Soccer Moms, Teenagers & The Phoenix Cup or Heaven & Hell in Phoenix 

My best soccer-mom friend Gina and I headed out last Thursday for a fun filled weekend with our teenage daughters and the Mustang Rampage team.  Any sentence that includes teenagers and parental fun is an oxymoron, just so you know, even in the face of much evidence, this is something I still forget.

ox·y·mo·ron

ˌäksəˈmôrˌän/

noun

a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

We had the illusion that three days in Phoenix would be fun. What it turned out to be was a practice in patience, determination and strength.

We got to the airport two and a half hours in advance. This was nice, but I was also with my teenage daughter, so I could not sit in the bar and kill time, like a normal adult.

Instead, we had salads, and sat in the chairs by the gate waiting for our team to slowly trickle in. Then, we had the stressful SW Airlines cattle car boarding ritual which I hate with a passion. Having paid to board early, I was asked to save twenty seats for my daughters teammates, from four other teams, as we were all on the same flight. 

We arrived at our tournament assigned hotel with out incident.  From our room we had a view of the pawn shop, the gun store and the six lane freeway.  My fellow travelers were unimpressed, and half the team decamped to the Hyatt after a homeless man jumped over the pool fence and into the pool.

I watched all of this with minor amusement, but decided when you’re in a room with four people changing hotels is only a slight improvement. 

Lost shoes, lost games, forgotten jerseys, balls kicked into a crowd of heckling parents, and more. I tell myself to breath. Slowly, I breath in and out. I allow my own thoughts to sink into my bones. I go within on the sunny patio with the blue sky above me and I am thankful for this day in which to be alive. 

On Sunday morning, I sleep miraculously until 11 a.m., the other mom has gone to the gym, had breakfast, and then went to church. But, I slumber on with the two sixteen year olds.  I clock ten plus hours of sleep.

Later that day, I find myself at a Giants Spring Training game. Music is playing, I have my beautiful daughter by my side, and a giant beer in my hand.  

Heaven and hell at the Phoenix Cup. 

Last On The List


In the fall of 2014, I had a conversation with my husband that went something like this, “I’m O.K. being last on the list, but I’m not even on the list.”  I had not put a brush to paper in years, I even tried to work as a Financial Analyst, only to find myself with 195 text messages a day from my nanny and family, and myself walking out of meetings to hiss into my phone in the hallway at my teenagers.  As I tried to work on Kearny Street in San Francisco it became apparent that I could not. I left that job in tears and frustration. 

Cleaning, meals, home work, volunteering and carpooling became the assembly line that comprised my life. I had not done one thing to improve myself in years. 

One day, I simply decided I was done with that and I took a five day sailing class. My kids were supportive and found rides and I was able to cast off at 8 a.m., and even though I was sea sick the first few days, I was at once addicted to the freedom. I loved the peace and the quiet of having so little expected of me.  Yes, from time to time I had to grind or pull in a line. I liked to stear and as a sea captain’s granddaughter I could easily catch the wind at close hull, but mostly it was a meditation.  

The ocean will now forever be a part of my life.  I found the thing that I loved enough to drive a permanent change in my life. As much as I love my family and I really do adore supporting their hopes and dreams, I matter too. And even if I put the happiness of my children first, part of doing that is being happy myself, and teaching my children how to carve a place in their life for the things that bring them bliss. 

Faith The Antidote to Fear

Our strength is always tested before our dreams come true. It’s as if we are being asked if this truly is what we want. And so it goes as we get closer and closer to the launch of Ocean SF.  Being wiser now, I see the obstacles as the natural progression of following my dreams, and I let them strengthen my determination, knowing that by their appearance I am drawing closer to my goal. 

I’ve gone beyond the fear that I’ve had in the recent past, and now have only faith that what I hope to accomplish will not only benefit my own family, but also have a wider impact on the world around me. Designing warm, breathable, sustainable clothing for those that enjoy the outdoors as much as I do, this truly is my passion, and I feel so grateful to have found this narrow path in the hundreds that were laid out before me, and more importantly that I’ve had the courage to follow it.  It has not been easy, but it has brought me so much happiness and joy. I wish this experience for everyone.

Peace and love to all. 

