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Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life: Winter {pre-thoughts & write up w/spoilers}

The extreme deep-souled dedication from the fans following this show all of these years have paid off. The anticipation and long wait has finally come to an end. TODAY our thirst is finally being quenched because the special release day on Netflix for Gilmore Girls has arrived. Hallelujah! 

Gilmore Girls came out when I was a freshman in high school. Sixteen years ago. And, oh holy crap, that makes me feel really old now. I still remember coming home and turning the TV on at 4pm to watch on the CW. I instantly fell in love with the series. Stars Hollow became a part of my life–just like all of the other fans. I often dreamt about meeting characters like those in the show (and honestly, I still dream of that). I, like many, just couldn’t stand how it ended. I was devastated. It wasn’t enough. I have watched the series over and over and over and over again throughout the years….hoping that something, by some miracle, there would be a conclusion or a new beginning for the series. 

In 2015, I watched the Gilmore Girls panel at ATX on YouTube, and could barely contain myself. When I watched them talk about the show, I said to myself, “I hope that I can write a successful series like this or be in one just simply for the tight-knit cast and dedicated fans.” It’s just so inspirational. The stories of how each person got the role of their characters were all meant to be stories… it’s so awesome. When Hep Alien played the theme song, I will admit, there were tears in my eyes…that’s how deep this show goes. 

I adored the writing of Gilmore Girls so much because of the constant pop culture references and there’s so much symbolism in their every day life. And, the characters are so, so real….although they’re hard to find in real life. But, they’re real. 

Amy Sherman-Palladino is certainly my homegirl. I love that she decided to write A Year in the Life to give us fans something to look forward to… Gilmore Girls is one of the most brilliant shows ever written, and I’m looking forward to the other 3 episodes of this 4 season episodes. 

NETFLIX’S GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE S1E1 WINTER 

  • The opening of Winter begins with voice clips from the previous seasons. You can hear the grandfather’s voice as well (which is heart-breaking since he’s passed on in real life).
  • A few lines in “it feels like it’s been years” — yep. Yep, it sure has.
  • Kirk is still on his business kick. He now started ooober (like, Uber, but spelled differently).
  • Rory wrote an article for the New Yorker and it’s in the menu at Luke’s. She’s also working on a book deal.
  • “I smell snow.” Lorelei’s famous words. (Of COURSE, it has to start like this! I mean, what?!)
  • You see that years later Lorelei still has her same jeep and they’re living in her house.
  • Hallelujah for the scene where Luke is in her kitchen. She is still with him! Yes!
  • Luke and Lorelei are thinking about kids again.
  • I really, truly, 1000% do not understand the whole Rory’s boyfriend Paul. There has to be a reason for this.
  • As soon as they mention Rory and London, I knew she was somehow still with Logan. Which… I’m a Logan and Rory kind of gal, but I don’t like this whole ‘Vegas’ thing they’ve got going on. Is Rory really that kind of girl?
  • I absolutely love Luke’s new sign about cell phones. No taking photos of food. Bwahahahahah. That’s a hit on Instagram!
  • Luke is giving out random passwords to the wifi he is clearly not going to share.
  • There’s a mention of Twitter.
  • They go back a few months to the grandfather’s funeral, and you see the reactions of all of them. Then, the really large wall-sized photo of him. Which, in a way, is kind of frightening.
  • Paris is kicking ass as a fertility specialist. She was somewhere between law and medical, and still bossy.
  • For once it seems after Taylor yelled at someone in Luke’s about her not being able to get the wifi, Luke decides to side with Taylor on his next discussion of the sewer system in Stars Hollow. (Doesn’t Lorelei mention something about this in that one episode where her parents came to town and she’s trying to down it so they won’t move there???) 
  • There’s mention of Doyle from Paris that they are having issues, and they have kids.
  • Lane seems to still be Lane and Zach has been promoted to somewhere wearing a tie.
  • It’s odd that all of the band is still living in the same house together. Still. Years later. (Or so it seems.)
  • Towards the end you’ll see where a new troubadour was singing on the original town’s troubadour’s corner and he runs her off. Reminders of an earlier episode where they all have a town meeting over this.
  • It feels like no matter it’s been “YEARS” since the last episode, it seems nothing has changed.
  • Last, but not least, in a way I am happy on how Amy wrote that Rory–who is incredibly smart and well-read–is a typical millennial: no designated place to live (I have to mention that it’s strange she sent boxes to several people’s houses that she’s crashing at), no real dedicated job, the act of feeling lost in life. It’s all real. And you know what? I think it’s brilliant because so many teens and 20-30-somethings will relate, if not now, later. And… depending on what Amy does with the Rory character, it could be great inspiration and give future millennials hope that things’ll turn out okay.

