The Road to the perfect Chef Coat

The Road to the perfect Chef Coat – The amazing and unlikely journey of a mother suddenly widowed..

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The road to the perfect Chef Coat.

Born and raised in southern California. Orange County / Los Angeles based Fashion Designer Sandra Harvey has always had a love, respect,and deep appreciation of chefs, fine restaurants, and quirky little bistros. Sandra grew up around restauranteurs playing in kitchens, and learning to cook from her Mother.   Sandra will tell you many of her favorite conversations and memories have been over meals with friends, family, and clients. Sandra’s sister made a career as a chef in La Jolla California where her restaurant still operates today.

Sandra is a well traveled and educated women with over 20 years of design experience. She is best know for her amazing detail, her sexy yet non revealing way she cuts, and her  magical ability to craft and weave some of the finest suits and separates Women’s fashion has ever seen.  She does not design exclusively for women, yet that is the area she puts most of her focus.

Sandra Harvey fitting Lorena Cortez Photo©SGSéguret5

In the 90’s Sandra was featured on MTV’s house of style hosted by Cindy Crawford , and she has been Designing for and dressing some of the worlds notable musicians since the 90’s. Always sweet, approachable, and genuine. Sandra is a fierce humanitarian, an eternal optimist, and the most real, unchanged, dedicated, and driven person I have ever had the chance to know.

Sandra Harvey 1990’s Commercial

In 2005 Sandra took a break from designing and removed herself from the Los Angeles scene when her husband and also the father of her 2 young boys was killed when hit by a drunk driver.  Sandra had always been a dedicated, loving, and great mother.  With the loss of her husband she needed to switch focus and put 100 percent of herself into helping her children through this difficult time , and create a fun world for them to grow up in.

One afternoon the words of her late husband came to her, as clear as if he was standing next to her.  The feeling of warm hand on her shoulder and the words “Take my boys to my home” filled the room, echoed in her ears, and stuck in her mind for days.

As a little girl Sandra’s father used to take her to Arkansas every summer. He would tell her about the south, about ghosts and banshees, and swamps. He would show her how to catch fireflys and appreciate nature and the unique peace and magic that is found in the more quite and still parts of the world.  Sandra has always been connected to the South in one  way or another. Her late husband and his entire family were originally from North Carolina.

Despite what people were telling her during this dark time in her life, leaving everything and starting over in North Carolina just made sense to her. She knew this was where she needed to raise her children, and she felt guided to North Carolina from her husbands words that she heard from beyond the grave.  She just somehow knew deep down that this was a place where they could all heal. Leaving her entire life , her friends, her family, her business, and her beautiful Laguna Beach home. Sandra packed up her 2 boys, their cat, and a few of her most precious things and move to the small mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina.  Now this was way before Asheville was a destination, and before it was known for its fine dining and foodie culture.

The Culinary Girl Short Film 2014 Asheville NC

Sandra and her boys spent their first few years in Asheville just trying to adjust to having lost her Husband and the boys father. They would spend summers on the river, take trips out to Charleston and Savannah to visit the ocean. She also got a family dog, and  built a very wonderful organic garden for all of them to work in. It was during this time is when Sandra started becoming interested in the Culinary world.

Soon the town of Asheville started to grow and quality restaurants sprung up all over downtown, there were new 4 and 5 star chefs moving in every month. Sandra soon made friends with many of these chefs and restaurant owners.  Still not ready to go back to designing, Sandra became fascinated with the passion, and dedication and the almost militant type discipline she witnessed from many of chefs and restaurant owners.  Sandra wanted to understand this first hand.  So… She enrolled in the Culinary Program at AB – Tech.  Studying both Culinary, and Baking Science at the same time. Sandra quickly became immersed in the Culinary world.

Some of Sandra’s Clients.

