Not just ours…

We watched it.

Mesmerized by it’s glow. It’s charm.

Its seemingly languid way.

Of slipping away.

Until it was gone.

Kind of like it was teasing us with a childlike chant…

“now you see me, now you don’t”

The afterglow was proof enough that truly we hadn’t just imagined it.

It really had been there.

But.

If we had blinked, we would have missed it.

We watched it slip behind the horizon, slip off the edge of our today.

A new thought washed over me.

We think of the setting sun as ours, the closing of but just one of our many days.

I, for the first time, realized…

that final slip, that closing…

…is not just ours.

It is now the beginning of something altogether new.

For someone else.

It is not just ours

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Those Rocks. That Tree.

As time passes, and life happens to and around us,  we are not necessarily the same people year after year.

And, it seems, to me, that we shouldn’t be.  Without compromising who we are at the core; we learn and grow. As a rock erodes into a pebble and eventually into sand over time, we have the potential to change in seemingly invisible ways every day. Our minds can change. Lord knows our bodies change. Relationships come and go and add rich layers of memory and story and sometimes hurts and forgiveness.

Our kids, the people we are raising, leave us changed daily.  Responding to the struggle(s) of the day, whether it’s the 7th grade math, freshman year jitters, college goodbyes, first heart breaks, puberty, or the teething and diapers – it all becomes part of our core. Like cooking from a recipe made so many times we feel it more than we can explain it. It just is. We just are.

My son is on the early cusp of puberty, my father has dementia. I am still a mother and a daughter but what that means and requires of me is changing as they change. Some days it looks no different than the day before, and then suddenly it’s obvious we are all different.

That said, among all that we juggle – the balls we manage to catch, and the ones we simply know are hovering in the balance, seemingly invisible but so very present – comfort can be found when we return to a place that does not change. A place that is somehow a constant for us, a landmark in both the metaphorical and concrete kind of ways.  A place that somehow soothes our soul, beckons us to memories that we can smell and feel from visits gone by, but it’s as if it were yesterday each time we return.

When you recognize a tree in the forest like an old friend, and know the one rock on which to sit by the lake.  They are unchanged and exactly where you saw them last.

That.

A place where the soul settles and rests.

And exhales.

We should all have that kind of place.

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.  – John Ruskin

A place where we are sure of who we are, excited about possibilities we perhaps can’t even fathom (but like those balls hovering in the balance, we know they are there…) and revel in all that has been.  From good to difficult and everything that lies between. A place where –  no matter the season,  no matter the weather  – gives us just exactly the moments we need. No matter in what direction the winds may blow, to have and find comfort in a place that we are so very lucky to know.

And I’ve been lucky enough to learn that when someone you adore adores the same place as you – well, that’s one sweet exhale.

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Ps…thanks to Lori for the Ruskin quote!
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If Trees Could Talk

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert


We know that when we invest our hard earned money in a long term vehicle – we hope that when we tuck it away in good faith that the next time we see it, that it will have (fingers crossed!) grown from a tiny amount into something more than it was at the start.  We may make deposits along the way, keeping our eye on things as we go. But, we are never quite sure that the yield will be what we hope.

A few weeks ago, Kiddo and I set out on our annual vacation; another road trip of ‘epic proportion’. While last year we pointed our GPS in all directions south, this year we turned it upside down and put our focus on all things north.

All in all, our travels took us 1121 miles over the course of 6 days and 2 states and while I try to plan trips so that the entire trip IS the trip, we had a featured destination. We were going to live in a Treehouse for a few days!

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Here we go!

En route, we toured a brewery (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, anyone?), walked across a one of a kind bridge (Sundial Bridge), saw rivers, mountains, lakes and even a volcano (Mt. Lassen) a dam (Shasta Dam) and a classic old mountain town (Dunsmuir). We saw GIANT trees, wildfires and Elk. Coastal fog and a working Lighthouse. What you hear about the shortage of water in Ca is true – the dam is 143 feet below the crest, the rivers once raging seem so lonely down in the nearly dry river beds in some cases.  In one day’s drive we had puffy white clouds, heat nearing 100 degrees, pure sunshine, fog, wildfire smoke and rain.

