March 2011

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Easter, 1970. Ft. Bliss, Texas. (l-r) Tammy, Don, me.

There are few pluses growing up in a military family.  But, for what we went without, we didn’t miss.  So, I guess the pluses outweighed the minuses.  The balance was really closer to a cause and effect relationship.  For example, our medical and dental needs were taken care of.  That’s a plus.  However, stitches and novacain were administered sparingly.  As a result, minor injuries were never motivation to visit the ER and you took care of your teeth.

Also, military families have more opportunity than most to see the world (you moved a lot).  Even on the heels of my dad’s retirement, I ended up in three different high schools.  Being the new kid can be tough – more difficult in adolescence.  Seems making friends is easier when you’re hanging off the monkey bars, turning cartwheels on the black-top and still have cooties.

The new kid learns to survive.  I’ve been known to comment that I’m not overly impressed or easily intimidated by people.

The lesson begins early.  The thing is, if I’m unduly impressed by someone, I run the risk of compromising my beliefs.  In the military community, you are instilled with the ideal that you stand for something bigger than yourself.  The kid easily impressed by the playground hot shot ends up sacrificing his Friday milk money on an ice cream sandwich for the big guy on campus.  It’s a virtual dairy fast for the intimidated kid; that nickel amounts to collateral for the priviledge of being ignored.

Still, though people don’t intimidate me, situations can.  There’s this…I can’t necessarily control the situation or environment around me.  Hard to figure.  So, yeah…Dr. PhD Harvard or Rock Star Joe…pish!  But, an exhibition opening or dinner party (is there broccoli in my teeth?), they make me nervous.  Clearly out of my comfort zone.

To help stay my fears, I prioritize.  First on my list, find an enabler – someone who will help me through the event while dismissing my nervous tics as excitement.

With my list in hand, I’m planning something bigger than me.  An event.  The project is in the “throw the idea out to a few people” stage to see if there is any interest.  So far, the comments have been encouraging.  There will be much to undertake (intimidating).  I’ll not let you into the loop yet – still have a few cats to corral.

~The 10th Annual Self-Guided Ceramics Studio Tour
We had a great tour.  The weather was near perfect – less a little drizzle on Sunday.  I took the opportunity to chat with old friends, former students and meet several new-to-me clay enthusiasts…oh, and sold a bit of work too.  Good times!  Thanks for coming out!

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