I am going to be watching SPRING very soon… so stay tuned for my write-up!

A trip to Fort Myers for the boat show and a little exploring.

It’s been months since I’ve went out of town and traveled somewhere south, so I am happy I got to go to this show, especially since I missed it last year. The Fort Myers Boat Show has now moved to being one of my favorite shows on a medium capacity. It might actually be my favorite over Tampa or Sarasota. Anyway… since I do have a blog dedicated to boat shows, I’ll keep it short on this one.

BOAT SHOW 

The show is very cluttered, as in boats and product were literally on top of one another with not much space in between, but it works for them. And that’s what is so awesome about the show. It has a different laid back feeling than most of them do. I don’t really know what it is. If I knew what it was, I’d share it.

I love how they decorated for Christmas. They had big red bows on a lot of the boats on the inside, and a Christmas tree from one of the product vendors.

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Inside The Harbourside Event Center

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It looks like someone’s kid kept watching Frozen over and over again, so much that their parents had to name the boat Let It Go… in hopes their kid would let it go! Ha!

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Outside:

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If you’re interested in reading more from me about the show, give it a day or so and check my boatshowgirl.com website.

EXPLORING 

Sooooo… this beaut was hanging in the Harbourside. Instant love. The architecture in this building was amazing, so were the old doors and walls and overall design.

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Outside in the park, lots of metal art:

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As I was walking to the entrance of the boat show, I passed this place. I almost fell over. LOOK HOW OLD IT LOOKS. AMAAAAAAAZING. So amazing that I had to go in it before I left. It’s called “ARCADE – Florida Repertory Theatre.”

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And, it was amazing. The smell when I opened the doors… I can’t tell you. It smelt like the past. It smelled like somewhere I’ve been before, but it couldn’t have been there, it was my first time even knowing about it. So this place had several shops on the right side all the way back and then the theatre was on the left.

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There’s an art store called ART for ACT Gallery and that’s where I took this photo. I am so in love with this store. There was art of every single kind set up in a vintage-gallery-boutique-store. You MUST go and see it! Such an amazing place. And, I really really really really really want this kind of a vanity set up when I have the room.

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On the way back out, I snuck this photo of the theatre where you buy tickets:

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Turns out, I was right about the old. According to this article, it was originally built in 1917 to show moving pictures and silent films then later vaudeville & local acts, magic tricks, and the like. CAN I EXPRESS HOW AWESOME THIS IS?! Yeah. It’s pretty awesome. I felt it. I felt the history….right down to my bones.

And that’s a wrap, kids. Until next time.

The Man With the Shoes {poetry} by Karen Maeby

The Man With the Shoes 
by Karen Maeby 11.17.16

He walks
across the stage and stops.
The crowd hushes as he speaks his first line.

He’s giving a deliverance speech—
some sort of declaration…
A story you’d never heard before.

Something like a secret—
something no one will ever hear again.
The audience is hanging on to every single word.

An applause-worthy performance.
He’s giving it everything he’s got,
because he pinky swore to do so.

A mind that never stops,
and won’t ever stop.
He’ll find—soon enough—his imagination is his opus.

A mind full of shenanigans, humor, life stories,
and love.
He is the one that everyone loves.

Suddenly, the stage goes dark
and his personality keeps him glowing.
Jazz begins to play.

He delivers the last line as confident as ever.
He takes a bow and walks off stage,
and the clapping of the audience echoes.

How is it to walk in his shoes?
A writer and actor’s shoes—
a soul so talented, so full of life.

Special—is he—the man with the shoes,
who walked in to my life
without warning, accidentally, kismet.

I bid farewell to Over the River and Through the Woods.

Last night we closed out Over the River and Through the Woods at the Catherine Hickman Theater. This is the first play that the Gulfport Players put on for this season. I wasn’t in it, but I helped backstage, so that’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks or so. Easy set and small cast, not anywhere close to the Summer One Acts (the first production I helped out with).

If you didn’t see the play, I will share an “almost spoiler” synopsis.

Basically, (the remaining) grandson Nick lives close enough that he sees all of his Italian grandparents every Sunday night for dinner. The play is based around news that Nick has to share about him getting a dream job offer—of which—will move him away from them. His grandparents try to keep him there by inviting Caitlin—a single woman—over to meet him, in hopes he’ll change his mind. In the end, he leaves anyway, and he eventually has what his grandparents call a great life. However, he did it his way, instead of their way, and all of the feels never escape their extra warm, toasty house.