Upon arriving at our primary destination on day 2 we were enchanted! Part of a larger outfit called Out-n-About Treesort, we stayed at The Lilly Pad – a Bed and Breakfast ReTREET in Cave Junction, OR!  Tucked away in the forest on a private 13 acre wooded homestead, and 36 feet off the ground and built around an old Cedar tree which proudly boasts no less than 150 birthdays.

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The charm of The Lilly Pad was beyond compare, Kiddo and I were both like kids at Christmas running around getting acquainted with our digs. First up was “uploading” our gear via a simple but ingenious pulley system.  I love efficiency!  Once inside, we were met by a queen size bed with down comforters, a mini fridge, bunk beds. Lights, giant windows where  you can roll up the tarps and be one with the branches and birds. A coffee maker (good coffee in that mini fridge too, I might add!). A sink. A toilet. Good living up in those branches. And, at night the path is lit with rope lights that look more like fairy lights.

But perhaps its best amenity was the seclusion. The quiet. The call to disconnect and then connect with what is most important.

Kiddo and I played games.  Silly games. He discovered Parchesi and remarked about how old fashion games were made with such clever thinking.  We made up games.  We hung out in the hammock and took endless silly selfies. We pushed each other on the swings.  We hung out and talked. And talked. We talked about unplugging. About his love for video games. We tossed around a business pipe dream I have and he egged me on for over an hour, trying to flush out ideas, offering many of his own (good!) ideas. He taught me how to hula hoop. Yes, you read that correctly, my ten year old son taught his 40 something year old mama to hula hoop. (I’ve always wanted to learn!)

Deposits into that long term account were being made, I could hear the coins hitting the metal.

We signed up for the zipline course the next day, six platforms, tree to tree and across meadows.  I must be honest and tell you that I wasn’t sure who was the kid between the two of us; it was a total blast. But, by platform three, I could see the look on his face. I know my Kiddo.  He was done. But to be done, he had to complete one more line from platform four – from 50ft off the ground up in a tree.  I left him standing there, went first and then got to watch him zoom in, performing each part of the process perfectly.  He did it. He was brave and held on and had a great zip. But, he knows himself and his limits and quietly said, “that’s it mom.”

I nodded and hugged him and told him how proud of him I was.  Then, I went on to complete the final two lines.  Whee-hooo!  So, this time, he grabbed my phone and took the pictures.

Later, we talked about limits, and comfort zones, and fun and trying and challenges.  And knowing ourselves.

Ching. Ching.  More deposits.

As we ventured on in our trip, we stayed in a couple of Airbnb.com homes.  We were welcomed by such gracious hosts and I felt grateful for being able to show my son a way of travel that is not always synonymous with the word tourist.  I got sick for a day or two and while that definitely is not a travel tip I suggest, you who have been reading here for awhile know me to be of the mindset that these are the things that become the stories. “Oh, remember the year my mom got sick on the road trip?!”  And, it revealed to me a kindness and compassion in my son that again reminds me what is most important here.  As I apologized profusely to him for missing a cool adventure because I about passed out from some kind of food poisoning, he simply said; “don’t let it take you over mom, things happen.”

Needless to say, the rest of the trip was a little subdued while I rallied. We drove through beautiful redwood forests, saw trees that made our 150 year old Cedar Tree look like a toddler. Hours in the car and giant trees are not high on the woo-hoo list for any ten year old, mine included. We talked, ate cherry sours (once I could stomach them again!), played Fact or Fib, traded air time for our playlists (which have many of the same songs!) and talked some more. We got serious when my son asked me about regrets in life.  What mine are, what his are.  I was honest and let him in on a few things I would rather erase completely. That’s how it is with regrets.

Ka-ching.

As we went on a short hike through the  Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, there were a few grumbles and groans about taking this hike in the first place. I promised there would be no more hikes (trust me, I was feeling about 40% at this point) but that it was important to see these amazing trees, that people come from all over to see them, learn from them and just stand and feel small in their midst. I also laughed and told Kiddo that I knew I would have to wait about 20-30 years before he would really get it.

And that I was willing to wait.

