Hello from Colorful Colorado! Well, needless to say I have not written a blog in over a year, but here I am after a good long journey to and fro and I am happy to say I am feeling good.
The move to Hawaii didn’t happen, and frankly my heart felt broken for a while. The big island of Hawaii and Pele, the volcanic goddess that the natives hold dear, decided to “clean house” and create. Kilauea Volcano erupted about a week before I was due to fly over to start my sabbatical program, and it continued for long enough to change my entire plan.
What happened instead was a blessing in disguise for my father. He was having issues with sleeping for over two years and it was effecting his health. So I stayed with him Waco, TX for 3 months and helped him get his health back in order by attending doctor visits and going to yoga classes with him. This was a huge struggle for us both, but I saw it through. I got a phone call from a loving aunt and uncle near the end of my stay in Texas inviting me to come live with them for a few months in Northern California, and so I flew out to San Fran.
To summarize my time in California, as briefly as possible, I lived with the family members in Healdsburg, CA for a few months before starting a job at a boutique winery in Dry Creek Valley. I moved into a little 1970’s Silver Streak trailer in Forestville, CA right above the Russian River in October, 2018. The trailer and landlords of the property turned out to be an absolute nightmare, so after a couple months there, along with my continued work at the winery, I moved back to Healdsburg in a quant studio loft apartment up high on Fitch Mountain where I finally found peace and quiet and consistent hot showers! The area of Northern California I lived in is absolutely stunning with the coastline only being an hour from me, and nature trails galore filled with prehistoric plant life and gigantic trees. Over time I discovered how isolated I had accidentally made myself. As much as I love my solo studio time, I wasn’t meeting anyone. No like-minded artists, no dates (dating apps were not fun for me), no new friends, no one except tourists coming and going in a large retirement community with a pretty small population. SO, I worked for 8 months solid at the winery and wore so many hats in the tasting room and as a club office associate, I felt accomplished in my gain-new-skills-goals and decided to move on to Denver.
Before I left California, my job allowed me enough income to get to Hawaii after all! Almost a year after my original flight booking to Hilo, I got Hawaiin to honor my expensive one-way ticket for a round-trip to Kona, HI in April 2019. I stayed at a hostel right on the bay there for a week, and had the best time of my life! I met so many wonderful travelers and even made a few new friends from around the USA and Canada. I swam and snorkeled every single day, and even treated myself to a night-time manta ray snorkel where the huge creatures swim right up to your face in the darkness as they feed on plankton attracted by the lights on our surf boards. SPECTACULAR!
I also visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a week in March 2019 to celebrate a good friend’s 40th birthday with a bunch of our college friends. That trip was thanks to my mother for gifting me a plane ticket. I had a wonderful time and got so much love and hugs from my friends. I also got to paint a mural in the hostel they work at, we all stayed there, and I completed it in between all the fun. We hiked along the ocean and swam in the warm clear waters, we ate delicious food everywhere we went, the locals were amazing a friendly, and March 17th (St. Paddy’s Day and my friend’s birthday) we took a party boat out and I spotted a baby Humpback Whale playing with it’s mother. My first real-life whale watching, and I cried a little at their beauty!
So, after getting in the travels and new job skills, and learning some very hard lessons along the way all thanks to California, I packed up my little CRV with my stuff and my cat Bunny, and drove first to Texas to visit friends and family for 3 weeks, followed by my drive up to Colorado with the same carload of stuff. Soon after arriving in CO I got the chance to go to and live paint at Sonic Bloom 2019 Festival just south of Denver. Thanks to my friends Wanderweird and Stacy Pants, I had a place to set up. I got a good session of painting in near the gallery. I did experience my first kind of asthma or hay fever attack, which shut me down for one evening, but I had a great time anyway bc of the people attending the festival. I would have to say, attending BURNING FLIPSIDE in Texas just a few weeks before was my absolute favorite “non-fest fest” this year though. If you love regional burns and flying your freak flag, give the TX Flipside Burn a go!
I am bouncing around a bit, but it’s my blog so…I can do what I want! Haha! Back to Denver: I am currently staying with another aunt and uncle (my family is great and I am so blessed), and I am working on my artist CV and artwork in between job-hunting and saving up for my own space. I haven’t given up hope on working with Meow Wolf, Denver and I will continue to grow as an artist here. I feel great and I am loving CO. Reminds me of being a kid in Colorado Springs, and I am so happy to be here!
Much love, Jody