Duct Tape Adventures Continue …

6 Oct

It’s an adventure inspired by my childhood Saturday morning cartoons and now continues into a family tradition. Something that involves the very best of our creative bones, laughter, and smiles.

Sometimes I think I enjoy it more than my kids, but when I see their faces during the race or at the night, it might be a tie.

Do you remember those Saturday morning cartoons, the kind you needed no alarm for, just sprang out of your bed in pajamas and snuck into the living room to watch as everyone still snored and dreamed away until the sun shone through the curtains?

This story always begins there …

Wacky Races. I loved the competition and how each character created their own custom vehicle. The whole concept was something that stuck with me for years. I’d always wanted to do something like that, but nothing like that existed in my neck of the woods. So I needed to wait until I had kids to finally participate in something as cool as that. So the duct tape and cardboard make appearances every year in the fall.

I don’t necessarily do it so that the kids can look back on it and say … yeah we had a tradition … more so that they can be able to remember the fun in building, in creating, in racing, in cheering others on, in thinking yeah we had fun with mom on that, that was something cool I enjoyed in my childhood. I know they enjoy it in the present moment, I just hope the memory lasts long after I’m gone and they smile at the pictures. They start conversations with each other and tell stories of our family. They think … good times, noodle salad.

Our annual duct tape adventures took place last month and I seemed to enjoy the creativity and architectural skills of all the participants. I’m surprised every year by the ingenuity and awesomeness of people’s spirit. Sometimes I wonder if these people make props or stage sets for a living because they’re so great. But I give my mom skills a high five as we are always one of the few boats left afloat.

This year my son, a true fan of The Rebellion, chose a Star Wars themed ship for the race and in truth we almost didn’t make it. But a couple late nights and the amazing strength of Gorilla Duct Tape and we were sailing away.

 

Our Rebel ship ready for takeoff 🙂

As always we participated in the child-adult race, but they also decided to try their luck in the child-child category as well. It was so fun to see them paddle their way to the finish line. Now they weren’t experienced kayakers as some of the older kids, but the fact that they raced on their own and tried it was pretty fun to watch. I was worried by son’s competitive edge would result in a frustrating loss, but he enjoyed his first kid race, regardless. My daughter attempted paddling and I believe her arm muscles didn’t appreciate it the next morning. Next year we’re gonna have to try taking rowing lessons as we finally got the buoyancy and staying afloat part nailed. We just need our rowing muscles and a little more coordination.

IMG_4100

My favorite this year was Marty, Doc, and their DeLorean …

But no matter what, we enjoyed our day at the beach, the camaraderie of the other boat architects, the creativity of the boats and the excitement of the races. I’ll keep building the boats as long as they keep enjoying the journey.

Buen Camino my friends

 

 

 

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The Bench Is Not A Fun Place …

15 Sep

You hope at the very least that they have a moment when they hear the cheer. The clapping. The loudness. You hear the woo-hoo charged with such energy and enthusiasm that it reverberates in the air.

You’ve heard it before for your kid and hoped the start of a new year on a new team, that you’d hear the roar again, at the very least from you.

But instead it was silence, frustration, and disbelief. I rubbed my forehead and face in anguish. It was painful to watch.

It was one of those times you tried to find something positive to say or remember about the performance and nothing … absolutely nothing came to mind.

I had one of those parent moments where I couldn’t believe what was happening but it was happening because my eyes were watching it, so I just sat there stunned.

I was watching everything fall apart, just completely sink. From the top of his game to being third string. As a parent and sports enthusiast it was tough to face.

He had the worst … and I mean the worst game of his life, where everything that could go wrong did. He forgot how to pass, how to shoot, how to move fast, how to defend. It’s like he had amnesia and forgot how to play the game. It hurt to watch him self-destruct.

It hurt to come to terms with the terrible plays and effort, it was disappointing to know that he was just a body out there, not making an impact at all … well … he was, but a negative one.

That’s one thing I tell both my kids … did you make an impact? Did you do better than last time?

Both answers were no.

I mean just yesterday my daughter continued making strides in her first year of soccer. The way she continues to improve as a player every game only makes me believe that we’re just scratching at the surface of her potential. I’m excited at what she can do and what’s to come for her.

My son, however, has started his journey this year at an all-time low, and I’m troubled by it. I’m having a lowly parent moment where I feel there’s nothing I can do for my kid. No matter how many pointers or words of encouragement I shout out nothing was getting through and the slump snowballed into a disastrous state of play.

