Wednesday, September 30, 2009
At other times, for no reason that I can fathom because I do it the same way every time, I get too many spaces. What's up with that?
Then, as you can tell (and so can I because I've already previewed it) the spacing is perfect. Just like I typed it. Weird. Weird. Weird.
If you can help, please advise.
Feeling space challenged,
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Dad announced last night after saying grace, "I feel mean."
Monday, September 28, 2009
I would consider my mother a girly girl. When I was little (and not so little) I loved to sit on her bed and watch her get ready to go out. My parents party a lot but, usually at Christmas there were the mandatory office parties to attend. I remember that she had two really special dresses. One was red chiffon, with a full skirt that swayed back and forth when she walked. The other was her basic black cocktail dress. It was made of crepe, and hugged her curves in an A-line style. My dad had (has) a bit of a shoe fetish. Since mama was petite she would wear pointy-toed high heeled shoes, most often bought by my father. I think her dress up shoes were always black.
On the afternoon of her rare night out, Mom would primp. She washed and curled her hair in the days before blow dryers or curling irons. Over the years she used rag curlers, bobby pins, stiff scratchy rollers and soft spongy ones. She applied what little make-up she wore with the precision she'd learned as a teenager performing in Little Theater. Once that was done she'd pick out her jewelry. Before everyone pierced their ears, mom had earrings that screwed into the back of her ears. Like the shoes she crammed her toes into, I think the pain the earrings caused was the price women paid for beauty. A few of my favorites were the crystal stars andthe single pearl that dangled from a diamond bow. Each was part of a set that had a matching necklace.
Once her jewels were in place she would carefully pull on stockings. attach them to a garter of some kind and daintily slip on her shoes. Next came the slip then the dress. Once dressed, she pulled out all the rollers and brushed her hair. Unlike the coifs I ended up with after wrapping my hair around the same curlers, Mom's hair seemed to fall into place. Finally she gave herself a light spray of 4711.
Then came the bright Christmas red lip stick. First the top lip. Dragging the color from the outside in, she'd paint the left side of her mouth, then the right. The next step in the well practiced ritual was smacking her lips together, just hard enough for any excess from the top of her mouth to neatly outline the curve of her bottom lip. Then she'd fill in the holes with a few swipes from the tube, careful not to color outside the line. Finally, she'd grab a tissue, kiss it once and voila, there she was. Ready for Dad to come home, exchange his office shirt for his party shirt, have a martini and be on their way.
I learned how to play dress up from watching my mom. Mostly I wear blue jeans. I don't even own a little black dress, or a red one for that matter. But come the holidays, much as I dread parties, I yearn for a fancy dress to wear.
The same woman who could primp herself into a 1950's style diva, could also get down and dirty. I've seen her with her hands elbow-high in a turkey carcass. I've seen her pick apart a whole lobster and not leave anything behind but the empty carapace. Melted butter glistened as it dripped down her chin and fingers. She didn't wipe anything off til she'd eaten the very last big of lobster goo from inside the tiniest legs. Give the woman a plate full of raw oysters and she was seriously in heaven. My mom could go head to head with Mike Rowe (the Dirty Jobs guy) when it comes to cleaning up animal poo, vomit, dirty diapers (the cloth kind that have to be rinsed and swirled in the toilet before being laundered), bloody things and squished bugs. In the course of her lifetime she not only cooked but actually touched pieces of meat like liver, lamb kidneys, and tripe. In the years before she passed away when one of the few jobs left for her to do in the kitchen was feed her cat, I watched as she scooped up what wet, tuna-smelling food was left in the bowl with her bare hands. All for getting the job done, Mom shunned a paper towel, or the kitchen sponge. One, two, three. One minute in the bowl, the next all over and between her fingers. Gross.
Recently I had to take one of my cats to the vet. I was encouraged to add some wet food to his diet because a)he's a little on the thin side (which might have more to do with being pushed away from the food dish by his sister than what's in the bowl) b) it's a way of keeping him hydrated and c) it isn't as bad for his teeth as I'd been told. Needless to say both cats have blessed the day this woman became their vet! I bought a stack of cans, opened one up, put a dollop in two bowls and let them go at it.
