It was a surprise to me when I started receiving artistic creations from my guests that were inspired by their stay here at the Surgeon's House. After some consideration, however, it seems a very natural reaction. The house, grounds and gardens are so very lush and beautiful that they were bound to stimulate folks of an artistic persuasion. Above, you see the work of local artist, Mark Hemleben. Mark specializes in "plein air" canvases of Jerome and the local environs. If you would like to see more of his work, click on the following link: Mark Hemleben.
spent the night sleeping in a hammock in the most beautiful magical garden
while the stars played peek-a-boo with the lovely luna through overhanging vines
bubbling fish singing me a lullaby from their watery garden
while soft breezes swayed me gently
coaxing the intoxicating scents from the blossoms
I waft and drift to sleep
and dream of dancing
down the streets
- rosario melinda hoffman
The ladies had a great time, and Katalin was gracious enough to send along some of her sketches of the house and gardens and friends. Enjoy.
Koi are colorful oversized mongrel gold fish
Colonies of clown-faced painted mimes
Swimming in man-made pools
Each uniquely wrapped in multicolored scales
Bearing names placed upon them
By the lady who cares.
She talks with those sucking at the water’s surface
Splashing, reminding her it is time to be fed.
They yearn attention.
They try to speak.
She dips her hand into the pool,
Into the churning water,
Feeding each carp by hand.
Like the kiss that lingers,
They suck the food from her fingers.
Once sated, returning to a calming swim,
Each strokes the other’s belly
With their dorsal fins.
Brushing fins in fleeting handshakes
Affirming the fact they were heard.
The lady listened.
Aah, the life of the Koi.
The structure had been a part of the old white plaster-over-brick walled home, built on the once carved out terrace in the side of the mountain. The gray flagstone patio covered what must have been the final construction site for the house built in 1916. A small garden of hosta, dracaena, and violets were shaded beneath a large sumac tree. Robins hopped about the small grassy lawn strutting and boasting their red chests. Warblers and nuthatch flitted in and out of bushes. Red-headed, yellow-bodied western warblers flew back and forth among the treetops. The beating wings of darting hummingbirds and the higher pitched sound of bees filled the air like a bull war’s droning.
Fragrant white alyssum, orange-yellow petalled gazinia with its regimented brown-black ring of spots and rose-pink phlox surrounded the base of the rubble pile. Reaching down, I pried loose the rock and turned it over in my hands. It was not a stone but rather a carved ceramic rabbit. It had been kiln fired but never painted. Though the face was now worn smooth, I could make out ears, large floppy ears, stretched backward along its back. The base was round. The right front leg was chipped away and where there had once been a tail had crumbled to sand and dust long ago.
I turned to study the nook from which the rabbit had been plucked. A small rotting, graying, white wood frame lay at the base. Pieces of glass, no pieces of mirror, were there. The wood frame had been part of a dressing table mirror. Yes, there was the handle, shaped to fit in a young child’s hand.
My curiosity was now getting the best of me. Feeling about the niche in the stone wall, I dusted off the base with my index finger. Beneath the broken glass and wood was a piece of hardened but brittle paper. It was triangular, two sides straight and one irregularly worn. The piece of what must have been an old black and white photograph showed only a small portion of long light gray tresses. I imagined they belonged to a fair haired young girl, just about the right size to hold the mirror. No face, clothed body or depiction of the environs in which the picture was taken, remained.
Carefully I flipped over the last remnant of the image. There appeared to be some sort of writing. Only a few bold shakily scrawled penciled letters remained. I could barely make out the faded lettering, but in one corner there was a capital “T”, and next to it a small “o”. A large “A” followed. Beneath the “T” was a small “w”, and beneath the “w” was a large “L”. That is all I could make of it.
I placed the items back into the hollow from which they had come. The once thought pile of rubble and rock was all that remained of what must have been a very crude altar, a memorial, built into the rock retaining wall. Many questions came to mind. Who for? What for? When? Why? I could only guess at answers. Many tales came to mind. But once more I can attest to the fact that following a rabbit down a hole can lead one to a story of wonder.
This very short story was written while enjoying a mug of hot morning java, sitting in the garden of The Surgeon’s House, Jerome, AZ, May, 2010.
My fish are always an inspiration to my guests. Below is a watercolor from Jill Caid. She said, " I was very happy painting it and with the painting itself - It's totally different from anything I have previously done. Thank you, Andrea, for providing a beautiful place to experience and one which inspired me. " It is a an almost indescribable feeling when I receive this kind of feedback from a guest. Thank you, Jill for your gift.
A local friend of ours, Richard Spudich, won a contest for a night's stay at the Surgeon's House and gifted us with these lovely atmospheric nighttime photos.
A French lady took a photo of Mister one morning with an old Polaroid camera. She didn't think it would translate to the net, because, as she said, "C'est une reve . . . ". We decided to put it up anyway. Dream away, Mister . . .
Tamara Carroll, donated this beautiful painting of the house. She has her own website: Tamara Carroll - Painter at which you can view and buy her other work. Her painting has become a favorite of my guests.
Another fine artist, Pama Peckham, normally a painter(see example directly above) whose work can be found here: Artists Register, was moved to take the following photo of the wisteria that hangs over my front porch.
David Pool sent the beautiful flower photos below.
P.O. Box 998,
Jerome, AZ, 86331