Oh say can you see?...

 I used to sing.  A lot.  I was in school choir, show choir, church choir, operetta choir- grade school all the way up through college.  Theater arts was my elective in both middle school, high school & college.  Being in school plays, competing in UIL, and performing in musicals was a huge part of my childhood.

I played a young Gypsy Rose Lee before I ever knew what she was infamous for.  Of course now that I think back on the lyrics to Let Me Entertain you...well, let's just say I wasn't the sharpest crayon in the box as a kid.

When I was 13 years old I sang the National Anthem at the Astrodome.  In front of 60,000 people.  I remember my mom looking back at me on the drive to the dome and asking me if I was nervous.  Truth was, I wasn't.  I loved it.  From the elevator ride down to the catfish hole, being escorted out onto the field, to sitting with my family afterward and enjoying the game.  It was a thrill.  One that I was given the opportunity to do for four years.

Me at 14 years old...

My audition was interesting in that the organist had not shown up.  So they had me walk out on the field and sing acapella- while the crew for Phil Collins was setting up for his concert at the Astrodome that night.  I didn't get to meet him, but I did meet Stevie Ray Vaughn on another night that I was down in the catfish hole and he was there to sing the anthem.  He shook my hand and called me "a fellow artist", but I wouldn't realize how I was an artist until many years later.

I think the greatest injustice we do to children in school is to squash their inner artist.  I saw it time and time again as a student in school and then later as a teacher.  For so many kids it is when they sing, dance, or create that you see their "sparkle".   But how often do they get a chance to sparkle like that within the hours of 7:45 to 3:00?  As a former teacher I can tell you the answer to that- pretty much never.

I thought it would be hard to leave teaching- that I would miss it, but the truth is that I don't miss it at all.  I also thought that because I was a creative person I would thrive in that occupation, but the reality was that I was suffocating artistically.  So now?  Now I create.  I like that sometimes my projects begin without the end in mind- that it is the creative process I have learned to embrace and enjoy rather than just the outcome.

shutter flag made for a customer who will use it as a window valance in her son's room....
I feel good about what I do now.  I sleep better knowing that I am honest in my "job" and that what I do brings a smile to others faces.

And it turns out that Stevie Ray was right all those years ago, I am an artist.


  1. Beautiful post. I'm glad you don't miss teaching. Remarkably, you don't look much different today than you did at 14. Still beautiful. xo

  2. Wow, the Astrodome. What a thrill!!! I so agree that childrens talents are squashed. Sometimes teachers as well as parents are so busy doing what they do that they don't take the time to really see who the little people in their lives really are. I remember when I told my daughter in law how funny my grandchildren were and she said "really?, maybe I just have been to busy to notice." Truth is, they are all hilarious and talented each in their own way. As a grandmother I try to encourage each of their talents as I know from personal experience what having them squashed feels like. I am glad you are now truly being the artist you always were.

  3. Tricia, thank you for sharing. Fist my sister asked me the other day if I still listened to music a lot, and the answer was no, in fact it is extremely rare when I listened to music, so I am going to start doing that again! I agree with you completely about creativity and schools. I personally have been struggling with my own search for a new creative outlet and I am hoping I have found it through blogging, or perhaps through blogging it has found me. I often think we just have to be open to being creative, there are so many forms of creativity. I am glad you are enjoying this stage of your life and that you are able to be creative, and yes, you are a fellow artist. Thanks for sharing, Patty

  4. That shutter is amazing! And I am so impressed that you sang in front of all those people and you weren't nervous! I am taking piano lessons - and I didn't want to be in the recital the teacher has every year. She talked me into doing one song with her. My fingers were shaking so hard I could hardly play!

  5. Wow - must be a really long window for those shutters. Nice work.
    Sorry about the teaching - I know how much schooling that took, and how excited you were when doing it. But glad you are happy now.


Thanks so much for popping in. I appreciate all of your lovely comments...Tricia