and it's a teary-eyed time for me. I feel almost as sad as I did when we left Florida to move to Arizona. I didn't know it was possible for me to become so attached in such a short time. But Flagstaff feels like home to me. Whenever I drive up the hill, my heart is lifted and I feel buoyant and happy. The mountains welcome me, and all of the greenery makes me feel alive. This truly has been the best summer ever! Now its time to look forward, instead of looking back. My memories are stored, to be brought out when I need a pick-me-up. It's up to me to find a way to make Phoenix bearable. I do have lots of work to keep me busy, and there is a festival on Grand Avenue September 26 that I will be participating in. Next week is First Friday at Marsiglia Gallery, and then I will be in Cleveland with my son visiting my mom and brother. Bob knows how I am, so he has booked a weekend in Venice Beach for us, and there is an art show the same weekend. He knows how to cheer me up. And the mountains aren't going anywhere. They will be here for the next trip, the next visit, the next summer. Just in time to renew spirit again.
and I am left with wonderful memories of good times. Most of my daughters were able to visit me on my next-to-last weekend in Flagstaff, and we all had a great time. We enjoyed the sights on the square, had great food and good spirits, talked and laughed and walked around the town. Saturday brought more fun, a nice hike at Kachina Trail, lots of rain and more friends. This weekend was the perfect end to a wonderful summer that I will always remember. I found out much about myself, listened to my muse and created. I let my environment lead the direction my art is taking, and had much fun playing with my lampwork beads. I accomplished most of what I set out to do, and left a few things to work on in the future. I am not the same person I was in June. This was the first time in my adult life that I actually spent time completely alone, and I learned how to be with myself. Not easy for somebody who has spent almost a lifetime being a mother and wife. And what a gift it was. The following are some of the things I learned. I learned to be present in my own life without distraction, and to take ownership of my dreams. It's easy to be authentic when alone. I realized that I don't always have to agree with others, but really should listen to other sides and opinions for pearls of wisdom. It really is a good idea to go outside and exercise daily. It's great to have friends from all age groups. Naps are a great idea at any age. I learned it's OK to have cereal for supper, lunch and breakfast, and that it's really important to have a variety on hand to choose from. I learned to enjoy my own guilty pleasure (Six Feet Under HBO TV Series), and found that it was a way to bond with others. Happy hour can mean coffee, too. Apartment living is not for the faint of heart, and it would not be bad to be hard of hearing when it comes to music coming from other apartments. A noisy fan makes great white noise. Dogs are the easiest way for humans to make friends. I'll post more words of wisdom as I remember them.