 

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It became clear to me in that moment what this trip was all about. We had some of the coolest moments of all time. We also had some miserable moments and we had some pretty boring, mile after mile moments.  But together we logged not just miles. Not just experiences. Not even just memories. Seeds were planted, quietly. Deposits made into my most important, most valuable investment of all time.

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Notes From the Road

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Summer Bloggin’ Road Trip 2013

We’re baaaack!  

The photo above captures it all for me; the easy breezy carefree feeling of cruising down the highway, just The Kiddo and I, and the natural beauty we enjoyed in so many spots along the way.

I had a loose plan; a general itinerary of points A to B to C, etc., but when I asked Kiddo as we set out if he wanted to know the plan, or be surprised as we went along, he surprised me and said he wanted to find out as we rolled on down the road.  I suppose that it’s true, how apples don’t fall far from the tree; I love spontaneity and was thrilled he was on board for what we came to jokingly refer to Mama’s Mystery Tour!

A few notes from the road:

  • Apparently, a pound of cherry sours is not enough for a 9 day, 18 city, 871 mile trek through California.
  • An impaired cell phone, that loses GPS signal more often that it finds one, could very easily resemble a frisbee.
  • As fun as all the driving was, it seems that being behind the wheel for many days is not good for the waistline!
  • Blogging from impaired cell phone mentioned above requires the use of a part of the brain I didn’t know existed!
  • My blogging friends have great taste in music!  We had so much fun with all the tunes on our Road Trip Song List, and a special shout out to Lori for the awesome mix CD that accompanied us all along.

If you happen to catch the road trip bug, here are a few items that you might want to pack for your next trip:

  • Roadtrippers.com:
     Co-founders James Fisher and Tatiana Parent suffer from an incurable case of wanderlust. So, they decided to design a web and mobile platform that streamlines discovery, planning, booking and navigation into one engaging road trip planner. (This is how I learned about Googleplex and the Steve Jobs garage!)
  • Waze:
    (Shout out to Rick for showing me this great app at the front end of the trip!)

    Waze is the world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app. Join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.
  • Gas Buddy:
    GasBuddy can help you find cheap gas prices near you

The not-nearly-as fun-as-packing-unpacking is almost done, back to work today, school starts Tuesday, photos to edit are waiting patiently for my attention, but in these moments of being back, I am simply savoring the experience. The time out on the open road with my kiddo. Great adventures. Making memories. Creating new inside jokes. Seeing new places and old places through new eyes. Experiencing a rite of passage together. Having my son get to spend time with an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a granddad and more friends than I can count on two hands, all in one road trip.

And, while sitting on the beach in the photo above, our almost last stop, I quietly said, ‘what a great trip, huh honey?” not really expecting a nine yr old to answer directly. But he did. Oh did he.

“Best trip ever, mom.”

What kind of tour guide would I be, if I didn’t give you one last highlight? If you are viewing this on a Apple/Mac, an iPad, or iPhone, or listen to your tunes with an iPod, well this is where all those devices were, in a sense, born.  On the way home, our last ‘stop’ – we only stopped long enough for me to snap a photo – was a drive-by of the house where Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage!  We saw Googleplex and I wanted The Kiddo to see how something so big can start out so ordinary, so small.

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It all started in that garage

We are still working on the CA Dreamin’ Travel Trivia scores and the results [including the answers!] will be posted later this week.  I might even have a side-trip post or two; we shall see!  And, don’t forget, we have prizes!  In the meantime, thank you for riding along with us; it was so fun to have you as part of this experience, your comments and (sometimes humorous) trivia answers added SO much to our expedition.  I will leave you with a road trip song list highlight…the first time this song played, we were just heading out of San Francisco…thank you Lori!

…zoom-zoom…

Bonnie & The Kiddo

A Castle, A Campus and A Coast

Hello Roadies!

Though we are out of cherry sours, and may have slowed our pace ever so slightly, the adventures continue and the road trip carries on…

…a castle …
We spent a day looking into the lives of the rich and famous in an era gone by. Hearst Castle, visioned and built by none other than William Randolph Hearst is nothing short of opulent, stunning and rich with detail. It took 28 years to complete the masterpiece!

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Hearst Castle

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The Neptune Pool – come for a swim!