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Over the 2 years of her formal education, Sandra has worked over 1500 hours volunteering in various restaurants, performing demos, doing food prep and service for many different events. Some of which include: the Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, the Asheville Wine and Food Festival, Star Chefs new york , the IACP, and countless other events.   She never backed away from the hard work, the cleaning, or any of the more difficult duties of a culinary student. All while being a very active and fun Mother to her boys that were quickly turning into young men.

Spending day after day in school Sandra would hear the girls talk about how their uniforms were stiff and unflattering, and the men would often mention how hot and uncomfortable they would get in their uniforms.  Sandra spent two years in those uniforms herself so she knew first hand. For Sandra her biggest issue was with the baggy sleeves that don’t stay rolled up, and the stiff non flexible materials.

These were clearly uniforms, these were not made by a designer or a person who had done a hard days work in a professional kitchen.  They were not made with any real understanding of what the title chef means to those who work so hard to earn it,  or to those who spend hours laboring in the kitchen as cooks.  As Sandra would go to school and work in the kitchen and stage in various restaurants the design started to appear in her minds eye.   The real challenge was to make something highly functional, yet fashionable, and at the same time pay tribute and respect to the men and women who spend their lives working in kitchen. To give them a coat they could not only work in, but show pride in.  It would be another 2 years of diligence, dedication, and overcoming many set backs to finally see her dream realized.

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In school, Sandra earned the respect and admiration of her instructors, her fellow students, and many of the countries top chefs. She was featured in the AB Tech course catalog as an Entrepreneur of the Culinary Industry. Her coats appeared on Good Morning America, and were featured by Martha Stewart Made in America. She has had numerous publications, articles, and radio spots all singing her praises. But Sandra measures her success by what her clients say. Sandra still takes the time to personally write and call each of her clients. She has built her company on hard work and there was never a doubt that her product would be American Made. Even when keeping her product made in America caused her numerous set backs in production, she never wavered and even helped bring sewing jobs to North Carolina by doing so. She personally oversees and runs her company with old fashioned American values where customer service and her strong connection to her customers is the most important thing to her. She currently has a client list of executive chefs, cooks, bakers, caterers, and other culinary professionals from every continent,  and she keeps in contact with all of them personally.

 Original concept sketches done in between classes and labs while attending AB Tech.

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~ From concept to reality ~

Sandra Harvey Women’s Brigade style in White

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The SHD culinary line by Sandra Harvey was born from a combination years of formal education, research, hands on kitchen experience, and design knowledge. She often says the Original SHD Brigade coat was Inspired by Georges Auguste Escoffier.  The original SHD Chef Coat is a brigade design, hand cut, hand sewn,and 100 percent American made from the finest fabrics on earth. The coat is Light weight, it moves and works with you, the sleeves stay in place when pushed up,  the coat is cut and designed only the way someone with over 20 years of design experience can. Yet it is durable and functions under real conditions in a way only someone with real working culinary experience could design. This coat is the marriage of a master designer, and a chef created by a Woman who truly loves both worlds.   Every last detail is perfect.  The women’s feature hidden side pockets, a high collar, elegant cuffs, over sized high quality 1 inch buttons, and can be worn both open and buttoned. Sandra also takes custom orders , and has an amazing Men’s line featuring shoulder epaulettes.

                                                  

Designer Sandra Harvey

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Still based in Asheville North Carolina, Sandra is now in her 4th year of production. This year the AB Tech Culinary team will all be dressed in SHD as they enter the Nationals. SHD will also have a booth just off the main event stage at this years National Restaurant Association event in Chicago from May the 16 – 19th 2015. At this even she will unveil her newest chef coat and chef pants.

The last thing I will say about Sandra is that she refuses to compromise quality, she is a patriot, she is a humanitarian, and she has a flawless reputation for always paying her employees, models, and photographers very well. She is Loved by all who know her.

Sandra Harvey Links

Official:  sandraharvey.com

On Instagram

INSTAGRAM

Company Sayings and Slogans

“How does your chef coat fit you?”

