A Tourist Going Through Life

The oldest son asked, “Mom, do you feel like a tourist going through life?” I thought about it for a second – and the idea of it made me smile. I told him yeah, I do. And then I asked him why he’d asked. He said because I always seem to be so happy wherever I am – taking pictures and exploring and checking things out. I think this is one of the nicest things anybody has ever said to me.

 

 

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Taking My Bike for a Walk

Karen’s Most Excellent Adventure:
Rode my bike into Edison with the idea of getting tea at Tweet’s and saying hi to my friend, Charles, and then maybe riding on to the slough for photos. Tweet’s was closed, but Charles happened to be walking past just as I arrived and we exchanged greetings and hugs and life-updates. It was so good to see him again.

Stopped by Marioposa’s for a tea and then, as I left, the tire on my bike popped.

This was an interesting turn of events.

I was four miles out now. No spare tire. An adventure in the works.

Looked like I was going to be taking my bike for a walk. ¬†ūüôā

A nice couple who’d heard my tire pop – they said it sounded like a gun shot – came out to see if they could help me – wasn’t that nice of them? I thanked them, but told them I wasn’t far from home, and I was fine. It was a perfect day for a walk.

I saw things I wouldn’t have seen if I’d been cruising along on my bike – a red-winged blackbird flitting among the cattails, a robin sitting on a sign, flowers along the roadside. About a mile down the road, I stopped at the Samish Cheese Factory for cheese-tasting (bought some chile chive cheese and cheddar) and met some way cool tourists from France (originally from Surrey, UK) who recommended the extra sharp cheddar. Back on the road, and a woman stopped to ask me if I knew how to get to the Old Edison Inn – I was glad to help – and realized I wouldn’t have been able to help her if I’d been on my bike. A little further down the road and my friend, Armando, suddenly appeared around a curve, out for a jog. He jogged over to see if I needed help – I told him I was enjoying my adventure – and then we had a lovely conversation about life and love and kindness – there, on the side of a country road, in the middle of nowhere, really – it was wonderful and kind of surreal – and we both started laughing at the delightful, unexpected magic of it. (It has been my experience that if you’re in the right frame of mind, good things will find you wherever you are. ūüôā ) A little further along and I stopped to buy myself some blueberry ice cream at Bow Hill Blueberries.

At this point I was just so filled up with the Good of Life (also blueberry ice cream and chili cheese) – rejoicing in friendship and love and kindness – so grateful that Love had provided me with this adventure today. And then I looked down – and there was a yellow paperclip lying on the side of the road. Paper clips are a kind of an inside joke between Love and me. (I’ll attach a link to THAT story down below.) Now I was totally cracking up. Put the paper clip in my pocket (I NEVER walk by paper clips when they appear for me).

A mile more and I was back home.

What a lovely expedition.

Click here for the paperclip story.

To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, today is big with blessings.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Little by Little

“Old age” comes little by little, I think –
little surrenders of who we are
to the experts and authorities,
to convenience and comfort –
someone tells us we need to stay out
of the sun, to eat only certain foods,
to travel only at the right times
and to the right places,
and to wash our hands after every
handshake and human touch –
and we listen and obey.

And so we spend our days in¬†“preventative”
exams –¬†counting the pills into our trays –
hoping to increase the number of our days.
And little by little we relinquish
the small pleasures that make life
meaningful Р the joy of adventure,
noon-time lunch  with our faces turned
towards the sun,  whipped cream on
our cocoa, shaking hands  with new friends,
and listening to our own hearts to create lives
worth living.

And we lose our lives in a fear of death.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Dazzling Days of Daring-Do

Remembering days when we played hide and seek
in the parking lot at Mount Rainier on summer nights¬†–
my fellow park employees and I slithering
under trucks and dodging behind cars
and laughing so hard our bellies hurt.

Or we might go looking for bears on the trails
in the evenings –¬†hoping we wouldn’t actually
find any,¬†but enjoying the idea of it –
my friend, Dan, pulling me in front of him
for protection, as we encountered imaginary beasts.

We were young. The world was full of adventure
and laughter, and daring-do.

Forty years have brought changes –
marriage, motherhood, responsibilities.
My body seems more matronly than springy
these days. I will be entering my sixth decade
in a few weeks. I felt some trepidation about this.

Would I never have another adventure?
Were the dazzling days of daring-do done?

I went for a walk around the lake yesterday.
I wanted more. Walked from old town to the park.
I wanted more. Walked from the park to downtown,
and back again. Then Scott came home with an idea:
Let’s walk the trail to the beach¬†when the sun sets.

I was all stretched out from nine miles of walking,
and ready for more. A walk in the evening cool.

Darkening trail, lovely roots and rocks to climb
smell of fir and cedar and briny bay
and the sunset – brilliant reds and golds
and blue filling my eyes in the west as the full
moon rises in the east, shimmering silver on the sea.

Crashing waves, sparkling light from sun and moon,
peace and perspective from the stars dotting the above.

And then flashlights come out of our pockets
and we find our way back through the woods,
rocks and roots, joking about what we’d do
if big eyes glowed towards us at eye level ¬†down the trail –
and we’re laughing and brave and¬†young again.

The adventures haven’t ended.
There are still dazzling days of daring-do.