It’s the first time I couldn’t see a positive. It was an epic failure and it sat there for all to watch and the oohs and ohhhs could be heard.

The performance will hang over him like a Scarlett Letter and he’ll have to dig and fight his way out. He’ll have to work twice as hard now to even earn half the time he had before. It’s slipping away.

I’m thinking maybe it’s time to rewatch Rudy, or Hoosiers, or read the sports biographies of comeback underdogs. Perhaps rewatch Nadal’s Championship match in the U.S. Open, because the bench is not a fun place if you’re an athlete. It’s not great if you’re a parent either.

This uphill battle is going to be tough. I’m wondering what Coach Taylor would say …

Buen Camino my friends…

Channeling My Inner-Coach Taylor

31 Aug

I saw myself doing it at one point in my life, don’t remember when I thought I could pull it off but I totally saw myself with the whistle and Coach Taylor attitude.

But I hadn’t committed myself … not until my daughter saw Megan Rapinoe and Crystal Dunn on the screen during the World Cup and asked who are they?

Oh I’m playing soccer this year, she says. That will be my sport this semester.

Soccer.

The one sport in my entire athletic repertoire that I did not play. I watch it every four years and catch Vela whenever we can go to the stadium. I reported on it during my newspaper days. I know the ins-and-outs, but hadn’t played on a team before.

But there she was … inspired by World Cup fever and so I was left with a decision. I had my run-in with this AYSO bunch before … you know the disaster that happened with my son a few years back, so I wasn’t sure I could handle another logistical nightmare.

I had to think about this one.

You see, I had signed her up to play but she was waitlisted. You know the lies about the Wait List. I was like here we go again. And then I got the message … you know the one … ‘calling all volunteers’ but with an extra twist. If you’re player has been waitlisted we give priority to people who volunteer.

Priority.

And there it was … the trap. The offer I couldn’t refuse …

Coaching. Coaching your kid’s team, along with other kids you don’t know, who may not always listen, and whose parents might be THOSE parents, the ones that come out on the news brawling in a full on cage match because of a bad call on the field.

That gave me some pause.

But there could be positives …

Time for Jim Carrey’s YES Man to make his appearance. And he did. My perspective shifted and it no longer seemed like a trap but an opportunity. An opportunity to try something new with my daughter, a double journey.

Now I was a little hesitant because I come from the old school philosophy that you shouldn’t be a coach if you’ve never played the sport. But I already knew the sport, I was athletic enough to pick up some skills and vision was something I already possessed.

So I asked her would you be all right if I helped coach the team, and her response was you coach me all the time at home.

So there it was … I’d officially get a clipboard and whistle and help lead this girls 10-U team.

Let me tell you, some girls at this age aren’t as enthusiastic about playing soccer or should I say doing drills to help you get better at playing soccer. It was funny to watch the different personalities on the field. I wasn’t sure how things would pan out at our first game.

But I helped prepare them the best way I could … The Coach Taylor way. After all they’re still learning dynamics, skills, and team cohesiveness. So positive attitude and the ball movement we learned in practice is what I focused on. As the head coach led the offensive strategy and lineups, I focused on defense and mental state. Fun was an important part of the formula if the players were to last in the heat of mid morning.

And in the end … they did a great job. They hustled and ran hard. We won 5-1 and I was happy to see the butterflies go away and the confidence build up in my daughter and the other players. Step by step they found their way on field of dreams.

In the end, I was glad I wasn’t one of the parents sitting in beach chairs on the sidelines. I was the one running the sidelines helping athletes become better players, helping them gain their confidence.

I was a coach … for the first time … officially. Although I still need whistle.

Buen Camino my friends!

My Son is Kevin Arnold …

25 Aug

So the summer began with the end of fifth grade and the start of the unknown …

I mean, I knew it. I’d been to junior high … I survived 6th grade, but as an 11-year-old girl in the 80’s who took the city bus every morning at 6:45 a.m. I had a different set of issues and concerns. 80’s concerns.

Today is today and my son goes off into the Wonder Years. He is Kevin Arnold. I hope he finds a friend like Paul, or Winnie Cooper, or another Kevin. It makes the transition so much better, to have a friend … a good one.

I worry a lot because the dangers are different now, social media and phones allow kids to publicize harshness when in my time it would eventually, if you were lucky, phase out.