To my surprise and chagrin the little feline prima donnas don't seem to like to eat protein-rich turkey, beef or tuna "fillets". They lick all around them getting the juice off (not unlike Patty the Lobster girl) then leave the rest behind. No problem, I have a food processor that will fix that. Whirl, pulse, voila - cat food puree. So the vet is happy and the cats are happy. In an effort to keep the dog from filling up on cat food, I picked up the bowls. Neither was empty. What the hell, I thought, reaching in with my unprotected hands unadorned or and scooped the fishy gruel. At that moment I could feel my mother's hand patting me on the back.
As a mom myself I've had to face a variety of dirty jobs. My hands, like my mother's, have gone places where brave men fear to tread. I've had to eat those words every daughter says at some point in her childhood - oooh gross, I'll never touch that. My fingers haven't fallen off.
But let me make one thing perfectly clear, I'm not now, not sometime in the future, not ever going to touch (or) tripe.
Hoping that you have a box full of plastic gloves for days when life turns a little bit dirty,
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
- Finding out that when the airline says that you can have one bag and one carry-on, what they really mean is you have to lug the bag on the plane with you or you have to pay $20.00. I sent up my first prayer of the trip. One of thanksgiving that I had packed light ... for me.
- Finding out that the gate my plane taxied into at 8:20 am was across the airport from where my connecting flight was due to leave at 8:30 am.
- Discovering that they don't call it "bullet" train for nothing. Hold on, said the canned voice from some overhead speaker. What should have been said was "hold on tight." I know this because as soon as the train shot forward so did I. The only thing that stopped me from propelling towards the front of the train at the speed of light was the man in front of me. Still, I almost ended ass over suitcase. I knew to hold a little tighter, plant my feet and lock my knees when told of the upcoming stop. Like an example of some law of physics, when the train stopped, the man in front of me was thrown backwards almost knocking me off my feet one more time. I guess turn-about is fair play!
- Hearing the man beside me snoring so loud he woke himself up then tried to act like it wasn't him!
- Being greeted by two of my favorite people in the whole world and knowing the adventure had begun.
- Remembering what it's like to ride up hill and down with a girl also known as Rolling Thunder.
- Holding and feeding 5 week old babies and knowing that God knew what he was doing when he created babies. The only flaw is that they don't sleep much!
- Re-connecting with a good friend.
- Filling up my senses at Pike's Market. French bread. Fresh vegetables. Flowers everywhere. Giant lobster tails. Lavender. Jewelry of every sort.
- Getting up at 5 am to get to the race site in plenty of time.
- Hearing the girl who was lost in thought and nerves one minute, laugh and chat with other competitors the next.
- Seeing the goosebumps on Weneki's shoulders as she waited for her wave to hit the water. Being there with her cadre of cheerleaders at each point of the race cheering her on. Smiling at the fact that she was smiling.
- Seeing women of all shapes and sizes and ages cross the finish line. Seeing tattoos where breasts used to be. Seeing a young boy join his mother as she came down the home stretch.
- Watching my daughter become a champion as Van Gelis played on the loud speakers.
- Walking around a city that scares me because of its size yet calls to me because of its energy. Soaking up the cool temperatures. Catching a slight whiff of autumn in the air.
- Laughing. Crying. Saying goodbye.
- Falling asleep somewhere over Montana and waking up in Atlanta ... almost home except for the fact that might flight was cancelled and I had to wait an hour and a half for the next plane.
- Standing on the sidewalk and watching as Sweetie pulled up to the curb. Feeling oh so glad I went and oh so glad to be home again.
Wishing for you a place to visit and a home to return to,
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Over the years I have been called upon to cheer my daughter over the finish line, and pump her full of confidence. Weneki is a can-do girl who likes to make things happen her own way. Most every project she starts she finishes, on her own timeline. However she oftens needs a little motivation along the way.
That's where I come in. I've gotten pretty good at listening to her cry, then encouraging her to trust her own abilities and take the first step. When she was little we often read "The Little Engine That Could" by by Watty Piper, George Hauman, and Doris Hauman. I think we had both the original hardback version and the Golden Book in our library.
"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can" has long been one of Weneki's mantras. Or maybe I should say it's been one of my mantras for her!