– Karen Molenaaar Terrell

 

 

West Coast Bicycle Adventure

I passed this young woman riding her bike along the side of Chuckanut. Her bike was loaded with supplies – the coolest thing she had on there was a cheery little sunbonnet. I went to The Sisters for my lavender iced tea, and as I was getting back in my car she rode by on her bike. I asked her if she’d like something cold to drink from the Sisters and she said yes, that would be great. She ordered a strawberry lemonade and we sat down at the picnic table for a quick chat. She was very cool. Her name is Kathleen (she goes by Kasey), and she’s traveling on her bike from Alaska to San Diego. (!) She hails from jolly olde England and has a wonderful accent.

Here’s the URL to her blog:¬†https://uphilldownhillrepeat.wordpress.com/

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Kathleen Pollitt

Karen’s Pre-School for Grown-Ups

We all know I have enough flaws, faults, and foibles to fill pages and pages¬†of blog posts. But… yeah… I am not going to talk about those things at this time. Nosiree Bub. I want to talk about something good I’ve discovered about myself.

My discovery began when I became aware of how much fun I was having driving Moz and Dad around on the local backroads in search of views and birds last weekend. Their glee at busting out of the retirement community for a day filled me with glee, too. I realized I had¬†that exact same feeling when my sons were youngsters and I would take them on “field trips” and hikes and introduce them to new places. And THEN I realized I get that same feeling when one of my students grasps a new concept and her eyes light up with the wonder of it. And all this led to my epiphany: I love helping people escape.from whatever confines them. It brings me great joy.

I posted this epiphany on Facebook, and one of my friends, Allen Nelson (always thinking, that one), responded with this comment: “There’s a business model in there somewhere: Uber meets TripAdvisor. Instead of shuttling people where they expect to go, taking them on short, ‘Madcap’ adventures. I suspect that there’s a large, untapped desire for adventure out there.”

And isn’t that just a FANTASTIC idea?!! .

I’m thinking maybe I could open up a kind of “pre-school” for grown-ups. The day might look something like this:

Nine-ish: We load up in the Madcap Adventure Van and head out for a¬†field trip. This could be a search for views and birds from the van, or I might take us all some place where we can get out of the van and go for a nice little hike ((depending on my clients’ physical abilities and general state of health, of course).

Noonish: Back to my house for lunch. If it’s the right time of the year we can forage for food – gather eggs from our chickens, pick fruit from the orchard, and vegetables from the garden – I’ve found that most people find something kind of satisfying in the idea of “living off the land.” Of course, we’re only going to actually do this for one meal, because… like… a few¬†hours after “living off the land” we are going to be craving some actual food. But by then my clients will be back in their own lives and can take care of themselves.¬†

After lunch: Arts and crafts time. This is when I might bring out the fingerpaints, the coloring books, the beads and pipe cleaners and pop sickle sticks and set my clients free to create something to bring home at the end of the day to give to their parents. Or children. Or friends. Their loved ones will be forever grateful to me for this. 

 

art

Two-ish: Math. ūüôā We might factor some polynomials at this time. That’s always fun. I especially like factoring polynomials that look like this: x^2 -15 + 36. ¬†“Ooh!” I’d exclaim, “What are the factors of 36? Remember that you can multiply two negative numbers and get a positive one, so the factors of 36 include negative numbers, too. Do any of those factor pairs add up to a negative 15? Bingo! Good job, Grasshopper!”

Three-ish: Bring out the kazoos. 

Three-thirty-ish: Time to wind down and get the grown-ups ready to return¬†to their families. We can all sing one last song together – maybe Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life –¬†and then¬†bid a fond farewell to one another. I’d be sure to pin any important notes to families on my clients’ jackets – stuff like: “David played well with the other grown-ups today” and “Kathy really knows how to rock a kazoo!”¬†

Yeah. I think this might actually work. 

 

 

What New Adventure Awaits?

Willingness to become as a little child and to leave the old for the new, renders thought receptive of the advanced idea. Gladness to leave the false landmarks and joy to see them disappear, – this disposition helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony.
–¬†
Mary Baker Eddy

Little children are expert at leaving the old for the new. They progress from crawling to walking to running to leaping without making any conscious choice to do so. They lay down their toddler toys and graduate¬†to new fun without agonizing over the decision:¬†Does a ten year-old remember the last time she played with her Thomas the Tank Engine, or the last time she she laid down her dolly? Nope. I’m pretty sure not. It wasn’t an event. There weren’t balloons and fireworks and parades for her when she laid down her toddler toys. She just laid them down and cheerfully moved on to something else.

The changes and progress¬†don’t stop with childhood, do they? I mean… we don’t stop learning new things or exploring new ideas or laying down old toys when we hit twenty. Or thirty. Or forty. Or fifty… right?

Every decade holds something new. Heck, every DAY holds something new. None of us have ever lived this day before – none of us have ever lived this MOMENT before – it’s all of it new territory. A new adventure.¬†

What will we do with this new moment? What new adventures will we find in this new year? What new paintings will we paint or songs will we sing? What new books will we read or write? What new places will we see? What new friendships will we make? What new things will we learn?

What new adventure awaits? ūüôā

new day

“Brethren, I¬†count not myself to have apprehended: but¬†this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…” – Philippians 3:13

“…progress is the law of God…” –¬†Mary Baker Eddy