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!

1 comment:

  1. I, too, miss Stuckey's along the way too. And those mermaids were just magical!