Potholes and Repairs

Potholes and Repairs

When things are going smoothly and you are thinking you are on the right route thanks to smartphones, Siri & Google Maps, you lose the signal, and the directions are gone. You have a moment of choice words, maybe a small anxiety attack amid six lanes of unknown freeway rush hour traffic, or maybe you are looking down a rural road with nothing in sight for many miles.

No matter how your directions disappear, if your signal comes back or not, you need to be open to finding your way to a destination.

The path you think you want to take may have construction work over the hill or a huge danger ahead warning sign. Possibly even closed for good and no detour.

Art came into my life early, but I went down many other roads first. I really did not have a map and there were no smartphones with Google Maps. I went down the roads of first job, marriage, abusive marriage, divorce, marriage, career, children, then college, art, baby, stay at home mom. Now I have adult children and my road is under construction again, mixed with an unknown future fork in the road. All the days of life are filled with many detours, stop signs, pass with care signs and some great green lights mixed into the trip.

Every one of us travels our own roads, encountering signs, warnings and detours we never imagined we would be driving by. Some end completely. Some have a cautionary slow speed limit that never seems to end. Some are like a racetrack. And then some have bumps, and deep potholes that can do some serious damage.

We all loath potholes. I personally scrunch up my face into a tight mess, close my eyes, clench my butt cheeks, shake my head, grip tightly to the wheel, and send up a quick prayer of “please, please, please let there be no damage” when I hit those big ones you just cannot avoid.

I am always relieved when there is no extra noises, flat tires, or pieces of the vehicle on the curb afterwards. But there are sometimes, those rare occasions, that the unwanted pothole hit does do damage. We cannot just leave the car there in the pothole, we must move over or move on. We find the path to the repair shop to fix the car and put the pothole behind us and we can put the car in drive again.

I have hit a few deep potholes recently in life, I am moved over, I am fixing it and slowly pushing my accelerator. The repairs and gas can be very spendy, and at times I just do not have enough to refill or repair a certain piece right away. It may require shipping and special handling of part you just cannot get in town.  But I am okay with that. My navigation system is coming back online, it is thawing out after this cold spell, and my route to art, rediscovering myself, getting a new battery, and an overhaul is going to get me going to great destinations again.

And find I folks along the way at all the service stations and repair shops. Some have the parts I need, some offer great advice and routes, others feed my body and soul. Then there are a few seasoned travelers that have the off-road maps that get you to those special places. They have traveled the road, been in the ditches, and know how maneuver a few tricky spots, pointing out how to go around a harbor or a mountain. They let you know that sometimes, you need repair people and that the bumpy path leads you to just the right destination at just the right time.

D is for drive.

Fresh Eyes

Fresh Eyes

In 2018, we took a somewhat spontaneous trip with over 4,500 miles in 3 weeks driving from the center of South Dakota to the edge of Washington. From the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, traveling on our own. Mother and 14-year-old daughter on a trip to gain strength, courage, to see the bigger picture and get out of our comfort zone of rural South Dakota.

Catching the spontaneus moments

We get stuck in routines, niches, peer pressure, boredom, isolation, or as an artist: the creative process. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to teach my daughter that conforming, the influence of other people’s actions, our location, or settling, is not the only way to live. To teach her that being herself and opening the boxes with her God given gifts, talents, and be curious, instead of trying to fit into other people’s boxes or ideas is going to help her find a happier journey in life.  Thankfully, I had the intuition to follow my heart to take her on a random trip before all the societal events of the past few years happened. We were travelling gals on the road in the embarrassing mom minivan named “Red Bull”, mask and fancy free!

The teenage embarassing mom mini-van: Red Bull

Her eyes were opened by many sights, ways of life, first time experiences, driving in a populated area, discovering roundabouts, letting her drive through forests to the beach, and to encounter people from all over the world. It was wonderful watching her realize the world outside our small South Dakota community of 1,200 and to come home with fresh eyes. 

First sight of the Pacific

I too, needed fresh eyes. I had been stuck, my gifts locked in a box and stuffed on a shelf. I have the gift of creativity and to see things outside the box. My mind is almost constantly full of ideas with the road that leads from my mind often coming out from my hands, heArt, and soul into unique creations and artworks. It needed to be engaged again and needed fresh scenery to help.

The road-trip was an experience to cherish. We went where we wanted, stopped where we wanted, slept where…well, that was sometimes random! Our family in Washingtown was amazing in helping with the adventure, they may not have realized that their everyday adventures or area was helping us see things with fresh eyes.

Captured at Pikes Place Market, Seattle, WA

We stayed with family, friends, in a few Airbnb’s, annnnd to the complaints of an eyeball rolling teenager: the Butte, MT Walmart parking lot in the back of Red Bull (I had set him up for van-glamping and we could sleep two privately and comfortably).

Ready to Find More Doors To Open Again

We got uncomfortably, wonderfully out of our routine to wander to new places with fresh eyes, and I am so ready to do it all over again after 2020.  Red Bull sadly, would not be making the trip though. But us girls are ready to roll!