“Elegance reigns in the kitchen”

“A beautiful presentation starts on your way to work”

“Wear something the boys can’t”

“Chefs do it with knives and torches”

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Company Logo  : Sandra Harvey underlined with Sewing Needle

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Company Mascot  : Chef Trizzella Pin Up

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Company Mascot  : Chef Trizzella Cartoon

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Crossed Knives  Asheville NC

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 Behind the Scenes of Culinary Girl Short Film

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 From SHD Shop.

Our ‘Original Slender fit SHD chef Jacket’
designed and cut in the traditional Brigade style, using soft luxurious fabrics.
Elegant stand up collar is cut to stay popped up if worn unbuttoned, it also lays nicely down.
Slender perfectly cut sleeves.
Elegant 6 inch Fitted Mock French cuffs
Nipped in waistline with a generous curve around the hips.
~You will get lots of attention in this Jacket~
.Slender waistline
.Heavy designer coat buttons
.Side pockets
.Thermometer pocket

White SHD12-twill
.Imported twill / 4% spandex
.White
.Machine wash cool and tumble dry Low.
Wear directly from your dryer. Cool iron press for a crisp look.

All postage includes Insurance for full cost of garment.
*Return Policy- I understand sizing is difficult online and I will gladly exchange for a different size, however buyer must pay all return shipping charges, I will refund all initial shipping upon receipt of garment to your account.
Please return item in plastic to keep clean.

SOMETIMES ORDERS COME IN FASTER THAN WE CAN FILL SO PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 2 WEEKS.

All our Jackets are hand cut a and sewn by expert seamstresses

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Black with custom satin cuffs

Where is God in all of this?

No matter what God you believe in , if you do believe in a God than you probably believe that God created humans. I am 100 percent sure, your God does not want you killing his creations for any reason, and especially not in his name. To Murder another human is the ultimate rejection of God, and to murder a child will earn you a trip to what ever version of Hell you believe in. An interesting fact is if you look at the global peace index, nations that have a higher percentage of people who follow Christian and Islamic Beliefs are the least peaceful and most war-like, while countries that have a higher percentage of Agnostic and Atheists are the most peaceful. And while I have noticed that MOST Atheists certainly are not quite about the fact that they think anyone who believes in God is a moron. I do not think I have ever seen a bombing or shooting of a doctor in the name of atheism. I also do not see atheists trying to dictate the lives of gay people because of things they believe in a book. And just in case anyone is wondering. I am NOT an Atheist, I try and just look for truth, and all I want for this planet is acceptance, and peace. Is that to much to ask after thousands of years of killing each other?

Exposure for my art and free drinks does not feed my children

—Update my add was deleted from Craigslist because of its content only 8 hours after it was posted,  In those 8 hours I got 2 somewhat well written non offensive responses,  1 telling telling me how Evil of a person I am, and about 5 telling me to “F-Off” I posted the 2  that I feel are appropriate for all readers in my Comments section.

8 Hours and it was deleted…yet dozen of adds asking for free art and music still exist.—  The link below no longer works but I wanted to preserve the original post so below this screenshot of the original add, is the original post I made on WordPress earlier today.

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Does this add seem ridiculous to you?   http://asheville.craigslist.org/fbh/4576234223.html  Now read it again but reverse the position and services of the 2 main parties involved in this add. Does it seem as ridiculous?

(in the event the add is deleted and the link stops functioning, I have posted a screen shot of the add on the bottom of this post)

My CL add will run for 30 days. With several other adds in different places in an attempt to raise awareness for the value of art, music, and literature. You should not have to be Dead, Katy Perry, or on the  New York Times best seller list to make a living as an artist.

Exposure for my art and free drinks does not feed my children

I will post the unedited replies to this add as they come in in the Comments section as myself, for as long as the add is active.

It is very common to see adds just like these almost anyplace in the country, and somehow people are conditioned to think this is acceptable.

