Sunday, June 18, 2017

Finding Your Family - Father's Day Reflections

While I talk about a lot of things here on the blog, there is a lot I do not talk about. This blog's scope has always been my career as an artist and the journey that comes with it. Aspects of my personal life that fall outside of making art generally do not find their way here, but sometime you realize things are all interconnected. I would not be where I am today without my family, the family that I was born into and the family that I have joined.

I have not had contact with my biological father in over 20 years. This was my choice and a discussion for another day and most likely one to never happen on this blog. Father's Day has always been a bittersweet holidays for me. I stay quiet on Father's Day and let others post their photos and reflect on their fathers. I feel that I should remain quiet since the good memories of my father seem so far away now. This is of course really silly, because there is a man in my life that I look to as a father. A man that has done so much for myself and Dear Wife. A man I owe a great deal to because his help assisted us to build the life that we have today.

Donald Nute in St. Augustine, Fl
November 2016

Through the twists and turns of life I find myself knowing Donald Nute. He is my father-in-law and has been (and continues to be) a part of my life for over 16 years. His deeds and accomplishments are many and chief among these (for me) is the raising of his amazing daughter that I now share my life with. He was the head of the AI department and Philosophy at UGA, has authored books, traveled the world, is a fan of Tolkien and dinosaurs, and plays a mean game of Dreamblade. He stepped in and planned our wedding after we just wanted something simple. He had bigger plans for his daughter and her wedding. He even stepped in and helped us drive all of our belongings from Florida to California three days after the wedding when we made the move so that I could work in the film industry. In a way you can say my father-in-law went on our honeymoon! Most of my world travels were planned and coordinated by him. He pointed the way to adventure and I was more than eager to follow. We will be all going on a new adventure in a few months and I can not wait. He has been there for me to give advice and reflect on his experiences countless times. You know, the kind of thing a father should do.

Lake Town and Shire Garden Railroad
October, 2012

There is also the garden railroad that is set it Middle Earth and travels through the Shire, Lake Town,  and beyond. If you are going to build a garden railroad, you GOTTA make it unique. Dear Wife's parents have put a ton of work and time into building this and photos do not do it justice. It has been a while since I have contributed, but I made some of the facades for the Hobbit Holes and some early figures. There are open house sessions if you would like to visit the railroad and see it in action! You can get all dates and some additional information over of his website.

Lake Town and Shire Garden Railroad
October, 2012

Speaking of Dreamblade, he and I played a TON of Dreamblade when the game was released and even after it was discontinued. He made both of us big playmats to improve the play experience, which is super awesome. We would play in person and over the phone. He even made a program that would randomly generate sealed packs of Dreamblade miniatures so we could play randomized games and switch up game play. Free time and schedules have changed over the years and we don't play anymore, but I sure do miss our games.

Custom made Dreamblade playmat
by Donald Nute

I do not want this to sound like a memorial because Donald is very much still here, but I wanted to reflect on the man, on Father's Day, and share some thoughts and reflections regarding his involvement in my life and his contributions to the world. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find people in our lives that fill a needed void left by others, and I am so thankful to be so lucky.

Donald Nute, Dear Wife, some idiot, and Jane Nute
Puerto Rico, January 2016

Let us not forget that Jane Nute, my Mother-in-Law, has been there at his side and has contributed equally. While this conversation was directed at Donald and my reflections, it would be impossible to address any of this without acknowledging Jane as well.

That's all for another exciting Sunday on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Chris. It has been a joy and an honor to be your father-in-law.