The Road Less Traveled

“Take the Road Less Traveled” a familiar saying we’ve all heard a million times before. But what does it really mean? What difference does it make to be out there on a lonely road, your only companion being whatever scenery is right in front of you? Is it the quiet and serenity we seek or a diversion from the traffic and noise that has come to be such a normal part of our daily lives? And in this new normal we are living even the expected rush of traffic has diminished. So why the desire to take The Road Less Traveled?

I took this lonely road recently and felt great when I started out. But after realizing I had no connection to the outside world if something happened, I started to feel a slight sense of panic setting in. Then I let my emotions go back and forth between “take the road less traveled” & “what the hell am I doing?”

I only had to drive on that lonely road for about an hour before I was back in civilization. But it really got me thinking that “The Road Less Traveled” just might not be the road for everyone.

What do you think?

#theroadlesstraveled #wanderingspirit #driven #soulsearching #traffictush #newnormal #lonelyroads

Where are They Now?

What do you miss from the pre-Covid world? I miss traveling and the random conversations I had along the way. I was a Frequent Flyer for many years, which means I spent the majority of my time in airports, hotels and office buildings. Which really means I made a home away from home on a hotel barstool. Fancy ones, but still, it’s the life of a frequent flyer.

Strangely enough, I miss the people who made an impact on my life without ever knowing it.

Like Marie, the bartender at the Marriott Suites I stayed at so often in Southern California. She would see me checking into that hotel, before electronic keys, and by the time I took my luggage to the room and came back to my seat at the hotel bar, she has a glass of Chardonnay waiting for me. We had many conversations over the years about life, kids, jobs etc. She was my friend on the road.

And Forrest, who was always there with a smile on his face, in the Concierge Lounge of the Marriott Hotel in Philly I had the privilege of frequenting. He didn’t say a lot but it was a comfort that he was always there. A familiar face after a long day.

And Diane, who worked at the front desk of the Marriott in Dallas, and always made sure I knew she “upgraded” my room. Which really, most of the time they were a normal rooms, just on a higher floor. Except that one time, she really did upgrade me into the Presidential Suite. It was awesome. I kept trying to talk my co-workers into having our meetings at the giant table in my room, but they didn’t buy into it. I think they were all jealous that I got that room and they didn’t. HaHa. Thanks Diane.

And the bartender at Bistango, although I don’t remember his name, he never forgot about me hiding behind my laptop on the patio, and always made sure I had water with lemon along with my Chardonnay. And for the many times he endured my Boss!! 🤣🤣

And the skycap at my home airport, who worked the Delta Medallion checkin on the second level of the parking garage. He always a said “welcome back” and “have a safe trip”. But I have to laugh remembering the time he said “Where are you headed today? Orange County again?” Me: “Yes” as I hand him my ticket (pre-app) and he says “Well…this ticket says your going to Houston.” Me: “Oh you’re right, I am going to Houston.” Thanks for always keeping me on the right flight. ✈️

And the bartender at the Delta Sky Club Lounge in Newark, who would set a glass of Chardonnay down at the other end of the bar when he saw me come in and wave at him. This was so I didn’t have to stand in line to get a drink, I always tipped him well of course. 💴 There was always a line in the EWR Skyclub lounge to get a drink. Tired business travelers trying to get home at the end of a long week.

I don’t know where any of these people are today, or if they are still working. I can only hope they are during these times when the travel industry is taking such a big hit and business travel is almost non-existent. I hope they are safe & well.

They don’t know it, but their kindness and conversations meant a lot to me for many years. Sadly, I never told them that. But I’m adding it to my bucket list to go back to all those places and if they are still there, I will thank them for making an impact on my life, just by doing their job really really really well. And to all the hotel bartenders out there, thanks for taking care of the regulars. 🍷

Natures Beauty

“All that you behold, that which comprises both god and man, is one ~ we are the parts of one great body.” – Seneca

Traveling around the beautiful area of Southern Utah, and feeling a need to escape the July heat I decided to head up to the ski resort of Brian Head. Ski resorts are infamous for reinventing themselves in the summertime with mountain biking trials, hiking, chair lift rides etc. and again, cooler temperatures. I took in the smells of the wooded pine & aspen trees, which so reminded me of home and had a little state down with the cutest little rockhound. Who would move first? I did, which sent him burrowing down into the safety of the earth. Had lunch outside on the deck of one of the few restaurants open and walked around the lake before deciding to get on my way.

