A Summer-y and a New Beginning

I’ve been absent for a while now, on my many summer adventures. I could have written several blog posts about each adventure. but somehow blogging has taken a much lower priority in my life recently.

And I’m good with that.

I also haven’t really been pulling out my camera as much recently. I stopped trying to document every day with at least one photo, partially because each day was beginning to look the same, but also because I shifted my focus onto something else.

I’m good with that too.

Today I have a dual purpose in writing a post. The first is to share with you, in short form, some of the adventures of the summer (in other words a summary of my summer).

Part I: A Summer-y

  • June was consumed with single parenting as Nathan left to work at a summer theatre in Okoboji, IA.  The end of the school year adventures, as well as a dance recital took up a lot of time.

 

  • Sarah and I eventually flew out to join Nathan, despite a lack of enthusiasm on my part. (That’s a long story that I’m not going into at the moment)
  • The rest of the summer at Okoboji was complicated, with a few wonderful highlights

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  • I left before the final week of the summer theatre to have a few (much needed) adventures of my own. I visited my dear friend Amanda and attended some of the Minneapolis Fringe Festival before heading off to Lexington, KY for the American Alliance for Theatre and Education conference as well as an opportunity to spend time with fellow bloggers Kathy and Tori, as well as Kathy’s lovely partner Sara and Tori’s son Thomas. (For more about those adventures including pictures and crashing trees, click on the above link to Kathy’s blog).
  • The conference itself was full of complex emotions for me, as well as inspiration. I can’t seem to put all of this in words, but I left with new ideas about what I want to do with my life. Which leads to me to the second part of my post:

Part 2: A New Beginning

Have you ever noticed how sometimes things need to end in order for something new to begin? I’ve noticed for a while now that I have lost enthusiasm for blogging. Some of it was summer slacking, but some comes from the feeling that I am simply regurgitating material over and over again while achieving nothing. Although my readership has grown little by little, I no longer have a sense of purpose when it comes to this blog. In many ways, the blog has been a lifesaver for me, helping me get through some very difficult years. But it doesn’t seem to be working that way at the moment.

Although I am more settled now than for the past few years (I can’t tell you what a relief it was to come home from the summer theatre and not have to pack up and move again) life is still unknown for me. I am still reinventing myself; trying to create a career that I cannot define, trying to write something worth publishing, trying to live a fulfilling and creative life, trying to support my family while still being myself, and trying to find the balance between myself as individual and myself as wife and mother. This journey is the one I’ve been writing about but at the same time I have held back in some ways–out of insecurity, fear, respect, and other emotions.

I need a new beginning in many ways. And, my friends, for now that may mean I stop posting for a while. I am no longer sure what role blogging can and will play in my life. I need to make some plans, and stick to them, without the distraction of the blog. Because face it, blogs can be a distraction, as you pour your heart and words into reading, writing, and responding and time simply disappears.

So, for now, I believe I am on a short hiatus from regular posting. I will still read and comment, and I am always available for a chat or by e-mail. I may even post occasionally. But, I really believe that in order for me to begin again I need to pause for a moment in order to understand my path more clearly.

I leave you today with this image stolen borrowed from a friend’s posting on Facebook, as it sums up some of my current thinking:

Fringe Fun and Other Adventures

 

Just a quick update to explain my current absence.

I am visiting a dear friend in Minneapolis/St. Paul right now, and attending the Minnesota Fringe Festival. It’s fabulously fun and truly exhausting. I don’t have the time (or my own computer) to write quality posts about this adventure at the moment, but I promise to do that upon my return. Some of my adventures include reunions with two former students who have become friends, as well as seeing interesting and provocative theatre.

Or maybe I’ll find a way.

Because, my friends, while my Fringing will only last until Tuesday, my adventure will continue. From here I head to Lexington, KY where I am attending the American Alliance for Theatre Education conference. But, despite the alleged purpose of this trip, these other things will happen:

  • Meeting up with my dear, long term friend, Lisa and her family.
  • Staying with the fabulous Kathy of Event Horizon fame and her equally fabulous partner Sara
  • Meeting, for the first time, the incredibly talented and fantastic Tori of bloggy wedding fame as well as her adorable son, Thomas
  • Possibly having a very blogging lunch with other bloggers in the vicinity of Lexington, KY
  • Possibly vlogging about this bloggy chaos (Kathy’s idea, we shall see)
  • Meeting up with at least one former student.
  • Reconnecting with colleagues and friends at the conference. I suppose I should attend one or two sessions, shouldn’t I?

Please forgive my absence or delayed response to comments and such. I hope you have a tantalizing taste of what I will be writing about next week (after all these adventures, as we drive across country back to Massachusetts.

 

The Mysterious Stranger

I hesitated as I opened the door to the dimly lit coffee house, tucked in the basement of a building that showed the age and beauty of centuries. Would I come out of this meeting alive? Would I be able to get the information I so desperately needed without revealing too much to this mysterious person known in spy circles only as The Brave One.

I blinked, hoping my eyes would adjust to the dark interior. Despite the ban on smoking, the atmosphere felt thick with redolent smoke of mysterious meetings from long ago. This place had always been a location for secret trysts and rendezvous, for sharing information that can only be whispered in safe ears.

It had not changed. Lit only by a series of beautiful ceiling lamps that illuminated their intricate designs and dangling jewels more than the room or the people, one would only be able to see one’s immediate neighbors in booths built with high backs  at angles that you had to make an effort to see anyone else in this tiny space. It was built to keep secrets safe.

