Painted Rock   2 comments

Today is the worst day of the year for me.  It has been for the last ten years.  I should really feel blessed that my mother was able to survive for so long after being diagnosed with cancer when I was born.  She was a fighter, and I do feel blessed.  I am blessed that for today, I was able to bring my father to morning mass, where the priest that married my oldest sibling, and everyone in between in my family, including me, made a special visit to the local church where we were married, to say mass for my mom (I am just now realizing that I should have taken a picture with the priest and my dad together this morning…I should know better, I am supposed to be in I.T., after all.)

I just got back from a nice week-long vacation.  This place was a special place for my mom.  My dad bought it for them many years ago, a place where they could get away and at the same time invite their friends to enjoy.  Big enough for the grandkids to all visit at the same time.  My mom always enjoyed watching the wildlife in the yard…I am most certain I inherited that trait from her (to my wife’s chagrin…she just gives me a look when I point out this bird or that deer…oh look, a squirrel!)  My mom even named a pair of pheasants that called our yard their home.  Phil and Phyllis the pheasants.  She would watch from the porch as they wandered about without a care.  These are NOT pheasants…but they paid us a visit the other day…


Block Island was her beloved place, and I am lucky to be able to visit there.  On this small island, there is a rock (many rocks, I imagine, but none like this one.)  It is on a corner of one of the few roads that circle the island.  It’s nickname is Painted Rock, named so because islanders and visitors alike enjoy painting messages on it, almost all year round.  From wedding proposals, to congratulatory notes…and everything in between…painted rock is well-known on the island.  Google it.  There was a test conducted on the rock not long ago…it is said that there is almost 3 inches of paint on the rock…from year after year of messages left.   Yesterday, on my last day of vacation, my wife and I paid a last-minute visit…we decided to leave our own special note.


Being a Payne, or maybe just being me…we were running a bit late for our flight off island…in fact, while I was painting the rock (yes, I painted it…I have pink fingers to prove it) our cab driver drove by…he beat us back to the house for our ride to the airport.  Thankfully there is no TSA at this airport to slow you down if you’re late…I could have hopped into any one of the planes on the tarmac and taken off…if I knew how to fly.  Or if I even enjoyed flying.  But I don’t.  For either.

There is also a small park that sits across from the docks on Block Island where the ferries pull in.  My wife refuses to board ferries, ever since she discovered we could fly to the island and avoid the rocky vomit inducing ferry…in the last post, I believe I made it clear how I feel about these little 10 minute flights to and from the island.  Anyway, there is a park across from the ferries…where they added some flower beds, a few benches, and custom bricks were laid with messages engraved on them, for those that donated to the creation of the park.  My family purchased a brick for my mom.  Again, we were the last brick order…we missed the deadline to order by a small margin.  Surprised?


I will dine this evening at one of my mom’s favorite restaurants here in New York.  But unlike in the past, where my dad would always say “no appetizers” because he didn’t want dinner with his kids to last an eternity…I AM going to have an appetizer.  Because unlike in the picture below…I am all grown up. And grown-ups eat appetizers.


Thank you mom for being a fighter, for loving your family so much, you raised one hell of a family.  We love you.

-love, your “Happy Whistler”

Posted July 10, 2015 by mayday76 in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Painted Rock

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  1. Id like to see you and your pink fingers soon!! Ben & Jerrys on the lawn this weekend! Happy anniversary Mrs Payne!

  2. So beautiful for such a wonderful and very loved lady….and….I think your new nick name……PINK FINGERS

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