A Little Spark
Last New Year’s Eve, I headed down to Palm Harbor to spend the holiday with my friend Lindsey and her family. She has three kiddos under age seven, Henley, Presley, and Gigi.
Her oldest, Henley, is quite the talented little artist. They had recently finished renovating their home, and as Lindsey gave me the grand tour, I was blown away by all his original artwork she had framed and displayed in his room.
Over the course of the few days I spent there, I found myself playing board games, getting my hair “done” at Presley’s Haus of Hair, watching Encanto on repeat, and drawing and coloring at the kitchen counter with the kids. I told them I was going to sketch drawings of each of them before I left, which is hysterical, because I had never really spent any time doing such a thing.
Sketch them I did, and with such ridiculous results, Lindsey told me not to tell Presley that it was her because it would most likely traumatize her if she thought that’s how she really looked. I’m still laughing at their reactions to their “portraits.” They were so bad. But I didn’t care. We had the best time drawing together.
Fast forward to March, when we all got together again for spring break in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tenn. with a few more of our friends and family. Henley and I resumed our kitchen-counter artwork parties, and this time my friend and coworker Morgan joined in. I’d like to think I got slightly better after this trip, but who can really say?
In July, it was back to Palm Harbor for another visit and more sketch sessions. I found myself really looking forward to this time with Lindsey’s kids—not having a phone in my hand or thinking about anything other than how hard it is to draw noses … and make eyes proportionate.
Last month, I went down to visit again for Thanksgiving, and after a year of “practice,” Lindsey tasked Henley and me with recreating our versions of Yakir Zendo’s Queue 101D. I’m holding mine in the photo above, with an evil-looking Prince I also plagiarized. I figure once I get the basics down of copying great work, maybe I can start on my own.
All of this is to say, how are you spending your Dry January? Last year it was piano lessons; this year, I think it’s going to be becoming Picasso 2.0 for me. Tee-Hee.
And since y’all brought up Dry January, be sure to check out Linda Hopkins’ article on going alcohol-free to kick off the new year (page 48). You might like the results so much you continue the trend even further into 2023.
This issue is chockful of healthy things, like recipes. For an interview with one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, check out page 34 and the article on Charlotte Hardwick, where she shares some of her favorite go-to recipes. Be sure to follow us on social media, too, because we’ll be showing you the recipe steps in video form throughout the month.
We also feature local people in the business of living a healthier life, like Nate Dixon at Lava 24 and Rob Vaughn at Bluffton Pharmacy. One of my favorite articles this month is on page 26: an interview with nine local nurses. I was literally in tears reading some of their answers about what called them to this self-sacrificing career.
This issue also has your mental health covered. I asked my good friend and local therapist Sheila Tucker to write about a mental health topic. For an eye-opening look at “Gaslighting,” Merriam- Webster’s word of 2022, head over to page 41. Boy did this article illuminate some things for me. Do not sleep on this one, folks.
Wishing you all the very happiest and healthiest new year. I’m so excited to see what this year will bring for me, you, and this awesome place where we live.