Adventures in Imperfection · Freestyle Friday

Life Lessons on the Deck of a Longboard


Instructions for Living Life~

Pay attention
Be astonished
Tell about it

~Mary Oliver


So many things make me toes-up-in-the-air happy.

The scent of lilacs

A pop-up thunderstorm

Spools of Nutscene twine

Red rust patches on an old tin roof

Good wine and great friends

The slant of moonbeams and Orion’s Belt in a clear sky

Baby ducks, baby plants, and pictures of my babies

When bread rises, the home team wins, and a seeing-eye single scores two

I wish my brain could snap photographs and upload them to Instagram for safe keeping. A click to capture the moment with a mind’s-eye shutter speed at Mach 10 to confiscate every nuance, expression, and word.

I appreciate many things, but nothing makes me happier than Tanna’s spontaneous laugh or Dane’s knock-you-stem-winding smile.

A couple of weeks ago, our son talked us into advancing him the dollars owed for summer mowing. He had a Zumiez longboard in his sights and wouldn’t let the discussion die. My default mama thoughts hurdled to head injuries, collisions with cars, and road rash. Visions of extracting gravel out of cavernous wounds delivered a resounding “NO” to the tips of my lips and the urge to bubble-wrap my kids quadrupled. Fortunately, the wiser and less neurotic partner in this marriage stepped in said “Why not?”

I hovered and helicoptered and engineered until Dane did what he knew would shut me up for good. He invited me to go with him and added, “You can spot me and take pictures.”

He knows me so well.


As I watched him maneuver the board with confidence and fearlessness, my heart cherished the opportunity to learn from my son.

Life Lessons Learned on the Deck of a Longboard

  • Don’t be afraid to try new things: Life is meant to be treasured and experienced. Be curious, be aware, do what scares you and make it count!
  • It’s okay to make mistakes and look silly: Being perfect is tedious. What adventure is there in getting it right the first time?
  • Go outside! Nothing beats the blues or boredom like a beautiful skies and back roads.
  • Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast: Why do we always assume that faster is better? Chillax, bro!
  • Do things that make you smile from ear lobes to eyeballs: I hope that you have people in your life who make you grin from the inside-out. Do the same for them.
  • It’s not a weakness to ask for help or advice: We are such a social, yet stubborn, species. Why do we think we have to do everything ourselves?
  • Goofing off is good for you: Wholehearted and happy adults play. It’s science, folks. Read about it here.
  • Life is full of uphill and downhill treks: Sometimes you coast and sometimes you climb. One is not better than the other – it’s all part of the trip.
  • If you’re afraid of a journey, don’t buy shoes: Do Vans ever go out of  style?


In case you hadn’t noticed, I trend more toward Mad Hatter than trained mental health professional. Despite the crazy, I’m astute enough to know that one of my best characteristics is the ability to rejoice in everyday gifts and then spread that message.

As we head into Easter weekend where Spring shells out evidence of new life; treasure that which makes you smile from ear lobes to eyeballs. Then, snap on your helmet, hop on the deck and go for it!

*Special thanks to my kiddo for providing the technical support, video consultation, and photography oversight/approval.

53 thoughts on “Life Lessons on the Deck of a Longboard

  1. Michelle, I loved this. The action photos you took of Dane on his longboard are incredible. Watching the video, I can see how Dane would want one. Beautiful to watch, the rider and board are so fluid, and graceful.
    And your life lessons are so relevant. We can never be to old to try new things.
    Thanks for sharing, and Happy Easter! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Carl!
      So great to see you here today 🙂 Dane shared that the reason he wanted to start longboarding was because of this video and one other by the same group of skaters. I think the song was so fitting, too.
      The photos? Icing on the cake! We went back out last night and I clicked the shutter 137 times just to get the few highlighted on this page.
      As always, I love seeing you here. I’m on a bit of break from blogging, but when I come back I’ll be sure to catch up and see what you’re up to.
      How is your running going these days??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, Michelle that is a lot of photos, such an advantage that we now live in the “digital age.” I remember the days of my Kodak instamatic, and when the roll of 24 pictures is full, you take it to the photo store for developing.
        Thank you for your kind words. I was glad to see your post on my reader. Running is going well. Did a 30k event last weekend. Won’t say much except it went very well, “hopefully” will have a post on it within a few days. 🙂
        Hopefully your knee is healing and getting stronger for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You have a good memory, my friend!
        My knee is on the mend, though I’m spending more time on the yoga mat than the trails these days.
        I’m looking forward to reading about your 30K. I’m in awe!
        Have a great weekend!

        PS: I totally remember the Kodak days!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I almost want a longboard after watching that video! Now I understand why those kids wear their shorts so long. 😉 I might have to get myself some Vans too. Go back to my roots (shoe roots, not gray roots).