There were many funny moments, and some really sad moments. There’s a line in there that Caitlin says about the grandson being grown and being able to sit down at dinner with all of his grandparents. Like Caitlin, I have no grandparents left. I lost my last, best and most closest grandma when I was 16. Even though I’ve always been an old soul, and appreciated my time with her when I had it, I know that the memories I made then wouldn’t be the same ones I’d be making today if she were here. I’d see it from a different perspective. I’d learn things. I’d have history. I’d have a role model. I’d have so much. There would still be a staple in my family, something that ties everyone together, like it had been before everyone grew up and went their separate way miles apart.

Over the River is just such a great play to put on these days due to the message that lays between the surface. Say, it’s like this — your great or grandparents (before Generation X) might have had their spouses chosen for them and they had to learn to love what they had, instead of who they individually loved and wanted to choose. Depending on how Generation X grew up, it could be they followed their parents footsteps or it began then that they made their own life. And the generations after that (Millennials) we have a totally different take on life—which is where the Nick lands.

There’s a huge understanding that through each generation, the one before wants the next one to have an easier and better life than they ever had. Maybe they didn’t understand at the time what was going on and why, but they later realize. Not only that, but they had what they had in life and that was it. No expectations. If they had a car, home, family—they were doing good—dreams were too far to reach… it seemed.

I moved away from home. I’m still miles away from my parents, who live in the same state they’ve lived in (almost) their entire life. Their happiness is not my happiness and vice versa. Over the River helped me understand where they came from, but it’s that whole part of things change. And some people are so scared of change. I’ll admit, I’m scared of when things stay the same for too long. I fear life becoming so boring and stale when life is so short as it is and there’s an entire world to explore in such a short time. I do wish I could see my parents more than once a year, especially when there’s a grand-crab involved, and a chance for them to see the life I have built for myself.

My favorite scene of the entire play was where the grandparents are playing a trivial game with Nick. The way it came together was genius. The heart wrenching scene is when one of the grandpa’s chose not to let his grandson know his news, so that he could accept his job opportunity, and not have anything holding him back from ‘doing the right thing.’

When the show was over, we tore everything down, packed it up, and we took it back to the Backdoor Theater…. then headed to the cast party where they had Italian food. Just without the crumb cake (a food that was mentioned during act I).

As my souvenir I took a mass card (one of the props that was used several times throughout the show) and the cast/crew were given the comedy/tragedy mask pin. I also believe that those of us who have it MUST wear it to every show in the future for good luck. I’m superstitious now, especially since the director said something about it too!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those who came and supported the show! Especially all of the theatre family — it was like a family reunion between running into each other in the lobby and at the new auditions!

I bid thee farewell to a great cast and show. Now, it’s time for the next one — Parfumerie, of which, one of my favorite movies You’ve Got Mail is based up on.

Table read of six
at the Backdoor Theater:
Over the River & Through the Woods

CHILLS

When the words being spoken
by the characters
hit too close to home.

9.12.16  ~ Karen Maeby

Eisenhower’s politics.

Imagine you are a tiny little crab named Eisenhower that is molting for maybe the second or third time in your small life. Not only do you have to rely on your natural instincts to get you through (“what nature intended on your species to do”), but you have to rely on a human to take care of you since you are a pet (“what your life has become”). You have to put trust in that human to give you food, take care of your aquarium, clean it out, and make sure you are comfortable enough to live. You are one of the most tiniest creatures on the planet, and next to a human finger, it can be a scary sight. You might be incredibly smart, but are very aware, and frightened at the slightest move considering your position on this planet. 

In perspective–we, as humans, are still as tiny as my baby crabby Eisenhower. There’s the entire atmosphere. There’s the planets. There’s the stars in the gigantic night sky. There’s the sun. There’s animals bigger than us. Most of our buildings are bigger than us. Our house is bigger than us. Life is bigger than us. 

But–we get up every day just like nature intended on us doing. We take care of ourselves. We take care of our family, our pets. We go to work, go to activities, live our dreams, go on vacations. Life goes on, and will go on.

Live life like you are the tallest person on this planet. 

Say it out loud: I will live my life like I am the tallest person on this planet. Why? So that I do not feel that sense of fear of what I cannot predict. No one knows what happens next. No one knows anything. You just have to keep on living until you expire when nature intended you to.

If your heart is controlled by fear, it is completely misunderstood and mistaken for something other than love. And love, LOVE is what we all need right now. 

Fear lives in the tabloids, in the media. People lust over fear as much as they love negativity, complaining or gossiping. Please, please, please do not fall into that category. Always, always be aware of the truth. Please educate yourself. Please dig as deep as possible to find the answers. Do not become a part of the herd. Be the leader. Be the wise one. Be smart.

“Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart your heart all the days of your life. Andy shall make them known to your children, and to your children’s children.” DEUTERONOMY 4:9 

When I named Eisenhower, I was looking for something distinguished enough, so that he fears nothing despite his size. So that he grows up being strong-willed. So that he has a better life than some of the crabs do. So that he can live, and live without fear. I can attest that his life is really good, and he has zero patience for politics. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (review)

Last night was a date night so we went downtown to St Pete’s movie night to see Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children directed by Tim Burton. One of the best movies ever, and definitely runs a very fast second place to Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (my favorite). His work is always so amazing–colorful and dark–and that’s what I really love.

Of course I wanted to know more about this movie, so I looked up the title and found that the original story did start as a book and was written by Ransom Riggs. This story was originally supposed to be a picture book but the vernacular photos he found had made the narrative and it became what it became. Which is so super cool because I used to go to flea markets, see old photos from sitting there collecting dust, and I wanted so badly to find the families to return the photos to! But then again, I also wanted to keep them for myself so I, too, could write a story. Maybe some day, as this film is proof it pays off! 

The jest of the movie is: as the grandson grows up he learns that his grandfather lived in an orphanage for peculiar children. He shares photos and stories as the bedtime story. When he is grown up, he found himself to be in therapy to help him get over it because he no longer believed…until he witnessed his grandfather dying and strange things start to happen. His grandfather gave him some instructions so the main character goes on a round trying to follow them to a certain place. He goes and finds this place, and many, many things happen and that’s really when the story begins.

The best thing about this film/book are the colorful characters. Not so much the evil ones, but the kids in the orphanage. With clothing, the powers they had, and what lines they spoke–all determined and set off the characters personalities perfectly–and it was perfectly. The relationships between certain characters were also extremely sweet. Always have to have a “awwww” spot for those movies who sneak ‘meant to be’ in anything. And, there are moments that tug at your heart. For sure.

My (random) favorites…When the grandson was little he had this quilt that had ocean animals and ships on it. You better believe I whispered, “I want that!” There was a ship in this movie. A big, sunken ship that magically came back to life. You better believe your knickers that I was all eyes and ears at that moment. (The ship is uber important for multiple reasons.) There were skulls and Pirate-skeleton’s fighting for the better good. Oh and there was a crab that showed up. Yep.

This is a definite must-see and must-see-many-times-after-the-movies kind of movie. Must I note (again) that you can definitely tell that Tim Burton made this film.

Oh and guess what?! Parts of it was filmed in Florida!!! Note: the author of the book used to live in Florida too.

(per a news website) Scenes that were shot locally include-

  • Scenes showing the store that Jake works at in the movie was shot at 2333 34th St. South in St. Petersburg. The building is an old closed up grocery store location.
  • Scenes showing Grandpa Abe’s House and his neighborhood was filmed  in Sun City Center and Tampa.
  • Scenes showing the home of Jake and his parents were shot in was in Belleair Bluffs.
  • Driving scenes were shot on the Gandy Bridge.

Overall, it was such a superb movie, and you must see it… especially if you (1) live in Florida to see the Tampa Bay Area make its cameo, (2) love Tim Burton and (3) are also a peculiar child. So there you go.

PS – If you really want to know I haven’t been to the movies since Captain Phillips was in the theatre. (Also one of the best movies ever if you haven’t seen it.) 

I’m Alice & I just fell down the rabbit hole where there’s nothing but pumpkin spice.

Hello Everyone,

LIFE

It’s been ages since I’ve written and that’s probably what my issue is. If I don’t write my feelings down when I need to, my brain becomes too full and I get to feeling a little crazy. I’ve boxed myself up yet once again — I’m sitting pretty close to falling deep into a depression, it’s such a shame… after a mind-blowing summer of nothing but excitement, new things, love, friends and finding where I belong. There are so many things that contribute to that, mostly when the major staples in my life stay the same for so long, and never change, or I’m disappointed by something that means a whole lot to me. I keep forgetting about that whole ‘expect nothing, no disappointments’ comment that I was once taught.

I am old enough to know that not everything is going to be amazing all the time. I wouldn’t want it to be, but it’s just awful feeling this way….because it’s a whole other level of sad.