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A great opportunity for artists!
We need a talented artist with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Indesign skills.  We require a Logo for our sign and front end apparel. We also need a 4 page menu and wine list.  This is an open competition to all artists interested, we will use the best work submitted.

Compensation: Great exposure, eat for free.

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Live musicians needed

Looking for talented local band to play 15 song set list.  We will require you to perform at 8 pm and again at 11 pm.  If interested please contact me to set up an audition.

Compensation: Get exposure for your band!  Sell your CD’s before and after your performance.  Did we mention?   Free Drinks!

 

 

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All we are saying…

Is give peace a chance.

Well maybe that is the problem right there, people who want peace are by nature not going to be aggressive, you can say it all you want, but the people who need this message are not listening. The problem is you can not fight for peace, you can’t force someone to be peaceful. You can not tell someone who has been hating someone else for so many decades to stop hating them, when they are so consumed by hatred they do not even know why they started hating them in the first place. So forcing peace on the world can never happen. But that does not mean Peace can never happen, it’s just going to take courage , far more courage then it takes to hate and destroy. People are going to have to start trusting again, and stop looking at human life as a statistic on a screen in a war room.

YES! Special interests groups do control the media, and they show every country a different story, none of which are true.

Every single time we go to war, every single time we are told by the media that American has to respond to the current “Evil Nation”. That nation is being told the same thing about us or about the nation they are in conflict with. If your an average American you have a sense of pride and patriotism, you believe that we are a righteous force protecting the world and bombing the bad guys. You believe in pick up trucks, shotguns, and country music and that somehow we are gods chosen people and we are always right in everything we do. Well I am here to tell you that you are wrong! a good part of the world sees us as warmongering , self obsessed, glutenous pigs, that will go to war with anyone that disagrees with us. So you see it’s a matter of perception, of media, and of government propaganda.

It is ignorant to think that once you cross some made up line on the earth , the people that live on the other side are so different than you that the only way to deal with them is to kill them.

Does it even matter where, why, or who? Isn’t it simply a violation of Humanity itself to kill for any reason? Your God does not want you killing, and even if you do not have a God, your soul , your heart, and the very essence of humanity and the universe itself does not want you killing either.

I have believed for some time now that there are 2 difference species of human beings on this planet. There is nothing about war and violence that seems Human to me at all, there is no part of me that wants to kill, or bomb, or rape. This might seem like a very negative post, but in fact from my perspective It seems the less evolved humans make up a very minor part of the Global Human Population, yet somehow they are the ones with the power. We are all one regardless of race, sex, and religious beliefs. I know more people that think this way then do not. So why are we still killing each other over things like invisible lines drawn in the ground, oil, and what or who we chose to worship? Because a handful of primitive humans consumed by power, lust, hatred, and greed are running the world? Well it is time to take the world back and reclaim and redefine what it means to be a Human. But how do we get started?

Corazon of the Outer Banks :: A book review.

The Spanish meaning of the word Corazon is Heart.

Corazon of the Outer Banks is a heart warming story of friendship and courage and is exactly what you have come to expect from the amazing Storyteller Sandra Harvey.  Adding to the story with his incredibly detailed and expressive full color illustrations  is the amazing London artist Calum Jones.

Sandra Harvey has a way of creating incredibly organic, real, and original characters.  Ms. Harvey’s stories often break current publishing trends,  and this is just one of the things  that I personally love about her writing.    Her current switch from novels to Picture Books is really shaking up the picture book industry and making some very real and very important changes.  This book being the first I have seen with a main character that has an Hispanic heritage and is in no way being portrayed with any of the stereotypes of the Mexican culture.

So many authors fail when trying to create ethnically diverse characters by type casting them based on their race.  It has always been my opinion that a strong non white character would not be any different than a white one in the way they act and behave.  I do not believe that an African American child wants to read a children’s book about segregation  They want to be casting magic spells, saving the world, and going on adventures just like every other child does.

