While I was drawing this a man, who I had seen earlier watering his garden with a hose (whilst I had been driving around looking for a house to draw), came over and stood behind me.
I took my earbuds out so the man, who was bald and wearing a dark blue golfing shirt, blue trousers and had his hands on his hips, could talk to me.
‘Oh,’ he said, ‘I see you’re drawing the Lowe’s house.’
‘Oh,’ I said, ‘is that their name?’
‘Yes.’ he said.
Then he said a few things about it being a ‘nice’ house, and I said a few things in agreement, and then we said goodbye and I put my earbuds back in and went back to my podcast* and drawing.
Then, a few minutes later, a small pickup went past, slowly, and because I thought it was about to stop in front of the Lowe’s house, I paid it attention.
When it didn’t stop, I continued to watch it go down the street wondering where it would stop, when all of a sudden it went off the road, up onto the grass and quietly ran into, and then over, a large plastic-topped letter box that was set on to a concrete base (encircled by plants and flowers) that sat in front of the house of the man that a few minutes before had been standing behind me talking to me about my drawing.
Then, as I was wondering if whomever was driving it might have had an aneurism and lost control, an elderly man in a hat and overalls got out and walked around to the back of the pickup.
‘Damn!’ I heard him yell.
Then I heard the hose man calling out to the elderly man, and then after a few moments I heard them laughing.
And I laughed too and then went back to my drawing.
Then, about half an hour later, when I was about 5 minutes from finishing, the owner of the house pulled up in the driveway and came over to talk to me.
‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that’s beautiful.’
I told her thank you and she asked me why I was drawing her house.
‘I like drawing houses,’ I told her, ‘the light and the grass, and California is perfect for it.’
I told her I was drawing 100 houses and that once I was finished I would have an exhibition of them.
‘I write stories about what happens while I draw them,’ I told her, ‘so you’ll be in this one.’
‘My husband would love that drawing,’ she said, ‘would you sell it?’
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I just have a bit more work to do on it.’
‘Okay,’ great,’ she said, and we swapped numbers.
‘It’s from the 60’s, right?’ I said as I packed up my pastels and paper and drawing board.
‘Yes,’ she said, ‘and we’ve had it 8 years.’
Then we talked more about the house.
‘You know, my husband loves this house,’ she said, ‘every night when he comes home from work he says ‘I love my house, I just love my house'”.