Friday, March 8, 2013

Life's an Adventure

Looking back on life, it's the adventures--planned or spontaneous, grand or small--that we remember the most. It's not the every day mundane routine that we remember from our past. Instead, it is the times when we step out of our ordered world and experience something different, unique, exciting, interesting, fun, scary, unusual or inspiring.

Today Joe took off with some of his buddies from Millsaps to drive to New Mexico. I learned about this plan on Wednesday night. It just kind of came together during the week. One of the guys has a grandfather who owns a cabin in New Mexico. The plan was to drive to Dallas today (as of 1pm they still weren't on the road), go to a concert in Dallas tonight, spend the night there at one of they guy's parent's home, then drive to New Mexico tomorrow. 

I could worry that they might have an accident, but then if they don't, I've spent all that time worrying for nothing. So I'm just not going to worry. Instead, I'll pray for their safety and anticipate good news from the road.

Joe has never been my adventurous child. Unlike Nicole, who is packed and ready to go at a moment's notice, Joe is more of a stick-to-home kind of guy. He likes to go to the beach, and even though he's grown up traveling to Venezuela, he's usually content being at home--as in his own home town. It's familiar, safe and he knows his limits. But as he gets older, I see him wanting to spread his wings a bit more. I'm glad. I want him to see the world and explore new things. I believe it gives a young person a broader perspective and a greater understanding of what's out there. It also makes you appreciate home all the more.

Nicole has lived in Hattiesburg, Cleveland, MS (two summers), France, Massachusetts, Kentucky and New York. She's traveled solo to Venezuela several times and she's flown all over the country doing motivational speaking. She loves an adventure more than anyone I know. 
Larry's life has been adventurous, too. He's lived in several places in Venezuela as well as England, Miami, Hattiesburg, Brandon, Ridgeland and Madison. He's seen the Beatles in concert in England, Jimi Hendrix in the Hollywood Bowl and The Rolling Stones at a club in Miami. That alone makes him a rock star in Nicole's eyes.

I never even flew in a plane until I met Larry. Besides trips to my grandparents' homes in W. Monroe and Meridian, my childhood adventures included vacation trips to Six Flags Over Texas, a beach trip to Galveston, Hot Springs, Arkansas, beach trips to Florida (I still remember going to see the mermaids at Weeki Wachi) and an Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. I'm sure there were more adventures, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind. Back then, the destination was the memory, not the journey. I never particularly liked that. But I do vividly remember the Stuckey's along the way, filled with all sorts of goodies and treasures!

Now I love the journey as much as anything else, The three-day road trip driving to Maine with my friend Jonni Webb was as much fun as being in Maine. We drove through 14 states and saw changing landscapes and weather and heard accents change as we drove further north. I hope Joe takes in the scenery and sees how different our country can be as he travels west. 

Tomorrow I'm going on my own adventure. It's just an hour away, but I've never really been to Mt. Olive, Mississippi.

I have driven past it on the way up and down Highway 49 to Hattiesburg, and stopped just once to take a picture of a water tower for The Faucet, a publication of the Mississippi Rural Water Association,  for which I write. I met the guy who was head of the water department, and I met the mayor. Exciting stuff.

When I go to Mt. Olive tomorrow, it will be to take a basket weaving class from two Amish sisters. My friend Jane Bond got me roped into that one. I did get an assignment out of it, so I'll write an article about my experiences for a magazine. The sisters will be preparing a meal for us, and given my diet for the past month, I'm as excited about that as I am about learning how to weave a basket. 

Adventures are where you find them, and you have to be ready to seize the opportunity whenever you can. It's those adventures that make your life rich, and your memory banks full.

What adventure have you had lately?

Blessings to all who read this!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Day 24 of 21--The Next Big Thing

For the last 24 days, I've willingly subjected myself to a rigorous 21-day diet designed to cleanse my liver, reset my body's metabolism and to help get my body back into a state of general good health. I blogged about my experience for most of those 21 days, but on the 21st day--the day most would expect a SUPER BLOG stating how I'm so glad I'm done now let's eat cake--I was silent. I didn't feel like I was at the end of something, but rather just beginning. I had blogged earlier about how it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit, so on day 22, I just kept doing what I had been doing.