Corazon of the Outer Banks features the two main characters  Corazon and Jose.  Corazon is a wild horse that lives on the coast of North Carolina but does not feel or act like the other wild horses do.  Jose is a boy from Mexico who’s mother brings him on vacation to the Outer Banks for the summer.

On his last day of summer vacation a storm approaches and Jose does not come to see Corazon. The friendship and love that has been built between Corazon and Jose all summer long will test both of their courage, and change Corazon forever.

I love this story,  it’s appropriate for all ages and I think adults will love it just as much as children.  I myself – a 38 year old man cried when I read the last page.  Remarkable storytelling and remarkable art work.  I can see this book being picked up by Scholastic and being read in schools.

    {This section added 7-12-2014} Something I feel is worth mentioning. The organization WildHorseEducation.org contacted me through twitter after reading my review.  I was made aware by the Founder Laura Leigh that both Ms. Harvey and Mr. Jones  donate a sizable percentage of their own profits from each sale of this book.  This is a foundation set up to help save and stop the capture and slaughter of the American Wild Horse in the mid west.  Apparently this is not mentioned on the cover of the book or anyplace in the interior because they wish to keep the book 100% kid friendly. I think it is pretty awesome to see an author giving money to a worthy cause and not using that fact for self promotion.

Today I  requested an e-interview with Ms. Harvey, if she accepts I will transcribe it here on my blog.

Also earlier today The Spanish version was confirmed for release in September.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Corazon-Outer-Banks-Sandra-Harvey/dp/1500385719/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405018089&sr=8-1&keywords=Corazon+of+the+outer+banks

Corazon of the Outer Banks Cover

Remember life before social media and selfies?

Recently I got into a brief conversation with someone on Facebook about selflies.  After I made the statement: ” Please stop taking puckered lip selfies everyplace you go,  God knows we have enough of them already.”  The young women replied by telling me that a lot of these people are lonely, a lot of them take these pictures to help themselves feel less lonely.  I can see her point to some extent.  But the Duck-lipped-fawn-eyed pose the women do,  and the Smolder-faced-squinting-glare that men make is for lack of a better term… Silly. These people are taking the same picture over and over, day after day, and sometimes hour after hour. It seems part of these peoples brains must not be functioning properly to think that this is normal. Most of these pictures either take place in a bathroom medicine cabinet mirror, or are just at the end of the persons reach, so they are so up close you can not even tell the persons location. So clearly these pictures are not about “Look where I am today” – They are more likely about “Look at me, Like me, do you think I’m Attractive?” 

When this started, I just dismissed this behavior as  pure teenage vanity and pop culture.  This was something that just 5 years ago people were not doing this at all, it started with teenagers (Who by the way are not doing it anymore).   Remembering my teenage years I can acknowledge that I did all kinds of dumb things. I also took part in some really stupid events, and had some really stupid ideals about life. So it was easy for me to over look these Selfies as things kids were into. This like most things teenagers are into would surely only last for a few months until it was deemed not cool anymore. Then it would be sure to pass from existence, with only an occasional joking reference to remember it by, much like the mullet. 

(I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I did not have a camera phone or the internet when I was a teenager to document my stupidity.  My teenage behavior only exists in my memories and the memories of a few of my friends.)

What started as a bit of teenage culture has turned into an epidemic. This is no longer teenage girls looking for approval and compliments,  or teenage boys showing off their fit stomachs, not  anymore…  This has turned into something that these teenagers parents have started doing. These are grown men and women, And they are not just doing it occasionally. So what is this really all about?    

 

I would make the case that if this is rooted in some sort of loneliness, that a lot of these cases of loneliness are actually self-inflicted, and are a direct result of social media addiction, as there is nothing really social about social media at all. Of all of your Friends, and Followers, how many of them do you actually see in person, or do things with outside in the real world? The continuing breakdown of society year after year seems to just grow stronger, and it is being fueled by cheap and easily accessible technology. As we delve further and further into digital life,and are further and further removed from organic life where will we end up 10 years from now?  We are already replacing cashiers with machines, things like this removes us from interacting with other humans, and intern removes us from our own humanity. 