I followed instructions, heading to the back in a dark corner tucked away for extra protection. I checked my hidden pocket for my extra protection, not knowing what I would find. Nobody would ever revealed any information about The Brave One, so I did not know what to expect. Anyone who would have given even a hint at who The Brave One was, disappeared never to be heard from again.

I admit, I was afraid. But the information I needed was too important.

The light hanging over The Brave One’s booth was different from the others. The delicate beauty of the other fixtures added a touch of romance to the scene, however this light spoke only of danger, of sharp knives, of death.

Despite the small space, the distance between the door and that mysterious booth seemed to grow longer, as fear weighed down my footsteps. Finally, however, I reached the gaping maw of the booth, and fell under the feeble circle of doomed light, only to discover . . . 

LOL, I can’t go on. This little jaunt into spy/action fiction is brought to you by the fact that I met the fabulous Dory from If I Were Brave yesterday for lunch, and neither of us turned out to be psycho killers. Following a great discussion, we moved over to an adorable coffee shop/bar (that is not in the basement of an old building) that had this incredible light fixtures hanging all around.

“How would you even begin to describe those?” Dory asked.

“I have no idea,” I said. “But we should try.” Now obviously, I could not describe them with any specific detail, but they did suggest an atmosphere of sorts, leading to this little foray into silliness.

Silly things happen when blogging buddies meet.

Shameless Plug in a Bid for Fame!

He’s known by most as the Idiot, by some as the Chipmunk Whisperer, by at least one as a total Liar, and by other’s as names that I will not mention.

His real name is Mark, and I am happy to call him friend.

He is also an incredibly talented and funny writer.

While I am sure most of my followers already read him, I am plugging him today for one reason only.

I WANT TO BE FAMOUS!!!

How does plugging a fellow blogger who far surpasses me in talent and followers make me famous? Because if he reaches 2 million views by January 24th, he has to worship me and give me accolades on his blog. 

Totally worth the shameless plug I’m giving him now.

So come on those few of you who have yet to discover his fabulous humor, go check out his page. Go several times. You won’t regret it, as he never fails to provide smiles, laughs, and thought-provoking prose.

And, I promise, when I become famous, I’ll never forget “the little people” who helped me get there. I swear.

Travels with Dogs, When Blogging Buddies Meet, Driving Toward Irene, and Happy Feet

Some of you have expressed concern as we wend our way east toward Irene, so I will start there. During the drive yesterday from Lexington, KY to Hazelton, WV the only indication of the deluge ahead were wispy clouds across the sky. We even had a gorgeous sunset.

Sunset begins.

Irene only stopped by to say “Hello” as I sat in the car with the dogs while Nathan checked us into the hotel. Suddenly the rain poured down like someone had overturned a bucket and the trees started to whip. I was glad we weren’t still driving, but the convenient timing really only led to a struggle getting Lizzy out of the car. She doesn’t do storms. We are going to hang around here until check out (about noon) in the hopes that we will drive behind the storm, rather than into it. We are only heading to Douglassville, PA today, so hopefully that won’t be too bad. I suspect our worse day of driving will be tomorrow, depending on if roads have been shut down or if there is any flooding on our route. I hope all of my friends witnessing this storm are safe.

Enough about Irene. I had the honor and privilege of meeting and spending the day with one of my favorite bloggers and her partner on Friday. Kathy, of Reinventing the Event Horizon, and her partner Sara are every bit as wonderful, talented and intelligent as you would imagine from reading Kathy’s posts. We had a delightful day talking, laughing, sharing stories, seeing their house which is full of fabulous finds from around the world, as well as spectacular designs and creations by Kathy herself. I even got to see her current work in process, that is going to be magnificent and look perfect in their lovely home. I met their dogs as well, and absolutely fell in love with Ralph.

Our meeting at Third Street Stuff. We are pointing at an important saying for both of us.

Live creatively or die.

Sarah and Kathy in front of fabulous gates painted by Kathy.

Sarah and Kathy inside Sara's lovely garden. That's Lizzy's face, too.

They took us on a tour of one of the horse tracks (Keeneland) and a drive out to Medway where we ate ice cream and I helped convince Kathy to sell some of her fabulous Christmas ornaments in a shop that sold beautiful art by local artists. (Sorry if I pressured you there Kathy–I’m good at marketing others, not myself.)

Sarah, Kathy and I have a horse race.

A fabulous couple!

Future jockey?

Everyone needed ice cream

There was an error, so Nathan got two. 🙂

During all these adventures, we drove around with our dogs, as we couldn’t leave them at the hotel. Kathy and Lizzy bonded beautifully. As our final stop of the day, before we left them to have dinner with old friends, they took us to a dog park and we let the dogs explore for a while.

Three happy friends.

All in all, a truly delightful day.

I have to admit, I was really nervous about meeting Kathy. I am shy and self-conscious, always worried that I am going to say or do something stupid. But I enjoyed every moment of our conversation and feel like I made some wonderful new friends. I hope they felt the same, and look forward to Kathy’s post about our adventures sometime this week.

Our day did not end with Kathy and Sara. We had dinner with another Lisa, a friend of Nathan’s since high school and a soul sister of mine since the day Nathan introduced us. Her daughter is only a couple of months older than Sarah, and they too were almost instantly like sisters when they first met last Christmas. So, Sarah ended up sleeping over (we couldn’t all stay with them this time because of busy schedules and roof issues), and Lisa convinced me that before we headed back onto the road I should treat myself to my first ever pedicure.

Three more happy friends.

Happy feet!

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