Whenever I get like this all of my projects are mentally put on hold. I do the simple things that I don’t have to think about, I don’t write because I don’t want to ruin it with my mood, but sometimes I pick up a brush to paint or do some sort of design. I haven’t put my energy into that…yet. I also pull away from everyone and stay at a distance because I’m often thinking “well, I’m not sure they really want me around” or “am I bothering them? — I probably am, so I’ll just stay away.” Being alone comes naturally since I’m an only child, and for a year and half I did nothing but work two jobs so seeing or speaking to no one for a long time isn’t anything new. I am trying to work on changing this because it’s incredibly crippling and makes everything in my life just that much harder…especially when there’s a thousand things I want to do, accomplish, and need to be social in order to really accomplish them.

A lot also has to do with the weather. Since hurricane Matthew, it’s been kind of crappy and the sun hadn’t shined as much as it should be in this sunshine state! The reason I even live in Florida is because of the sunshine. Anything else reminds me of my seasonal disorder — especially stormy skies when it doesn’t rain that look like snow clouds — that’s the worst. 

By the way, I am safe. It did not hit in my area the west coast of Florida (fingers crossed that another won’t come by any time soon).

RANDOM TIDBITS

It’s my favorite season right now: pumpkin spice. There’s P/S everything everywhere at almost any given time. Last night I had the sweet taste of P/S coffee from WaWa. If I could write a poem about how delicious it was, you would not think it was about coffee. 😉

I love the anticipation of the rest of the year. You see mixtures of Christmas in with the Halloween decorations where, literally, a skeleton is holding a carved turkey in one hand and a wreath in another with a Christmas tree and presents decorated right behind him. I’m already getting yelled at by thousands of people who hear me say “I want to listen to CHRISTMAS MUSIC and put up my tree.” They find a box, try to coax me inside, so that they could duct tape it shut and send me somewhere else. I never can see where they’re sending me though?! 

LOVE

We’ve arrived at an event, and I step a few steps to the side because I know what’s coming next. Everyone is just so excited to see him so they huddle around trying to hug him or greet him with a handshake. The first few times I had seen this I watched from the back of the room–when that door opened and he walked in, the Seas of People would follow.  Amazing. That’s the only word it is. 

If only I could be one tenth as amazing as he is, I’d be something. He’s taught me more in the last few months than I’ve gained in a really long time. I’m trying to be a better person. I’m trying to keep to his words: if you’re going to do something, do it well the first time. Every day it is important to finish a task that’s needing to be done. Every day needs tea at night. Dishes that you use that day need to be cleaned. And he’s given me a gift of jazz that goes deeper than the music. 

It’s such a relief that I know I don’t have to worry about anything with this beautiful soul. I admire him to the moon and back. There’s just so much to say, and it’s still been such a short period of time.   

EVENTS

Some time in September, I helped with auditions at the Backdoor Theatre. That play will be produced in November.

We went to see B’s band play at my newest favorite place to go (Hideaway Cafe) and that was amazing!

We attended the film society meeting where they switched over to a new name — a new beginning — and it was amazing that my first meeting was that. It was a sign of a start of me getting involved in that too.

A few weekends back we were invited to be extras in a movie (something from the film society). I am now on IMDB. Small steps!

Our big boat show was back in September and it went really well. I reported “live” on Saturday to the World of Boating radio show.

IBEX was Tuesday last week and for me, for BoatShowGirl, it went pretty well. I’m thinking that this is my brand new start… just need to make a plan. Can’t do anything without one.

We had the Backdoor Theatre’s open house on Friday — which was always so great to be back and visiting with everyone. It’s like a family reunion.

Yesterday we went to see J star in The Red Velvet Cake Wars and it was good seeing her again too!

I feel like this isn’t everything but it’s something! 

Oh. My hair is red again (faded past 3 weeks, but red). Yes, believe it or not, this is an event.

PROJECTS

A while ago, I finished two plays but I’m “working on ideas” for a few more. I need to have at least two excellent ones to submit to Gulfport because it would be such an honor to see one of my plays produced on stage, especially a year after getting back into it after 12 years absence. Wish me luck for that!

I redid my entire living room so now I have working space again to be able to work off my computers and write. I’m trying to prepare for the yard sale that’s coming up in Gulfport in November.

BoatShowGirl – after a much needed break, and talking to some important folks at IBEX, I think I may know which route to go with this and hopefully it will get me somewhere.

I’m debating whether or not to do NaNoWriMo next month considering I already have little time as it is…The need to write 50,000 words would make me stop everything basically to be able to do it! (The only NaNo novel I finished in 2010 still sits on the computer untouched. And it’s a 3 part series I have no interest in working on at the moment.) 

I’m working slOoOOoooOooowly on some of my new books that I want to finish and publish sooner rather than later. I haven’t really had the chance to sit down and concentrate but I am working on several of them.

