Jul 24, 2014

Travel: So What's the Point of Travel Anyway?

Nation (novel)
Available on Amazon: Nation
(photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was reading a blog this morning written by Tam Warner Minton called Travels with Tam. Tam is a scuba diver that loves to travel. Her post was called 5 Reasons to Adventure Travel. I loved this post but then you don't need to poke me in the ribs to get me going when it comes to travel. She quoted Terry Pratchett, that very funny and much quoted English writer saying:
Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett
I liked that a lot. I recall my son asking me once about taking a walk. His father and I walked a lot to explore our little world so this son was familiar with the routine. He had been on many a walk. But as he grew older he became a little suspicious of the habit. Did he want to go for a walk? He wanted to know where we would be when we finished with the walk. When I told him we would be back home, his thought was that there really was no point in talking the walk if we were just coming back to where we started.

Travel is like that I think. There are people that never leave because they don't see the point in the whole exercise. Travel is hard and, in their view, not worth the effort. After all, they will just come back home.

Then there are people that travel and never want to come back home. They love the escape and think that by not going back they can shed all their worries and cares.

And then there are people like my husband and I that feel at home no matter where we are. We settle into the landscape and watch life like a fly on the wall. Because our home is within us, we know that moving to another place would honestly never change our life. What changes us is the adventure and the experience. We find it is hard to be judgmental after we see first hand what is going on in the world. As Terry Pratchett so wisely said, "Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving."

So, if I could answer my son today when he asked what the point was, I would have to say the point is you will learn something or feel something that you cannot know if you never go for a walk. 

Have a wonderful day.


Jul 23, 2014

Aging: Are They Afraid They Will Look Like You?

I read a blog called Pearl, Why You Little... The author makes me laugh and I am all about a good laugh. In an article she posted today called Well I Can See I'm Going to Take Back a Lot of What I've Said she talked about making fun of people when she was young. As a young girl she and her friends would lay on a beach towel and whisper about people that were old or fat or suffering from extreme cellulite of the bottom. Now as she is getting older she said this about her body as she tried to remain positive:
Me, I am pleased to report that my ankles continue to be identifiable as separate from my calves and that I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school.
No swimming suit here!
She was writing tongue-in-cheek and I liked the article a lot. But I couldn't help thinking that there was dark side to that story. More of us were guilty of being smug when we were young than we would ever care to admit. I have been guilty of being derisive of the outward appearance of aging. Why would I do that? Now that the day has come that I am the older person laying on the beach towel I am aware that a younger person might not be thrilled to think that my body is the one they will have someday.

Then it occurred to me that Pearl had hit on a primal emotion....fear! See, while we don't want to be unattractive we all know that there are things that we just cannot control. We are afraid of what we ridicule. It is as simple as that.

I belonged to a website called Fab Over Fifty for a period of time a couple of years ago. It was all about fashion and makeup and how not to look ones age. The editor would post a picture of some hapless person with their face blocked out and ask subscribers to say what they thought about the style or body shape or whatever of the person. 

The owner of the blog even wrote an article telling how she planned on never getting old because she went to pilates and stayed out of the sun. The article included pictures of ugly (?) old people with warts and wrinkles. I was not only appalled...I was in fact a little offended. I could only wonder if people that were middle aged would be afraid for their future when they ran into me in the mall. I don't participate that website anymore.

There is a lesson to be learned here but I am not sure what it is. Fear is a hard thing to overcome. Of course we don't want to be ugly or scarred...why would we? On the other hand, a little fear and stress are motivators to make us more aware of what we might avoid thinking about. 

Maybe the lesson is that we should be grateful for what we do possess and nonjudgmental of what we see in others. After all, the old saying goes "Judge not. There, but for the grace of God, go I". It does take a great depth of character to see the beauty inside other people and I for one would like to arrive at that place one day soon. 

It is just a thought!

Book by Pearl Vork-Zambory 
owner of blog Pearl, Why You Little....

Jul 21, 2014

Oregon Vacation: Traveling is not for Wimps!

I am trying to think of the last time my husband and I traveled that everything went perfect. You know, the food was wonderful, no one was ill and no drama invaded the story. When was that again? But we always have so much fun and life without adventure is not much of a life at all is it?

