Where were you in 2003??

Back in 2003, I spent my days (and many evenings) as an IT Director, installing and maintaining networks and phones across the country. Rose was in Naperville, flexing her MBA as a Marketing Manager at Tellabs. And whilst I was installing a water heater at home, Rose registered Gallery’s Choice. October 31, 2003.

So that old water heater finally rusted through, and I spent a bunch of this weekend reminding myself everything I once knew about soldering. Pipes, not glass. Soldering from the bottom, like I did last time, can damage the plastic (dielectric) inserts. Not too much solder. Clean, clean, clean. Just like our Stained Glass soldering, it’s a process. Plan it, lay it out (dry fit), clean, flux, solder, polish.

But this will never pass for stained glass art, and our basement utility closet shall never be on the house tour. Your stained glass WILL be a tour highlight, whether you make it or just provide the inspiration to a qualified, union, stained glass artist. HA!

So look for the parallels in life – they’re out there. Maybe it’s not the obvious connection between stained glass and water heater replacement, but you’ll find them. Back in 2003, becoming a full-time artist wasn’t the obvious choice for me. But it has been an amazing run, with our art in 34 countries and 45 states; a blossoming lavender business; a daughter turning 25 (she was in 3rd grade when I installed this old heater); and WOW I just scared myself. Sixteen years from a 12-year warranty! So to borrow a line from Apollo 13:

“Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you.” “She was a really good ship.” (er, water heater – oh, just go with it.)