A couple of weeks ago I sent off our old family reel-to-reel video tapes to have them transferred to CD’s. I opened the box today and the first CD that I watched was an old grainy video from 1968 of one of our first family vacations. We travelled out west in a truck pulling a camper and I was 4 years old. Watching the shaky scenes of Mount Rushmore and Old Faithful, I found myself thinking about my upcoming adventure and what I remember of those trips as a child. It’s so funny the things that we remember and the things that made us happy or sad. I remember my disappointment at the Petrified Forest. I could not wrap my head around the fact that it was NOT a forest but just a flat piece of land, full of rocks. I wanted to see a grove of standing trees made of stone. Even now, I think…How cool would that be? I suppose if I had access to the internet at that time I would’ve been much less disappointed.
I also remember discovering rock candy, the smell of campfires, that marshmallows tasted so much better burnt then right out of the bag and thinking that someone could fall into one of those bubbling geysers so easily, why were there no fences there? And one other very vivid memory: During that trip my parents bought me a little furry stuffed brown bear. He had a little red plastic collar with a short silver chain for a leash and made a crinkly sound when you squeezed him. Although I loved rock candy and the smell of campfires, they certainly did not compare to how much I loved that little brown bear. I had that bear for years until it was so old that it got a hole worn in the fake fur, from me dragging it around on that little leash. Although my expectations of the Petrified Forest, turned out to be a let down, that silly little bear made up for it. It’s so crazy, when you are little, how small things could make everything okay.
while I’m trying to let go of any expectations about this up coming trip. This has been difficult for me because, well… I’m a planner. A planner. An organizer. A schedule keeper. It’s never been easy for me to leave anything to chance. I like to know where I stand, what comes next, who does what and when. But during this excursion, I just want to let things happen. I want to relax, take my time and take everything in. I’m beginning to think that maybe we are all meant to have a mid-life crisis so that we can think about what we have grown into and start again…if we choose to. The uncertainty of my life during the last 9 months, has been a long journey of questions, fears, anxiety and confusion. But now, I’m ready to try again. Make a change.
Last night was the last night I will ever spend in my house and today I moved the last of my furniture into my sister’s house. I’ll be staying there for the next 4 days until I leave, and my things are in bags, boxes and bins. I’d lived in that house for 13 years and It was a wonderful home. But, Now I’m happy to pass it along to the next person that will love it and take care of it. Yet I find myself struggling to figure out exactly what it is that I’m truly feeling about it. I don’t think that it’s sadness that I feel, although I will miss my house because I spent a lot of time, energy and money, making it into what I wanted. Maybe It just hasn’t sunk in yet and after I clean the house this weekend and hand over the keys..it will hit me. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. Hopefully I won’t end up in a giant pile of tears and snot…because that is never fun. And no one wants to see that!
So, in 4 days, I will embark on a new journey. My home will be on wheels instead of a foundation. I’m ready to hit the road. Blow this popsicle stand. Take the road less travelled. So far, I’ve just planned where we are going and when. I’ve made all the campground reservations…making sure there is no drive that is too long between locations. But, I am trying to leave it at that so we can do what we feel like doing on any particular day. Letting go of my expectations. Experiencing things the way a kid would. Enjoying things as they come. If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll discover a part of me that I hadn’t seen in a long time. Or better yet a part of me that I have yet to discover. I want to make some new memories. Memories that will stay with me forever. And…. if I’m really lucky, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a little brown bear with a red plastic collar and a small silver chain leash that will make everything even better! Keep your fingers crossed! Happy Trails!