    I teared up when I read, “…treasure that which makes you smile from ear lobes to eyeballs.” I have so much to treasure and you to thank for the reminder that these everyday gifts are the most sweet. I hope you and your beautiful family have the happiest Easter! xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m SO not hip – I didn’t even know what Vans were until a couple of years ago 😉
      Dane told me that he picked up the desire to longboard after watching the video, too. Tanna started the whole trend – she longboards on campus from class to class! They tried to teach me, but, well…
      Just so you know, you helped me write this post in your own way. I adopted your mantra about being present and living in the moment. That thought popped into my head several times last night as I ran from point to point with my camera just trying to keep up with him. Best.night.ever.
      Many blessings to you and your family, too Karen! xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good for you! It’s been so ingrained in us to make sure our kids are protected that we often sacrifice the whole ‘kid being a kid’ thing. I completely understand your concern, but so glad to hear you let your child have a wonderful adventure in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marissa!
      The best part was that he let me tag along on his adventure 🙂
      So great to see you here today – thank you!
      I saw some cute/hilarious poetry in your neck of the woods. I can’t wait to get back over there 🙂
      Have a Happy Friday!


  4. This made me smile and pause for a second to reflect on its tenderness:

    “I hovered and helicoptered and engineered until Dane did what he knew would shut me up for good. He invited me to go with him and added, “You can spot me and take pictures.”

    He knows me so well.”

    I am so touched by your heart, which crosses life’s arms upon your chest, inhales deeply, and then extends them to the world around.

    You are a Treasure to know.

    With gifts of Easter renewal,

    P.S. The video was sik!! That’s what the kids say nowadays, isn’t it?!?!? 😉

    P.P.S. Virtual squeeze, but only until July…..AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a wonderful and kind comment, Dani. I’m so touched that you ‘noticed’ the tenderness I was trying to express. Even this morning, after I published it, I wondered, “Did I really convey how much he touched me?”
      So, yay…I guess that I did!
      I enjoyed the video, too. Dane-O picked it out for me and said this and one other video was what sparked his interest in longboarding to begin with.
      Using my favorite phrase of yours: Wrapping you up in a virtual hug (until July!)…under the same sky 🙂 xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul,
      Always a joy to hear from you! I will definitely hop over and read your post. I’m so glad to see that you are writing regularly. I hope to be back to regular reading and blogging in May!
      Happy Easter, my friend!


    1. Awww….thanks! Until now, I hadn’t counted the lessons. You would have thought I could have gleaned at least one more to make a nice, even 10!!
      I hope you are doing well, Malcolm. I’m on a bit of a break, but hope to get caught up on my reading when I return. I hope you are doing well!


  5. I love the way you presented this and the interaction between y’all.

    Good form, crediting him on the technical knowledge, etc. 😉

    Have a happy holiday if I don’t “see” you around before then!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thanks Sheena! You know I love seeing you here!
      He actually had me change a sentence because he said I would sound silly. Apparently, you don’t hop on the ‘back’ of a longboard…you hop on the ‘deck’!
      Does Matt longboard?
      You have a happy holiday, too if I don’t see you before then 🙂


      1. Matt used to, but not for a while. His time now is spent hiking the woods; not very wheel-friendly 🙂

        I love that he had such editorial control while looking out to make sure you sounded “cool” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Going great guns thank you Michelle. Just had a few days of rain only to have it followed by that change to the cooler months. Summer is gone now for us so it’s time to get used to winter and our terrible 15 degrees (60 F) in mid winter. I tell people that around the world who have those lovely cold snaps of 6 feet of snow etc and they can’t believe it only gets that low 🙂 Mind you, it can sneak down to 4 or 5 degrees sometimes just to test us out, but we only ever get a very light dusting of snow up on the mountains. Mind you, the wind chill factor lets you know your alive after it 🙂
        Glad your bonding with the little’un that just doesn’t seem to be little any more. They get that teenage thing happening and are then petrified to be seen with you 🙂 Take advantage while you can, and as you have probably learned, just let them know the communications line is always open. You have a heart of gold my friend so he will know he has a great mum, especially when things can get a bit wobbly. Mark

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, my friend! I keep forgetting that it’s Winter in your neck of the woods. Be sure to keep the fire going and have a warm beverage ready to go at moment’s notice. Xo

        Liked by 1 person

  6. God, I love that song. It’s on my exercise playlist. Twice.

    Your heart and your boy are precious beyond belief. I love how you worry and care. I love how he knows how to negoiate (an excellent skill to have). And I especially love that he invited you to go along with and that you went. Beautiful photos. Your boy makes it look effortless.

    This post is exactly what I needed to read after this looooong, frigid winter. My Boy’s unicycle is sitting in the basement. I just may go get that out and give it a whirl.