 

There can be a lot to be said about this cheap, easily accessible, and over-saturate world of technology being a form of brain washing,  while our governments and the leaders of the world  fight wars, drain our resources, and refuse to listen to the people of the citizens of the world, we find complacency in the escape we make into the  fantasy worlds of: social media, world of warcraft, and, netflix.  80 percent of world lives in Poverty, with no hope, and no quality of life.  But hey…. Here is a free phone to keep you from thinking about your situation.   The rest of the world is made of people who actually can pay their bills , put a little in the bank for a rainy day or a family vacation.  while the .1 percent live in God like wealth, with 10 families that control the entire global economy. People do not even know how to make eye contact anymore, or have a conversation without a screen involved, or leave their homes without technology in their pockets.  So how on earth are these people going to stand up for change, and make a difference.  How are people who are so dependent on technology ever going to be able to be away from it long enough to make their voices heard? (okay I am getting a bit off subject now,  Ill try to come back to this in a later post)

I see so many children trying to get their parents attention while their parent sits on their phone ignoring them.

This problem goes far deeper then me being annoyed by people taking pictures of themselves. I love technology, I love video games I even love being able to have silly debates on facebook, or writing this blog that probably no one is reading.But, I do not let any of those things replace life, real experiences, or real friendships. When I leave the house, I leave my phone in the car. When I go to sleep I turn the phone off.  And guess what nothing bad has happened! I haven’t missed anything important, and there was no emergency I was unable to respond to. I worry about people , I worry about humans, I am not trying to put anyone down , I am not trying to attack anyone.  There are people I have known personally for years,  that I know for a fact  have created their own loneliness through media addiction, not the other way around. I am not here to judge anyone, as I am far from a perfect human being. However we do not allow people to lay in bed all day when they are depressed, we recognize the problem and do what we can to help them. Selfie addiction has been proven to be an OCD like addiction behavior that can lead to diminishing quality of life, depression, anxiety, obsession, eating disorders, exhaustion, and in some very rare cases even suicide attempts. Why is it not okay for a depressed person to lay in bed all day, but it’s okay for a media addicted person to not be able to take step without checking their phone or taking a picture of themselves? This is not about Self portraits. People have been taking self portraits since film cameras, and painting them before cameras even existed. This Selfie issue I have, is not about if you take a picture of yourself doing something fun, or with a friend. It is about the people who are doing it non stop every hour. This is not healthy, and someone needs to wake them up. I have a “friend” that has posted over 2000 selfies in a 3 month period of time. There is a new picture of himself just about every hour yesterday including one of him during the middle of a medical exam. I am sorry but this goes far beyond loneliness. We have interventions for alcoholics don’t we?

 

Growing up, Moving on, Letting go

Today my oldest son graduates from High School and the complexity of emotions is one I find very hard to sort out.