When I mentioned before that Weneki likes to do things in her own sweet time what I actually meant was that she is a world champion procrastinator. She has a well-developed ability to put off writing papers or working on a major project till the last minute. Somehow after an all-nighter of hard work on her part and many prayers for a miracle on mine she completes that assigned task. She's been working from this same script for as long as I can remember. I think she must have gotten it from her father's gene pool!
Dr. Phil might ask how's this working for you? And Weneki might answer, so far so good. I, on the other hand, would probably give a different answer all together. Something along the lines of "she needs therapy!" When Weneki was in college, just before she gave in to the pressure and began an assignment she would call me, dump all her built-up anxiety, get the aforementioned pep talk, hang up the phone and get to work. Since the assignment was hers, not mine I usually got to keep the anxiety.
I remember clearly the night I thought I was going to have to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles to pick her up from school. She was a freshman and had not yet perfected her system. I truly thought she was having a breakdown. I was ready to pull the mom card and insist she stay home with me where she belonged. Who needs a college education anyway? I paced the floor. I considered calling my sister to act as a surrogate mother. I considered calling a medical clinic for an intervention.
It proved to be a long night for both of us. I was bone weary the next morning. When I called to check on her progress and to remind her to have a suitcase packed so she'd be ready when I got there the phone rang off the hook. No one answered. Damn! I knew I should have called the campus security office. I continued to call off and on during the next day or two. Finally Miss Weneki picked up the ringing phone and told me she'd been celebrating. Celebrating? I asked just a tad incredulous. What was there to celebrate? That she was a nutcase who had to drop out of school because she didn't know how to manage her time.
It's been a few years since this incident occurred and I'm sure I said it with more diplomacy and tact than that, but I can assure you that is exactly what I was thinking. As it turned out my daughter finished her paper on time, turned it in and quickly forgot all about her mother who was waiting in the wings to swoop in and rescue her from life. This scenario was replayed several more times over the course of her college career. I got to where I could just listen, not panic and remind her of the Golden Book's magic words ... I think I can, etc.
In January Weneki enrolled in a 9-month class to study project management. (I know, it is a little ironic. In her favor, I must say that when it comes to things other than house cleaning my daughter has learned not to procrastinate quite so long.) Let me just say it's been a rough nine months. Back in April, I was considering reprising the pack-your-suitcase-I'll-be-right-there speech. In July I was seriously concerned about her physical and mental health. Last week, I detected a desire to be done with the class but very little performance anxiety. This I thought was a major improvement.
Last night I got the call. "I'm done," she exclaimed with well-deserved pride.
"Whoohoo" I cheered, noticing that I suddenly felt a weight off my shoulders!
Now you might think that this woman child that makes me so proud would be content to rest on her laurels. I'd have to tell you to think again! As if going back to college wasn't challenge enough Weneki also started training for a mini-triathalon at the beginning of the year. Next Sunday there I'll be standing on the side of road with a bag of oranges, some Gatorade and a big ol' sign that says:
Once a mother, always a mother.
P.S. Weneki has been awarded her 2nd Merry ME You Rock Award for Excellence. The first one was mainly because I think she's the rockingest rocker I know! A mother's perogative. This one is for stepping out of her comfort zone, sticking to her goal(s) and finishing her class.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
It's been an interesting day.
Last night Sweetie declared that "we" were going to a Caregiver's Conference put on by our local Community Hospice. Oh goodie, I thought. It's Saturday, I get a hall pass for most of the day and I get to sit in a room and listen to a bunch of lectures on caregiving. It was like sitting in the choir loft and knowing there was going to be a really long sermon! What can they possibly say about taking care of a grumpy old man that I don't already know?
My alternatives, however, were not much better - heading for Walmart or staying home and having a meaningful relationship with the vacuum cleaner. I didn't put up much of a fight. A day away from the house with my remarkable Sweetie sounded pretty good even if it was starting at 9am. Not an ungodly hour, but a certain someone likes to get to places early to scope them out, so it meant a 7 am wake up call. Oh God!
All in all it was an interesting and informative day. There was far too much sitting in one place. By the end of the morning lectures I had was nursing a headache from cocking my head to a weird angle so I could see the power point presentations. It was all worth it though, because the highlight of the day's event was the 45 minute one-woman show by none other than Carol O'Dell, author of Mothering Mother and facilitator of my writing group.
