My friend, Joan, has been after me to paint her garden gnome for a year. It is an important project to her. Charlie, her gnome, named after Charlie, her late husband, has sat in her driveway for years, guarding over the place. Now, she is moving. Only down the road, but symbolically it is a big move. Gnomes were her husband, Charlie's, love. The house she is leaving, she shared with him. This is a big move, sifting through her memories and possessions deciding what she can throw or give away and what she absolutely must hold onto. Charlie, the gnome, is making the move down the road with her and to celebrate their new chapter, Charlie is getting a coat of paint. Joan chose the colors carefully, consulting me, the encyclopedia of gnomes, the man at the hardware store and I got to painting. We had to repair Charlie's hand in the process as it fell off moving him, which meant some epoxy. He is too heavy for us to lift, so his move thus far was to a new stump. He still has to make it down the road aways. He is not finished, but it's a start. Sometimes creating a new life is a matter of baby steps, just like painting a gnome.