Yellow Brick Road

Inspiration, adventure, travel
Not the yellow brick road

On our travels this summer, my husband and I passed a street sign for Yellow Brick Road.  When I pointed it out, he asked if we should see where it led. I quickly assessed the distance we still needed to travel that day before saying, “No.”

My phone was charging so I wasn’t even able to take a picture of the sign.

For days afterward I was upset with myself. If I learned anything from the movie, The Wizard of Oz, it was to follow the yellow brick road!

I had the chance but didn’t take it. We were far from home and not going to be passing that way again so the opportunity was forever lost.

i wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed because I was focused on somewhere else I thought I needed to be. The only way I can create value in this is to be aware of and willing to follow the roads that are of interest to me. Who knows what adventures I may find?

Now I ask you to please do me a favour. If you are in the vicinity of Thunder Bay, Ontario and see the sign for Yellow Brick Road, please follow it and let me know where it took you.

 

Don’t Judge Me

Judgments, opinions, perspective, #inspirationThe first glimpse we had of her was in a photograph. It was enough to entice us to drive the two and a half hours for a personal meeting. At that point, we didn’t even know her name.

The attraction I felt was immediate but my husband didn’t feel the same connection so we left her behind. Two weeks later, we hadn’t been able to get her out of our minds, so made a return trip.

After spending a little more time together, a decision was made for 21-year-old Vanessa to come home with us.

Since we had two vehicles, Brian and I each took turns riding with Vanessa. This gave us each some time to get to know her better.

Over the winter, nothing much changed with our relationship. It was rather distant and formal.

As the weather warmed, so did our feelings about Vanessa. We started to spend more time together and the three of us even took a couple of weekend trips.

We appreciated all she had to offer and our admiration grew. This relationship was going to work out even better than we had hoped. Even our grandchildren grew to love her.

Friends are envious of the adventures we have planned with the accommodating 21-year-old named Vanessa.

My husband and I agree that the decision to bring her home with us was one of the best we’ve made. I am excited to see what the future holds as we spend time with Vanessa, our Pleasure Way Van.

Did that last sentence surprise you? What was your perception as you read the story? Did you form judgments before having all the facts?

The simple story of our camper van, that came with the name Vanessa written on the side, reminds me how often I have formed an inaccurate opinion before I know the whole story.

So, let’s make a deal, I won’t judge you if you don’t judge me.

travel, RV
The lovely Vanessa

Adventure Won!

skydiving, family, #inspirationA couple of weeks ago I told you I was struggling between fear and adventure. I’m happy to report that adventure won!

The day of my big adventure had finally arrived. Why was I so calm? Shouldn’t I be nervous? The fear must be lurking, just waiting for the right opportunity to pounce.

Instead there was restlessness. I had the whole morning to kill and time was moving at a snail pace. Finally the time came to leave. I drove with my daughter and her friend while my granddaughter followed behind.
As we pulled into the parking lot at the small airport I said, “This is starting to feel real. We’re actually going skydiving!”

We checked in and were each handed a waiver to complete. If all the acknowledgements of danger and consent to absolve them of liability didn’t frighten me enough to back away, I figured nothing would!

We were soon given basic instructions and climbing into our jumpsuits. Goggles and 12600 feetgloves were handed out, harnesses attached and we were introduced to our tandem jump partners.

The anticipation built as we climbed aboard our small plane and watched the ground fall away beneath us. Soon my instructor was fastening himself securely to my back. As we reached 12,600 feet the door was opened and we inched towards it.free fall, skydiving

One second I had my feet on the floor of the airplane and the next I was surrounded by sky. There was no fear, no life flashing before my eyes. The sensation was incredible as the sound of air rushing past drowned out all other sounds and conscious thought. Here I was falling 6,000 feet at a speed of 200 km per hour with another adult strapped to my back! Then the chute opened and all was peaceful. The sensation was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

One of the highlights of this adventure was sharing it with my daughter and granddaughter. That’s right, three generations went skydiving together that day, and we all loved it!Tandy, Andrea & Faith have landed

After the jump my husband said, “Now that you’ve gone skydiving, what’s next?” My mind flashed to other adventures I’d been afraid to try. I smiled and said, “We’ll just have to wait and see!”

Fear or Adventure?

safety, health, decisionI have an opportunity that excites and terrifies me at the same time. It’s something I’ve been interested in for several years and keep saying, “Someday.” Recently an invitation was given for a specific date.

Talking brave is one thing; being brave is an entirely different matter. The time has come to make a decision. Either I go ahead or completely give up on this adventure. It’s like someone has called my bluff!

Conflicting thoughts compete for space in my mind. There is a possibility of harm. I’ve always erred on the side of caution. This has ensured safety but I wonder what the cost has been.

A song that I heard many years ago springs to mind. The words, “Everything in moderation, that’s the way it’s always been” are a good representation of my life. The lyrics go on to express a longing for more.

I wonder if I’ve played it safe for long enough. Maybe I need this adventure to take me farther out of my comfort zone than I’ve ever been.

Another song that comes to mind is Live Like You Were Dying.  Currently I have my health. A physical examination with all the required tests was recently completed and no problems were found. At this point in time I have loved ones who are facing severe health issues. They are limited in activities I take for granted and wouldn’t be able to do what I’m considering even if they wanted to. I don’t want to look back with regret that I let fear rob me of an adventure I was capable of.

The other factor is money. There are far more practical uses for it. I remember a quote from Jim Rohn that says, “If you want something badly enough you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

The pros and cons have now been weighed. It seems I’ve made my decision.
I’ll tell you all about it in my September newsletter! Watch for it on September 12th.

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Happy New Year

blessings, adventureAs I look back over 2015 I am reminded of the many blessings in my life, both personally and professionally. Things haven’t unfolded as I expected, but that is all part of the adventure!

I have posted this New Year Prayer in previous years and as it is still my favourite, I’m sharing it again.

NEW YEAR PRAYER
May God make your year a happy one,
Not by shielding you from sorrow and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, if it comes.
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy enough to travel any path.
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking all cowardice and fear from your heart.
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows.
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you where man and his cause need you most,
And by making you anxious to be there, and to help.

Author unknown