All the other speakers stood behind a microphone and spoke with little or no animation. Carol pushed the mike out of her way and woke that crowd up in her first 30 seconds. I know her to be a fantastic writer and story-teller, but I've never seen one of her "shows." It was everything, and more, that I imagined it would be - funny, poignant, straight-forward, irreverent, informative, fast-moving, and truthful. Carol took care of her mother who had both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease so she knew what she was talking about. She didn't pull any punches. What was funny today may have made her cry when it happened a few years ago. Still she refers to caregiving as dumpster diving - looking for hidden treasures among all the trash.
Because I was going to "learn how to take care of an old man" Dad was pretty okay with my being gone for the day. Because I had "permission" to go I didn't feel a lot of guilt about leaving him. Even though my sister is every bit as capable as caring for Dad as I am, I often carry a 20 pound bag of guilt over my shoulder when I'm not here. Some of it is self-inflicted, some encouraged by the man who reminds me on a regular basis that he's paying me to take care of him. It's a little on the lines of the "I brought you into this world, and don't ever forget it...." speech most of us have heard a hundred times.
As I sat through the days lectures I realized how lucky I am to have a Sweetie who understood the need for me to attend this conference. And how really lucky I am that he sticks by me and supports me in this caregiving journey. I didn't actually realize until today that I've been saying "I'm" a caregiver for all these years when in fact "we" are caregivers. It's not a journey that I'm taking with my Dad and Sweetie is just along for the ride. It's a journey we are taking together.
I just got a visual of the Wizard of Oz characters dancing down the yellow brick road arm in arm. Each of us has our own journey yet we are on the same road. On any given day our relationships - Sweetie and I, Dad and I, Dad and Sweetie, plus my sister, the dog and the cats - are co-mingled. We are seldom alone.
I sat with Dad tonight after he crawled under the covers. I poised myself on the commode next to his bed, held his hand and shared a rare and peaceful moment with him. He shared some feelings with me which is highly unusual for an engineer of left-brain thinking. I was quiet, which is also highly unusual. I embraced the moment for what it was ... a diamond in the dumpster.
A good ending to a good day,
I spent some time yesterday remembering the tragedy and horror of that September morning 8 years ago. However, I couldn't bring myself to watch the news or find any new words to express my thoughts.
Before I went to bed I read Dani Sutliff's "Remembering 9/11" blog post. I was moved to tears. She wrote so beautifully everything I wish I had said. When I asked her if I could re-print it here, Dani graciously gave me permission to do so. I had it all ready to go when I decided that was cheating. I want you to go to Dani's blog and get to know her. Although Wisconsin is not close to anyone or anything I know I'm trying to figure out a way to get there to visit Dani's store, Three Sisters' Spirit. From everything I read it's the kind of place I can get lost in and still go back for more.
Here's the link to Dani's blog. Please check it out.
And here's a portion of a prayer she wrote that pretty much sums things up for me:
through our tears, and through our sorrow,
may we all see a new vision of a new tomorrow.
May we always remember.
And may we also learn to live in peace,
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Dad doesn't do a lot these days. Standing for any length of time hurts his back so he sits. He eats. He does crossword puzzles and he sleeps. In fact he sleeps so much during the day he's started waking up around 3am unable to go back to sleep. Anyone who has lain awake during those early morning hours knows there is nothing to do but recite multiplication tables, invent a health care system that will really work, or worry.
My father is a creature of habit. After doing the same thing for several days in a row his body and mind are pretty much trained to continue doing that thing without giving it any thought. Depending on what the "thing" is the habit can either good or bad. Drinking a Manhattan before dinner or eating chocolate ice cream after dinner every night come hell or high water is considered a habit that has no ill consequences.
However, Dad is less than comfortable lying awake staring at the ceiling watching the big red digital numbers change three nights in a row. Last night he decided to nip this burgeoning habit in the bud. Knowing that giving up some of his afternoon sleep time would also mean that I might have to give up some of mine I suggested a pharmeceutical remedy. Perhaps a Tylenol PM might would help him sleep through the night.
"Someone told me not to take Tylenol," he countered.
"Oh?" I questioned, "how come?"
Dad ends the conversation with "I don't know, but I know I'm not going to take it."
"Okay, what about the sleeping medication provided by Hospice?"
"When did they prescribe that?"
"When they threw out all your outdated meds."
"Oh, let me see it." As if seeing the bottle or the pink capsule would help to make the decision whether to take it or not.
