Long Distance for 4th of July

Our Fourth of July Holiday
Our Fireside Romance had a lovely little break away from the Bay Area over the July 4 holiday.
We have friends that have a nice cabin in the woods on Lake Almanor, some 260 miles from our door. It was a lovely drive once out of the traffic and get on Highway 5 heading north.

Seeing pockets of gum trees along the went made some locations look reminiscent of home, although they lack any of the accompanying wildlife I’m used to. Our trees love the hot, dry climate of the west slightly inland from the coast and benefit greatly from a good burn-off. The East Bay Area never really gets that hot, constantly tempered by winds and/or fog, but there are tons of gum trees. Whilst they flourish through a good burn and their oil acts as combustion liquid, the native trees do not replenish so well.

One thing the road trip lacked, giving it away as NOT being Ozzie, was the absence of something “BIG” lol.

Many of the pit stops on the Pacific Highway, are the milestone icons, such as The Big Banana, The Big Medieval Knight, The Big Avocado, The Big Pineapple, The Big Prawn and The Big Merino Sheep, just to name a few. As well as, The Dog on the Tuckerbox and The Black Stump.  Attractions that grew up very organically within the local communities where they are encountered.

Larrie at the Big Banana and beneath the Big Prawn.

Of course, there are natural landmarks, fields of sunflowers full of glorious gold and green ( which just so happen to be Australian National Colours-even though our flag is red, white and blue!) We caught some great sights of the very tall, snow capped Mt Lassen, throughout our trip , but we also encountered a lot of smokey haze from one of those fires in Yolo County, obscuring hills and mountains on all sides of the vast valley plains.

We weren’t away for long and I had my heart set on seeing a sunrise on the water, since I hadn’t seen a sunrise at all since leaving home five months ago…and I was used to watching almost every day, and frequently over the Pacific Ocean. I was up early enough to enjoy two of the three mornings and had to walk a 30 minute down hill and 40 minute uphill trek to get them! Always worth it.

Our friends had a 4th of July party on the middle day which kept us busy from early till late. We had music and I videoed these three brothers (Bucky, Denny and Dave May), who were most entertaining. Our hosts videoed a little of us as well.

I collected a lot of photographic content for creating some momentos, and maybe gifts, but am yet to paint anything. Still, this is a version of a momento! 😊
Below is one popular view for local artists and their  en plein aire adventures which I hope to capture in water colour  as well. ( Will let you know when I do!)

My takeaway from this blog is…don’t wait to go away to enjoy the  beauty around you. One thing I noticed is that I enjoyed being to relish the different conditions, but I take time every day to soak in and savour God’s creation wherever I am-sometimes from a simple flower, or fluttering butterflies, or beautiful skies. Whether tiny or vast, such things are so easily missed in the busyness of many peoples’ days. I make a point of looking for them!

Create beauty in your own little corner-just for you and God to share-your secret place, secret garden. Using your imagination to escape to a beautiful place, right where you are, has been proven to be the ‘stuff of holidays’. People who practice creativity do it as a lifestyle, losing themselves wholeheartedly in an expressive endeavor or project-however small. This is attested as having the affect of a holiday, disconnecting us from the cares and stresses of the days in which we live.

 

The whole hearted aspect is the critical component.
My challenge to you: take a holiday daily. Set your clock for however long you can give yourself, select a positive focus or activity (ANYthing) and get to it, abandoning all thought for everything else till your allotted time is up. Increase your time whenever you can.

Take note of the effects on your soul and psyche…and please…
Tell me all about it!

Art For Love’s Sake

And Then…along with the music

I used other creative arts and crafts as well-and still do. For me, creativity is a strength and this is the way I keep things fresh in my relationships. (It was how I kept teaching my children values and life lessons too. I taught them how to see things differently and look deeper.)

I took lots of photos of Larrie and I together because these were what sustained me whilst we were apart. Often whilst we were together, I didn’t get time to view them or do anything with them, but when I went home- I did. ( hence the video above)

Tip #2 ( #1 in earlier post) 
Keep the memories tangible. Make an album of photos, or “A Little Book Of Memories”- in this way, you are reliving it and fanning the flame till you meet again. Send it to your love.
Or share what is happening in YOUR world, so that they can be part of it too. This is good for keeping a healthy balance in your present life as well. Compile a visual album of the songs you shared. 

