Skate Bowl and the Story of Eidolon is done · June 2014

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We Gayhearts have just shrugged off the final weeks of school, and playtime has begun for the boys. During the first weekend after school ended, we had six boys camping out in our back yard in a giant tent. Old friends and new made for a fun mix. Zach and Patrick, boys who were neighbors to us when we lived on Holman, attended the overnight along with current friend Cash. Edgar made a new friend, TJ, during this past year at Ockley Green, and he was welcomed into the group. They cooked sausages on the grill, with Bo only supervising, not doing it for them. They played across the street at Woodlawn Park, and “Mom” was even nice enough to let them borrow her laptop to watch a movie in the tent before lights-out. So, summer has officially begun.

For my schedule and Bo’s, not much has changed. I was offered a chance to promote to Assistant Manager, but I have seen the stress of that position strain others, and I enjoy calling the Manager for a difficult customer rather than having to tactfully deal with them myself. I value my sanity over the raise in pay, even though it would help immensely. I want my family to keep liking me, so I remain a Beauty Advisor, and have my normal shifts at Walgreens as well as my cleaning jobs. The only difference this summer is, for instance, that I might take the boys when I go to my client in SW because there’s a skate park there. Bo has a continuous job at a house in Vancouver WA just across the river, where the kind owners, (My Dad’s best friend of old and his wife), let the boys swim in the pool while Bo works nearby. Although our family is just scraping by most of the time, I do believe our boys are becoming spoiled.

As I may have mentioned before, our best friends here, Erika and Jason Miranda, own an indoor skate bowl under the name “Trusty Switchblade,” which is their biking team name. For those of you not familiar with a “skate bowl,” it is exactly what it sounds like: a sort of giant bowl that skateboarders can roll into and up out of while doing tricks as they reach the lip of the bowl. Edgar (11 years old) is getting better and better at it, after a late interest in learning the basics. He’s been so interested in other things, like playing with neighbors and at the park, that he hasn’t concentrated on skateboarding until lately.

Jaben (will be 13 in July) has been skateboarding for a long time, and is quite adept at doing tricks, as is the Mirandas’ son Cash. Bo has been helping the Mirandas build a skate shop in a section under their “Trust Bowl” where they will sell shoes, skateboards, T-shirts, etc. While he builds there, the boys can skate upstairs in the bowl. This is the bulk of Jaben’s interests, and I have seen him carry the confidence, and even a little cockiness, of a good skateboarder. I have watched as skaters older than he exclaim about his maneuvering and skill. He goes to skate church whenever we have the $5 for him to get in. Skate church happens at a church that has a warehouse filled with ramps and skate bowls, and that holds a 2 hour free-skate session, with thirty minutes of it allowing for a discussion about a lesson in the Bible. Jaben loves skating and takes any opportunity to do so. He’s quite the athlete and so has also gained admirable tolerance for pain.

Edgar has been spending a lot of time with his new friend TJ, who apparently is a great badminton partner. I suspect that Edgar asks to go to his house because of the amount of video game time they’re allowed to have there, but he also has stories about how TJ plays four-square really well, too. When TJ came here for the camping weekend, he was visibly unhappy when I told him he had one hour of game time per day while he’s here. But he did seem to have fun while NOT gaming, running around in the park and chatting out back.

I think our boys are going to realize that our family is different from many others in regards to our balance of electronic use. I believe it’s a good escape from stress, but that it should be as restricted as cookies and candy. There have been some ridiculous arguments by people I know that on a long trip, children should be allowed free access to iPads or Tablets for video game usage or movie watching. I remember, as a child, looking out the car window and seeing various barns, houses, rivers, bridges, animals… great things I took for granted at the time, but remember fondly now. I’m not taking that richness away from my boys, and I’m sad to hear so many kids these days will be missing-out on the beauty of our countrysides and cities because of this mentality. The personal values affected by these choices will manifest in adulthood, I believe, and those more attuned to the Earth and sky will see different opportunities in life than those stuck in the near-sighted electronic view. I feel that having a good balance between the two schools of appreciation will give my boys an edge in each world. I guess we’ll only know how that goes once they’re grown and on their own.

Holden is still in Job Corps, and he’ll be visiting home for three weeks this summer. Last I heard, there will be a chance for him to go to Utah to learn more, and he’s balking at that opportunity because he’d be even farther from us. I told him he’s entering adulthood, when he’s not supposed to be with his parents any more but making his own way. I said it sounds like a great opportunity to learn more and to find himself! Growing up is so scary, and very exciting. He’ll be 18 in September, it’s about time for him to face his future.
Dustin (20 yrs. old) has been visiting as usual, and is also on summer vacation, out of the life skills classes he was taking. He is looking to his future, telling me how much he’d like to be a doctor. We’ve discussed how it won’t be possible, but that having a great goal like that will still take him far even if he only ever gets part-way there. He is also wrestling with the desire to be closer to his mother in N.C., as well as wanting to be near his father and the fun he’s been having here with friends and his foster home. For now he’s content here, and is looking forward to the possibility that his mother will visit Portland this summer. With a lot of luck and effort, we can pull together and make that happen.

My trilogy about the Eidolon has gone through its final editing, and can be found as “The Story of Eidolon.” It includes “The Thousand Years Ghost,” “Trees of Change,” and “Journey into the Past.” I am still waiting for the bills to catch-up so I have the money to send a copy of it to director Terry Gilliam, who makes wonderful otherworldly movies that have enchanted me throughout my life. I am not asking him to do anything with “Eidolon,” but I want to be able to say he has a copy. With this project done, I am now at rest. I am currently waiting for the next inspiration to arrive, whether it’s for drawing or writing. Until then, it’s life as usual and watching my boys grow.

I hope your summer is off to a great start. Keep it cool, and may you have every opportunity to carry out your plans for the season’s good weather!

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