- Graduated the last little chicken from high school
- Welcomed home a daughter-sailor from an 8 month deployment
- Taught a 2 week image printing class at the local college for our gifted and talented students
- Helped newly graduated son settle on a college for the fall and attended an orientation in another state
- Quelled through and prepped photos from over 130 artists for our catalog for the Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours (happening in Oct/Nov)
- Hung out with the 2 older kiddos in their habitat of San Diego (Thank you for moving there!)
- Took on a consultant role with the California Desert Protection Act's 20th Anniversary (back to my conservationist roots!)
- Planned a week long trip through the mountains of Colorado with 2 of my 3 kiddos for early August (Can. Not. Wait to go.)
- Cleaned out closets (Step 1 of becoming an empty nester)
- Hung out with friends
- Was awarded the opportunity for one of my photographs to show in TIMES SQUARE!!! on an animated HUGE screen - July 24 at 8pm should you live in NYC
- Thought about tackling the garage
- Joined an online art workshop (Wheeee! Time to get messy!)
- Picked out paint samples for the bedrooms (Step 2 of becoming an empty nester - redo the house.)
- Thought about picking up one of my cameras and actually shooting with it
- Quelled through countless brochures and online sites to plan a walking trip abroad (Step 3 of becoming an empty nester) First stop, my ancestral roots of Ireland.....
Interesting things happen when you see the end of one chapter of life coming firmly to a close. A little anxiety at first but then....Oh boy! All the possibilities pop up to do things raising a family solo didn't allow. Thankfully, all 3 of my kids are living in places I am excited to visit and explore (besides the fact that they live there.....). They are all on solid paths which eases my mind tremendously. I'm proud of all 3.
"Aren't you dreading being alone?" many friends ask.
"Absolutely. Not." says I. Because I am never really alone. And there is always something going on. Always. I welcome the quiet days....
"How sad that all your kids are will be gone now." a friend comments.
"Why?" says I. "Isn't this how it's supposed to be? Raise them to live their own lives on their own terms? Besides, they aren't 'kids' anymore. They are adults. I dearly miss the cute little kids they were, yes. And I enjoy hanging out with the adults they've become - most of the time. There's no sadness in that. Inevitable transitions. Celebrate them."
"Oh." says the friend. I'm not sure she got it....
So - new stuff on the horizon. Lots of it!!! My daughter and I will be creating a duo photo blog in the near future. I'm really excited about that. She has quite an eye for imagery and her international travels have afforded her insights into humanity. Can't wait for you all to share this journey with us. Stay tuned for the link!
- Photo / hiking trip through parts of the Colorado mountains
- 2nd year of Hwy 62 Open Studio Art Tours (with 4 other artists!)
- Local photo / road trips to some new-to-me quirky places (looking forward to doing a trip log to share with you)
- Playing with mounds and mounds of polaroid prints (just waiting for the paper to arrive to put them on!)
- Monthly dinner gathering with friends in my comfy kitchen - prepping and sharing new dishes together
- Visiting friends in Portland, Oregon (a place I've contemplated relocating to)
- Getting those bedrooms actually painted
- Doing more than just thinking about clearing out the garage
- Stepping foot onto Irish soil.....
It's been a fairly mild summer, so far, in the desert. Many cloudy days - little rain from it - but relief from the blazing sun nonetheless. Here's a shot from a recent walk with my best hiking buddy, Toby.
The road may be long, but it is never lonely.....