Before I stopped taking photos the last year or so, I was a photo hoarder. I think I have over 20,000 photos and I have gone through so many lately I’m sure I’ve deleted 5,000 or more. It’s exhausting and takes a looooong time!

Well, I know for a fact that’s not everything but I need to wrap it up eventually! Until next time….

Love Always,
Karen Maeby

Since I Met You (poem by Karen Maeby)

Since I Met You
by Karen Maeby  © 8/22/16

SINCE I MET YOU
I know life’ll never be the same again

Since I met you—

My dreams have moved me out of really tiny houses
with no space at all, and into larger mansions,
with plenty of room to navigate and separate my thoughts.

The outside walls are painted pink with mocha cream
and the fence has deeply entangled vines that won’t die,
because knowingly, the inspiration to live will be forevermore.

Since I met you—

There’s always a song with lots of verses playing in my head
—usually jazz or blues with many, many riffs—
always pre-determined by last night’s humor and seriousness.

Our time is a staged rehearsal,
where every night is different, but leads the same way to the moment,
when the clock stops ticking and we’re so completely lost in one another.

Since I met you—

I now write freely by the magical moonlight
which serves me the healthiest tasting drink on the planet,
right where your soul breathed life into mine over and over again.

Every time I close my eyes to lay deep into your arms,
I feel like I’ve witnessed a million shooting stars
and it’s only the beginning (I have to remind myself).

Since I met you—

It’s very clear, I’ll never be the same, and I wouldn’t want it to be.
You’ve awakened some part of me that I didn’t even know existed.

You’ve sent shivers down my spine, a calmness to my heart,
and poetry throughout my entire body (something that I know will never end).

I feel like I’ve been given a gift, something that very few have,
a secret that my heart knows through and through….

that life will never, ever be the same again
SINCE I MET YOU. 

Things I should have said.

I’m no stranger to death, I think that’s why my life’s calm is right there in the middle of being at the ocean and hanging out in the graveyard amongst all the spirits. It kind of gets lonely and becomes an “emotional distraught” world when you’re a growing kid/teen and you lose all of the family ma/pa-triarchs at that age. You’re too young to remember, but old enough to recognize that there’s a large empty space in your life. 

This is coming from this week’s visit back to Kentucky where we went to our farm yesterday. My Great Aunt Ada was the keeper of the home, and she just recently passed away in April. This is the first time I have been back to the farm since she passed away.

I walked into the main living room where everyone usually sits and talks and I saw her in the chair where I last said goodbye that previous November. I sat across her in this proper chair working on cutting out one of her chandeliers (that I took a photo of several years ago) for my “illusions” book cover. (I have a feeling it was because of her spirit that it turned out exactly how I imagined it in my head.) 

The bottom line of this whole entry: I’m having a really hard time dealing with her death. For months, I had been meaning to let her read a poem that I wrote about the solitude of being at her place. For many months, I was wanting to write to her and tell her how much she means to me and what spending time at her house meant (deeper than just a place to go, it brought the words out in me and made me a deeper writer than I’ve ever imagined).

The poem I wrote about her place ended up in Gulfport’s first collaboration book for those who wanted to be the first GP Poet Laureate. Not more than a few hours later of the same day I found out about her death at work, I got an email from the guy who was chosen for the poet laureate and that poem was his favorite. Coincidental? 

I don’t think I ever told her how much I appreciated her and the moments spent at her beautiful house, I might have when I was younger, but I should have said it every time… My family says she knew, but it’s not the same validation as to hearing a response or a reaction. Since I lost all of my grandparents and other older members of my family, she was the one I grew up the most knowing. But yet, I now feel that didn’t really know her, and I wish I knew more. I always thought of Ada as like the fairy god mother who would live longer than the rest of us. But alas.

“There’s a truth to the sadness
 in the air I breathe today, when I found out the news.” 

Other than my parents, the rest of my family on that side has no idea how much I love her property and would do anything to save it if it were ever any talk of it not being ours any more. It’s something I have to write, instead of talking about, because with [this whole thing] being still fresh on my mind and upsetting, I can’t say anything without being in the moment of a pile of emotion.

When we were talking yesterday, it sounded like they bought the property in 1977. That year is my favorite year for many reasons. I think it’s a sign. I would like to believe it was a sign. 

Something within me told me to walk upstairs to Aunt Ada’s room. I’m so glad I did because I found something so amazing when I was looking around…….

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When I saw those, my soul smiled. I have a feeling that we both have a liking for 1920-ish ballroom dancing sort of proper things, and now, I wish I had talked to her about it. But then again, I wonder if I was just supposed to find those to interpret on my own for illusions, right where it’d fit in. 