Cats & Overcoming Fear

Jam

For me, fear has been the sound track playing behind most of the events of the past year. While I was in New York, our cat Dash, the younger of two, caught a rat in our house. This was an accomplishment for him as he typically hunts the small mice that look like something out of a Beatrix Potter story, and even then, he will spend all night catching one only to give it to our dog Polly to hold alive and terrified between her large fury paws.  The rats are left to our fifteen year old black Burmese, who can take down a rat his own size, almost effortlessly. 

When I came back from my NYC trip I woke with a nebulous sense of fear, it was a feeling of fear and sadness, and together they formed the idea that this really is it. That we do die, and in the end we are little more than the rat killed on the staircase leaving half his tail in the upstairs hallway. I sat with this feeling until it disappeared, then went back to sleep and dreamed of a young girl who in the dream insisted it’s too late to make friends once you’re an adult.  In the dream I was reassuring her that I make friends all the time, but she insisted that wasn’t it. It’s the friends we meet along the way, that illuminate our path.  I thought of the long trail of beautiful people I’ve met on my journey, and how we have helped each other, and now together, we hold our collective memories. 

As I do things that scare me, like buying sail boats, and starting clothing lines and raising my two daughters alone, I recognize that I will experience fear. That is natural. Fear is a natural byproduct of chasing your dreams.

The Many Forms of Love

My close friend Christina Wells shares the same birthday as my late mother, and she mothers me even though she is actually a few years younger than me. As a talented designer she is always taking me to estate sales in search of inspiration and to replace what she lovingly calls my “hideous compromise furniture” this consists of the pieces my late husband and I didn’t love, but didn’t hate.  He liked modern and I liked traditional. So, our home became an eclectic mixture of both. 

Slowly, I am buying new things that reflect my own style. A nautical theme has naturally ensued, however, on Saturday, there was a strange occurrence. Christina and I pulled up to a beautiful home with a stunningly maintained Japanese Garden. We met the two brothers who had grown up there, they are now selling the house and it’s contents. I was talking to them as they shared a sandwich. It was a homemade sandwich, and they passed it back and forth as they spoke in a loving and effortless way, it made such an impression on me, as a testimony of love, that I will never forget it.  

I expressed an interest in a beautiful Asian armoire.  They told me they wanted me to have it, and I came home later to find it on my doorstep. 

I can’t tell you how much I love it.  It is neither traditional nor modern and I have no idea what to do with it, but to me it represents a fresh start, and being neither traditional nor modern, it acts as a reminder and testimonial, of that third option, and love in its many forms. 

Synchronicities, Sunshine & Sailboats

A friend of mine gave me a pack of gum that said, “you are my sunshine” and for a long time it sat on my dresser, until it didn’t anymore. A year or so later, I was having a hellish day, one of those where you’re crying in the grocery store hoping you don’t run into anyone you know. At the checkout, I bought myself a hideous coffee mug, with the words, “you are my sunshine” on the side, and at the top around the rim it read, “sunshine heals” this was highly unusual since it was the sort of cup that I would have promptly given to Goodwill, as in my house, all my cups match and are always white and made in Portugal.

For a few days, I carried it around the house with me and drank out of it. One night, I texted Andrew about the boat we are buying, and asked him what the name of the boat was.

He texted back, Solana, which in Spanish means sunshine or the sunny side of the valley. I looked at the cup in my hand in stunned silence.

When my friend Tom Nemeth expressed concerns about the boat, Andrew and I entertained his reservations, but in the end we decided to take our chances.

A few days later, my daughter Siena gave me a coin she had made at school in her art class. Of course, it had an image of a sail boat and a giant sun.

Somethings are just meant to be.

 

 

Love & Evolution

When describing my daughters, one of the words I often use is modern, my daughters have very modern mindsets. They hold my traditional values, but are both progressive in their interpretation.  And in no way was this more evident then the moment we walked out of the movie La La Land, in Manhatten last week. 

My friend and I were both wiping our eyes, while my fifteen year old daughter, in contrast had a big smile on her youthful face.

As Lisa and I commented on how sad the movie was, having ended in a way that our generation would consider disharmonious to say the least, my daughter thought it was a happy ending. Her words spoke volumes to the successful conclusion of our mission to instill in our daughters the idea that they must follow their dreams.  I have been preaching this to my children since preschool. 

I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I will refrain from her actual comments, but as my spunky daughter walked away, all I could think was, at last, we have evolution.  

It could also be revolution, but either way, change is in the air.