But there are so many other concerns or issues that stress me out about junior high, but I’ve been corrected … “It’s not junior high anymore mom, they call it middle school.”

And so middle school … my sweet kid is going to middle school and it’s a growing pain that tugged at my heart and tuned up the dial in my mom anxiety, because I’m gonna miss my little boy as he turns into a young man.

See ya later kiddo… to the one that used to sprint out of the dismissal gate with joy inside and sport the biggest smile as he’d charge into my arms for a hello-I’m-so-glad-to-see-you-I-love-you hug so powerfully strong that it would take down The Hulk. I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo … to the one that snuck into bed still in pajamas before toothpaste or toothbrushes made their appearances because he wanted a family hug and just five more minutes, five more minutes … I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo … to the one that giggles at corny jokes, cracks up with his sister, and dances to songs from commercials on the spot …any time of day, he feels the music he dances and doesn’t care if anyone is watching…I hope I see you again.

see ya later kiddo … to the one that was so cool he listened to Queen, U2, and the 80s, the kid that liked feel-good songs in the morning to jump-start his day … I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo … to my sweet, sweet boy with a BIG heart who still loves StarWars, Avengers, America Ninja Warrior, Bear Grylls, and Legos… who likes to hang out with his mom and play board games, soooooo many board games, and baseball, and beach soccer, badminton … who is my daydream believer who gets lost in books, so many books, and thoughts … I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo … to the one who loves sharks and wants to grow up to be a part-time shark conservationist, part-time hockey player, part-time baseball player, part-time firefighter. I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo … to the one that still wakes up for Saturday morning cartoons and can watch for hours … the one that likes pancakes and Honey Bunches of Oats … I hope I see you again.

See ya later kiddo… You’re growing up. You’re a 6th grader the kind with lockers, P.E. Classes, nutrition instead of recess, and life changes that will involve deodorant. You’ll run into jerks who don’t know how awesome you are, and kind people who’ll know you’re magic. You may doubt yourself, but I hope you won’t because everything about you is incredibly awesome. I hope that even though your life is changing, you still hug me with that 10-second embrace, eyes closed tight because it feels like home. I hope your heart will still feel safe and big near me. I hope you’ll always remember how much I love you. You are the most amazing kid I know and I’m proud of you.

You’re my kid and you’re growing and I hope that when you’re in sixth grade and seventh and eighth and you turn 12 and 13 that you’ll still remember your 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 years … because they’ve been the best, with ups and downs they’ve been a good life. We just started year 11 and the adventures have been memorable.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

I love you, I love you, I love you …

Buen Camino …

Felt Like Rainbow Brite Smiled Down On Me

17 Aug

The concept attracted me the most.

To think that someone just thought it would be a good idea, good enough to draw travelers into a two-lane road detour and experience your vision takes guts.

The bravery of an artist … I wanted to see it.

The success of this art installation keeps ticking and gratefully until the year 2021. And I was thankful for that because I had missed the initial viewing.

I had seen some of the Facebook posts, the few times I’d logged on last year, and made it a point to make this a destination. Not so much because people marked it off as a “thing to do,” or “the thing I did,” but more so to appreciate the creation of it, to pause in admiration and witness it in person. Pictures tell a story, the good ones anyway, but being there in person gives you feeling. And I wanted that, so last month it happened… it was my new adventure for the month of July.

Seven Magic Mountains.

I smiled when I got out of the car, happy because I’d finally made it to this artistic oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. And even though others had taken selfies with fish faces, and models in high heels were trying to add clips to their portfolios and check it off their list, this experience was more for me.

My dusted up sneakers carrying the residue of the Nevada desert stopped at the barbed wire and waited. I wanted to stop time as everyone rushed to the rocks, or others expressed their this-is-it looks. I paused to enjoy it … me and my dusted up sneakers and jeans.

It was a peaceful thing.

I wondered where he got the concept of bringing vibrancy to the desert. It said in the notes that it was bringing “human presence to the desert …” It kind of felt like Rainbow Brite smiled down on me, on this spot, just to bring me a moment of Zen. But his name was actually Ugo Rondinone, not Rainbow Brite. The artist behind this vision.

I imagine he took into account sunrises and sunsets and how spectacular it must’ve looked, with the brightness of the colors mixing in with the rays of the sun. I imagine he did. He knew.

