Tag Archives: travel

Sliding Down a Rainbow

rainbow across cloudy sky over plains

Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. ~ Douglas Pagels

*waving hi*

Hello, my friends!

My apologies for being away so long, but for the first time in 4 –yes, 4– weeks, I finally have a weekend with two whole days off! Each of the past 4 weeks, something work-related crept onto my weekend calendar. I’ve done two major road trips, both related to job and work things, each more than 1000 miles and done in less than 48 hours. One trip I was by myself, the second with my boss. I spent one Saturday with a lovely group of donors, about 65 or so folks, talking about their collection, listening to stories, and adding new materials. One week, my work hours totaled more than 80 (counting time spent on the road). And on Mother’s Day, I worked in our reading room all afternoon.

Please note these are not complaints, just facts. I’m thrilled to have a job that I love, especially in this economy. But every now and again, the calendar gangs up on me, and the past month, that has certainly been the case. Sometimes I just can’t avoid it; it just happens. But I’m always grateful when weeks or months like that pass into the “completed” category.

So today is for reading and rainbows, for time off and spending an entire weekend with my husband! I hear lunch and a matinée are on the schedule, as are getting out and enjoying the beautiful 80 degree day, complete with blue skies, that awaits outside our door.

I. Can’t. Wait.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend in store for you, and that you enjoy every possible moment of it that you can. Feel free to share your plans here; I love hearing all the creative things you peeps are up to!

Now go find a rainbow and pick a color ~ Happy weekend!

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Life

Summer Road Trips (redux)

[Lynda’s note: Since I’m heading out on a road trip for a few days away, I thought I’d have my “S” post bring back what is far and away the most popular post here on Second Memory — Summer Road Trips. I was fortunate enough to have this post selected as a “Freshly Pressed” post after it originally appeared on July 21, 2011. So, as I am hitting the road, here’s a little of what’s coming along with me……. Enjoy! Have a great weekend! ~ Lynda]

“On the old highway maps of America, the main routes were red and the back roads blue. Now even the colors are changing. But in those brevities just before dawn and a little after dusk—times neither day nor night—the old roads return to the sky some of its color. Then, in truth, they carry a mysterious cast of blue, and it’s that time when the pull of the blue highway is strongest, when the open road is beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.”—William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways: A Journey Into America (1982)

Summer vacation in our household always meant one thing — ROAD TRIP! Once the crops were in the field and growing strong, our family loaded up the station wagon and set out on adventures far and wide. Like other things in our household, these trips were a combination of exceptional planning and whimsical free-wheeling. Each year, the vacation had a specific theme or destination in mind, carefully chosen to balance fun and education, new experiences and landscapes with manageable adventure. But if we saw someplace fun to stop or a roadside attraction worth a look, we took the time to stop and enjoy the moments the road trip provided for us.

Take, for example, the summer we decided to tackle Civil War battlefields. Not content to sample just one or two, summertime that year was an in-depth historical journey across the eastern and gulf coast map of the major Civil War events.

Civil War Battlefields

Gettysburg, Bull Run and Fort Sumter rolled into Andersonville as we headed to our southernmost destination of New Orleans. It was there that I rode in my first taxi, forever remembered because I left a treasured shirt, hand-painted by my mother, in the back of it, only to find it returned to the hotel later by a very kind taxi driver. New Orleans also marked the first time I ever tried to eat a lobster served whole instead of just by the tail. The kindness of strangers came through again as a very patient waiter took extraordinary amounts of time to teach me how to break apart the thing, as well as the parts to avoid!

On our way back north to home, we stopped for one night at a hotel in Vicksburg. As we were loading up the car the next morning, I went exploring in the parking lot and stopped when I saw a familiar license plate. In our small town, cars changed quicker than license plates, so I grew up learning to remember plates not vehicles. My parents were unconvinced that life could be so random as to have two families from the same small town happen to stay in the same place hundreds of miles from home. I stuck to my guns, insisting that my parents ask at the desk, and I was right! We had a quick breakfast together and caught up on local news we had missed while on the road, then headed out onto separate ways, the start of their vacation and the winding down of our trip.

Some of our other memorable excursions included a long journey to the southwest, complete with my brothers scaring my mother at the rim of the Grand Canyon, a dust storm in New Mexico, and visiting Carlsbad Caverns. One year we headed northeast to New England, another west to California, and yet others to the vast open spaces of the Dakotas or across Canada.