There are two roads that lead to the resort, I’m not sure if my original way of getting up there was the front or back route but I guess it’s all depending on from which direction you are coming to get there. Like most things. I decided to continue the route I was and not backtrack the way I had come. I saw signs saying there was a National Monument close by, might as well go “check it out.” Driving on what appeared to be a very flat part of the very top of the mountain I saw the sign that said “North View Overlook” to the Cedar Breaks National Monument. I had just last the first entrance and decided to quickly pull into the second entrance, which might really have been the exit but seeing no other cars in the lot I took a chance.

All I can say is from here is that sometimes, it’s the unexpected journey that leaves the greatest imprint on your soul. You can’t see it from the road, your forced to walk down the pathway to get a glimpse of what the sign was referencing. Not often do I come upon a sight that literally stops you in your tracks and takes you breath away but this one did. All I could do was stare and marvel at this most incredible work of nature. The kind you look upon and say, this truly has to be the work of God. Because even though you know the science of how these majestic formations are created, only something bigger than ourselves could put it in a place to view that literally catches your breath. And a reminder that sometimes it’s the journey and not the destination that makes all the difference.

We are one great big world, god and man and earth and heaven. So take the back roads from time to time, venture off the path and enjoy this amazing planet we call home.

Fractured Families, Fractured Lives #ovariancancer

Every family has that one person who we consider the “glue” to keeping the family together, so what happens when that person dies? I can begin to see the answer in my own family as I struggle to understand the dynamics between anger and denial in the grieving process. When #ovariancancer first came into our lives it was April of 2019. Three months later we were all wearing rubber teal colored bracelets with the slogan “No One Fights Alone” on them. Stronger as a family is what they said would happen, but as the months wore on, and my sisters journey with cancer seemed to get worse after her surgery, the family bond began to break.

It’s almost a helpless task, “pulling for someone” & “cheering them on” as they stare down death. I think the dying come to accept that they are dying long before their loved ones do.

I don’t believe we can ever truly heal, and I know things will never be the same. But what remains unanswered is if the family that’s left behind, will be able heal. Or are we so fractured now that we just accept and appreciate what was and move on? Time will tell, it always does.

The Lesson or the Teacher?

Is history the Lesson or the Teacher? I suppose it’s really more a reflection of the lens you choose to look at it through.

What has history already taught us about the tipping points that change the trajectory of our lives? And what lessons are we willing to accept from it?

I’m not talking about the pandemic itself, I’m talking about how life is changing as we knew it in relation to it. We’re hearing a lot about the Flu of 1918, how everyone was encouraged to wear masks & not congregate in large mass gatherings but we are humans and most humans crave some type of social interaction. Be it alone in a crowd or with friends in a crowd we still need it for our own mental health. Just like in 1918, you couldn’t stop people from celebrating the end of the war, in 2020 you just can’t stop people from gathering as they’ve come to know it. Or can you?

My generation sat in a classroom everyday learning how to write cursive (a debate for another time) and I suppose now my grandchildren will not even attend a brick and mortar school building and all learning will be done online. It what does that do to building social connections? We’ve evolved through history from a one room school house concept where students if all ages were in the same classroom learning at different levels, to being segregated by age vs learning ability. Which really only benefited those who were “average” learners. Think about it, in a traditional school setting the students who learned at a faster rate were bored, and those who struggled to learn fell behind and in a sense were also bored. Sure we had a few classes each group could be put into based on learning ability but the entire curriculum, from my little perspective, was designed for the average child.

So what lessons can we learn from history about how eduction and school can and should evolve from this pandemic? Will online learning become the new norm and will parents and their jobs be able to adapt to it, while they at the same time are adapting to a new working remote normal?

I found out recently that this fall when he goes back to school he will be in a class for students who learn a faster rate, and they are looking at shortening the school day for them. Because they learn at a faster pace, they don’t need to be in the brick and mortar school building all day and these student are very adept at online learning. But that begs another question, aren’t all kids better today at online learning? They have electronic equipment in their hands from the time they can hold them up. Wouldn’t it be better for all students to utilize online learning or a combination of both, with shorter schools days?

