We made it! Last Thursday was our final Zoom show (probably). Next month we’re returning to our regular venue, the Olive Way Starbucks. The show will be July 15 and we’ll be able to get 30-50 people in there depending on what the governor says on June 30 and how many people Starbucks feels comfortable letting in. I’ll keep everyone updated as I know more. I’ll do my best to live stream the show if I can figure out how to do that and can find someone to work the laptop while I host the show.

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who stuck with us over the last 15 months. I know Zoom shows are tough to connect with (both technically and emotionally) and how hard it is to tell a story staring into a little pinhole at the top of a monitor. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who kept supporting this show though all of this. 

We heard some great stories at the show last week. The most surprising thing about the show was how many people took the theme literally. The theme was “Swimming to Shore – Stories of saving yourself” and four of our tellers told stories about swimming. Good to know I’m not the only one who has almost drowned.

Kris started us off with the story of almost drowning on a rafting trip. Next time I go rafting I’m not just wearing helmet. I’m also wearing a snorkel, SCUBA tanks, swim fins, and a diving bell. And I’m wrapping myself in water willies. Are water willies a thing? If not, they should be. They sound like a good safety device.

Cara followed Kris with a story about going on a year-long solo trip around the world to make a point to herself and a couple ex-boyfriends that she is perfectly capable of being alone. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to make a point to anyone as much as Cara wanted to make this point. Naturally, it involved swimming alone across a lake in Spain and almost drowning.

Katy was up next and told a story about swimming in the Pacific Ocean and being escorted back to shore by two dolphins. I would like to add that I have never been approached by any aquatic animal bigger than a jellyfish and that jellyfish could not have cared less if I made it back to shore.

First-timer Vicki told a beautiful story of how dancing helped her recover from the loss of her husband. Of course, it wasn’t just dancing. It was also about how telling the story of her loss over and over again helped put those memories into perspective. The two things that have always helped me move through trauma are telling the story and moving my body. Thank you Vicki, for reminding us how powerful those things are.

Chris S brought us back to sea with her story of swimming out too far one day and trying to climb onto a rock to rest. Her images were so vivid I found myself wondering for a moment if she had actually died out there. It didn’t seem possible that she could have survived. 

Randi was next with a great story about talking herself out of trouble with a biker gang. Yay for quick thinking! Does anyone know when biker gangs started being known for tying teddy bears on their handlebars and driving through town promoting Toys for Tots? When I was a kid, biker gangs were the scariest thing around. Now they all look like out of work Santas. Weird!

A few weeks ago, I asked the last tellers, Paul, Bill, and Emily, if they would like to try out the stories they were going to tell at Pandamnit!, the in-person comedy storytelling show being held this Thursday in Seattle. They said they’d love to and ended up telling some fantastic stories. I won’t tell you what they’re about because some of you reading this will be seeing them at the show in a couple days. I will say that Pandamnit! Is going to be a great show 🙂

Stay tuned for more info on the next FGS show on July 15. I’ll let you know as soon as possible how many people we can have in the audience and how I’m going to decide who gets to attend. It might be the first 30-50 people who show up or it might be a list where the first 30-50 people to sign up get to show up. 

Stay cool everyone. Don’t try to mow the lawn like I just did when it’s 91 outside. It’s not worth the story.

See you soon,

Paul

freshgroundstories@gmail.com