Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Looking back, my family truly was the great adventurers. By the time graduation came, I had visited 45 of the states in America. Each year my Dad would announce at the dinner table which area of the country he and Mom had decided to travel for two weeks for our summer vacation.

My Dad worked long hours in a manufacturing plant that made plastic bags. Then after work, he would come home to spray the ten acres of apples to assure a crop free of bugs in the fall. Yet, somehow the money was there for a family of five to travel long distances for two weeks each summer.

When we started our summers, we had a handcrafted trailer that had a pullout side that accommodated a bed for my sister and me. It served us well. Though that may be debated since my sister and I still talk about the time, we ran for the narrow door when we saw black bears in the Yellowstone Campsite.

We progressed to a nice regular 16ft metal trailer. I had earned my Dad’s trust so much helping with the driving, he allowed me to take five women to a lake to celebrate my high school graduation without either him or mom accompanying us.

Apparently, it was during childhood the seeds were planted for me to seek out new adventures. Now I have traveled to all the states except for Alaska. My international map is dotted with colored rhinestones to illustrate to myself where I have actually travelled.

As I drove to Long Beach, Washington last weekend, I marveled at the things I have seen and done. I arrived at my friend Rosie’s beach house and was greeted by Rosie and her friend Stef. Later, as we sat looking out the window at the ocean as the waves attacked the beach in force, we discussed life experiences.

During the discussion, I said, “People often say to me, ‘You do so many interesting things’.” I said, “I just don’t get it, there are things to see and learn everywhere.” To which, Rosie replied, “Well I believe you have to create experiences”.

There was my “aha” for the weekend…..create experiences. Of course, that was it, that was exactly what we had done when we all decided we were going to spend time at the beach. Others were asked and chose not to go for various reasons.

We on the other hand listened to Rosie’s plans for our meals. We gladly accepted our assignment for meals, and special treats we were to bring. Each of us brought “surprise” foods for after all we were on vacation and tossed any semblance of diet to the winds.

The trip to the beach had resulted in a stop at a garage sale. There in the “free box” was 1000 piece puzzle. No way of knowing if all the pieces were there or if either one of the women enjoyed putting puzzles together.

Once settled in, I brought out the puzzle. Both women had a big smile and said, “Let’s do it”. During the next three days, the puzzle proved to become a challenge for us—we were going to get it done before we left to go home.

The last night, the final piece of the puzzle was put into the picture. You would have thought we had run a marathon. There were cheers and high fives all around. We conquered the puzzle.

As I think about it, we watched two excellent movies, we talked, we shared outstanding food and learned about each other. Yup, the three of us created this perfect experience or should I say adventure?

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