Perhaps it is because I was Scared Straight after getting the results from the blood tests I had done at Enhanced Wellness. The numbers showed I was knocking on the door of Type II Diabetes--my mother's killer. The whole reason I started this wellness quest was because I watched what she went through the last six months of her life. I was--and still am--determined not to walk in those shoes. (Which by the way, in the end, it was only one shoe, as she lost her leg due to this horrible disease.) I'm committed.

With that blogging block behind me, and nothing but improving health in front of me, it's on to The Next Big Thing!

I have been invited by my friend, NancyKay Wessman, to participate in a "blog hop," where bloggers are invited to write about their new/latest writing project. NancyKay wrote about two projects in her blog, Wessman Words. The first was about her recently published book, You Can Fix the Fat From Childhood and Other Heart Disease Risks, Too. She also wrote about her current project that deals with public health issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina.

Now it's my turn. Time for me to get busy on my Next BigThing. The request to participate in this "blog hop" included a series of questions to answer. I believe the best way for me to do that is in an interview format, with Me interviewing Myself. Here we go!

Me: What is the working title of your book?
Myself: You Can't Stop This Dancer or Every Step of the Way

Me: Where did the idea of the book originate?
Myself: From a daily blog of sorts ( that I begain writing in September 2008.

Me: Under what genre does the book come?
Myself: Creative non-fiction, and perhaps inspirational/motivational/spiritual

Me: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Myself: That's a tough one. Ask me again next year, when the book is published and Hollywood is knocking on my door!

Me: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Myself: The story of lessons learned following the unthinkable, a mother & daughter journey.

Me: Will your book be self-published, published by an independent publisher or represented by an agency?
Myself: My best guess is that it will be published by an independent publisher.

Me: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Myself: I'm still writing it.

Me: To what other books within your genre would you compare this story?
Myself: Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd. It was recommended to me by Susan Cushman because of the way it was written. It's a mother-daughter story with every other chapter written by the mother, and the in-between chapters written by the daughter. Same story. Same experiences. Two different perspectives.

Me: Who or what inspired you to write this story?
Myself: My incredible daugher, Nicole Marquez.

Me: What else about your book might pique your reader's interest?
Myself: Nicole fell six stories off the roof of her NY apartment building and today she is walking! I think that alone is enough to pique anyone's interest!

I'm inviting others to participate on this "blog hop" so we can keep it going. With any luck, you'll see these foks write about their Next Big Thing in the coming days:

Beth Kander
Nicole Marquez
Bill Torgerson

UPDATE: Turns out Bill has already participated. If you are at all interested in Vikings, you'll love his blog:

Blessings to all who read this!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 19 of 21

It's hard to believe I've made it this far!

I read once that it takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit. I guess we are all pretty hard-headed. Our brains are not so easily programmed.

Think about it. We all have our morning routine. Mine was get up, make coffee. Drink coffee. Drink more coffee.

Now it's different. I still make coffee--for Larry.

We use a French press coffee maker, so while I wait for the water to boil in the tea kettle, I juice half a lemon into a mug and measure out a teaspoon of Grade B organic maple syrup. When the water boils, I pour it into the French press and then pour the remaining water into my mug with lemon and maple syrup. While he sips on coffee, I sip hot lemonade. 

Honestly, I think it's more about sipping a hot beverage as you ease into the day. I really haven't missed the caffeine--no headaches or jitters. But I do miss the taste. I love a good cup of coffee. 

Surprisingly, one thing I haven't missed is bread. I had a craving for a hamburger last week, but I think I was craving meat more than the bun. Right now, the thought of eating a hamburger from a fast food restaurant makes me a little sick. I'm free from the hold of evil fast food!

I'm 19 days in and the habits are forming. Good habits. Healthy habits. 

I am doing this.

Blessings to all who read this!