When we decided on this tour in January, we never imagined we would hit so, so, so,I mean SO many learning curves! OMG! Ok now, let me just say, I am a pretty smart, organized and tough lady, big heart, hard worker, honest to the bone and not afraid of the gypsy life. But sometimes “You just don’t know what you don’t know until you know it!”
For weeks now this is just what you would hear me say, over and over and over. Kind of my way of making “little” of the CRAZY, almost day-to-day hurdles we had encountered, from unpredictable weather, to being moved in our current RV campsite 3 times due to a gentleman refusing to leave his spot. That’s a whole story in itself!
For another thing, I found out that when traveling in Florida in a motorhome with trailer in tow, most Florida RV parks do not allow trailers. Don’t ask me why. We have never had this happen to us in the 35 states we have traveled. Ok, NOW what the heck do we do?
I tried not to panic the first time I heard this from a nice lady with a southern accent, on the phone, using “mam” in every other word. It added sweetness about getting the bad news but still concerned me. And for about 3 hours after getting many “No Mams”, I honestly didn’t know where we would safely stay. And without getting into all the details of this saga, we managed to make it through. But we got a little bit wrapped up in the constant unsettledness of it all. And honestly, life about overcoming those little darn learning curves you never expect!!!! But when you’re on the open road, driving far away from home in a 32 foot motorhome with a 16 foot art studio in tow, your gypsy soul super powers rise above or you sink! Just traveling is one thing, but when you are touring, it’s an entirely different situation, cuz your livelihood is affected by everything.
Being an artist selling what you make, what you create from your heart and soul, and then traveling across the United States with messages of love and brotherly love when the country is topsy-turvy is a bit like being a pioneer in a shiny covered wagon, mixed with a bit cowgirl with some love guns, gypsy & the best girl scout ever!
The kicker that pushed us over the edge was the last Sunday I was wrapping up my last show in Florida, a storm had threaten to obliterate us with water, lightning & wind, all components you really don’t want when doing an outdoor art show. And even though we all stayed positive, the storm hit us and hit us hard. I looked up at the sky and it looked like the clouds where blowing away. PHEW! Then, not 10 minutes later, in a matter of seconds, the storm hit and hit really hard. Katie and I were running around grabbing plastic sheets, original art off the sides of the tent, giclees and print bins, and we were getting soaked to the bone. People were in my booth watching me, trying to help as the rain fell hard, fast & furiously and all I could think was, “I want to go home!” I broke down as I watched several pieces get drenched, including my dress, my shoes, my hair… My daughter held me and I held her as there was nothing more we could do. Although this pushed me over the edge, the thing you didn’t know about was 5 days prior to this event, our whole East Coast tour was in jeopardy due to the snow storms predicted in the Philadelphia area where we were headed. We had a lot at stake, but acts of God would be the deciding factor for staying in unpredictable Florida or moving to scary snow blizzards in Philadelphia. And so when I watched many of my prints melt away with the storm, all I could do was cry and let go. When all was said and done, our swift rain dance moves saved the majority of the art. We lost about $700.00 worth of prints that day, we gained a toughness that no one can pay good money for.
After this we had to tear down the booth and toss out the damaged goods, but the next kicker was, we couldn’t tear down until 9 pm at night… That night we tore down the double booth in the dark, in the cold, wet clothes, skipped dinner and found a place to sleep at a beautiful, guarded truck stop. Waiting and watching the news roll in, being in a holding pattern and so far away from home. Oh yes, and Steve discovered that the trailer had a nail in the tire. The next morning, I woke up at 6am, re-watched several videos on driving RV’s with trailers in the snow, rechecked all the farmers’ almanacs and Weather Underground and looked at all possible Florida art shows as an alternative.
And then it hit me, pancakes always have a way to sooth the soul. So I set the computer aside and with pancakes, bacon, coffee, and eggs, I created a little piece of heaven for our weary hearts! After a good breakfast and a 4 hour meeting we decided to go for it! And so we are driving into the storm with the idea that we can always turn back.
Living the Dream takes work, takes a constant willingness to make it happen, sprinkled with fun along the way, breathing time, a really good purpose and sometimes pancakes!
All the while on this journey/adventure/nationwide art tour to bring more love to the world, you are with me my friends, I love you dearly and together we can make a difference! Behind every black cloud are silver lines, gold sparkles and rainbows!