Heimweh


Heimweh (noun) Origin: German | Homesickness.

“I felt a pang — a strange and inexplicable pang that I had never felt before.
It was homesickness.  Now, even more than I had earlier when I’d first glimpsed it, I longed to be transported into that quiet little landscape, to walk up the path, to take a key from my pocket and open the cottage door, to sit down by the fireplace, to wrap my arms around myself, and to stay there forever and ever.”
― Alan Bradley

As much as I love to travel.  As much as I love new experiences.  As much as I love a variety of food and drink.  As much as I love making new friends.  As much as I love the open road.  As much as I love flying.  As much as I love taking the train.  As much as I love new sceneries.  As much as I love the sounds of an unfamiliar culture.   As much as I love who I become in a new surrounding.  As much as I love the view of an unfamiliar landscape from an open hotel window.  As much as I love everything about every other place in the world….

There is nothing I love more than home.

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“Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.” ― Jodi Picoult

Homesick: Nawazish; pianogirl; susi; rugby; sang; iqra; christy; gdutta; manoj; jonathan; dale; cassandra

Day 29 ~ Tunnels ~ Hiawatha


Washington and Idaho have some of the best hiking, biking, skiing, cross-country, etc trails you can ever visit.  This summer when I was home, my sister and I ventured out on what is now one of my favorites and one which I will do again.  The Hiawatha Trail was unknown to me until recently.  It started as a rail line that traversed through a dozen tunnels and had scenic views aver high trestles.  It was a line that crossed approximately 50 miles between Idaho and Montana.  The actual bike trail is now closed to cars so you can bike or walk it.  It’s about 15 miles, from top to bottom.

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When you ride this trail, you MUST have a headlamp.  You can bring your own or rent one.  I literally thought that I would be fine without using one, but some of the tunnels are pitch black when you enter and even with the headlamp, it can be slightly disorienting because you can not see out the other end.

Even when you could see out the other side, going from the bright light to the dark tunnel could be a bit disorienting.  I know the below pictures look blurry, but that is exactly how it felt.  Cool and creepy at the same time.

“If you entered a tunnel, you can be sure that the tunnel has at least one exit!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Despite the above quote, there were some tunnels that you were not allowed to enter.  There was one way out, but I was not convinced that that one way would be the way I would want to get out.

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Like I have said in my past blog, this is simply one of the coolest hikes/rides I have been on.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  I have put several links with information at the bottom of this.  If you are ever passing through the area and have some time on your hands, you should really stop, rent a bike and zoom zoom!!

Sure, you might get a little dirty.  You might find it a bit rougher than expected.  But it was a day that we will never forget.  We needed a little light at the end of our dark, dark tunnel.

“Damn the tunnels and fuck those who wait for the light at the end of it,
Darling;
Just stop wasting your time and learn to be your own kind of light …”
― Samiha Totanji

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“We took the path that led others nowhere and only we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. They warned us about the monsters we would encounter, the odds that we would meet. And they laughed when we got the scars while fighting the dragons on our way. When we came back out of the tunnel, holding the sword that they always craved for tightly in our hand. Bleeding and the sun shining on our face. We became the tales they wanted to be. We became the reflections of what they always wanted to see themselves through. We became the warriors they had always imagined of.”
― Akshay Vasu

Links to the Hiawatha Trail ~  Hiawatha; Ridethehiawatharoute of hiawatha; trails; USDA; MTB

Other trails ~ Paul; piecemeal; parry; edaly; outdoor; soybend; minnesota; monkey; atmtx; marie; kongo; queenbed; susanne; jonathan; Larry; suZan

Day 28 ~ Doppelgänger


“When I was a kid I worried that when I woke up, I’d find my family having breakfast with my doppelgänger. We would fight to the death, and then my family would peacefully finish breakfast.”
― Fran Krause

There are so many times in my life that others have said to me, “Hey, I just saw you over there!! How did you get here so quickly?”  I would always say things like..”Uh, obviously, that was not me!!”

This happened to me when I was in the Navy, pregnant with my first child.  Every single day someone would come up to me and say they saw me somewhere else.  I just put it off to being in uniform and everyone sort of looking like everyone else.

One day, a friend came up to me and said, “Hey, I apologize if my sister and her friends are making you uncomfortable by staring at you.”  I honestly had not realized I was being stared at.  She continues, “It’s just because they cannot get over how much you look like their professor.” I think to myself, “Oh here we go again.”  So she brought me over to where her sister and her friends were and they pulled up a photo on their phone of their professor.  My first reaction was, “Where did I take that picture and why do they have it on their phone?”  They all started laughing and I was thinking, “What a weird joke.”  Only when they pulled up the second picture did I realize that this was not me.