…a campus…
Our next stop was a look back and a look forward. We visited the university I attended for my graduate program. It was a study in contrasts – witnessing the incredible changes made on the campus over the years since my last visit, contrasted with the parts that remain not only unchanged but incredibly familiar; it was exciting to see the improvements and comforting to feel at home. But, it wasnt just a stroll down memory lane, it was also seeing it through the eyes of my friend who now works for this university and will be part of future change and so many young lives. And… exposing The Kiddo to life on a campus and all that his future may hold.

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The halls of academia

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My old building, with a ‘fresh’ face!

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Kiddo, I can just ‘see’ you here!

…a coast…

And yet another study in contrasts; one coastline but two different experiences. Just minutes apart but one is socked in with a freezing damp marine layer and the other glimmering in the sunshine. We have one more day in this seaside gem, guess which beach we are choosing?!

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Pismo Beach

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Avila Beach

And now, for your
CA DREAMIN’ TRAVEL TRIVIA QUESTION #5 (4pts)

…Googling encouraged… 🙂

Hearst Castle took 28 years to complete, and was designed by the famous and foremost female architect in California. Who was she?

A. Julia Morgan
B. Julia Roberts
C. Julia Stiles

The Road Trip is nearing the end of the road, but we may have one or two things still up our sleeves…you will just have to keep riding along! We love having you along for the ride 🙂

Until next time, you know..
Safe travels: wheels, heart, mind and soul.

Bonnie & The Kiddo

Double Dog Dare

Summer is officially over, and tomorrow commences a new season. But, before summer packs its tank tops, shortens our days and flip flops out the door to let fall rush in, I bring you one last bastion of summer.  A follow through on a dare from my friend Paula at Stuff I Tell My Sister.  It was a double dog dare that we turned into a double triple – three of us, three times.

If you are like the 17 yr old I asked to take our pictures in Round One of this dare, a teen who ever so subtly rolled her eyes when I asked her to snap the shots, as if to imply that ‘duh, old lady, yes, of course I know‘, then you will know what planking is. But if not, she did indulge me and snapped away while we adjusted knee caps, ribs and other ‘parts’ on the uneven surfaces of gorgeous, but oh so unforgiving, granite boulders so that I could make good on this dare and bring you proof of having carried out the planking promise I made to Paula.

TRIAL RUN

First up was a test run with the junior member of our planking team – (there are different ideas of proper form in planking, and we opted with the one you see here) –  and you will see a slight faltering in his form – hands and feet should not be touching the surface, but his face is correctly nose to the grindstone, so he gets points for that.  He did move on to the first round of the finals and served as mentor to our other planking amateur.

–ROUND ONE–

Judges rank of the plank:  so so. Those hands should not be waving, we need to see some superman action here.

And, you know what they say, the family who planks together,
stays together. :).

Family wins ROUND ONE

The planking mama and kiddo, surveying the land for our next opportunity to strike a pose.

–ROUND TWO–

You can see we each competed in our own category:
kiddo’s involved a bit more of a handicap with that granite ledge.
My older, ahem, wiser body couldn’t wouldn’t quite ‘adapt’ to those contours.

Kiddo wins ROUND TWO

–FINAL ROUND–

The Final Round went to extremes, planking on the edge of the earth.

My planking partner has some training sessions he missed, and so…
Planking Mama wins the FINAL ROUND.

Paula and I will be representing blogland in the upcoming international planking championships and we are recruiting members of the team. Applications are now being accepted.

🙂

Going Whichever Way the Wind Gon’ Go…Road Trip!

Road Trip – Stop 5:  Meet Virginia, again

In life, like any good road trip, sometimes you have to be open to surprises along the way and be willing to take side trips to find the hidden gems; be ready to go whichever way the wind blows. Since my bold visit with Gwen last week in southern Virginia, I decided to take it easy and take it slow, and my GBS [Global Blogging System] did a little re-routing for me so that I’d be sure and have the chance to stop and visit Mimi and her Karma Truck. I swear I saw it pass me by at least once or twice along this journey, to let me know good things were just up ahead.

Since my last stop, I’ve logged an easy breezy 170 miles…an easy day by all accounts { even my butt thanks me! } and I never even left the state of Virginia.