With four kids across a thirteen-year age span, my mother was a genius at making sure our vacations went as smooth as possible. Each child started the vacation with a large paper grocery sack full of wrapped packages, one for each day on the road. At some point each day, at a time of our own choosing, we could open a new present, something she had picked especially for each of us, to entertain us. Silly and small, these daily surprises kept us entertained and engaged, whether it was an egg full of Silly Putty, a new coloring book, or a book to lose ourselves in as we covered the long miles each day.

In order to prevent arguments over money, food, and souvenirs, each child also got their own daily allowance of money to spend. Mom’s rule was pretty easy – each child had a set amount to spend, we could spend it however we wanted, but when it was gone, that was it, we were done. If I wanted that “I-have-to-have-it-or-I-will-die-right-now” item, it was mine as long as I was willing to sacrifice that amount of my budget. I still remember one of my brothers carefully guarding his daily expenditures to indulge in a very large steak for dinner one night on a trip through Texas. And if my sister wanted a hamburger for breakfast and eggs for dinner, so be it. It was her money to spend.

I learned a lot across the miles on those summer road trips — patience, cooperation, budgeting, the sheer pleasure of the open road– hanging over the back of the front seat, map in hand, navigating the blue highways over and around the miles, and finding adventure where we could.

Thinking back on those great summer road trips makes me want to head out on a summer road trip adventure.

Any suggestions?

[Note: This post is #19 of 26 of the April A-to-Z Challenge. Please see the button on the right of the page for more information.
There was no “S” post for last year’s challenge — more on that on Monday!]

4 Comments

Filed under April A-to-Z Challenge, Life

Monday Moments: National Escape Day

We feel free when we escape – even if it be but from the frying pan into the fire. ~ Eric Hoffer

Who knew there was such a thing as National Escape Day?

Not me, that’s for sure. I would have planned better for it!

In case you missed the news — it’s here!

Today!

Evidently it occurs every January 30, and how I have missed such a wonderous day in the past, I have no clue! There are a lot of “days” out there that I wonder why in the heck we are celebrating that, but escape? Count me in!

In fact, if I had to pick an escape for today? I’m thinking here would work….. just fine:

Can you smell the salty air? Feel the heat of the sun and the sand??

Nope — me neither.

*sigh*

Maybe I’ll just change my desktop picture to that one and stare at it for a bit. And start to plan for next year’s celebration of National Escape Day!

So where would you go to escape today?

2 Comments

Filed under Life, Monday Moments

Review: The Way

“You don’t chose a life, Dad. You live one.” ~ Daniel Avery (Emilio Estevez) in The Way

The quotation above is probably the most succinct summary possible of the film, The Way, the new movie written and directed by Emilio Estevez and starring his father, Martin Sheen. In brief, the story centers on Tom, brilliantly portrayed by Sheen, a 60-something ophthalmologist who loses his only son, Daniel, in a tragic accident.

In all truth, Daniel was lost to him long before the accident. But as Tom determinedly sets out to finish what Daniel had just started, making the pilgrimage of walking the Camino de Santiago as others have done for thousands of years, he has little understanding of the road ahead. What unfolds in the next hour and a half is the story of that journey. Tom and the merry band of stragglers who end up traveling with him tackle this road with growing honesty, to each other and to themselves. Through laughter and tears, forging friendships and even a sense of family, Tom and the rest discover what Daniel knew all along – everyone is on a journey, a quest of discovery, but not everyone finds their way.

Press photo, "The Way," from the official website

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez at the Dayton Art Institute for a screening of their new movie, "The Way"

My husband and I received free tickets to attend the preview of this movie at the Dayton Art Institute and the question and answer session with Sheen and Estevez which followed. Not surprisingly, especially as Sheen is originally from Dayton and still has family here, the room was packed full. Students from the Wright State Film program, local clergy, fellow pellegrinos who had completed the walk, Dayton’s mayor, and members of the general public proved to be an interesting audience mix.

Yet despite the variety, the reactions across the room were identical – laughter at the unexpectedly humorous moments, some tears at the times when reality smacks the characters with its honesty, never letting them really escape from the journey they are making. And by the end? You realize what they do — even if you are not walking the Way of St. James, each person is on their own quest, trying to discover the life they want to live. Or as Tom discovers, “the difference between the life we live and the life we choose.”

Although it has obvious religious overtones, I would categorize this film as more spiritual than religious. As Estevez noted in the question and answer session, the literary structure of the film revisits The Wizard of Oz, imagery which rings apparent once stated. Sheen’s Tom is an out-of-place Dorothy in a Spanish Oz, and his comrades on the yellow-brick camino become as loveable as the familiar Tin Man, Lion, and Scarecrow, and with startlingly similar quests.

