Monday, June 29, 2009

Flood, Sweat, and Cheers

At the moment I'm in the camper riding out (another) late afternoon thunderstorm near Charleston, South Carolina. Although dry at the moment, it seems as if I've been soaking wet since I arrived Thursday either via one of these downpours or body sweat due to the high temperatures coupled with high humidity. Having spent a great deal of time down here during my life I find it quite fitting for an event called Harbor Fest.

I gotta admit that there have been moments the past few days when I've questioned my career choice and definitely my sanity. In the end the grueling work and harsh conditions were very much worth it. This was my chance to finally put my foot through the door of an area where I find great potential. When that door creaked open I kicked that sucker in!

Meaning to write a prequel let me say that this is the longest I will/have/am away from my family since I started selling my art full-time 5 years ago. When I return Sunday it'll have been 10 days since I've hugged Joan, stroked Jessie's long red hair, or puckered up to Ben's cute puffy cheeks. God, I miss them! But the sadness of separation has been tempered by the fact that this is now what I do for a living. And meeting sailors from around the world, many of them so surprisingly young, has made me appreciate the adventure I've embarked upon.

I won't bore you with details but at least let me summarize. Here's what has happened so far: setting up in the rain; seeing up close some of the tallest sailing vessels in the world; having dinner with a dear artist friend and laughing till we cried; enduring the absolute worst weather day since I started this - heat index of 110 with 80% humidity capped by closing my booth in a soaking rain - only to find I'd had by best single day of sales since last September; experiencing the most perfect day anyone could enjoy on the harbor; dolphins, pelicans, and Russians...oh my!; watching two stunt planes fly death defying maneuvers over us thereby increasing my "puckerabilty"; and realizing I had the best show of the year (so far).

Yes, I have pictures. And I also know that I owe our readers some fun photos of our vacation with the Peters. I promise to work on those very when I get back home...after my back and calves stop hurting. In the meantime, enjoy the above photo of The Spirit of South Carolina. She's the schooner that this past weekend's festival supports, one of many endeavors the Maritime Center supports while preserving South Carolina's rich maritime history. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get to report from somewhere near Southport, North Carolina.

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