Knowing what you are capable of…

Each trip with Flo has been unique, but I don’t think anything compares to these circumstances: traveling alone, across two states, during COVID, to care for my mother. Before COVID, I knew exactly what I was capable of. Because of the level of ambiguity we live in, lately I have found myself questioning my abilities.

I love audiobooks. Listening to this while on the road is bringing me back to center and realizing again what is truly important that we are often robbed of during ambiguous times: Imagination.

As an adult, I have worked very consciously to live with faith in myself, not in fear. This trip really knocked me off my game. I heard the term Pre-TSD today while listening to the audiobook, “From What Is to What If” by Rob Hopkins. The term he described aligned with how going into this felt to me. Now that I’m just a few hours away from home and lying in Flo watching movies, my decompression is well underway. And I wish I had to do it all over again. I would have done it with less fear and more grace.

From the Archives: A sign from Steve Williams’ forge. He’s very wise. I have this image favorited on my phone and reflect on it frequently.

Part of taking care of my mom is getting up before dawn to water her gardens. She’s a master gardener and has plants and new trees throughout the property. It’s cooler in the morning and I love seeing what she has planted and her vision of an environment she enjoys being in. She finds peace there. And watering her gardens for her gave me peace too. I wish I would have taken photos. They really are beautiful. But watering itself takes about 2 hours and I have the heat to contend with and the help of two little ones too.

Kansas sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. In Colorado, we occasionally get impressive sunsets where I live. The sun usually sets over the mountain before the clouds form and collect color.
A get well card sculpture for Granny. Heidi, Gunner and I spend 3 hours folding paper flowers and designing this 3D Card that measured about 20 x 30 inches.

My mom is quite a trooper. Her natural ability as a healer has served her well. She was motivated to get back to work on projects she loves. In the meantime, between exercising and all the other things that go into her care, we spent time with my 9-year old niece and 7-year old nephew. You may have seen our live Facebook videos. We had a great time mixing Neuland inks and writing like Architects.

Granny’s kitchen table is where we have the most fun. When we aren’t cooking with her, we are mixing colors and lettering together. We went live on Facebook 4 times! You can follow along. Grab your sketchbook and click the links below.

Facebook Live videos:

Mixing Neuland Inks with Heidi (9 years old)
Together we created signature colors: Heidi Hair (purple), Dish Soap Green, and Coral inspired by Legos.
Part 1 :: https://www.facebook.com/CorporateGraffitiArtist/videos/617049995591136
Part 2 :: https://www.facebook.com/CorporateGraffitiArtist/videos/311757749951437

Writing Like an Architect with Gunner (7 years old)
Gunner is a Minecraft Lego fan. He has also expressed an interest in becoming an Architect. So we lettered together.
Part 1 :: https://www.facebook.com/CorporateGraffitiArtist/videos/894874487673859
Part 2 :: https://www.facebook.com/CorporateGraffitiArtist/videos/751290578979614

Project #1 was getting Heidi’s book published. The process started weeks ago when she wrote the book and presented it via Google slides to her family. They all agreed that she should publish the book. I had Heidi fill out this worksheet so we could talk about it when I got there.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is soyouwanttowriteabook_worksheet1_2020june.jpg
If you have a young one you are helping to write a story or book, feel free to use this worksheet as a starting point.

Heidi says the book was intended for kindergardeners and was inspired by her brother, Gunner. He runs really fast. It’s short, funny, and has great a moral to the story. She wants people to buy it and listen/read it with their kids and grandkids. It will provoke lively discussion and there are some ways to interact with the book too.

After reading her work, we created a board outlining all the major tasks using a Neuland TopChart and Estatics. We determined we would create a self-published limited edition print version AND both an audiobook and eBook. The audiobook and eBook are bundled and available on GumRoad for $5 here. It’s a great way to support her creative efforts and the production costs for Heidi’s next book. Thanks for checking it out!

From Kanban board, print and audio production, to the soft launch, Heidi and I walked through all the steps of self-publishing a book so she can do it again and again!

Each night, my dad liked to watch Gunsmoke. So on my way home, I decided to drive through Dodge City, Kansas and check out the sculptures. While I know that the show wasn’t filmed there, it was fun to make a quick pit stop and take in some history.

Me and Matt Dillon practicing social distancing. This is my favorite mask made by my friend Tina. The sculpture measures 6’ 7”—the same height as Matt.

So overall, the trip was a success. I got to spend time with my mom and the kids. And Flo was right there when it was time to go. Despite the 3 hours of rain we drove through, she was dry when we stopped in Alamosa, Colorado for the night.

With every adventure I have in Flo, I learn more about myself and those around me. You become acutely aware of your thoughts, surroundings and people when traveling. Now that I know what I am capable of, the next adventure back to my hometown will be easier—I hope.

Early morning and final hour before hitting the road. We marbled some paper and said our goodbyes.

And now it’s time to plan the next adventure with Flo. There is just something magical when lying in her, surrounded by the beautiful Birch, a good book or sketchbook, and my thoughts.


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