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Now, I realize that you do not know me well enough to know if this looks like me or not.  But seriously, even I thought it was me.  At a glance, it was me.  If you look very close, you can see differences but only if you look very close.  I actually even pose like that at time.  Hand in pocket, randomly pretending to be a part of my background.  It was a bit creepy, but fascinating as well.  It made me wonder if the earlier look-a-likes, were the same person as the one above.

The second picture they showed me, obviously was not me, but I could see in it an older version of me.  I’d like to think a much older version of me.  My aunt or my older sister.  It doesn’t matter, I still see me.

Remember, as I have stated in other posts, I found out when I was about 26 that my father I grew up with was not my biological father.  So now I wonder…Could this be an aunt, and older sister, some distant relative?  I tried to reach out to this person, but never heard back.  Which made me even more convinced.  Most of my family either does not respond to me at all or it takes them some time to respond.  So yeah, it totally could be a relative. I still sort of wish she had responded and she was.  Maybe, it is me?  Maybe it’s an older version of me on a different time line.  I love a good science fiction story.  Have you ever watched the German flick “Dark”?  You should.  It’s a very complicated story line and you have to pay attention, but it’s worth a watch.  The fanciful portion of my being loves the concept.  Although the sensical brain in Sami denies the possibility.

“Almost Myself
On a twilight road, I met a young man with my face.
A denizen of some distant dust devil in drifter denim.
We stood and eyed each other, then, with a look of mutual disdain, we parted.
Our backward glances were not narcissistic flirtation, but self-conscious reflection and surrender to the formality of the familiar.
Against a backdrop of veined lightning and coyote song, I was alone again.”
― Stewart Stafford

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Now I am slightly interested in finding faces that look like mine.  Or faces that look like other members of my family.  I saw a comic of a lady once that in spirit and in looks reminded me of my mom.  I posted it on Facebook and many of my friends laughed because they thought I was presenting a future image of myself.  In retrospect, maybe I was.

Many people say, “Who’s my doppelganger?” when maybe / they should ask, “Whose doppelganger am I?”
Carson Cistulli

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I used to hate being compared to my mom.  But as I grow older, I can see the resemblance more and more.  If not entirely the attitude, definitely in looks.  It’s funny how as we age, we can sometimes become the image we thought we would never be.  It’s not all bad.  My mom was a strong, versatile, and very talented lady.  She was a cowgirl, irreverent, spontaneous, and funny at times.  She had a way about her that you either hated or really loved.  Often both at the same time.

I am ashamed at times when I think about her, because I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about her. However, when I do think about her, I focus only on her positives, because, well, I am her doppelgänger.  We are more alike than different.  I am her image.  I am sometimes her, or at least so it seems.  I try my best to be the best parts of her.  I’m guessing she is probably looking down on me, slightly disappointed in my efforts.  This thought sort of makes me laugh.  Largely because it is likely true.  Thankfully, that only makes me work harder at it.

RIP mom.

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“On a winter night I hear the Easter bell:
I knock on graves and quicken the dead,
Until at last in a grave I see — myself.

(Winter Sonnets: XI)”
― Vyacheslav Ivanov

“That man, especially when he slept, when his features were motionless, showed me my own face, my mask, the flawlessly pure image of my corpse […] in a state of perfect repose, this resemblance was strikingly evident, and what is death, if not a face at peace – its artistic perfection? Life only marred my double; thus a breeze dims the bliss of Narcissus; thus, in the painter’s absence, there comes his pupil and by the superfluous flush of unbidden tints disfigures the portrait painted by the master.”
― Vladimir Nabokov

laura; method; debbie; sync; bonkers; shame; clare; sparks; random; sacha; hudley; scribble; logic

Day 20 – See ya later alligator


In awhile crocodile.

A story about my dad that very few people outside of my family know.  A story that I never heard until I was about 26 years old.  Through unfortunate circumstances, I was told that the father I grew up with was not my biological father.  Everyone freaked out when I heard the news.  Everyone panicked.  Apparently everyone knew but me.  The only person who did not freak out was.. well.. me.  In my mind, it didn’t matter.  It really didn’t.  He was the only dad I knew. He was the only man who ever took care of me, treated me like his own, treated me with respect and unconditional love.. as a real dad.. pops.. father would.  Why would I care if someone else was the biological part of me.  I really didn’t care.

