Pink Azaleas & My Great-Grandmother’s Home

Pink Azalea Cottage
Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas


Pink Azalea Cottage is a scene that might seem familiar to anyone who has grown up in East Texas and seen the azaleas in full bloom. The cottage is a memory of my great-grandmother’s home in Palestine, Texas, where she raised a family and had a garden and did all the cooking and housekeeping even though she was blind. Nanny used to be able to tell which plants were which by smell, touch and taste. My mother spent every summer of her childhood with her grandmother. Mom said she would take the train down from St. Louis to Palestine after school let out for the year, and the summers she spent in Palestine were the happiest times for her growing up.

If you walk down the path and open the back porch screen door, you’ll enter Nanny’s big kitchen, with the formica table. Beyond the kitchen, through a large arched doorway, you will find her formal living room, with a collection of plates from around the world along the walls, and her favorite rocker next to the radio just under the windows by the cuckoo clock. This is where Nanny spent every afternoon listening to her favorite gospel show. I imagine there were many, many days my mother was in her lap, being rocked to sleep, with the sound of birds outside the open screen windows, the clock chiming the hour and half hour, and the sound of the voice on the radio. What a dream come true it would be to be able to travel back in time and see this tableau, and my mother’s golden curls, as she lay sleeping in her grandmother’s arms.

More good things

Learn how to add magic to your acrylic paintings for free! Click here.

The Joyful Brush

The Joyful Brush is a monthly painting lessons membership, here's the scoop!

Nancy Medina

Nancy is a master signature artist and instructor with over 1800 online students from around the world. She has worked with Disney, served on the art faculty of the Dallas Arboretum, and teaches workshops in France, Italy and across the US. More about Nancy

Reader Interactions


  1. I remember to this day of sitting on the back porch with Nanny shucking peas with her. And she would talk and talk, telling me of when she was a young and that. Nanny always so much love for us kids.

  2. Thanks Johnny, I wish I could remember all the things she talked about, I just have memories of her in the rocker, and watching her turn on that gas stove by touch! When my sister Kim and I stayed with her for a week when we were little, I do remember her telling us we could not go down the street for hamburgers every day, they weren’t good for us! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This