"I think I'll try it," he says as he pops the pill in his mouth, takes a slug of water, throws his head back and swallows.
"Good night, Dad. Sleep well. I love you."
Walking down the hall after my shower this morning I glance into Dad's room to see if he's awake. He's out cold, but in the recliner chair next to the bed, not tucked in where I left him last night.
"Why are you in the chair?" I ask knowing it's a dumb question.
"That sleeping pill worked too well," he croaked in a Zombie-like stupor.
"I peed all over everything." And with that bit of information he went back to sleep.
Grabbing up soaking wet underpants, sheets and blankets I begin my day. I find myself staring at the clock. The thumping of the blanket in the washer keeps time with the minute hand as it ticks off the time. The buzz of the dryer informing me the sheets are dry startles me from my reverie.
I hope this isn't going to become a habit.
Caregiving Lesson Learned: Unless you want to spend the day cleaning the bed from the mattrass up don't suggest sleeping pills. Maybe a cup of warm milk would be more appropriate.
Learning as I go,
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I just hit the post button to publish the last thing I wrote about, among other things, how our perceptions form our reality.
Before closing my computer and trying to make a very real pile of ironing turn into nothing more than illusion, I read my email. This one may have gone around before but this is the first time I've seen it. The subject is:Experiment- worth the read. Here's what it said:
Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The violinist played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.Six minutes after that, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.Ten minutes later, a 3-year-old boy stopped to look at the violinist, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.Forty-five minutes later the musician played. Only six people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 people gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace.He collected $32.00.One hour later he finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the finest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.Two days before Joshua Bell had sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.00 each.
This is a real story.Joshua Bell playing incognito in the Metro Station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.
The questions raised:
In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
Do we stop to appreciate it?
Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the finest musicians in the world playing some of the most beautiful music ever written with one of the most magnificent instruments ever created, how many other things are we missing?
I went to Snopes to check on the veracity of the experiment and found it to be true. In fact the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize in the feature writing category for the story about the experiment. You can read for yourself at ://www.snopes.com/music/artists/bell.asp
So, I have to ask myself, is there something to this stuff about perception? What would I have done had I passed by Joshua Bell playing the violin in a crowded station? I'd like to think I would have stopped to listen. But on any given day, I often hurry about my business paying little attention to what's going on around me. Then I remind myself about the cards I had printed up. Perhaps I'm not always as oblivious to my surroundings as I think. Maybe I just have to open my eyes and ears a little bit more and take in all the beauty around me. Is that what the Handbook meant when it talked about not putting any limitations on myself?[See post below]
Looking at the ironing pile and realizing I'm only limited by the number of items to be pressed. Bring it on!
the Master calls a butterfly."
Last week, as Hurricane Danny churned by our coastline, there were some pretty heavy storms around Jacksonville. The skies were alive with lightening shows and thunderous booms. The dark clouds looked like something out of a 1950's monster movie. I'm not sure why, but it always seemed to be storming when the lab-made creatures come to life. I guess things are just scarier on a dark, rainy day.
The fun thing about having a new car with a sun roof is I've got something cool to look at when I'm stopped at a red light. Dark and ominous or light and airy I've seen some pretty remarkable cloud formations. In honor of Terri and her ability to see beyond the clouds here are some photos that give meaning to the song. Can't you just hear Judy Collins singing in the background?
They rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.
I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow,
It's cloud illusions I recall,
I really don't know clouds, at all. *
As I read it instead of sing it, the words are actually kind of depressing, aren't they. But I'm reminded of one of Sweetie's favorite books which isn't depressing at all. In fact it's kind of free floating letting you make of it what you will. Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach is a book that I have to admit is a little over my head. I like my philosophy spoon fed, a little at a time. Illusions premise is that all reality is nothing more than an illusion we create for our own learning. Our realities are based on our perceptions.
Hmmm. Am I sitting on this couch typing or do I just think I am? Hmmm? You can see why I'm easily distracted and go straight to picking my cuticles when people begin to discuss topics like this. I'm pretty simple minded. If you can touch it, it's real. If you make it up, it's illusion.