This stop along my road trip is unique; when my husband and I were first married, we moved to the DC/Northern VA area for a few years. It was a fantastic adventure for both of us and we have  the best memories of our time living here. [Just would have been nice to know Mimi at that point in time..sigh…] So, for me, I feel a little like I’ve come back to a little bit of home. When we arrived in DC, we had gotten married the week before, packed our stuff, honeymooned on the coast of CA [we thought we’d imprint it upon our brains] and then flew east. Within one week I changed my name, left my job and there we were in a new state, new town, new name, new address, new license places and no job…I was the perfect candidate for the Federal Witness Protection program!

I digress…those stories are for another day, today it’s all about meeting up with Mimi and getting to spend a day getting to know each other a bit. I connected with Mimi in that way only a blog can do…I read a comment she left on my friend Paula’s blog {Stuff I Tell My Sister} and the name Waiting for the Karma Truck just about ran me over. There are a couple of folks I have been waiting for the Karma Truck to make a special delivery to [I know, I know, not so nice, and not Mimi’s intention, I know … ] but my interest was piqued!

So off I went, and upon my first visit, I was hooked; it was her post on what she might tell a younger version of herself. It got me thinking about that and I left my own comment and hinted at doing a post on that and linking back to her…well, that remains to be seen. I’ll get it done Mimi…promise.

In the time since, it’s been such an unexpected surprise to find not only her gentle wisdom, gracefully thought provoking reflections that bolster our spirits, but connect in friendship. I am quickly learning that so many of us talk about how surprised we are at the discovery that real, human, soul-filled and ready-to-connect folks are behind our blogs;  this ‘road trip’ is inspired by that very notion; the idea of connecting beyond the keyboard.

Just to recap, in case anyone just jumped in, my summer bloggin’ road trip is all about honoring the connections we find and make through our blogs. The way this virtual visit works is  – I asked Mimi some  questions I would probably ask her if we really got to meet in person, sitting down together, hanging out for the day  so we could get to get to know each other a little bit better.

So, I have rolled into town and pull up to Mimi’s house, only to be greeted like this

and this

Shh…don’t tell Mimi, but I might not leave at the end of the day…

So let’s go…we got LOTS to talk about [you might want to grab a beverage of your liking…]

Since this is a bloggin’ road trip, we have to talk about blogging, of course. Tell me about when you got started in blogging – What was it that got you started?  Did you think about it for a long time, or did you just wake up one day and think, “I’m going to start a blog”?  //  I started blogging in January of this year.  Having recently crossed the seven month mark, it’s been a fascinating, rewarding and occasionally frustrating exercise.  Initially I thought that WaitingfortheKarmaTruck would be more of a Dear Abby-type forum for people with questions about the workplace, along with some occasional posts about all the other stuff.  Needless to say, the blog quickly took on a life of its own!  I’m not sure if I could even describe what it is about at this point – an olio?  I write what comes to mind and hope that it resonates with others.  // I think I speak for all of us when I say, um, yeah, it does! 

How long have you been blogging now, and what would you say has surprised you the most about it?  // I’m most surprised by the absolutely wonderful people that I have ‘met’ in this community – and my hunch is that in your travels, everyone will respond to this question with similar answers.   The support, humor, intelligent conversation, friendships – I wasn’t expecting any of that at all.  // I wasn’t either and am surprised most every day…and yes! Everyone so far on my road trip has made the same remark. It’s really something to stand back and admire, how we take the opportunity to share ourselves, and then the amazing response that we receive.

Everything has it’s challenges, are there things about being a blogger that just make you say, ugh?  Things you put off or just like less than the rest of it?  // I get frustrated when I feel like my mojo is anywhere other than here, and I can’t get my brain to eke out the simplest sentences about anything.  I have no illusions about my writing ability or lack thereof.  There is some real talent out there – people who will or already have been published, others who should be – and I’m not in that league.  However, I can usually string two thoughts together and those flat days feel just lousy.

