Thursday, September 15, 2016

Family and Friends

Recently, My daughter and I were in the car together headed to the store or something and it gave us a moment to talk to each other. Having an uninterrupted conversation with my daughter is becoming more and more rare primarily because she has move into her teen age years. Now, when we are in the car she and her sisters usually have the faces planted in their phones or they have the radio turned up to levels that make talking difficult. For what ever reason she was not doing either this day, she was looking out the window and  pondering something. She turned to me and asked "Dad, how many friends do you have?"
I didn't answer right away, I was reviewing all of the people that one would consider a friend. I eventually said " I don't know, maybe seven or eight."  She laughed and then proclaimed that she had more than me and threw out a much larger number. Her positive attitude and her forgiving nature have always made my heart smile. How I wish I still had that young naive out look on the world. I then began to explained to her in a way that wouldn't dampen her outlook, that I have a whole lot of acquaintances but only a handful of people that I would consider friends. She then asked me what an acquaintance was.  I explained that as well. We continued to discuss what friendship meant and so on.  It was a great moment for me, being with my daughter, talking about things that really matter to her.

My daughter began to stare out the window again, I suppose she was thinking about our discussion. What a friend is compared to an acquaintance and what friendship means. She turn and asked,"How do you know if someone is a true friend or not?" I told her that sometimes people that you think are your friends, turn out not to be a friend at all. When you've made a true friend you'll know it, you'll feel it, there will be a special place in your heart for them. You will love and forgive them like they are your family. That kind of friendship will last a life time.

This conversation really got me thinking about my friends old and new and how they per-sieve me as a friend. The number (7 or 8) I gave her did not include the friends that I have lost touch with over the years, such is life. I still consider these people my friends but we've both moved on with our lives and so the close bond we once shared has faded. Family, work, new friends and a million other different thing take over in our lives.  I do on occasion reach out to these old friends and we seem to be able to pick up our friendship right where we left off, sharing all the new thing going on with each of our lives.  True friends will always be there for you even if it's just in conversation.

My best friend overall is my wife, Jodi, which is pretty great, when I need my best friend she's always right their. My best friends is a family member. This got me thinking about my extended family,

in particular, my mom and dad, and my brother and sisters. Recently, I had to have an emergency procedure done on my spine. It was an operation to remove a vertebra and because of the location the operation was extremely dangerous. I had my best friend (my wife) next to me the entire time, the fact that she is my wife, you might say that it is expect from her to be there. What I didn't expect was for my entire family to show up within a day or two. My mom, my dad, my sisters and my brother, and my oldest daughter all dropped everything and immediately flew in from all over the U.S to be with us in this time of need. They took over Jodi's (my wife) daily duties such as cooking, cleaning, caring for our dogs and horses and most importantly, caring for our children. This allowed Jodi to be with me at the hospital without worrying about how she was going to handle her other responsibilities.  It was more than I ever expected from them and in some cases more than I deserve. I cannot express the depth of my gratitude for what they have done. In any case, I owe my family more than I can ever repay. Thank you to my family. Also, a special thanks to Nate (my son-in- law) for taking on all of the responsibilities in his own household (they have a toddler) while my daughter was with me.  Now, you might say "Well, isn't that what families are supposed to do."  That might be the case, but I have witnessed the exact opposite in other peoples families many times. I have seen people treat their friends better than their own family. We should be treating our families as good or better than our friends. I'm probably guilty of that my self.

Back on the subject of friendship. I guess you can say that we all have different degrees of friendship with each one our friends. Jodi and I had a real hard time connecting with anybody on a deep level after we left Florida many years ago (10 or 11 years). We leaned in on each other for many years, making friends with people along the way, but still not at the depth of the friends we left behind. Then one day we met the Audish family. Our friendship began to grow and in a relatively short amount of time they have become our best friends. They are awesome people with awesome kids. Our families have grown so close to each other that their kids call us their ranch mom and dad. We even refer to ourselves in many cases as the Graudishs' (a combination of our last names). This family also rallied  around Jodi and I during my hospital stay and my recovery afterwards. I can easily say that I love them as if they were my family. Both Jodi and I are so thankful for their friendship. I have become friends with some of the most incredible people over the years.  I always think to myself, I know why I'm friends with them (they're amazing) but it baffles me why they would want to be friends with me. I can be, let's say, a little difficult at times. Either way I know that I have been blessed with many great friendships.

 I scanned in several pages from one of my old sketch books
and then combined these heads on to two pages.

I love turtles and I love my dog Toby,
I drew these when he was still a pup.

I am beginning to think I may be cursed, these
 boards are from the third straight film I worked
 on that  eventually was canceled. I hope this one
comes back, I really liked working on it.








This would be from the forth project thet was cancled.
It was a anime race car film. I had to learn a whole new
film language for this project.
 I started using a filter called cutout for the backgrounds,
 it would break down the backgrounds so that they were 
less busy. It combining parts of the drawing and made
 them more graphic shapes.

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