That said, one of the neat things about Illusions is the accompanying Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul. To garner the great knowledge from the pint-sized book all you have to do is open it to any page and there you'll find all the information you'll need. "Hold a question in your mind," instructions Bach. "Now close your eyes, open the handbook at random and pick left page or right." *
Like Terri at her "good morning world spot," Sweetie used to start every day by opening up the handbook. Is it coincidence, or reality or illusion, that two people I love, know how and when to stop and open themselves up to the beauty and intelligence of the day. Then, prepared for what comes their way, they put one foot in front of the other doing what they have to do to make their world - our world - a better place?
Before I end this post, I think I'll try it. I've got my question (what do I need to learn today?) in mind. My eyes are closed. Hold on while I search the handbook for my answer.
"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."
Now that's food for thought!
Wishing for you a day filled with puffy clouds, silver linings and no limitations,
* Both Sides Now, by Joni Mitchell, Clouds album, Elektra Records, 1969
*Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul, by Richard Bach, 2004, Hampton Roads Publishing Co., Inc.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Go to any of the blogs I follow and you might not always find a happy story. But you'll hear from people of strength, character, and courage. You'll find colorful pictures and artwork to brighten your world. You'll realize you're not alone in this crazy world; that on any given day there's someone else to share your joy and your pain.
Sweetie and I watched an incredible documentary this morning. Encounters at the End of the World is an Oscar-nominated movie about the Werner Herzog's journey to Antarctica. It is hard to say which was more incredible - the landscape, the people, the work being done or the photography. It's one thing to be a trained diver/scientist/vulcanologist/physicist/biologist and another to be the guy who is picked to film everything that is going on in minus degree water/weather.
Here I am fussing about the tales my son tells me about his adventures in Mexico when there are other mothers in the world who watch their sons swing from a rope over a roiling sea of lava into an active volcano crater. Is it adventure or stupidity that causes people to step off a perfectly sound mound of ice into a hole that goes straight down beneath an ice cap? As amazing as that was to see, the whole time I sat on the edge of my seat, I knew there was another person doing the same thing with a camera strapped to his shoulder. Is this kind of daring a hold-over from fighting off saber tooth tigers?
I haven't had too many real adventures in my lifetime. In fact, I try to steer clear of things that other people get all excited about. Like shopping at 5am on the day after Thanksgiving or shooting of fire crackers on the 4th if July. I have yet to figure out what is "fun" about either. When my then-husband drove me (5 months pregnant)through the Pyrenees mountains in a car that had neither a seat that locked into place or, might I add, seatbelts, I feared for my life. He called it a driving exhibition. As I've grown into middle age I've become comfortable with my "chicken-little" persona. I don't need to risk life or limb to prove myself to anyone - especially me.
However, give me a good sale at Joanne Fabric and I'm there! Like the Antarctic scientists peering through microscopes looking for clues to the beginning of life, I can get lost in rows of fabric hoping to find just the right print at just the right price.
Another place of pure adventure for me is the inside of a good bookstore. I like them all. Large chain stores or small independent book sellers. I like the smell and feel and atmosphere of a place that is lined with book shelves. In the movie today a scientist lay on the foreboding ice flow with an ear to the ice listening to the symphony of sounds seals were making several feet below. Bundled up with only her nose and ear open to the elements, the woman seemed oblivious to everything else around her, even the frigid temperatures. Plopped on the floor in the children's book section of Barnes & Noble I can lose myself in a similar fashion. The picture books draw me in. But I also enjoy the sounds: mom's reading Dr. Seuss rhymes to toddlers, Dad's helping beginner readers sound out words, or kids begging for one more book. The cacophony of sounds appeal to my adventurous side!
Adventure like beauty must be in the eye of the beholder. Some jump out of helicopters or into blazing firestorms to save lives and feel the rush of adrenaline. Some climb mountains while others while others are content to read about their experiences. Some photograph the exploration icy underwater canyons so people can sit in the comfort of their living rooms and marvel at the wonders of this world.
Every great adventurer, I think, needs to have someone back home waiting to "hear all about it." That person may wring her hands in worry or be grateful for the solitude while the globe-trotter is gone. But once home, sitting on a big woolly mammoth hide placed in front of the fire the cave dweller listens to the sound of adventure satisfied to listen to the stories and gasp at all the appropriate moments.
To each her own,
*Personally, if I don't know where the road leads, I'm not going down it!But I liked the quote. ~m