In July of 2018, I attended a ground breaking ceremony for a new Habitat home, here in Spring Hill, Florida. This very special home was for the Rodriguez family, who are originally from Puerto Rico. This is now my fourth Habitat painting. Here’s how this new home started:

Puerto Rico blog, Rodriquez ground breaking

A bit earlier, I had started my painting, now called, My Puerto Rico. The title of this painting is very special to me and I’ll explain why a bit later in the blog. But here is a 2nd stage photo of the painting. As you can see it’s rough, just like the ground breaking. But, both the painting and the house turned into new beginnings.

My Puerto Rico, stage 1

On March 30th, 2019 the dedication of this very special home for grandmother and granddaughter took place. Both inside and out, it was a joyous celebration for the new home owners as well as lots of loving and hardworking volunteers who attended. Solomon tells us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the workers labor in vain.” There was no vain building happening here.

Habitat dedication

I never get tired of seeing the delight and surprise of the homeowners when I present the painting. This certainly was the case for both of them.

Presentation of "My Puerto Rico"

But for me, this painting was even more special. In between the dedication and the completion of this painting, I was able to take a cruise in January and visit the wonderful city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Rodriguez’s homeland.

I was so very blessed to see the city through the eyes of 4 sisters, originally, from Puerto Rico, whom I met while on the cruise ship at dinner one night. Their gracious tour of the city and how they ministered to me so soon after my husband’s death is a story in itself. One I will tell very soon.

But here is the finished painting, I do hope it will remind the Rodriguez’s of their old homeland while in their new home. 

© Laura Gabel, “My Puerto Rico”. 30 x 40, oil. Private Collection.

© Laura Gabel, “My Puerto Rico”. 30 x 40, oil. Private Collection.

For me, this painting signifies a wonderful time with some new friends who were generous with their time and love. I look forward to telling you more of my adventures with them soon.



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