Apparently, he had told everyone that he didn’t want me to ever find out that he was not my “real” dad.  He wanted me to feel secure in his love, parental place in my life, and a part of him.  I felt all of those things. As a matter of fact, if anyone had ever stated that one of my parents was not my biological parent.. I would have guessed it was my mom.  Seriously.  Dad always told me I was his favorite (he had a heart for runts I guess).  He was a truck driver and I would always beg him to go on trips with him.  He almost always caved in.  Those were some of my favorite times. (we had the same sense of humor).  Mom and dad cut wood to heat our house and to sell to make ends meet.  I was the only one who really loved doing this with them.  (I’m clumsy and often got hurt, but it was the time spent together that I loved and I would love to think that he loved it too.. he did.)

When he found out that I had learned he was not my father, HE was devastated.  Remember my family had freaked out.. my mom.. sisters.. aunts.. etc..(apparently I came across as a delicate flower that would not recover from such torrential raining news… I didn’t).  He had no idea how honored I was that his love for me was much more than just a father loving his daughter.  It was a solid choice he made.  A choice that he made before I was even born.  He WANTED me.

Both mom and dad had been married before and both had children from their first marriages.  Mom was pregnant with me when she met dad.  He knew about me and CHOSE to marry her and CHOSE to care for me like a biological father.  CHOSE to care for my older sister like a biological daughter. He never treated any of us different from the other.  I was honored.  Didn’t even bother searching for a lost biological link.  I didn’t care.  No one loved me like dad loved me and maybe nobody ever will.  That’s ok.. I suppose it would be sort of weird if someone did.

So, as you can imagine, when he was diagnosed with Stage 3 stomach cancer how devastated I was.  April 2020.  Pure devastation.  However, he had a good attitude. Despite COVID, travel restrictions, work, etc. I was able to go home from mid-July to mid-August.  He was actually doing great.  He was tolerating the treatment and had a great attitude.  We knew it was terminal but he was doing so great that we had hope he could maybe beat it.  I went back to work with a plan to come back in October for his 80th birthday.

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Between July and October he had several birthday parties.  My beautiful sister and her amazing husband took him to Denver to visit his sisters, both in their 90s.  It was the first time he had flown first class.

They also took him on a road trip to visit a hill where mom and her family had their ashes spread years before (sadly the hill was gone.. as was our family favorite “Hungry Horse”).  Despite all of that .. he had vowed to just keep living life until he was done.  I was able to go to the cancer center with him for his treatments, have lunch at our favorite cafe, visit with his friends, have a couple of backyard barbeques, and on and on.  He had told me several times that his goal was his actual 80th birthday.

From my visit in July until I returned in October, I saw an extreme difference in his health.  He had lost over 50 pounds from August to October.  Sometimes he would talk but often he would just stare.  He was barely eating.  But he was adamant about having an 80th birthday party.  It was scheduled for the 17th of October.  Well, he made it.  Even did a shot of something.  Many of his friends were there.  Many more were not.  He then made it to his actual birthday a week later.  He was barely cognizant by this point but his determination was as it had always been.  He was going to see his actual birthday.  We took him out for a birthday water at this point.  Even fewer friends were present but he made it.   Six days after he turned 80, he had decided enough was enough.  He was tired.  He stopped eating.  It was time.

It was hard to watch .. and sometimes harder to remember other times.  It was gut-wrenching.  He told me during the early stages that he always thought he would go out like a fire-cracker (both his dad and his brother had died in their 60s from heart attacks).  He never expected this slow painful crawl to death.  We all tried to make his last days as pleasant as possible.  Didn’t want to focus on him dying but on his life.  That’s what he wanted.  I have a couple pictures of him in his last moments but that’s not what I want to share. It’s not what I want to remember.  So I will leave with these final images instead.

Love ya dad.

“When I was a child, all problems had ended with a single word from my father. A smile from him was sunshine, his scowl a bolt of thunder. He was smart, and generous, and honorable without fail. He could exile a trespasser, check my math homework, and fix the leaky bathroom sink, all before dinner. For the longest time, I thought he was invincible. Above the petty problems that plagued normal people. And now he was gone.” – Rachel Vincent

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The Last Time I said Goodbye


“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

 

When you tell someone goodbye, you will never know if that will be the last time you will be able to tell them goodbye, the last time you will be able to say it, the last time you will be able to tell them you love them and can’t wait to see them again.

“I thought I was stronger than a word, but I just discovered that having to say goodbye to you is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
― Colleen Hoover, November 9

 

Well, goodbye Monique, I love you.  Rest easy and I will see you later.  I really believe that.

 “I’ve never forgotten him. Dare I say I miss him? I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart. ”

― Yann Martel, Life of Pi