What topic/topics do you enjoy blogging about the most?  // It seems that I trend towards discussions about mindfulness – taking ourselves away from our self-centeredness to considering our role in the larger picture.  Does that seem right to you?  If we were sitting here together, I guess I’d ask you what you think I blog about the most?  The easiest material for me is that which deals with management development, since that was such a huge part of my professional career.  It’s the least intimidating subject matter.  Is it the most I enjoy?  Hmm…I don’t know.  //  Yes! And I think you blog about matters of the heart, soul and humanity; and I am amazed how on so many days, it is something I’ve been mulling over and haven’t found the words yet, or something I needed to hear and didn’t even know it yet. And it’s always somehow wrapped in a hug. 

I just rolled in – what are we going to do today?   //  We live about 25 miles outside of Washington DC  (as the crow flies – which always puzzles me because most of the crows around here seem to circle like hawks do and caw more than fly, but I’m just sayin…).  So I guess it begs the question – do you want to go downtown for a tour or do you want to stay closer to home?  We’d probably hang out here for a little while, have a swim and enjoy watching the twin baby deer that were born in the forest behind our house.  //  I think I will be more than content having a tour of your pool. 🙂Though still little, they like to follow their mom on legs like rickety twigs and take rests in the backyard.  We have lived here for 20 years and realize how lucky we are to be within commuting distance of DC (though it’s a long, stressful, trafficked drive which I did everyday until I retired) and yet still feel so removed from the frenetic activity associated with the District.  We have a ‘homey’ home – friends like to kick off their shoes and just hang awhile.  And Archie and Teddy usually expect a completely unreasonable amount of attention when anyone stops by.

C’mon, that’s just not fair! How can you resist those two, especially since I’ve had to leave my furkid at home. Let’s just not tell him about these two.
It will be better all around.

Later, we’ll go over to the Town Center and see which type of cuisine floats your boat today. Although hardly as exciting as downtown, there’s a wide range of dining options and some shops to wander into when we’re done.

I’d probably opt for Mon Ami Gabi – eating outside because the weather is perfect today, isn’t it?  And they have a great wine list 🙂  Of course, there’s a Barnes & Noble with Starbucks close by – so maybe we can stop there…please?  //  I was going to ask the same thing, yes, of course!  

Even though it was an easier drive from VA to, well VA, I still want to grab a drink with you.   //  Ok, let’s go into Georgetown before you leave, so you can walk around this fun little part of our Nation’s Capitol.  The facades on most of the buildings have remained true to the period of its establishment, so it’s quaint and funky with loads of fun places and side streets to explore.  Will hit the Smithsonian and the Newseum next time you come by.

What question(s) do you have for me while we relax?  //  We’re going to go to Tony & Joe’s in the Washington Harbor for a drink before we head home.  Andy and I had our first (blind) date there. // I can’t tell you how excited I am we are going to Tony & Joes…when we lived in DC, we went there to meet some folks for a boat ride on the Potomac. It was a group we were to meet for the first time [blind date?] and we couldn’t find them [stood up?], so we waited by the bar with a beer. A storm rolled in within minutes [apparently they knew that…] and we grabbed a seat under the overhang, ordered another beer and watched the most specatular lightning storm over the water – we still talk about that like it was yesterday, have described it to our son and wish we could buy tickets to a replay of that show. We never met up with the group, never went for the boat ride, but got something much better in it’s place. I love that you did too.

We’re on the water, the breeze is gentle and a nice glass of Sancerre is definitely in order.  Besides, I’m hoping the wine will loosen your tongue for this is our time to talk about you…

What is your happiest memory to date?  //  The day I found out that I was pregnant with our son Ben.

Your  saddest?  // The day that I knew the end of my mother’s life was nearing; I remember telling my best friend, “this is the beginning of the end, and there is nothing I can do to stop it.”

Other than your family, what gives you the greatest joy?   // Serendipitous moments, witty banter, the sound of my camera shutter, putting words together in ways I hadn’t expected, the feeling of belonging, mountain air on a warm day while riding my bike, my son cracking up, dancing, hearing a song I love while driving with no real rush to get anywhere, alliteration, the ever elusive runner’s high, surprising someone with something I know they will love, our dog when we get home, my son and our dog, fast asleep and snuggled together, hearing my son sing along with the radio when we are driving together,  creative-innovative-inspired change/solutions/ideas.  And long chats with friends.  