But this last week in Central Oregon we came as close as we ever will. The good was perfect because we prepared it ourselves. The wine was perfect because my son went to the winery and bought it after tasting. And the company just made me smile the whole time.

We don't travel in a RV anymore but there was the time when we would have had our whole life on wheel to pull along. I loved that part of our life when we were doing it but, now that it is over, I am glad that I don't do that anymore. The packing and unpacking was a bit like moving over and over. Now we come home and bring the suitcase inside. What a difference.

But, if we were wimps, we could have found a lot to complain about. The house was NOT air conditioned and the temp was very hot when we arrived. The deck furniture was sorta broken and we had to walk about 1/4 of a mile to the pool. The house was not new and it had been a while since anyone sweep a deck or walk. The outside light was on a motion detector so that came on outside our bedroom window when the deer walked by all night. The list goes on...blah, blah, blah!

But I will have to say that I had to think a minute to even remember those things. In fact, we had a lot of fun discussing what we would do to the house if we bought it! It was like pretend "Rehab Addict" on vacation.

I am always at home no matter where I am. I even travel with a plant or two sometimes. It is what I like to do. Life is good. That might be because I am not a wimp! Not even a little bit.


Note: I still push using all those wonderful mobile apps. They make the trip a breeze and can actually be a money saver in some cases. Here is a blog post I wrote a while ago with some suggestions.

Jul 19, 2014

Kicking Back an Expensive Resort....perfectly affordable!

Now I know you will say that this lifestyle is very expensive...resorts like the Black Butte Ranch here in Central Oregon come with a pretty big price tag. But...most of the houses here are really large, equipped with beautiful kitchens, deck and lots of outdoor living. The trick is to find someone to share the house with you.

We are staying in a house that will sleep 10 and this is not a big house at all. If we were to share this house it would cost us about $400 each for 3 couples. We are here for 4 nights and three days. We have not eaten out, the large resort pool is free and a bicycle rental comes in at around $20 a day for the basic model. Oh my gosh...this is absolutely wonderful.

Of course here in Central Oregon it is all about the scenery. We have wonderful views of the The Three Sisters Mountain, Faith, Hope and Charity and meadows. Then there is shopping and a wonderful gin making industry. (There are lots of juniper trees around.)

We are having a blast:

My beautiful family before....

...the circus came to town!

Jul 17, 2014

Travel: From "off the double nickle" to Central Oregon

I was sitting with my daughter-in-law last night gazing at the perfect night sky and talking about camping when we were children. We are in Central Oregon staying in a house located in the Black Butte Resort. This is about as near to camping, as we will ever be again.

Staying here is a few dozen steps above “glamping” and a little below staying in a beautiful hotel. I like it a lot.

But getting back to our stories…DIL told me about her 4H leader that took her group camping in Illinois. It was suppose to be a wonderful experience so the girls could experience the outdoors. I suppose there was a tendency for the girls to escape to places the leader could not see them so the leader told them there were bears in the woods and scared them half to death.

“I even knew where she lived and didn’t like her very much. Where was that? Oh, she lived off the double nickel south of Bloomington.”

The double nickel and bears…how does someone like me not store that away for some future story? In fact, this whole experience of talking with our family that lives very far away and getting to vacation in beautiful Oregon just begs to be written about.

I have been a life long resident of Oregon and Central Oregon is just another part of my hometown. We are near Sisters where one the largest quilt shows ever is held in the summer. The Three Sisters Mountains loom in the distance and huge yellow pines surround this house where we are staying.

Cascade Mountains, Mt. Hood in the distance. This is the beautiful
drive between Portland and Central Oregon.

If you saw the picture of the bride being married with the forest fire looming in the background that went viral on the Internet earlier this summer, you can picture where we are. Golf courses, pools, tennis courts and walking trails surround us. The house we are renting was $1300 for 4 nights but there are many others around. AIRBNB and For Rent by Owner are sources for that sort of thing here.
Dropping down on the eastside of the Cascades into Central Oregon.
The air is thick with smoke from a distant forest fire.
I will buy a new swimsuit here and spend the day swimming and walking. My granddaughters are keeping me company. The rest of the family is golfing. Tonight we will barbecue, drink a little wine and watch the night sky filled with satellites and shooting stars. Don’t try to tell me life is not good…you would be very wrong.

Have a wonderful day.