Lily, our Artist

On Friday evening, Lily and I drove down to Kansas City. We stopped in Lee’s Summitt to have a birthday dinner with Michelle, who had a birthday last week. It was so nice to spend time with her and to love on Moose and Jenna. When Joe died, we hadn’t really realized what a big tribe he had. We not only miss Joe…but we sure do miss Michelle, their dogs, and Joe’s friends. It is a giant hole in our lives. As much as I would like to cling to them and clutch them close to my heart, they all have lives they need to get on with. It seems that time stopped for me, but the world around me keeps spinning. I have tried to step back and let everyone go on with their lives, but it has been a very painful process for me…letting go of all the people and pets who made up Joe’s existence. Perhaps that is why this move is doubly hard…as we are moving to a place that has no Joe memories in it. He will just have to live on in my heart and mind from now on. Anyhow, it was a joy getting to talk with Michelle over dinner. We had the best brisket sandwich I have ever had. Lily and I are still talking about it. So here is a shout out to SMOKED – a bar and grill in downtown Lee’s Summitt. The briskwich sandwich is the bomb. Lily also got asked if she needed a kids’ menu again. I always love the reaction I get from the host/hostess when I tell them she is 18.

The next day was spent touring Kansas City Art Institute. We got to hear from the president of the school, all the heads of financial aid, and all the heads of the minor programs at KCAI. One thing that really struck me when listening to the president of KCAI speak (she is amazing by the way), Ruki Neuhold-Ravikumar, is that she applauded the future students for being courageous enough to be creative every day. Many people are creative on occasion, but at KCAI, they encourage students to live creatively every single day. There are about 630 undergraduate students there, with 75 instructors who are all actively artists as well. Another comment that hit home was from the director of student life. He mentioned if you identified yourself as being that “weird art kid” in your high school….to hold onto your hats because EVERYONE at KCAI is that weird art kid. Lily will be amongst her people, and I could feel that as the day progressed and I am so excited for her. This school has been around since 1885 (dorms were rebuilt in 2020), so they know a thing or two about teaching art. She received her schedule for this fall and the scheduling gods have smiled on her. She only has one morning class….one day a week. The dorms are suite-style and spacious. Her best friend from high school is planning on attending as well and wants to be her roommate. All is falling into place. I am so happy for her. The house will be lonely without her though!

If you are local, Lily and the other senior artists from Westside High School will be having their senior art show this week. I have shared the announcement below. We finish out the week with prom. Lily has never gone to a school dance before. I was kind of excited that she was going with her good friend and future roommate since I have mentioned she should at least go to one event like this during high school. I was thinking of prom dresses and how fantastic she would look. Nope. She and her friend are dressing up as anime characters. She’ll be wearing a suit and a blue wig. Sigh. Did I mention she will be among her people at KCAI? I still told her she has to pose for prom photos.

Please stop by and see Lily’s work and that of her classmates if you can. I know it would mean a lot to her! (and she will be dressed up and in a dress that night!) I will get pictures of that as well!

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