So,  I’m pretty hungry after a day of driving and I’ve had my fill of fast food and truck stop food. I  would loooove something home cooked; what would you fix for us to eat? // Back home, I’m making some chicken piccata, mushroom risotto, a green salad and some garlic bread.  I’ve sent you up to grab a shower and a nap before getting on the road.   Once a Jewish mother, always a Jewish mother…  // [ Shhh….she thinks I’m leaving after dinner….]

Before I get back on the road, I’m going to need a good cuppa cuppa to keep me awake for the next part of my drive….where would you take me for my java fix?   // I could send you to Starbucks, but I make a mean cappuccino with my Nespresso maker…Can I tempt you with one of Mimi’s marvels?  I promise you a yummy dessert with it… // Tempt me? Starwhats? Of course, tell you what, I will sit tight right here in your perfect sunroom while you make a Mimi’s marvel for me. 

Tell me one surprising thing I would find out when meeting you for the first time?  //I don’t kow – big heart in a little body?  Autoimmune compromised but reluctant to talk about it?  Pretty happy most of the time.  Decent voice that I still exercise with a little alcohol to allay the nervousness?  That at the core, I’m pretty boring?  🙂  // I remember that came up in one your posts and it was highly protested, me among the crowd. But while I still disagree, I think I understand the notion, and to me that translates to someone real, ready to meet you where you are and fanfare is not required but silliness is always welcome. However, my guess is that when the fun and games get started, you are at the heart of it all. Am I close?

It’s been an awesome stop – I want to take a souvenir home to remember my visit with you  – what should I put in my trunk to take home?  // Souvenir?  Please take home the entire Presidential campaign – both sides I don’t care – most decisions are already made, and all that’s left is the ugliness.  Can you pack it up and take it with you with the understanding that if you head up to New Jersey, you can toss it in a toxic waste dump one you get there? // Ugh…I don’t want it either…can we pull a Thelma & Louise act and together throw the whole thing off the cliff and then drive off into the sunset? I will drop you off at home before I continue along on my journey. Or you could come with, you have a much better singing voice I am sure! 

I’m heading out of the driveway – you toss me a CD  of your favorite tunes to listen to as I roll on down the highway – what is it and what’s your favorite song on it? //My dear wonderful friend Lori at DonnaandDiablo.wordpress.com has made me some terrific cds so I’d make you a blend…a little Sara Bareilles, Melody Gardot, Straight No Chaser, Shelby Lynne…Then I’d load up some James Taylor, Laura Nyro, Jack Johnson and Streisand…I may throw in the Doors “L.A. Woman’ in case your energy begins to wane, Maroon Five, Steve Wonder and Aretha.  // Perfect choices, those are all on my playlists on my iPod. Just the other night I downloaded this Melody Gardot song and not long ago saw Straight No Chaser in concert with several friends. 

…Finding your way out on the open road…

…Going whichever way the wind gon’ go…

Is there anything else you want to say, I’m heading out, gotta hit the road again! // Where are you heading next?  What has your most memorable moment been so far?  Have you had your oil and other fluids checked before you leave?  And do you want to swing by on your way home?  🙂 // The most memorable moment so far, would have to be before I even left CA…when I wrote to each of you that I hoped to stop and ‘visit’.  I got the best response from each of you, such warm welcomes, excitement for the virtual trip idea and the willingness to play a little, get into it with your imaginations.  Thanks for making sure my car is ready to roll, and yes, I would love to swing by on my way home…I’ll call ya from the road! 

 

Mimi,  I left a little something for you, it’s over by your mailbox, to say thank you, for the lovely welcome, the conversation, the warmth. Thank you so much for hosting my stop on my road trip and showing me such great hospitality. As I head out, I need to say goodbye to Archie and Teddy too

As I roll on down the highway, where am I headed next?

It will be my last stop of this road trip!

Here is your next hint:
the first potato  planted in the US was planted here and the first free public library in the United States was established here.
Mashed potatoes and books…sounds like a place for me!

 

Thanks for riding along, and until next time, safe travels of all kinds…

…wheels, heart, mind and soul