And NOW…

Here’s the latest ‘little book’ I made for Larrie.
We couldn’t be together for Valentine’s Day, and as he had just come out to Australia, the Nov/Dec before, I used those experiences and made a special album of highlights.
Did I mention how much I love making books!
Come on, now.. share your story 🙂

Music To Fan the LDR Fire Part II

And Then…
 To pick up where I left off last week…

Larrie and I used music in so many ways to connect with each other, even over the thousands of miles/kilometres of oceans.

long distance relationship
Singing our love over the cyber seas

For example, we gave each other private concerts! 🙂 -as you can see in this photo. Couldn’t work in harmonies due to the delays, but we had fun trying sometimes.

So, in the video above, in order to capture and highlight a visit to Australia by Larrie, I compiled our moments into a video slideshow and added the track of a song that we now do together. Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLaughlan. Originally, rather ethereal and light, and part of the soundtrack for Charlotte’s Web, I made it a more syncopated and upbeat song of joy for the miracle of every day. Then, when Larrie heard it, he added what he calls the Oakland Stroke and that took the form of a gospel style praise ending-which suited me perfectly!

The song, itself, served as part of the memory of our creative time together, but even if you have a special song between you and someone you love, you can do this, or something like it. This was recorded several years back and I think we have developed it greatly since then, but it’s still part of our journey, just like this.

our fireside Romance
It was a miracle to me that Larrie came to visit me In Oz ( Australia)

We took this photo the day we recorded this song, a day before I left for home and some other photos are included to give our friend, Jonny Otis some credit!
And the rest were taken whilst sharing our adventures in Oz, when Larrie came to see me, in Sept/Oct 2013 and met family and friends. It became a special kind of album that we could relive our ‘holiday’ through, even though once again so far apart.

But you can use all  the arts to keep the fires burning!!
Even though this was a digital delivery, it was a timely investment, made up of countless moments.

In my next blog, I’ll show you some other ways 🙂
But in case you missed the download from last week… here it is.

Music To Fan The Fire
Drop us a line and tell us about your special moments. ❤

 

How You Can Use Music To Keep Your Long Distance Relationship Burning.

In The Beginning…

From that very first night, when Larrie and I met, music was everywhere!
It drew us both to The Fireside Lounge.
It created an immediate bond between us that was deep.
Making music together that first evening, tied us together in some very unique kind of way.
It was intimate and personal, even as it was public and universal.
We have been ‘together’ ever since, even across the thousands of miles of long distance and months, and years, of waiting.

Now, maybe not everyone has it quite like we did, but I’m sure all can testify to the special associations music creates for us and how it so profoundly impacts our memories.  Memories that Larrie and I chose to live and re-live often and over again, constantly fanning the flame.

When our souls are moved, music provides an avenue unlike any other, to express it.
And we all  speak this language to some degree or another.

And so it began.

And then…

Even on that first night, apart from playing and singing together, music was playing an more extensive role. Larrie asked me if I knew certain songs, and insisted I listen to them, because they described his feelings from that night. The first one was by Tuck and Patti called You Take My Breath Away.
So, of course, he was sweeping me off my feet before I ever got a chance to catch my breath!
You can hear it here,

Almost instantly, he was telling me song after song and it continued when I went all the way across the Pacific Ocean and back home to Australia, and in this way, he remained present with me. I could play these songs and felt him singing them to me. He was on fire and captivated and I was open to the romance of it all, having never encountered anything quite like it before. We both were. We had a repertoire building from that initial encounter and we kept adding more, and still do 🙂
It’s high time we added this ‘first’ love note by Tuck and Patti.

Larrie, who had given up any interest in singing love songs, felt the desire to sing them out from his heart again and more than that, he had a new song! Inspiration hit him and he came up with Lover From DownUnder which is currently freely available for anyone who would like to have it. Just click here. 

You can also see the first time he played it for me, right here.

Tip #1: Create/Select/Highlight a special song that commemorates precious moments for you and breathe fresh life into the memories repeatedly by singing it over again and re-live the treasure of the story by telling it again this way.

My turn was coming… 🙂

And Then…

But it didn’t stop there! Yes, I wrote a song for us and about my feelings, which we now sing as a duet called The Rest of My Days –hence the video above.
For me, it isn’t just about music…it’s about making beautiful memories.

So maybe you’re not a songwriter (yet!),  You can still use the songs of others, just like we did.

And NOW…

I would love to hear about your creative ways to keep relationships alive and full of vital connection. It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship. I have to do it with all my babies, friends, siblings and mum, now…coz they are all so far away…

I have added a little something here to help you come up with a fun way to connect with someone you hold dear and near, but wish they were not so far away. Please share how you use the inspiration, or any of your own creative ideas.
I hope these simple ideas give you some food for thought and some cool playful inspirations of your own!
LET ME KNOW!!! I love feedback.
Music To Fan The Fire