If you have the chance, I recommend this movie, if for no other reason than the scenery and landscapes. Filmed along the Camino de Santiago, the Spanish lands and people had me revisiting the months I lived there. Also, this project was the first ever to be allowed to film within the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which is stunning. But the message is excellent as well.

Take a look at the trailer on the official movie site. If you like what you see, the movie will be out in theaters in October.

Either way, let me know what you think.

3 Comments

Filed under Life, Review

Summer Road Trips

“On the old highway maps of America, the main routes were red and the back roads blue. Now even the colors are changing. But in those brevities just before dawn and a little after dusk—times neither day nor night—the old roads return to the sky some of its color. Then, in truth, they carry a mysterious cast of blue, and it’s that time when the pull of the blue highway is strongest, when the open road is beckoning, a strangeness, a place where a man can lose himself.”—William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways: A Journey Into America (1982)

Summer vacation in our household always meant one thing — ROAD TRIP! Once the crops were in the field and growing strong, our family loaded up the station wagon and set out on adventures far and wide. Like other things in our household, these trips were a combination of exceptional planning and whimsical free-wheeling. Each year, the vacation had a specific theme or destination in mind, carefully chosen to balance fun and education, new experiences and landscapes with manageable adventure. But if we saw someplace fun to stop or a roadside attraction worth a look, we took the time to stop and enjoy the moments the road trip provided for us.

Take, for example, the summer we decided to tackle Civil War battlefields. Not content to sample just one or two, summertime that year was an in-depth historical journey across the eastern and gulf coast map of the major Civil War events.

Civil War Battlefields

Gettysburg, Bull Run and Fort Sumter rolled into Andersonville as we headed to our southernmost destination of New Orleans. It was there that I rode in my first taxi, forever remembered because I left a treasured shirt, hand-painted by my mother, in the back of it, only to find it returned to the hotel later by a very kind taxi driver. New Orleans also marked the first time I ever tried to eat a lobster served whole instead of just by the tail. The kindness of strangers came through again as a very patient waiter took extraordinary amounts of time to teach me how to break apart the thing, as well as the parts to avoid!

On our way back north to home, we stopped for one night at a hotel in Vicksburg. As we were loading up the car the next morning, I went exploring in the parking lot and stopped when I saw a familiar license plate. In our small town, cars changed quicker than license plates, so I grew up learning to remember plates not vehicles. My parents were unconvinced that life could be so random as to have two families from the same small town happen to stay in the same place hundreds of miles from home. I stuck to my guns, insisting that my parents ask at the desk, and I was right! We had a quick breakfast together and caught up on local news we had missed while on the road, then headed out onto separate ways, the start of their vacation and the winding down of our trip.

Some of our other memorable excursions included a long journey to the southwest, complete with my brothers scaring my mother at the rim of the Grand Canyon, a dust storm in New Mexico, and visiting Carlsbad Caverns. One year we headed northeast to New England, another west to California, and yet others to the vast open spaces of the Dakotas or across Canada.

With four kids across a thirteen-year age span, my mother was a genius at making sure our vacations went as smooth as possible. Each child started the vacation with a large paper grocery sack full of wrapped packages, one for each day on the road. At some point each day, at a time of our own choosing, we could open a new present, something she had picked especially for each of us, to entertain us. Silly and small, these daily surprises kept us entertained and engaged, whether it was an egg full of Silly Putty, a new coloring book, or a book to lose ourselves in as we covered the long miles each day.

In order to prevent arguments over money, food, and souvenirs, each child also got their own daily allowance of money to spend. Mom’s rule was pretty easy – each child had a set amount to spend, we could spend it however we wanted, but when it was gone, that was it, we were done. If I wanted that “I-have-to-have-it-or-I-will-die-right-now” item, it was mine as long as I was willing to sacrifice that amount of my budget. I still remember one of my brothers carefully guarding his daily expenditures to indulge in a very large steak for dinner one night on a trip through Texas. And if my sister wanted a hamburger for breakfast and eggs for dinner, so be it. It was her money to spend.

I learned a lot across the miles on those summer road trips — patience, cooperation, budgeting, the sheer pleasure of the open road– hanging over the back of the front seat, map in hand, navigating the blue highways over and around the miles, and finding adventure where we could.

Thinking back on those great summer road trips makes me want to head out on a summer road trip adventure.

Any suggestions?

99 Comments

Filed under Life