Her house is a story that still needs to be written by me and maybe, just maybe, if I write it–it’ll come true. My favorite place in her house is the proper living room to the left of the front door and my favorite bedroom is the one directly above it upstairs. If you’ve known me a while, you’ve heard me speak of this place being historical (the Ben Johnson house). There’s so much history, there’s so much spirit, there’s so much everything tied into this one place in the middle of no where. I imagine tea parties, people dressed in ballroom gowns dancing into the night, bed and breakfast sort of thing, a place for weddings, a place where author’s getaway and write amazing stories, a retreat for drama, jazz playing from a record player, families gathered around the proper room listening to one of the first radios when their favorite show would come on. Even a few scenes from A Christmas Story would do. I would call it the Ben Johnson Henderson Playhouse, and it would serve so many purposes, even if it was just a home to our family. 

Yesterday was apparently National Book Day in the world, so it’s only appropriate to announce that I got a chance to take some of Aunt Ada’s books home with me. She has great taste! 🙂

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I really do miss her so much and I hope she really knew how much I loved her… 

The Solitude, The Place That Began It All

I hold in my heart, this place.
This place of which I casually dreamt, as I wrote and walked
among all of the trees
and many, many rooms of this house.

Poetry came so easily in the silence of being at this place.
Writing stories there was just as easy.

As I grew up coming up to this historical home,
My vintage Pirate Soul erupted in great divine!

I walked down the pathway to this great plantation house
a many a time.

I sometimes closed my eyes
to imagine all of the furniture swept away to the side to support
the many people in ballroom gowns during the day
and bedclothes’ parties at night.

I imagined everyone writing with feather pens.
I imagined people writing—penmanship,
something that is greatly lost between the keyboards today….

I imagined people on both porches talking about
whatever people talked about back then.

I imagined a place without a television
and people would carry on great casual conversations
without technology.

I imagined something that I will never get to experience,
but I bet for those who did…
it was great. For the time that it was.

When I later left the state of my birth and youth,
this will be the only place that I will miss…
for eternity.

– © Karen Maeby 

This is what 30 looks like to a woman named Karen Maeby.

I close my eyes to picture my life before two and a half months ago and it’s really difficult. I just remember everything turning to darkness–the color was fading like old photographs–and it felt as if I were preparing to walk into a large ditch, hoping it would be a sink hole, and I’d fall into the Bermuda Triangle for all eternity…… 

Then I became involved with the Gulfport Community Players and life has not been the same. Joining theatre was one of my last realistic dreams before I turned 30. It is like it’s opened a door to my heart and my creativity—a part that was nonexistent, a part that was hidden, a part that was so buried like deep treasure in the bottom of the ocean, and a part that had walls boarded up on every inch.

And….just like that all of the walls have come down and the chains to the anchor holding me down has been broken and there’s color and inspiration exploding everywhere. I let it down without hesitation or fear. For the first time in my life, fear is not in my vocabulary. I’m not even paying attention to the what ifs or the would-have-been anxiety feelings. It’s all gone. Poof. (Points to smoke in the air.) And, I know it’s all for the better and I know life will never, ever be the same again… and I am seriously okay with that.

I have been celebrating 30 before I turned 30 almost every single day the last two weeks.

– Our last weekend of performances was quite an event in itself– the cast party one night, getting together for late night dinners and the epic last day where I couldn’t hold my tears in. After all was said and done, there began my 24/7 creativity spiel (that has yet to end, thankfully, and hopefully won’t!) and everything else that followed.

– Thanks to a certain gentleman–that must be made out of nothing but pure magic–I have been able to enjoy myself and my life more than I ever have before. I had my introduction to The Hideaway Cafe where it was blues night followed by a great conversation in the moonlight by the water and boats, where my heart stands still and makes me calm. Then folk music the next time out where it felt as if I were a character in a movie being sung to by the karma Gods of the universe. There’s been weekends of where my house is finally getting clean and I finally have stuff up on my wall. I found a magical picture and it brings so much joy to wake up to that and its companion on my wall — because it is nothing but pure classic romance and just one photo can say so many things. Even though there’s a toldjaso lesson in this… it sure feels good this way. There was a night of returning to my favorite spot at John’s Pass and listening to my favorite guys play all of–what I would call–my favorite songs. There’s been some other nights of late night phone calls, texts, messages of any kind and lots of talking about a deep passion of mine — writing. Not to mention, taking to and regaining my appreciation of the funny moments of every day life…. something I had longed to do once again but have failed due to, well, life. As well as the true understanding of when time stands still, or fades away but to the future.

