Peripatetic


Peripatetic (noun) Origin: Greek | peri·pa·tet·ic A person who spends his time wandering.

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If there is a word that most describes me, it would be this word.  I AM a peripatetic.  I started my life as one and I believe that is how it will end.

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I have mentioned this several times, but from the time I was a very small child. I read books on travel and adventure.  From the wild west to space exploration.  I loved the idea of being anywhere and everywhere.  I loved all things related to magic, space, the future, the past, immortality, and any form of travel, survival, and escape.

My first attempts at travel (meandering and wandering throughout the world), were simple road trips close to home.  I’m not sure why my mom and dad allowed me to drive from Spokane to Shelby at 16, by myself, through a mountainous, and over a sometimes dangerous highway.  But they did, so I did. Meh, it was the 80s.  I’m still alive.

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My best friend in high school was also game for wandering here and there. I think we started in what appears to be the 1800s?

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We wandered by car, dance, skiing, and apparently a bit of cannibalism.  At 17, both of our parents allowed us to drive from Spokane to Seattle and off into Canada. Again, it was the 80s and meh.. we are both still alive..

I have wandered with friends, cousins, kids, and whoever else was game.  I have wandered by train, plane, moto bike, bicycle, boat, balloon, parachute, hashing, hiking, tram, subway, slide, skeleton, camel, elephant, my daughter’s back, and car (just to name a few modes of maneuver).

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My favorite wanderings were by car, followed super closely by train.  I love seeing new things ahead of me but also love seeing what I’m leaving behind in my rearview mirror.

There is something magical about wandering across the U.S. and other countries by car that is difficult to replicate.  One of the beautiful things is when you are in a car is that everything is directly in front of you.  Sometimes it is annoying (heavy traffic) and other times, it simply takes your breath away.

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You are going slow enough to really see things.  If you see something you like, you can stop and take a photo, interact with the actors in this flick that you have just created.  You can experience your surroundings in any way you choose.  Admittedly, sometimes it can be terrifying and sometimes you feel like you have been taken hostage, or you have taken your passengers hostage!! I’m delighted to say that both of my daughters have developed a love of wandering as well.  I personally feel that the many wanderings we have made, have drawn us closer than nearly anything else we have done in our lives.  We have this expansion that has happened in our heads that can never be reduced or taken away.

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The same goes for walking.  When you hike or walk, you are in the thick of it. You can be invisible and interact or you can simply pass through.  I think so many people miss the purpose of travel because they are constantly flying from here to there, simply to get there.  Dude!!! For me it’s the journey.

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“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

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Wanderings: mousumi; fanny; srikanth; islandtraveler; dave; janny; sonofasailor; alec; ab; artsyfartsy; karen; Gary; laura; geekyhooker; Ruth

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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Day 13 – These are two of my favorite things


I love random pictures.  I took the ones below but I love any pictures that show life.. love.. happiness… fanciful ideas… or an expression.

… and quotes.. I love random quotes.  Why make up something new when someone else said it so much better.

I love to laugh, and laughter is one of my favorite things. When you have a really good laugh, you feel great afterwards. ~Bill Engvall

Every day is quite unique, which is one of my favorite things! ~Payal Kadakia

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something. That there is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright

I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.  ~Leigh Standley

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.                ~Abraham Lincoln

My head is my favorite swimming pool. ~Lauren DeStefano

Ever Tried. Ever Failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. ~Samuel Beckett

renx; vincent; bloke; reese; shweta;light

Mother Nature – Get back on your meds


I understand that springtime and fall can bring about a wide variety of weird weather patterns.  Leaving Africa in August to arrive in Washington State.  Traveling to Seattle and then California with a friend in September, and eventually driving to Washington D.C. in October has had me confronting the most drastic weather patterns that I have encountered in my entire life.  I have been exposed to 89 degrees, clear down to 10 degrees.  I am seriously not sure how to feel about this.. except to say at this time I am seriously ready to go back to Africa!!!!

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“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.”
― Alice Hoffman

Ahhh – comforting warmness

“SAUL: ‘We made love outdoors, my favorite place to make love, assuming the weather be fair and balmy, and the earth beneath be clean. Our souls intertwined and dripping with sweat.”
― Roman Payne

…. then rain….

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”
― Tony Hillerman

But the sun returned.. with an enormous amount of cold.. but still the beautiful sun..

“Even after the stormiest weather, a true warrior will still reflect the brilliant rays of the magnificent sun through both his or her eyes. You may get hit by sudden lighting or take severe beatings from the cruel wind, but you will always get back up and stand strong on your feet again, soak in the sunlight, and be prepared to get hit by even the most merciless hail – time and time again.”
― Suzy Kassem

 

So yeah… then came the snow and the very, very cold.

Finally, after a torrential snow, sleet, rainstorm…I wake up today to this.

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I’m going to just assume it’s cold out and stay inside and pretend that it is still summer.  I do love the seasons changing.. I just wish they would not visit every season in a one day period!!

“Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. And that makes me quite nervous.”
― Oscar Wilde

 

B & W Challenge


I was very recently nominated to compete in a 5 day B & W Challenge. The goal was to each day pick and post one favorite B & W photo I have taken.  Anyone who knows me will absolutely not be surprised that I could not seem to focus on just one thing and therefore did not exactly follow the rules.  After perusing over 300 photos I finally narrowed it down to “some” of my favorite photos.  I like them so much I thought I would share (and in some cases re-share) the entire grouping here.

These photos represent only a few of my favorites from New York to India.  I love them because they express everything from sadness to pure chaos.  There is just something about a black and white that is timeless and beautiful.  I hope you enjoy.

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