I met Colin when he had just turned 11 years old.  He barely came up to my chest, he had curly long hair and sad eyes.  Colin’s Dad has been killed in a car accident just a few years back.  Over the years Colin and I have had lots of ups and downs. I think that is to be expected.  I made some mistakes with him, and we have both hurt each other.  But no matter what we are family, and I will miss him more then I knew I could miss someone.
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His mother and I are California natives, Colin and his Brother were born in a hospital overlooking the sea. So the Ocean, and the Califonria life style is in all of our blood to some extent. Because of some continuing behavior problems in 2009 we decided to moved him and his younger brother away from the fast-paced life of Orange Country. With the idea we could give them a better childhood if we raised them in a low pressure, low stress, and more organic environment. I will always wonder if this was the right choice. (Isn’t that the curse of a linear existence? never knowing which path to take, and then looking back and wondering if you should have taken a different one?) So we moved to the mountain town of Asheville North Carolina.  The cost to me personally was it would mean I would give up a big salary job to spend the last 5 years barely able to scrape together an income.  This would drive a wedge between his mother and me, that has just gotten deeper over the years. I do not have regrets over my sacrifice,  but  I wish I could have given him so much more, If I could have just found a way to just made a little extra money I think of all the adventures I could have taken him on, and all the memories we would share together for the rest of our lives. but I hope what little he got from me is enough to help him in the world.    You see Colin has big dreams, and he is just itching to go out on his own and slay dragons.  He wants to see whats out there,  and no matter how much his mother and I tell him that he can stay with us, and go to college.  He just wants to leave.  His soul is much like mine was at that age. Always looking for the better life, always looking for the big adventure, always  thinking life will be better if…  For me it never turned out that way,  if I had learned to appreciate what I had around me rather then looking for more I would have had a much happier life.  But you can’t take your wisdom and make it someone else’s experience.  I have always encouraged him to dream big, to set no limits, and to live life on his terms and his rules. And just because I never slayed any Dragons, does not mean he wont. 

He wants to return to California,  and I can not blame him.  It’s a very appealing life style for a young man.  I miss it myself, The ocean, the culture, and jobs.  But I still have 1 more child in the house, and for now its probably best for him if we stay put. 

Colin will most likely live with his Grandmother on his Fathers side.  A women who has made it a point to belittle me, injure me, and assault me every chance she gets.  A women who has showed me more cruelty then any other human being.  She once told me that the boys had a father and they were not allowed to call me that.  After driving them 7 hours to a family Christmas in West Virginia, she greeted me with “it’s to bad their real dad could not be here”.  , Once while visiting her house, and teaching Colin to shave she walks in and says ” Its to bad his real daddy didn’t get to teach him that”. These things echo in my mind every time I see her. Never once a thank you, never once a your doing a great job.  I try to understand her pain of losing her son, and seeing me in his place.  I try so hard to forgive her,  maybe someday I will be able to be a big enough person to be able to.  After all not being able to forgive someone really just hurts us, it does not hurt the person who has wronged us. This is a women with an abundance of wealth, and she uses it for control,  and now in these moments I wish for nothing more then that same wealth so that I can provide it to Colin out of the kindness of my heart,  with no expectations, no manipulations, and no control.

You always hear about the things parents give up for there children,  but you don’t often hear the stories of what step parents give up for their children.  There are days I have so much resentment over my complete lack of quality of life.  But at the end of the day, I know this is the best place these kids could have been, even if at times they hate it.  But this blog  is not about what I have lost, because I have gained so much just by having Colin in my life.  It’s funny how much you can learn from a child if your just willing to talk to them like an adult. 

 

Now just before his 18th birthday,  and the day of his graduation. I will stand next to his grandmother and smile for his sake.  As I look  up at Colin ( as he is now at least 2 inches taller then me). I recognize how proud of him I am.  He is handsome, clean cut, fit, remarkably intelligent.  He marches to his own drum, he does not follow the herd, he does not follow trends.  He is an incredible musician, and an amazing artist.  He reads more books in a month then most people do in a year. Things come so easy to him from athletics to art. He is kind, and he is in no way your typical teenager. He is a much better person then I was at his age.   I will miss you, and you will always have a home with me, no matter where your travels take you. I love you so deeply, I wish I could have been able to tell you that so much more.
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May you be guided by your passion, may you stop and smell every rose, stop and watch every sunset. May you stand on top of the highest mountain and yell as loud as you can, may you love, and fall in love, and LIVE, may you see people that love you for who they are, and be capable of returning that love.  May you never let life harden you as it has me. And as someone else said” May you dance like no one is watching”

 

Congratulations Nathaniel Colin Hall class of 2014, I am so proud of you.
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