Posted tagged ‘adventures’

“I fear thee not, O untried morrow!”

January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

Today is far too warm for January, the mid-40’s. It is truly sweatshirt weather. I’d be disappointed if I were a kid who got a new sled for Christmas. This is new bike weather.

When I was in my 20’s, I wore dresses or skirts and blouses to work. After work, I lived in flannel and denim. My friends and I didn’t need an excuse to party. Cheap wine, some chips, and a bowl of onion dip were all we needed. We often went to Friday happy hours. I can’t remember a weekend when we didn’t get together. I was young.

I’m older now and I’m thinking life just happens so my plans for the new year are simple. My dance card is mostly empty. I’ll survive the winter with good humor even if it snows. We’ll do summer movies on the deck. I’ve bought a few already. I’m thinking a lot of grilling. I’ve been saving recipes. I have no travel plans except for my yearly visit to New Hampshire.

I watched 2017 arrive last night. I wanted to make sure 2016 was gone for good. It wasn’t my favorite year though I do have some wonderful memories. My trip to Ghana tops my list. Way back in 1971 when I left Ghana, I had hope I would return, but I could never have guessed how wonderful that first return would be, and that there would be multiple return trips. Bolga is my familiar Ghanaian home again. I shop in the market, eat all my favorite Ghanaian food, and spend time with my former students. Traveling with my friends Bill and Peg this September brought back old memories and made new ones. I figure I have been amazingly lucky to have had such friends. When I was young, I hoped my life would be filled with adventure. It has been and now I have a new year to fill with more.

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

April 29, 2016

This week has been boring. I figure it’s my fault for doing nothing except some house chores and a dump run. I was going to take a ride yesterday, but I got stopped at an accident where three police cruisers were blocking cars from going any further so I turned around and went home. I brought my laundry down stairs this morning and it is sitting in front of the cellar door until I can’t stand looking at it anymore. It is just one of those weeks.

When I was young, I was a dreamer. My imagination was filled with adventures I knew I’d have. My friends too had dreams, but theirs were far different from mine. Some dreamed of getting married and having a family. One of my friends used to cut out pictures from bridal magazines and put them in an album. I guessed she wanted to be ready. Her dream did come true as she ended up being the first of us to be married and have children. I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. One of my friends dreamed of starting his own company and making lots of money. The last time I saw him, decades ago, he was a salesman. He seemed happy. Many of my friends went right to work after high school, got married in a while and had kids. Now they’re grandparents. Some became social workers, nurses and teachers. They all seemed happy with their choices. One became a nun, but she left after a while. I don’t know what she does now.

When asked, I would usually answer teacher because it was an easy answer, but there was far than that to my dreams. I saw myself as an adventurer wearing a safari jungle hat and safari clothes while riding in a Land Rover which bumped up and down on roads not deserving of the name. I could see myself on a boat drifting down the Amazon or the Nile. I wasn’t picky. I was in the jungle and I was in the desert. A desert nomad and I shared bush tea in a tent near an oasis. I’d read adventure stories and put myself into the exploits. I would travel to so many places and see the world. I am a dreamer who grew up but has never stopped dreaming.

“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness. “

January 15, 2016

It is warmer today than it has been. I didn’t gasp from the cold when I went to get the papers. It is around 40˚  and will even be a bit warmer tomorrow; however, the cold will be back with a vengeance on Tuesday so these warm days are a bit of a gift from fickle Mother Nature. Gracie and I have a few things to do today so I’m glad for the winter warmth.

My heat is forced hot air. I hear the blast when the furnace goes on. When I was growing up, we had forced hot water. I used to love the sound of the radiators. It was comforting in a way. A few years ago I lost electricity because of a winter storm. My house was 37˚ before the heat came back on. I don’t ever remember losing electricity in the winter when I was a kid. I remember we lost it during a hurricane when a tree fell on the wires, but that was in late summer. I never felt inconvenienced. I doubt kids do. Most things become an adventure of sorts. Having to use candles for light and the barbecue for cooking was a kind of camping, but at home with comfy beds and no mosquitos. I thought it was great fun.

I still love adventures. Around here I go for rides down roads I’ve never been on before. I take all lefts or all rights and am always surprised by what I see. I went to Morocco on my own, and that was an adventure. I did all right turns in the souk one day. I loved everything I saw and found. At one point I had no idea where I was, but I didn’t care. I knew I’d eventually find my way. I just had to choose a direction.

I love my life, but sometimes I wish I had more money to travel. I want adventures in places I’ve never been before. I want to get lost.

 

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

August 17, 2014

My dad used to tell me the story of my birth. The hospital was in the same town where my mother’s family lived so my father kept driving back and forth with updates. My aunt was getting married that very day and was not happy her beauty sleep was being interrupted by my dad. My grandmother told her to deal with it. After all, this would be the birth of her first grandchild. Later, back at the hospital, my dad was sitting in the waiting room, the only one there. Finally a nurse came in and asked for Mr. Ryan. My father, after a hectic, exhausting night, said, “Who in the hell do you think I am?” She had him follow her, and they were just wheeling my mother out when he saw her and me. That never usually happened. Most times the father first saw his wife when she was in bed and the new baby in a bassinet in the nursery. My mother always complained she looked awful and should have had time to clean up. “What is it? was his first question. The it was girl. The it was me. It was around 3 AM when I arrived. I still like a good entrance.

I have been most fortunate. My life is filled with loving family, the best of friends and countless adventures. I have lived in Africa. Who could have predicted that? In Ecuador, I stood with one foot in each hemisphere. That is just so cool. I have the best aim when it comes to holes in the ground making me an overachiever in such an important skill. My friends make me laugh and give my life joy. My two sisters are amazing. They love making fun of me, but they’d be here in a heartbeat if I needed them. My friends and I have traditions like celebrating the first day of spring by watching the sunrise over the ocean, playing Sunday night games before The Amazing Race, Saturday night movies on the deck, Easter at the Ocean House and impromptu nights with munchies and games. My Peace Corps friends are back in my life and I am so much the better for knowing them. My former Ghanaian students too are back in my life. Two called and wished me a Happy Birthday today. KTCC has given me close friends for whom I am always thankful.

Okay, there have been ups and downs and bruises, but they never soured me on life. They made more grateful for what I have and taught me resilience and how best to land with the least amount of injury.

This morning my friend Clare left a mum on my front walkway. She does this every year, and it is one of favorite birthday traditions. Yesterday afternoon my friends took me to the Ocean House for a late lunch by the water. The food was scrumptious, the view spectacular and the drinks mighty tasty. They went down far too easily. They also gave me a Sharknado t-shirt I’ll wear with pride. When I got home, I took a nap. It was 6 o’clock. I woke up at 8. Tonight another friend is taking me to dinner. I expect it will be an early bedtime.

Every morning I am thankful for the new day and for whatever surprises it will bring.


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