Originally from North Dakota, I like to describe my journey from the Midwestern prairie to the mountains of Western North Carolina as an odyssey of Homeric proportions, the unabridged version of which, I insist, is best left to another time. But suffice it to say that I have come to Asheville along a road—and a flight plan—less traveled. The upshot of which is that, over the last 45 years, I have accumulated an eclectic variety of experiences and skills that enable me to serve clients to great effect.
After graduating from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor of science degree in business and aviation administration, I worked in a variety of career fields in various capacities, but always at some point common to communication and customer service.
Indeed, trained and licensed as a commercial pilot with an instrument rating, I worked in airport administration, academics and training, and general aviation. That includes time as a reservation agent, a trainer of reservation agents, and a management consultant. I’ve also served as an administrator or a communications officer for organizations as diverse as Northwest Airlines, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C., the Governor’s Inn in Ludlow, Vermont, the Asheville Regional Airport and Augusta Regional Airport, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials. Which is a long way of saying that if there’s a job involving airplanes and people, I have quite likely been there and done that?
My father was an avid photographer. I have fond memories of sitting with him at the kitchen table while he spliced together 16mm movies. When I was older, he’d let me hold the camera and look through the viewfinder to practice focusing and composition. It was a big day when he gave me my very own roll of film to shoot in any way I wanted. As he purchased new equipment, he handed down the old to me. I still have his last Minolta camera.
Today, we are in the digital world, and my favorite subjects besides the dogs are flowers. Wandering gardens or natural landscape brings me exquisite calm and peace. I’m always amazed at how many different colors, shapes, and angles flowers have. And what an inspiration they can be as a meditation tool.
My paintings stimulate curiosity, inviting one to explore what’s hidden within. The images are nonobjective with bold colors, creating energetic pieces that please the eye and engage the soul.
Growing up in North Dakota as the daughter of an art teacher, everything revolved around the creative process. Later, when I began exploring my spirituality, I started expressing myself through acrylics, finding a deep communion with abstract shapes and bold colors. In 2010 I had the opportunity to study at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. There I found a like-minded mentor in Marsha Staiger and confirmation in my artistic sensibilities.
Among my gifts is an innate sense of interior design, enabling me to create sacred spaces for others. My works carry this same essence into client homes and offices. Several of my private commissions have been large scale, including those for meditation purposes.
Grandma Solee visited us during the winter of second grade. She and my mother were busy knitting afghans. Of course, I wanted to knit also. After Grandma cast on 20 stitches on number 15 wooden needles, she showed me how to hold the needles and yarn – and away I went. Once I thought I had practiced enough, I wanted to make something. The something turned out to be a scarf of variegated pink and white yarn. Scarf is probably too generous a term as the edges were uneven, and there were big holes from dropping and adding stitches. It was mine, I made it, and it was perfect.
Always one with restless energy, I have found knitting to be relaxing – something to do while watching television. It’s also meditative. Over the years, I have made sweaters, caps, mittens, afghans, baby blankets, and scarves. Now it’s just scarves – see them in the store. The rhythm of knitting a garter stitch remains soothing and tranquil.
DANCING IN MY OWN SHOES
My first awareness of being connected to something bigger than me was as a child playing with all of my imaginary friends on my grandparent’s farm. My travel on the spiritual path began in earnest in 1978 when I experienced high anxiety from being furloughed because of the Northwest Orient Airlines pilots strike. A friend suggested I contact Jo Moore, who became the first of many spiritual development teachers.
My journey on the spiritual path has taken twists, turns, and detours over the years. Teachers have taught me techniques to help cope and manage through challenging times. Now, it’s my turn to share these lessons in a lifestyle I call "Dancing in My Own Shoes." Join me on this adventure of growing and learning from your heart.