I caught it in the late morning, though, and it was still pretty magical. I walked up placed my hands on the giant boulders and took a breath. They were epic in size and looked like they used all the crayons in the Crayola box.

I was thankful that my kids were there with me and they got to see what I saw. Maybe it was better for them, seeing it with their Kaleidoscope eyes, can’t say for sure. But the Seven Magic Mountains changes anyone’s perspective.

I was grateful for the visit. I bet my Dad would have appreciated it. To some it was a detour, or pit stop to stretch out, but for me it was the first destination, the place where creativity and bravery met in a burst of colors.

Buen Camino, my friends!

The Day Before …

25 Jul

There are a lot of things I know I’m not …

When I sit by myself at night, I know I’m not going to be as successful as my Dad or uncle. They grew up with absolutely nothing and became something by the time they were my age. They worked hard and reached for what they thought was big. I work hard and have yet to crack the surface.

I know I don’t measure up sometimes, but I’m not a quitter even though life gives me plenty of reasons to do so. I try my best and leave it all out there. I got my America Ninja Warrior grip on it and I’m holding on tight.

I know I’m not as happy as SpongeBob Squarepants but I’m not a bad person. I wake up everyday trying to empty the tank and be kind to people, even to those who are not always kind to me. I breathe and take moments, so I don’t speak out of anger. But I do get angry … at selfishness, deceit, hypocrisy, betrayal, and meanness. I get upset when people lash out, but don’t ask for forgiveness. They just pretend it didn’t happen.

I know I’m not very trusting of people, it takes a while before I can let my guard down. I’m protective. But once you’re in, I’m loyal and true for life.

I know I’m not always enthusiastic to talk to people I’m not familiar with, but I’m not cold. I’m heartfelt and caring. I give hugs and hold tight. I get sad when someone is hurting and try to comfort them with friendship, understanding, and kindness. But I do walk away from people who are jerks and are unkind and think it’s all right.

I know I’m not very forgiving of people who hurt me on purpose, or can’t bring themselves to say I’m sorry for doing something they knew was wrong. I don’t hold onto the anger though. I just let them go. Plus, I’ll always be the first to admit when it’s my fault and apologize if I was wrong or hurt someone.

I know I’m not always at 100, but I’m not a miserable person. I’m sad sometimes and people hurt my feelings, but I’m not spiteful when that happens. I’m just hurt, and I cry. I do my best to get out of the funk and not let it rent more space.

I know I’m not bitter. I have a good heart and it still smiles when things are hard. I still like to laugh. I look for the funny and practice gratitude. I’m a good friend and try to send out positive vibes. I try to pay-it-forward even though I may not have much.

I know I’m best-friend-less. I used to have one … the kind you call right away when something happens to you … the kind you share your hopes, dreams, and broken hearts with … the kind where you have inside jokes … the person that gets you without judgement … I used to have one but lost them, we’re no longer close. But I still have my kids and we share plenty of good-time-noodle-salad moments, and old and not-so old friends, who give me SuperSoul Sunday feelings.

I know I’m not a successful writer, but I’m a good storyteller, who keeps reaching for the stars even though I stand alone.

I know I’m not a morning person, but I still make pancakes and enjoy the peace of the sunrise … even in pajamas. I feel morning starts after the sun wakes up and not before.

I know I’m not who I thought I was going to be when I grew up, but I’m still trying to get there, even when everyone else I know has reached the finish line.

I know I’m not perfect. I’m broken and scarred, chipped and faded. But I put myself together with crazy glue … I’m a work-in-progress and think I’m still flawesome.

I know I’m not a lipstick-high-heels type of girl who gets the double-look when she walks by, or dawns covers of magazines. I’m the Chapstick-under-the-radar type who wears t-shirts and jeans, likes sports and travel, even though most of my travel in recent years have been staycations. I’m the best-friend in a romantic-comedy who people realize ‘she was the one all along’.

So … on the day before my birthday I know these things I’m not. And I try not to listen to those who want to focus on negatives and highlight the things I am not, but I pay attention to the things that I am.

Sending you sunshine and waves … Buen Camino my friends.

Birthday Candles, Papa, and Trampolines

17 Jul

In the midst of the happy moments of jumping on trampolines, completing America Ninja Warrior obstacles, conquering the warped wall, and blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, I wished he was there.

He’d be the only senior citizen trying that warped wall and attempting to keep up with his grandchildren.

