book.
She was living with a man, and was driving, as they were talking, he slumped and died from an aneurism. The book was her catharsis. How she learned to go through grief and go on. I particularly like how she handled loss.APS has a place where teachers can mass produce work. You just had to pay for the materials used. I took her pages and had them copied on card stock, laminated and bound. She could only afford twenty copies, but at Kinkos it would have been three times the cost.
They sold out very fast. I sold some at book signings. I sold two to a cancer doctor, he said he'd put them in his waiting room.
I retired and couldn't use APS anymore, so I desktop published them. My printer couldn't use cardstock, so they were on regular paper, and I couldn't laminate them, but they were easy to copy and with a square hole binder were easy to publish.
She came down with some of her artwork and found a cafe in Old Town that would let her put up paintings on commission. Coming Storm was one of them, the others were paintings on tree bark.
I would from time to time go into the cafe and check on them for her. She called and said the guy who owned the cafe's phone was disconnected. I went down to the place it had been gutted. Nothing was left on the wall. The paintings were gone most likely tossed in the trash by the new owner when he started renovating.
She gave me two of her paintings that I framed and have on my wall at home. The first one I call Aspens in Colorado.
The other one is Line Wolf. She came down here as the altitude in Gunnison was becoming a problem. She stayed with Mom while her husband was selling their place and trying to find a place for them and their horses. Mom was having some medical problems and she moved in with another lady in the Baptist community. They settled in Tijeras Canyon, not far from Albuquerque. I talked her into redoing Finn and Flipper as a coloring book. She did and I've published a number of them.
When Mom sold her townhouse and moved into senior living, she and her husband help with the move. Mom loved Anne like her own daughter.
Anne's church's choir on one Sunday a month would stop and the Senior living place and sing. I took Mom to church, and she insisted after I got her back that we listen to the choir, and Anne naturally made me sing with them.
We kept up with each other on Face Book, it was easier to message than e-mail. Every few months we'd meet at a restaurant and catch up. I always made sure Linda came too. They became friends,
Covid stopped any attempt at selling copies. When my mother went into hospice, I gave what remaining copies to the kind ladies who helped my mother with her last days. They were grateful.
A year ago, we met at Papa Filipe's, laughed a lot and had a good time. A couple of months later she stopped messaging, e-mailing or answering her phone.
In November she wrote an e-mail saying she'd been ill and couldn't work on her art, she'd shifted from oil to colored pencil and crayon. They were amazing.
In February another e-mail said she had an aggressive cancer. I had no way to contact her directly. I started checking the Journal's online obits, but never saw one. Today I finally called the church where she was on the governing council, and they told me she passed on April 10. If there was an obit in the paper, I never saw it.
When she lived in Gunnison, she painted a mural at a nursing home in the ward for Alzheimer's patients. It was a mountain scene with a fence and a gate across the door. They had trouble with the patients getting out, with the gate there they stopped trying.
Those who bought her work was John Denver and Ricky Skaggs. Ann and her husband went to a festival in Windstar, CO. This is where John Denver's legacy is preserved. She took a number of paintings and gave them for the foundation to sell. They chose two paintings of Eagles to put on a wall.
She had her work in a number of places in Edgewood on I-40 and she'd let me know whenever one of her works sold.
She will be sorely missed.