    Happy Easter to you and yours, Michelle. xox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that song because of YOU!
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment – it means the world to me.
      A unicycle?!! You MUST send video! I bow down to anyone who can balance on one wheel.
      I’ll be over to comment later, but I just had to say that I loved your photography over on the Words feature today. It’d be awesome to share an afternoon of shutter-bugging with you. Xo


      1. Doing so good! My legs are all bruised up from biking (the pedals and I have a pretty rocky relationship), but I’m having fun and getting more confidence each ride. I survived Moab with the fam (although I stayed at the condo while they did the hard, technical trails).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I didn’t feel brave (even on the easier trails I did). There are times, especially downhill or gravelly places that make me feel sheer terror. I always wonder what my face looks like to others who may pass and see me. I might look like a prisoner with my family.


  7. fantastic mimm-joy! and the photos of your son in action are wonderful – and this might be one of my favorite posts of yours – well so far this year that is!
    and no, vans do not ever go out of style – ha!

    also, from your list – I like the 6th, 7th, and 8th ones the most – but especially the 6th… “social, yet stubborn, species” indeed – and that is the cause of many unneeded probs. but there is so much I like here – and with that in mind, think I will have another read and then be on my way.

    happy easter too…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. well actually he just uses a regular skateboard – and the skating season has officially started once again!
        – but wow – those longboards look cool – and with the name of them… well when I read the title I was expecting a “surf” post…..

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is probably the most incredibly inspiring post I have read in a while. And that’s saying something when I consider some of the crazy good writers we both know! This captured so many emotions that I feel daily with my own kids and I just get it. Your list of lessons learned is going up on a board in my own home because it’s just good common sense of which I sadly need a constant reminder.
    I see your son and part of me can’t wait until my son is that age and I hope we still have the closeness we have now, and that you seem to share with your son. At the same time, I think I’d like him to stay right where he is a while longer.
    Magical post, my friend. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I saw your pretty face come across my WP app this morning, the first words into my head were, “Sandy is so good to me!”
      I think the mama-blood between the two of us runs deep – you can’t imagine how much your words mean to me.
      I know you’d dispute me, but I’ve been a very poor bloggy friend these days. I must be marinating the two posts you’ve written recently as they are still sitting in my inbox waiting for me like a gift. I know the topics (youth football!) will resonate with me, too.
      I love the age that your son is at…LOVE it! He’s so lucky to have a mom who knows what a gift this big, crazy life truly is.
      Thank you again for taking the time to read and write – your words were a true blessing this morning. xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I could not shake my head in agreement more if I tried! Pitch-perfect post, Michelle ❤

    My favorite line is this: "Despite the crazy, I’m astute enough to know that one of my best characteristics is the ability to rejoice in everyday gifts and then spread that message." I agree that you are good at this. I'm thrilled that you are willing to speak truthfully and positively about yourself. And the world *needs* this positive message so badly!

    I'm so glad to have stopped by to visit your wonderful world today. Oh, your kids are stunning. But you already knew that 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you again, Angie. Your kind heart shines way over to here. It was such a fun post to write (and photograph) – I’m truly blessed.
      Thrilled to have crossed paths again. I’m behind on my reading, so I hope to get caught up and see what’s happening in your neck of the woods.
      Happy Spring!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When our children bring out *our* best…well, it doesn’t get much better than that.

        As for me, let me summarize spring for me: baseball.

        There, you’re all caught up 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Michelle, our friendship is not a blog-reading trade-off, so please don’t think that way, OK? You’re busy, I’m busy, we’re busy. Visit when there’s time. Karen and I spent Easter in D.C. I’m in the middle of a theme week of photos. I think you’ll like it come May! Have a good weekend, my friend. ❤


  10. I just love the picture you paint with words! And I also love your relationship with your son; that you’d go ahead and advance him the money for the board, and that he’d know you would want to take pictures of him using it. Reminds me of me and my son. My favorite pic is the silhouette shot where it looks like late day light.

    We went on a road trip to southern CA the week preceding Easter, and caught up with an old buddy of my husband. His step son has a business making what they call street stand up paddle boards (SSUP). It’s an ultra long skate board and you use a pole to propel yourself. He did a 24 hour ride recently, covering 210 miles. Looks pretty rad. (His company is West SSUP). Time for me to blog about tulips again. Just need to process the shots I took this past week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello!! So great to hear from you.
      I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, so I will look forward to coming back to your tulip shots.
      I also love hearing about your son – your piece about the Crystal Dragon is still my favorite.
      Thank you SO much for taking the time to stop and visit. I miss my bloggy friends!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love longboarding: It’s practical. I can go around in a longboard instead of using a car on some days. I’d like to see volleyball or baseball have some direct real life application (okay, the sports kind of have, you can run faster and what not but still! It’s different from longboarding’s practicality).


    1. I am envious of your skills, Jordan! You can see so much from the view of the deck, and I manage to fall off more than I glide…but, that’s okay. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


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