It’s always a mixed bag when my kids turn another year older, as there is a happy day full of good-times-and-noodle-salad moments and then a pang in my heart because it’s the day before my Dad passed away. He’d be a great witness to their lives and definitely enrich it on a daily basis with epic grandpa stuff.

His impact was missing, I knew it and it made me think that may be the reason why I try so hard. I try to fill the empty cups so that my kids don’t miss anything but it’s not always easy. Nothing measures up to grandpa, but I do my best to reach the top no matter how many obstacles get in the way.

Trampolines help with that I imagine.

It’s hard enjoying happiness when sadness creeps on in, but I take the moments I can get and hold tight as they get me through the sadness of the day. Because the sadness of losing someone never goes away, it exists with you, but at the very least some happiness can overpower it so you feel it less. I watch my daughter’s laughter as she zip-lined and soared into the pits, as she tested her grip-strength and arm muscles going through the mini challenges and the enjoyment on her face when she shot some hoops in the slam dunk area. I saw my Dad’s spirit. She’s got his playful personality and stubbornness as well.

I get home and open up his last bottle of musk aftershave, close my eyes, and smell. I’d never been into aromatherapy before but this was definitely bringing back memories and peace. And I felt his presence and a pat on the back. His cologne helps bring him back.

He saw my kid and knew that her strength was a good thing. He knows this new eight-year old rocked the sevens. This new eight-year old, who loves elephants, penguins, and hippos, drawing and painting, Bob Ross and every chef on the Cooking Channel, cooking and baking, cannon-balling into swimming pools and gliding through the water, will bring on a whole new bunch of excitement and gray hair into my life. His adventurous granddaughter who likes rollercoasters and hitting homeruns, will be trying one of his favorite sports in the fall … soccer. He’d like his granddaughter …

And she would have liked hanging out with Papa. Grandpas are cool hanging out buddies, they let you keep the remote control and watch penguin shows with you all day.

It was a tough one, but at least there was chocolate cake and someone else wishing the best of the best for this little lady .. this Ninja-Warrior-Artistic-Master-Reader-Kind-Hearted-Athlete-and-Bacon-Enthusiast Extraordinaire.

Buen Camino my friends…

Not Everyone is Worthy of a Purple Velvet Couch …

6 Jul

I stopped to appreciate the coolness of it all. I’d never seen someone so out of their element look like they were in charge. Confident. They had that Fonzie swagger.

At first I thought they were plastic, decorative statues to bring more funk to this older gentleman’s car, but no … there they were hanging out on the back of a classic Dodge during an American Graffiti Friday Night vibe at the local burger joint. All the classic cars were on full display, but these iguanas were cooler than any 67 ride parked out front.

And the thing is I think they knew they were the new kids on this block, but they were being themselves … relaxing and observing every passerby. These iguanas didn’t need anyone’s approval or love, but they got it. They sat there checking out the seen and keeping their fixed stare on anybody who chose to stare at them back.

I don’t know if their home houses those sweet purple velvet couches or logs with leaves, but I’m sure they lounge on those chairs on a daily basis, chit-chatting about when the Geico lizard will come over go a visit.

The awesomeness these iguanas exuded in an environment that wasn’t their own made me think about my son. You see, he was having a hard time with a friend that wasn’t being very friendly, but my son continued to try to include himself in this boy’s life, assuring me that there was no reason why this kid wouldn’t like him. Maybe I was mistaken, he suggested.

But as group hangouts and play dates increased I felt my son was off the mark. So I had a little chat with him … I explained to him that not everyone was going to be smart enough to know what an amazing, and cool friend he was, but that didn’t mean he had to let himself believe what they believed about him.

“You be yourself,” I said. “People will like you for you, I know you want to hang out with certain kids but sometimes it’s best to take your friendship and walk away. The fact that they don’t want to get hang out with you is their loss. You know you’re an awesome dude. You’re like an iguana.”

That seemed to confuse him. He didn’t know what I was talking about. So I showed him the picture. I explained that they might not have been in their own environment, and were surrounded by people they didn’t know, but they didn’t care. They were themselves, hanging out with their real buddies, they didn’t care that people were watching, to which he answered if they were themselves they’d be in the rainforest. And I don’t think these are iguanas, they’re lizards.

And I laughed.

