One of my daughter’s and my traditions when we come to Weekapaug, RI is to take a day to go to Mystic, Ct. and poke around the shops. The tradition started with my mother. She always liked to end the shopping trip with egg rolls and chopsuey at Zhang’s. That’s the only part we don’t do anymore. It is too sad without her.

So there we were poking around in a beautiful store called Whyevernot. It is filled with art and jewelry and clothes. The Teen was looking at necklaces. I was staring at a painting. A petite woman came over to open the necklace case for the Teen. Still staring at the painting, I asked, “Was this painting done by a children’s book illustrator?”


“Was it the illustrator of Waiting for Gregory?”

“No. It was the illustrator of Red Sings From Treetops. It was me.”

I squealed. “You’re Pamela Zagarenski?” I squealed again.

She said, “Shhh…shhh…you’re embarrassing me. Stop.”

I muffled my squealing but I couldn’t talk because I was so excited.

The Teen explained, “You have to understand. Meeting you for my mother is like if I met Johnny Depp.”

I nodded, still unable to speak. Pamela’s eyes widened, understanding the analogy.

Finally, words returned and Pamela and I talked about her work, the painting that was worth every penny of the $20,000 price tag, and then the magical moment happened: she took me into the back room where she showed me some of her unframed prints (all the framed ones were sold).

Every one was absolutely gorgeous. The Teen and I chose five and then I bought the last signed copy of This is Just to Say, Pamela’s first book with Joyce Sidman. I felt rich beyond all imagining.

As we left the shop, I sighed, “That was pure magic. I love moments like that.”

The teen wasn’t so sure.

“But, honey,” I said. “In moments like that, it almost seems like there is a crack in the universe. All of a sudden, you’re meeting someone who you’ve only imagined. It feels like magic is afoot and anything is possible. Like Johnny Depp could have walked up behind us at that very moment when I was squealing and gushing, seen how beautiful that painting was and bought it.”

And just because I imagined it and said it, it happened in our minds right then.


12 Responses to “Magic”

  1. Liz Mertz

    Lovely! Thanks for the story, Lindsey. I hope your time in RI is restful.

  2. Shelli Cornelison

    Lindsey, magic indeed. You could’ve just as accurately titled this post beauty, wonder, perfect… I’m glad you got to share that magic moment with your daughter. And that you were able to choose tangible commemoratives to bring the moment back home. This is such a cool story.

  3. Abby

    This is a beautiful, Lindsey! Congratulations on your new piece of art. How lovely!

  4. Lindsey

    Thank you, Liz, Shelli and Abby. I am very happy to share it with you as well. Thanks for reading.

  5. jama

    OMG! I love Pamela’s work, and this post! Lucky you. Thanks for sharing this beautiful, magical experience :). . .

  6. Jack

    How exciting for you! What ecstasy! I am so glad you had such a moment and morning. I bet that you actually made Pamela’s day, too, with your kind and affirmative words. If you did not already invite her, please go back and invite her to come visit Austin and meet some of her other friends that she just hasn’t met yet. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing a “lifetime” moment with us.

  7. Lindsey Lane

    Carmen, I know you would have been squealing with me if you had been there.
    Jack, It was definitely a “too excited to sleep’ kind of moment.
    Jama and Annette, It’s so cool to share this story with folks who get it. What a tribe we are!

  8. Kathleen Trail

    Lindsey – I’m loving going through your blog archives and this post was one of my favorites. I actually lived in downtown Mystic for a couple of years (about 16 years ago, when my husband was still in the Navy), in a wonderful old building above one of those gorgeous storefronts, just down Main Street from the drawbridge.

    It did feel like there was all kinds of magic going on in that beautiful little town. I’m not sure if Pamela Zagarenski was there when I was, but I’m glad you discovered her!