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A month ago, a miracle began at Taste at Oxbow. Lynne Tuft, a local artist and beloved teacher who has been experiencing a steady loss of strength and stamina for years due to post-polio syndrome, didn’t exactly arise and begin dancing, but her heart surely did. Now, her feet are catching up.

On that Sunday, Nov. 4, Taste at Oxbow was filled floor to ceiling with Lynne’s remarkable art, representing 40 years of creative expression ranging from huge canvases to delicate drawings and watercolors, dramatic expressive pieces and whimsical children’s illustrations.

Then, the people began to arrive: students, clients, colleagues and friends who have known and appreciated Lynne and her gifts through those 40 years, and others who learned about the event from the wonderful article by Sasha Paulsen in the Napa Valley Register.

At the end of the day, the walls and tables were nearly empty of their bounty of art, and the hearts and walls of Lynne’s supporters were full.

And, wonderfully, Lynne received enough from the sale to cover the cost of the innovative, carbon-fiber leg braces that she hoped would allow her to once again walk, paint, and perhaps even teach.

So here is where the miracle has already led. With her braces, Lynne was able to cook dinner the other day, without holding on to the stove or counter. When she’s wearing her braces, her husband, Robin, can kiss her good-bye without holding the back of her head to keep her from falling over.

And Lynne recently sent me a video of her practicing walking with her braces, ending with a pretty snazzy cha-cha-cha. Dancing! And this is only the beginning.

Deepest gratitude to Brent Shortridge for donating the beautiful space at Taste of Oxbow, as well as his delicious Waterstone wines to celebrate the day. Thanks, too, to Karl, John, Tom, and Jackie — the amazingly gracious staff — for allowing us to invade and making us all feel welcome.

Thank you to David and Tracy, Cinthea, Lorrie, Stacey, Lynn, Brian, Annie, Paul, Karla (who modeled her own DBS braces all afternoon); Corinne Reichl of Rivervine Press, publisher of “The Grapes Grow Sweet”; the “Art Girls,” Emma, Gracie, Hannah, Ruby, and Velvet; and all of you who gave of your time and added your touch.

Thanks to all of you who filled the room, filled the coffers and filled Lynne’s heart; and sent your support, your donations, and your generous goodwill from far and near.

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And thank you, Lynne, for gracing our walls and our lives with your love, bright talent, and effervescent spirit.

If you missed the sale and are interested in purchasing Lynne’s art, or would otherwise like to support the continuing cost of Lynne’s long process of brace training, refitting and rehabilitation, please contact me at marcynb@sbcglobal.net.

For more information on the braces from Dynamic Bracing Solutions, visit DynamicBracingSolutions.net.

Marcy Nielsen-Berruezo / Napa

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