So long, Planet SARK…

I just received an email telling me that the Planet SARK message board will be closing down soon.

At first, I felt a little sad but then that sadness turned to gladness and I felt a rush of gratitude.

I found SARK at a time when I needed her most.  My Dad had just died and I was about 900 songs deep into downloading on Napster.  While my friends were out partying on Friday nights I would stay home in my pajamas and steal music.

Then one day as I shopped for Christmas gifts, I came across a book that had bright colors and big, blocky handwriting.  Now, I am a girl who is very easily distracted by bright and shiny objects.  Some of you may know this about me.  I picked up the book and opened it to a page that really resonated with me.

I bought copies for two of my girlfriends and one for myself.

At the back of her book “Succulent Wild Women,” there was a website address.  I managed to leave Napster long enough to check out her website.

And I found her message board.

It was the first time I’d ever seen one.  I didn’t know what a chat room was, much less a message board.  It took weeks of watching and reading before I decided to dip my toe in the water.

That was over a decade ago.

Since then, I have had bonfires on the beach in California.  I’ve walked through the parking garage of our hotel and stumbled onto a crime scene, all while wearing rainbow toe socks with pink glitter flip flops.  I’ve flown to Oregon to see the Foos and watch naked people stumble around the Country Fair in Eugene.  I’ve sat in a garden on top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Encinitas, the place I now consider my “happy place.”  I’ve flown to England and dove headfirst into the Atlantic at St. Ives until my nose felt like it would shatter from the cold.  I’ve run wild down the side of Milton Keynes in London to see the Foos sing Stacked Actor.  I’ve climbed around in tidal pools behind a restaurant in Laguna Beach that has the most amazing rose garden.  I’ve had Canadians come to visit me and skinny dip in my Gulf.  I’ve had people come to visit me from as far away as England and Australia.

Before SARK I had just a few close friends.

Now I have people all over this world that I would do damn near anything for, and I know they’d return that favor.

I won’t really miss the SARK board because I haven’t been there in years.  I have the books, I’ve met the author, I got the message and think I do a damn fine job of living juicy.

I am just so grateful that I found that book all those years ago.   My life is filled with friends and adventures that I never would have known if it wasn’t for SARK.

So thanks for the memories, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy.

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