Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Give 52 Week 47 - The Love of Strangers

Give 52 Week 47
Cheryl Houston 2016

This week I'm mailing out my artwork to Hallee Sorenson. You may have heard of her through the power of the internet. Briefly, she had a birthday party last year where no one showed up. Her cousin put a plea out to the internet for people to mail her a card. And the kindness of strangers hit her full force in the form of 50,000+ cards to wish her a happy 19th birthday.

Her mom and sister have been going through all the mail for her as it has been quite overwhelming for Hallee.

We humans are sometimes kinder as strangers than we are as family members and friends.

I hope that my one more piece of mail isn't adding a burden to her family. I'm sure their love for Hallee is more than enough to make up for the missing party guests.

Love - it truly is all we need. Be the kind of love you want to receive and share your love not only with your family and friends but take time out of your day to share your love with strangers.

A smile is all it takes.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Give 52 Week 46 - Love One Another

Give 52 Week 46
Cheryl Houston 2016
Last June 26th, Margaret married Greg.

I knew I wasn't going to give them a gift right away but instead, because Emily Post or which ever etiquette expert said, you can give a wedding gift up to a year after the happy couple weds.

Since Margaret and Greg already had their home established, I thought I would wait for all the excitement to settle down and then give my gift on their anniversary therefore standing out as special because it's all about me! :) Not really. It's not about me at all.

This quest is all about being grateful and spreading love. I'm grateful for the laughs and friendship that I share with Margaret. And for the occasional bag of peach rings she sends up.

I wish nothing but unconditional and unending love for Margaret and Greg. Happy Anniversary you two!

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Give 52 Week 45 - One Heart At A Time

Give 52 Week 45
Cheryl Houston Art 2016
I was having dinner with Claudia last year and she had returned from spending time in Florida. She was telling me about an artist, Mari-Etta Stoner. 

Claudia had seen all of these hearts all over the popping up all over town and her curious self asked "What is going on with all of these hearts?" Being the tenacious person Claudia is she tracked down the artist, got in touch with her, met her and even went back to her magical cottage of heart making. 

Mari-Etta makes hearts out of plywood and installs them around her community to hopefully help us connect with each other one heart at a time. Messages of love. Anyone that knows me knows that during my Year of Love in 2011 I was very drawn to hearts. The universal symbol of Love. 

And who doesn't need more of it? 

I was really touched by Claudia's story and had hoped to be able to go out to Florida to deliver this piece in person but life circumstances and time just aren't falling in place for me to be able to make that happen. But that's okay- US Mail to the rescue. 

Mari-Etta's hearts became so popular that people began requesting them. And she's still making them and sharing them today. Amazing. 

Friends, I know there's a lot of turmoil going on in our world but I believe that there's a lot more love and generosity going on if you choose to see it. If you don't see it, maybe you need to give it. Share your love - one person at a time. One heart at a time.

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Give 52 Week 44 - Me and You on a Patio.

Give 52 - Week 44
Cheryl Houston 2016
Today is Darci's birthday! Happy Birthday!

Darci and I were roommates at Texas Tech in Lubbock. We didn't hit it off when we first met at Freshman Orientation because she thought I was a dork. Probably not far from the truth but it takes some time to get to know me.

We had some very wild times together and because there was alcohol involved - lots of alcohol -the facts tend to be fuzzy but eventually we hit it off.

After our freshman year in a dorm, we moved into an apartment. One of my favorite stories of us is this: We were writing out checks to pay bills, complaining about how much money we didn't have. As we were writing the dates on the checks we realized, "Holy shit! It's Cinco de Mayo!"

That year, 1989, Corona had a fun ad campaign out. The papers had all advertised these fun cartoon drawings of people enjoying Corona beer on Cinco de Mayo. I think we had some cut out and put up in the apartment. (I can't find not one of the ads on the internet! Boo Hiss!?!) We couldn't let the day go by without driving our tushes out to the strip and buying a case of Corona! (Lubbock was/still is I think dry/ and you have to drive out of city/county limits to buy alcohol.)

Broke girls be damned! It's Cinco de Mayo!

We put on our bathing suits and hopped out on the porch and enjoyed our cervezas! And that my friends, is our holiday! Our Anniversary!

Next year, Darci! You and me. Cinco de Mayo. It's a Friday. On a patio. Drinking a beer and laughing about all the good times we've shared!

This is my gift. I give it to you.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Give 52 Week 43 - Internet Friendship

Give 52 Week 43
Cheryl Houston 2016
Do you have any friends that you met on the internet but that you've never met in person? I do.

Her name is Denise.

I found Denise in the days that I was searching out and reading blogs. She was writing a blog and I became this crazy stalker always commenting on her posts. Then she found Facebook and she stopped blogging. Boo!

Denise is a lover of motorcycles. She's the only girl that I know that rides and it's so cool to watch her embrace something that is so male dominated. She totally makes it her own. I love it.

Gosh, I'm sorry this isn't a drawing of a motorcycle, Denise. Maybe next time.

When I was getting my Etsy shop up and going she was my first purchaser and I was so appreciative of the support. Denise always has a funny comment for me when I least expect it and it just adds to the beauty of my day.

I hope to always have this small internet friendship with a woman that I've never met but appreciate so much. It's the small things.

This is my gift. I give it to you.