Is history the teacher, trying to help us look at how we learn in a different way? Or is history the lesson and we need to look at it with a more open lens & adjust or focus to see it clearly? Only time will tell, and someday history will be us, right now, in this life we are living. What lessons do we want to leave for those, who will look back on the year 2020, to learn from?

Fathers and Daughters

All I have to say is, have you seen the movie “Fathers & Daughters”? If not, and you’re reading this post, you need too!! 😢💖😢💖😢

And oh, by the way, I hope my Son if he ever reads this, learns to play the theme song on his keyboard. Which he can, he learns by ear, without a lot of effort. #fathersanddaughters #mothersandsons

#fathersanddaughters #movies #russellcrowe #amandaseyfried

We All Have a Story…

…where does your’s begin?

As a society we are very self-centered. The scope of our personal relationships doesn’t typically extend beyond our “core” family and friends, our world revolves around them.

Sure we all have hundreds of people we count as acquaintances but we really only know a few, and only a few only really know us. And even then sometimes, do those people who are the closest to us, really know us, or do we keep things hidden deep inside our inner souls? Just for us.

If we really stopped and took the time to listen, we’d discover that everybody has a story. It’s what makes us unique, our own personal life story. No one else has it, just YOU!!!

I love listening to people’s story. It’s the reason I started this Blog in the first place. To capture in writing some of the stories I’ve encountered along life’s journey, be it a brief moment in time, or a history. Everybody has a story and if we just took the time to listen and understand, maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge, so critical, so dismissive.

One thing I can guarantee: YOU ARE FANTASTIC, just the way you are. Embrace that, and let’s hear your story. It’s worth telling!!!

Sunrise or Sunset?

Are you a sunrise or sunset person? A better way (at least to me) of saying: are you a morning or night person? Me, well I prefer the sunrise and a cool crisp morning with a hot cup of coffee. I get up early, and love fresh morning air to set the mood for the day. That said, I believe the sunsets make the better photo ops, but they both have their purpose and beauty.

The sun rises early over the desert and it’s really the only time of day you want to be outside. By mid afternoon the only things brave enough to be out are the little lizards which scamper from time to time across the backyard desert landscape. The creatures of the desert are fascinating & very different from the creatures who inhabit the mountain region where I grew up. Desert tortoises, road runners, lizards and I suppose large spiders & snakes which I’ve yet to see and hope I never do inhabit this region of the planet. Why do we fear them anyway? Oh right…because they slither & crawl and can hurt you really bad.

But at the end of the day, when we say goodnight to the sun and hello to the moon, haven’t we all just spent our allotted time co-existing on the same planet? We all have a purpose, even if we don’t understand each creatures true nature and reason for existing. The human creatures as well as the slithering kind, we are all here together in our own time and space, until we’re not.

So whatever you are, a sunrise or sunset person, breathe it in, enjoy the beauty & creatures of the planet around you & remember we’re all on it together.

Home

What does it mean to you to “go back home” after growing up and moving away? Is it a good idea? Does it bring you feelings of joy and contentment or does it derive a deep sense of sadness or anger? What’s your story?

I once had a counselor tell me that for me in particular, home would literally be wherever I was at the time. That I have an “uncanny” ability to detach myself from people, places and things and move on very easily. At the time I agreed with him. And for many years after as well. Or maybe I just agreed with him because it was easier. But looking back now, who tells someone that anyway.

Or is there some truth in what he was saying? I feel no attachment whatsoever to the where I grew up. Mostly because we moved a lot so I didn’t have time to form strong attachments. We didn’t move because we were poor, or running from anything, it was my parents jobs that took us places. We always had a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs, but I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for my parents to uproot and move 5 kids.

As we grew up, got married and moved on to our own lives, my sisters house on the ranch became “home.” I went back last week for the first time since she died, and “home” was definitely not the same with her gone. But in another way, it was more beautiful than ever. The grass, the pine trees and even the tree she called “Sigmond” were more lush than I have ever seen them, so maybe she’s trying to give us a sign from the other side, that it’s okay for life to go on and it’s beauty remains. I don’t know what will happen from here, but I do know that a small town in Idaho will always be “home” and my sister will be there, Resting In Peace, whenever I go visit. And I’ll drink wine at her gravesite & watch the sunsets because they, if nothing else, remain.