– Friday Birthday Celebration: My wonderful work family grilled steaks, picked up Carrabba’s side dishes and a chocolate cake for me to celebrate early last Friday during lunch. They joked around and teased me more than ever. One of them even said “What is this?! Another celebration for you? Didn’t you just have one???” Which later came around to my actual birthday where it was almost 90 degrees in my side of the office. Instead of putting on clothes like I normally do because it’s so cold, they were making fun of me because I was taking them off. A comment was made, “WOW. It’s so weird seeing you with just a t-shirt on.” Mmhm. Hot flashes at 30 caused nothing but teasing from there.

– I spent Christmas in July (24th&25th) blasting Christmas music and honoring a great friend, Joe Anthony, who passed away two years ago that weekend.

My “actual” 30th birthday celebration was abso-freaking-epic. There’s no other word. Although, I wish that more people had come, but I understand there’s 3000 events always going on at one time and you can’t attend them all. It was jazz night at The Hideaway Cafe. (If you’ve never been, it’s this magical little intimate place that already looks like it’s a sophisticated jazz club.) The jazz was running through my blood, my veins, my heart; and I so got lost in the music…especially after the bottom of my 2nd beer.

I can’t remember the last time where I was with a group celebrating my birthday. During intermission, they put candles on my cake, everyone sang to me, the band played the intro to one of my most favorite songs ever and people were still wishing me Happy Birthday as they were leaving. I really enjoyed having my company there with me too. (THANK YOU FOR COMING!) It was like my own Immersion Therapy– just without the clown! 

After these wonderful and amazing and I-just-can’t-get-enough-of-these days, I am really looking forward to being 30 and taking it by storm. Even-numbered birthdays are a superstition to me, because they’ve never been good, but you know what I’ve learned? The past is the past and it’s no reason to continue that to be unhappy in the future. (Whew, I bet you thought I was going to start singing that Frozen song, aye?) Life is pretty wonderful right about now!

AT 30 YEARS OLD (in no particular order)….

I have officially accomplished any reasonable goal or dream I had as a kid/teenager, which is pretty incredible when I look back at my list and see several checked off.

I am at my dream company in the industry that chose me. My co-workers are freaking amazing and my job is doing a multitude of things, so it keeps me happy.

I am on a radio show called World of Boating and I love the guys as much as the ones at work. They support my BoatShowGirl brand and habits. Always nice to have supporters!

I’ve made it as far as to working a boat show with my company, as well as being recognized as media for BSG by Show Management at the bigger international shows.

I’m a published author, although not in true print, just a few ebooks on Amazon (that will be later redone this year).

I have helped build a company, close one down, worked several positions across the board, owned my own business, and used almost all of my favorite hobbies/talents in jobs (graphic design, photography, writing, blogging, social media, etc).

I returned to theatre after 12 years and it was the best thing, ever, in this world.

I live in Florida, one of the warmest and best places with some of the best people and things to do. I am so very, very lucky.

It’s almost been a year since having adopted Eisenhower, my beautiful hermit crab. I am so lucky to have chosen him because his personality matches what you would expect to be mine. He’s also quite Piratey.

I’ve met an amazing person of whom my soul recognizes.

I have everything I’ve ever wanted and I am everything I’ve ever wanted to be at this new ripe age of 30. After going through what I’ve been through the past couple of years, it is amazing to be able to say that.

There’s so much I’m thankful for–including friends, family, my parents, the little gifts in life, offbeat humor, moments, life experiences (both bad and good)–because it’s my own journey {following my own dream’s path} that’s made me the way I am and I am just really thankful. I can’t say it enough!!

Words are coming back to me. I’m relaxed. I’m happy. I’m thankful. And, thankful for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in my incredible life. I feel like 30 is a new, different chapter, one that will be better than the rest and a closure on the first 29 years of my life. I feel like I’m right where I am supposed to be. Everything that I had ever been worried about is gone. You know how relieved I feel? When one worries so much and it breaks you? But being picked back up again… it’s amazing, and I feel like this is totally a #winning moment.

I’ve had so much inspiration over the past couple of weeks that my brain is literally exploding with color. I’m having a hard time keeping things straight! I’m writing poetry like a photograph, a novel like poetry, and a play like a novel. Working on 4 play scripts, 7-10 of my own projects (poetry mostly) and trying to push my ‘ooooh I want to do thissssss’ back until I get done with the other projects. 

Turning 30 was absolutely epic, and I still have 2 more weeks left to celebrate… and possibly for the rest of my life. There’s no way I’d ever want to turn back now. 

~Karen Maeby