Things on my end have been wildly busy! It's difficult to keep up with this Blog. I have recently made some changes in my life that I will share later and that will, hopefully, give me the time I need to start writing more consistently come July.
I recently went to Los Angeles for a week. It was blissful. I stayed with my friend, “C” who I can now officially out at Cynthia from the blog CynthiaLive. This lovely lady lives a block from the ocean, smack dab in the heart of Venice Beach.
My first night there we drank wine and hung out near the water, catching each other up on one another’s lives and families. We share the common denominator of being big sisters. It’s a lot of responsibility to be the oldest! It's crazy to think I hadn't seen her since Thailand and that it has been two years since I moved to Pittsburgh.
>> Cynthia and I in Thailand waiting out a monsoon <<
I have had so many memories like this from living in that city. There is no replacing the feeling of wet sand beneath your toes, the dangling of feet from the damp wood porch of a lifeguard stand or the natural lullabies of crashing tides. I miss the California sun lifestyle and culture so much it hurts just to re-write it. I'll admit, I was a little sad knowing I would have to leave in a few days despite the familiarity of city that surrounded me and the beach that I once called home.
I started my days flirting with the salty air, taking early morning walks and reminiscing of the times my business partner and I would take to the water, daydreaming about the business venture we have since created.
On day two of my trip I met up with my friend, Whitney Rosenson. Whitney owns an online art rental company, Art Dimensions Inc. Art Dimensions was one of my first jobs out of college and we have remained great friends over the years. She immediately dragged me to the artist, Ann Thornycroft’s house to drop off some painting she had on loan.
>> Image of Anne Thornycroft's print, Garden Series 15, found on Art Dimensions Website Here (You can rent it if you're interested!)<<
I’ve know Ann’s work for years and had never had the opportunity to see it in person. The tall vast canvases of her new pieces were breathtaking as the geometric shapes played off the early afternoon light. I was honored to be included and delighted when Ann asked if I wanted a quick impromptu tour of her studio, home and garden. Of course I did! Hell, I hope to get paid to do this for a living.. The home was full of California charm with its open layout and stout 1950’s west coast architecture.
After that Whitney and I hopped in the car and drove up to Malibu. We passed the small town cafes buried deep in the veins of a windy mountain range. I shared with her my angst of having moved East to start a business and the love I’ve found that might keep me there. Fields of grapes graced the hilltops and we eventually landed at Malibu Winery. This has been on my list since they opened. I felt valiant upon our arrival and made my mental check.
Eventually, my trip ended up at San Onofre State Beach campground outside of San Diego where I went camping on the bluffs with youngest brother Dominic, sister, Veronica and our cousin Angie.
It was so much fun. Dominic is deaf and it was a struggle trying to remember my signs and tell stories by the light of our measly campfire. In the end we persevered. Dominic has such a great personality and is growing into a wonderful young man. He's always so optimistic and patient with his hearing family. Most of our family has not learned sign or is very poor at it like myself. I know it bothers him. While we tried to be sure we were including him during the trip, there were still many hearing conversations he was left out of.
Tears welled up in my eyes when I first saw him. He had probably grown a foot since we last saw one another. Veronica and Dominic are my biological siblings. While we are all still very close with each other it’s rare that we are able to spend physical time together. Our brother Damon lives in New York, I’m in Pennsylvania and Dominic and Veronica are a 2-3 hour drive away from one another in Southern California. It had been two years since I’d been able to see and hug my baby brother.
>> Pardon the camp head <<
He has this video blog (VLOG) that he does. At different points on the trip he would whip out his phone, sign rapidly with his right hand while holding the camera in his left. At one point he even did an interview with Veronica (the fluent signer in the bunch). The two of them are significantly taller than their older older siblings (poor Damon and I). It’s almost laughable.
I love being around my younger siblings and cousins, they are all full of so much energy, creativity and promise. They inspire me to move forward, remind me that I’m a role model and at almost 10 years their senior I hope to be doing a good job.