Friday, October 2, 2009

Change on the Horizon

Most reading this blog assume that I spend all my time writing and that it's been that way for a very long time. Reading back through my posts, I thought about how much I made it seem like that. The truth is I took a break for several years; blaming everything I could except for myself. The real reason-jade. That's how I describe it. I allowed someone to finally break my confidence, which is what they wanted to happen. In the end, allowing them to get inside my head. I walked away because of one person's opinion-stupid I know. Usually criticism doesn't bother me so much. Honestly, we need it to make us better at what we do. One person doesn't define who we are as artists, but I let the jade consume me.

Luckily, sometimes we get second chances. I spent a great portion of last year, helping my husband edit his novel. For the first time in a long time, I felt whole. Sure, I wasn't working on my own writing, but it was enough to revive me. This year I was finally tired of my own self-pity. I hated how incomplete I felt. I swore I'd get back into my own routine again. It was hard, I'll admit it. Sure you never forget how to ride a bicycle, but that doesn't mean its easy when you get back on for the first time.
Then something happened to remind me just how precious all that lost time was. We all have those moments that make us look back and wonder what in the world we are really doing with our life. I had mine on the middle of Lake Pactola in South Dakota this summer. On vacation with my family, we thought it would be a neat idea to rent a pontoon boat and go fishing. The day was absolutely gorgeous. It had been the clearest day we'd seen the whole time we were there. All of us were getting bites and landing fish; which is something I don't usually do, because fish hate my hook.

My husband was out back of the boat wake boarding. Something that only California boys can really do well. That's when we noticed the rain heading in our direction. So, I'm a good ole Kansas girl and my reaction was to grab the camera. How beautiful the far off rain danced off the lake. It didn't take long for that far off rain to be right up on us. We put up the awning, so we didn't get so wet.

The rain became the least of our worries. Hail started to pelt our swimsuit-covered bodies. We rushed to get the kids covered, but they were already screaming at the top of their lungs. The waves on the lake started to swell, making steering the boat near impossible. Thank goodness my father-in-law is not only stubborn and protective, but very knowledgeable about handling a boat in a storm.

The cold water rushed through the front of the boat where my mother-in-law and I were covered up. She realized we couldn't stay in that location. She pushed me to where my daughter was hiding from the storm. Of course, she had to do this because I was in my pre-foot surgery state and couldn't walk without a boot on my leg. When I got down there I realized my son wasn't with me daughter like I had previously thought. Panic rushed through my body as I didn't know where my son was on a boat that could possibly beat it at any moment. Not knowing where Kaiden was; what kind of mother was I? I knew Cloudya was down there and I thought I'd seen him go with her. What I'd really remembered seeing was my sister-in-law covering him up with a blanket close to her. As soon as she heard my panic and the waves settled for a second, she got him to us. Relief hit me, but we still had to get off the boat alive.

The cushions from the seats protected the children from the hail, but they were still shivering from cold and fear. As a mother I feared hypothermia and shock, so I came up with a way to keep them a little more preoccupied. Cloudya loves to be quizzed about things she knows well like Twilight and the Jonas Brothers and Kaiden likes to hear the answers so he can beat her at the next game. We do this alot on long trips. I asked Cloudya when Nick's birthday was and she screamed she didn't know. Well obviously, reasoning was out the window. Then she asked, "Can we just sing one of his songs?" So there we were, in the dark door of a near death experience and my daughter wanted to sing Jonas Brothers songs. Cloudya started to sing and than Kaiden chimed in. I took my towel off for a minute to access the sky. If there was anything I could do, it would be to see how soon till the storm cleared up. I got a clear shot of my father-in-law, he was shaking so hard from fear. It wasn't cold, I knew that, the only thing I could see on his face was solid fear. Almost everyone he cared about was on that boat, and he wanted to get them back to safety. As the kid's voices surrounded us, the sky started to look a little less bleak although the hail continued.

The hail plummeted us for nearly forty-five minutes and just as we got to the marina wouldn't you know it would stop. I learned several things about myself in those moments, but mostly about wasted time. This wasn't just about my craft, but my children and family more importantly. I knew getting off that thing that I would stop at nothing to make sure everyone of their desires came true. All the years I'd spent in my jaded state seemed stupid now. The whole thing made me remember something my grandpa had said along time ago, "An artist doesn't choose his art, but rather the art chooses the artist." I knew on that day, that I had only been wasting my talent and it was time to get over that. Shortly thereafter this blog was born and the kids got to see the Jonas Brothers in concert. Someday an art or craft will choose the two of them-of course, there's some debate on rather it already has or not-hopefully I set a good example for them and they achieve everything their little hearts desire.

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