There Is No Perfect – Enjoy The Present – Live in the Now

I am a born, raised, and forever Southerner who lives in the North. Don’t get me wrong. I love where I am, and when people ask me which is the best place to live, I say: “There IS no perfect place. I love where I am living now,” and I believe that is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness: Learn to love something about wherever you find yourself. Or bloom where you are planted.

The USS Red, White, and Blue – Jacki Kellum Watercolor
For my new Coast Guard Friends

Where I grew up–in the middle of the United States, in a cotton field, I never knew anyone in the Coast Guard. That is one thing that I have gained from moving to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. I have many Coast Guard friends now, and they are lovely people. While living in the center of the United States, I don’t believe that I knew that the Coast Guard is a branch of our nation’s military. Like West Point, there is even a Coast Guard Academy, and here, near Cape May New Jersey, I deal with Coast Guard families every day.

There is much that I love about the area where I am living now. I don’t live far from Philadelphia, which was where this nation began. I live near the place where George Washington crossed the Delaware River, and I live near the Delaware Turnpike, too. Every time that the Geico commercial Washington Crossing the Delaware comes on the television, I laugh out loud, and before I moved to this area, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it,

There are all kinds of Revolutionary War sites and reenactments here, and this area fills me with the omnipresence of how the United States became. I don’t live far from Washington DC, and for me, one of the most glorious places on earth is the National Gallery of Art. People here would have difficulty believing this, but I was an adult before I saw a piece of art that had been painted by a person who history had deemed to be famous. Yet, I studied art and loved art all my life.

When I was about 15-years-old, I saw a television commercial advertising an art history book, and I was in awe of the paintings that flashed across the screen. I begged my parents to buy that book for me, and immediately, Vincent Van Gogh became my favorite artist. Yet, I never saw an actual Van Gogh painting until I was well over 50-years-old. I saw it at the National Gallery of Art.

The first time that I visited the National Gallery of Art, I spent an entire day in the area where Van Gogh’s art was exhibited. It was like an altar to me. Yet, if I had not moved to the East Coast, I probably never would have seen a real Van Gogh.

Pink Roses in Blue Delft Vase -Jacki Kellum Oil Painting
Original Sold to Vikki Ransom Hudson
Prints Available:

I primarily paint in watercolor now, but when I paint in oil, VanGogh’s influence upon my work is obvious.

When I was in college, a professor said that we begin life as a dot, and all that we know is what is immediately around our tiny dot. But as we learn and experience, our dot grows larger, and the area around us grows proportionally. With every move and every new horizon, we grow exponentially, and I love that about life.

I am in the process of preparing to sell my house on the East Coast and move back to my homeland in the midwestern region of the Southeast, but I am not leaving because the grass is greener there. My grass on the East Coast is fine. I live in the present. I love it here. I can simply live more economically in the South, and that is why I will move yet again. I am not moving to a place where I have lived before, and once again, I will be allowed to open the Present of a new place, and my dot will increase once more.


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