Maybe they were hanging out this way in the rainforest or desert or wherever. Nobody can make them stay posed that way this long. Maybe they were purple velvet couch lizards and didn’t know it yet.  Maybe this is more comfortable than the branch or cactus that sticks in them in the back. Maybe purple velvet is their jam. They sit there and they don’t care, they know they’re awesome in every way and if you want to hang out with them, take pictures with them, find out more about them then cool, if not then it’s your loss. The lizards don’t care. They hang out regardless.

“Not everyone is worthy of a purple velvet couch. But I think you can definitely own one.”

“I like green.”

“I know. You would rock any color.”

 

Buen Camino, my friends …

 

Nature Was My Co-Pilot

29 Jun

I’m glad I finally mastered tuning into my crappiness-mood meter and became aware of when everyday madness escalates to the point where I need to extract myself from the universe in an epic-booster-ejector-seat fashion.

When that bad mood strikes, I usually need to act fast otherwise it can just suck up my entire day and snowball into a disaster. It ends up just ugly and feeling like a Gremlin who got fed after midnight. Then I’m just upset that I’m upset, and that it sucked up my time. The cycle sucks. So when it happened this week … I was on a mission to stop it.

Nature was my co-pilot.

I usually turn to the beach as it is my staycation destination every weekend during the summer. However, with the gloominess that’s taken over I made other plans and the sun managed to join me. I hadn’t been to this place before, so I was pleasantly surprised by the huge expanse. I love it when you can find a mini forest in the middle of a big city. And I loved it even more that this trip to the gardens was free.

You see the fact that I found my escape for free was bonus! There are not a lot of freebies that are really “free”. There’s this thing called restrictions apply, limited access, between the hours of 1-2 only, buy one to get one free, or free to enter but pay for parking.

This was absolutely free … free and beautiful.

Even though every house plant given to me dies, and I can’t keep basil alive, I truly appreciate the beauty of the gardens and flowers that others grow. This garden in particular provided a multitude quiet-thinking spots in kaleidoscope surroundings that plenty of people enjoyed. It provided me with a sense of mindfulness and time slowing down. As I sat on the beach chairs overlooking the pond, I enjoyed checking out the scene, overhearing conversations, and listening to the birds.

I usually take to the water, the track, or the punching bag, and that helps release the frustration that comes with bad mood syndrome. The garden was a less-active and slower approach, but it still managed to help turn things around. By the time I got home there were no traces of foul moods and the peacefulness of the garden came home with me.

Buen Camino, my friends.

 

Bob Ross Would Have Been Proud

21 Jun

Sometimes it’s a sigh of … am I ever gonna get there? Other times it’s a smile that creeps up because the feel-goods take over and I see the possibilities.

I keep looking at my vision board on a daily basis and see the pictures and hope I had for myself at the beginning of this 2019 journey. I’m reminded, another day, another set of possibilities. And sometimes when the day ends I’m not always a step closer to the goal, and sometimes that’s a real bummer.

But when I get a chance to keep the promises I made to myself, the frustration of not reaching certain goals fizzles out. Knowing that I’m keeping my word and committing to new experiences adds substance to my life and keeps the momentum going. Doing something different, something new once a month  provides me with comfort at the end of the day that I’m doing whatever I can to be better than I was yesterday. I’m trying to keep the Yes, Man on a roll because these are avenues I can control and it finally feels like something is going my way. 12 months. 12 new somethings. And number six was pretty cool.

It comes at a time when I desperately needed a turnaround.

As rejections kept floating in, I enjoyed this new artistic experience that put me in touch with artists and their visions. I’d never been to a chalk festival. It was one of those I’ll-get-around-to-it-one-day adventures … and the day finally came. And I was so glad.

 

I got lost in the color, skill, and imagination of all these murals. My intention was to see them create, see what they came up with, and I left feeling inspired to jolt myself passed the slump and find creative awesomeness. They start with nothing absolutely nothing and they come out with these incredible works that make you pause. The talent made you stop, just to admire the hard work. Feeling the artists’ vibe helped get rid of some of the funk that often comes with the lows of writing when the highs are not really working its magic.

It gave me something to look forward to as an independent artist. It helped to know that alternate platforms can also bring you closer to your goals. People discover your art in unexpected places, just have to keep getting the courage to put it out there. At the end of the day I was glad I kept my word, my resolution promises. This new chalk festival adventure helped align my perspective, and appreciate the mural artist even more than I already do.

I think Bob Ross would have been proud.

Buen Camino, my friends!