An apology is in order.

The matter for apology is Austin’s wish to share his wonder and delight in the profound world around him.   Would that he could provoke the desire in others to steal time from this crazily busy world around them to pause, reflect, and awe. More importantly, in wanting to make the best use of the remaining grains in his hourglass,  he wants to give praise and thanks to his Creator for letting him be a creature in his wonderful garden.

After 73 years of wandering around the desert of life, Austin meandered into illustrating, writing, and listening to his miniature dachshund Winston howl when Austin dared to attempt jazz piano.  Apart from Austin being the grandson of little-known American artist Carl Schmitt ( Winston possesses the only pedigree in the family.

Austin was born and raised in southwest Connecticut. At 17 he found himself in the roaring metropolis of Harrisville New Hampshire attending his Uncle’s Hogwarts boarding school … a special place in a special time.

Two years later Austin matriculated at Georgetown University remaining in the DC metro area for the next 53 years.

During those decades Austin managed to beguile and marry his beloved and persevering wife Patty.  Together they raised seven wonderful children while Austin earned a Ph.D. in economics at The George Washington University and retired after 41 years as a federal executive in international shipping.  He subsequently stepped into a residential remodeling company and in 2020 settled into an isolated 1802 farmhouse in rural central VA.

Note the total absence of even the remotest claim of illustrating or writing in Austin’s resume (other than life dishing him up with its delectables and detestables).  You poor readers are thus on the wrong end of Austin’s learning curve for these two crafts.  He accordingly apologizes in advance for any subsequent pain in over-exposure – or any exposure for that matter – to his work.