Mandan Artist Frosty Paris told me during an interview that he kept himself in a position to paint. That meant forgoing everything that stood in the way of his art. While I might not have chosen such a drastic path in life, it did not seem to have any adverse effect on his. And, he always had time to paint.
At this stage in my life, I am watching all my friends and family quit working and "retire." I am a bit envious. I am not even close to being in a position to retire. I'm not saying they didn't earn the privilege of not working; I didn't have the stamina to accomplish what they did. I have always tried to be in a position to work at my passions.
Artistic-leaning jobs don't pay as much as those positions requiring 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workdays, five days a week. At least not in North Dakota. I tried. So many times, I tried but failed at jobs that became repiticious. It's not that I didn't work. I didn't work as hard at work as I did at creating. The only time I felt I was doing what God put me on earth to do was during the years I traveled around the country selling weaving at art fairs.
It's been 20 years since I said I was going to get my children taken care of and then get back on the road. God's up there laughing at me, I'm sure. So, now's my time to work my way back into my creative lifestyle slowly. I've held on as long as possible. I wish to be in a position to weave and grow vegetables wholeheartedly. HERE'S THE deal... I could not do it without you (JC INCLUDED). So, this is not a complaint by any means. It's a thank you to everyone who supports me. There wasn't an outpouring of support from my family and most of my acquaintances in my early career. My generation didn't always understand the value of art, although most of them worked with their hands. That is something I want to do. Computers are great, but I'm ready to unplug.
Sure, sometimes I say, I'm tired of working, I want to sit around and do nothing. Then my cousin reminded me that sometimes you get your wish and it's not pretty.
So, here's to re-firing (I stole the phrase) instead of retiring. And, a huge thank you to everyone who buys my bread, hand-woven towels, knitted things, crocheted things, canned goods and such; and to everyone who takes my classes. That is a massive show of support as I am introducing weaving to a whole bunch of excited new people.
Had to say it. I had to get it out of my system. I was overwhelmed by the show of support at this week's market. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And, for my shameless plug, please, check out the two Laughing Sun Classes for weaving and knitting; check out the kuchen classes through BSC enrichment in March; and put Saturday, March 14, on the calendar for the next Mandan Winter Market. SEE YOU THERE, my friends.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.