No, not snappies of Charlie and the kids. The Allen family picture is Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Hunters in the Snow, painted in 1565. When Charlie and I married, he had a copy of it on his living room wall. When we moved to Indiana, the picture moved with us. It got somewhat faded over the years so, when his youngest brother asked Charlie to order and frame a smaller copy for him, Charlie ordered and framed a smaller copy for himself while he was at it.

Now two Allen had the picture.

Our four girls grew up with the picture. We didn’t think anything of it, but it impressed itself on them more than any of our other pictures. When Charlie found a HUGE copy at a reasonable price, he bought it. Now we had three copies in our house, and two of the girls claimed them and another asked for a new print for herself. The call it “the family picture”.

Here is ours:


Whenever there’s snow on the ground and dark trunks poking up, we call it a “hunters in the snow” day. This, even though it never really looks anything like the painting. We had one yesterday:


There are a million things going on in Bruegel’s painting. Get yourself a copy and groove on how he creates a world filled with individuals who have entire lives, all caught in one second. This is one of the things art is all about.


Writing prompt: Look at a painting of a group of people. Look at it for five quiet minutes. Write about what’s going on in it that wasn’t obvious at first glance.