Karen "Sunshine" Wielinski


My daughters, Jill and Kim, joined me on Elmwood Avenue to celebrate my 60th birthday. This trendy section near downtown Buffalo, NY, filled with an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants, has become part of our pre-Christmas festivities for a mother/daughter day of shopping and lunch. It is not somewhere I usually go other times of the year, but this 60th birthdaywarranted a summer excursion.

After lunch, Kim had to return home, but Jill announced that she wanted to see if she could have another tattoo added to her body “art gallery.” I had always toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo, so I felt that with Jill by my side, I might have the courage to do it.

We found a tattoo parlor that could accommodate us, but did have to sit in the waiting area for a while. This gave me the opportunity to peruse the many samples pinned to the parlor’s walls. Most of these were of a gothic nature, which did not seem to meet my idea for a simple, small tattoo. I was in lucky, though, as a tattoo designer quickly drew just what I was looking for.

My husband Doug’s pet name for me was “Sunshine.” I am not sure where he received the inspiration to settle on this nickname, but since we were both fans of James Taylor, I like to think the thought crossed his mind when listening to “Carolina On My Mind,” which includes the line:

Karen, she’s the silver sun, you best walk her way and watch the sun.

It was for that reason that I chose a sun for this foray into the world of tattoos. The vision of a small tattoo was replaced with a larger depiction, per Jill’s urging.

I left my comfort zone and placidly followed the tattoo artist to a small room, where he skillfullyadded a discrete, blazing sun to my ankle.

When developing this website, it seemed fitting to embrace that sunshine theme—remembering Doug’s endearing nickname for me, along with the idea of spreading the warmth of sunshine and love to my readers. I hope to share with you writings that will provide rays of remembrance, as wellas encouragement and hope.