Looking for answers to life's questions

Posts tagged ‘adventure’

In Search of the Next Big Adventure

Things change fast in my little world. I was finally catching my breath. Completing the simple pillowcase dress that is going with many others to an orphanage in Haiti, and 2 quilt squares for my quilting group that scared me to pieces. Quilts do that to me. I was ready to get on with the unpacking and putting away of MORE BOOKS.

Simple drawstring dress for little girls with so little

Simple drawstring dress for little girls with so little

bottom border of the dress

bottom border of the dress

I bought 3 more bookcases so I could get the rest of my books out of storage and eventually get a smaller, more inexpensive unit. I have more to give away and more to sell. There has been a lot of work going on here and a lot of play. Let’s break this down into bite sized chunks.

This was the prototype (experiment)  to see how the final one would look

This was the prototype (experiment) to see how the final one would look

I thought about making another like this prototype but changed my mind.

I thought about making another like this prototype but changed my mind.

My house is starting to look like a home and my sister who has been with me for the last three months is looking for a place of her own closer to her new job and all the places she goes to regularly. My place puts a lot of miles on her truck so the search is on.

Now I’ll be heading back to California for a month of working with my son to pack and paint his house. He has an offer on his home and they want a 30 day escrow. There is no realtor involved so they must do the paperwork. After putting my home together with the help of my children and sister, I’ll be helping to dismantle his.

ready to turn in and combine.

ready to turn in and combine.

A closer look at my take on a quilt square

A closer look at my take on a quilt square

This little birdy faces the other way.

This little birdy faces the other way.

My quilt squares were turned in this week and I thought they would be put into a big quilt and raffled off. That wasn’t the case. They were divided in two and names drawn to win each of the stacks of 12 blocks. I won a stack and now I’m supposed to put it together and bring it to the Christmas meeting. It’s obviously not going to happen. I doubt I can get it done when I get back in time for the December meeting but maybe for the party after Christmas. It will be a keepsake of each member that made a square.

We all started out with the same 2 fabrics. Then added our own touch. Now the fun begins...in December.

We all started out with the same 2 fabrics. Then added our own touch. Now the fun begins…in December.

Can you see why my mind is a little scattered these days? Our weather went from hot to canoe weather. Wish I could send some of it to those who need it. My son hasn’t seen significant rain in a year. I’m grateful every day I found this perfect place to be a platform for transitions. That’s the story of life. Nothing every stays the same. It’s all one big adventure, if you choose to see it that way. Go with the flow, that’s what the canoe is for. Paddle in the direction of the current, not against it.

Home is where we can ground ourselves and share with others. I hand embroidered this piece.

Home is where we can ground ourselves and share with others. I hand embroidered this piece.

Life has offered many challenges opportunities. Even my health challenges have an upside. Since my mouth doesn’t work as well as it used to, I spend more time listening and learning. So much for being the biggest talker in the family. On to this next adventure. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What’s your next big adventure?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of a Different Kind of Life

My sister came by this week for a short visit and was asking some very pointed questions. She was having a great deal of guilt because she thought she had cheated me out of a childhood. Even our mother admitted to friends that I raised the kids. My sister was sad that I could remember few joyful memories of my childhood. They were there; they just don’t stick like the hard times do. My joy came later when I had my children though it was balanced by the difficulty of my other relationships. I think that’s what life is, yin and yang, light and dark.

I assured my sister that my life has had many good moments and it continues to get better and better. I had the impression when I was very young that I came into the world to take care of people. It’s what my astrology and numerology chart say also. I’m the caregiver, nurturer, teacher, etc. I tell friends that I was born 108 years old. If our parents had been more capable, I probably would have found someone or something else to take care of, but as luck would have it, our parents had very little to work with or perhaps the plan all along was for me to be in charge of all of them. Yes, I raised mom too.

Grandpa holding my baby sister a  few months old.

Grandpa holding my baby
sister a few months old.

I read stories every day, of people with less than idyllic childhoods but most of the stories end up with these people growing into the most wonderfully capable, kind, caring people. Ours was not stable or nurtured but it certainly was interesting. Each of us turned out to be kind, caring, productive members of society.

When friends ask my sister why her life has been like a carnival ride, she tells them it was because a five year old raised her. We both know that’s only part of the truth. She came into the world with an agenda of her own. Part of that agenda was to challenge the world’s archaic thinking and she is doing a fine job of it. It’s a tougher job than any I’ve ever had. Her enthusiasm in life balances my stoic quietness. Thank goodness. Yin and yang once again.

Ready for the challenge

Ready for the challenge

She was all mine to love and discipline. Me at 9, she was 4

She was all mine to love and discipline. Me at 9, she was 4

I told my sister that we didn’t get the cottage home with a white picket fence and Mr. & Mrs. Cleaver weren’t our parents but we got something else. We had an adventurous life and an extraordinary bond. We were never afraid to say “I can do that”. There is still so much to learn and experience. We are still alive and the adventure is ongoing. There are questions to be asked and answered. Would I have traded any part of my life for a more carefree existence? I don’t think so. Our lives are different than most and continues to evolve in that direction. I am in a unique position to create the life I want to some degree. Other than this stupid illness (Bells Palsy), nothing is holding me back. Life is supposed to be fun but mostly, I want it to be interesting. Different, odd, unique, adventurous, even downright hard is better to me than ordinary. I volunteered for it and I wanted to make sure she had no guilt left when she left here.

Would you prefer simple and ordinary over hard and different?

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

In Search of That Leap of Faith

My sister retired from her job last week. She drove a bus throughout the city and suburbs of Portland, Oregon for 15 years. On my very best day, it’s not a job I could or would do. Driving a city bus is akin to living in a house on a main street with no lock on the doors. You never know who will walk through.

She really liked most of her passengers but each day brought its own special challenge. The threat of violence from a passenger that was asked to pay for their ride or move their feet off a seat to make room for another was a daily reality. She has enough stories to write her own book. The problem is, the stress has left her with the inability to remember an appointment time made just as she tries to write it down.

Her family and friends that care are grateful she is making this leap of faith. We know she will find other work to sustain her, but right now, she needs to rest and recreate. Jobs and life choices that leave a person so seriously drained will inflict damage to the body and the mind. My sister and children have been there to encourage me through my own leap of faith and now we will be there to encourage hers.

So we celebrated last Saturday evening with a surprise party put together by her girlfriend. We met at her favorite East Indian restaurant in downtown Portland. I have never eaten East Indian food. We were brought up on very bland food and I have not ventured very far from those staples. I will never be a foodie, but my education was about to begin.

My sister treated my daughter to a new ethnic restaurant experience each year on my daughter’s birthday for the last 7 years of living in this area. So her education was well ahead of mine. I let my daughter order for me and she did very well. I really enjoyed my spicy food. A cocktail before dinner helped me be more adventurous. I usually pick a German restaurant for my birthday but I think I will learn from my daughter and continue to try new things. We are all taking leaps of faith in one way or another.

A co-worker gifted my sister a journal. Perfect since she is writing her way through this complete change of lifestyle.

Now she can write a book

My children and I together bought her a pocket watch since she is trying not to look at her wrist ever minute to make sure she is on time. It’s a hard habit to break. The inscription read, “It’s time to work at living”. I now have to change the ring tone on my phone for her. It was from that song that goes, “I’m in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life’s no fun.” I’m just not sure what her new ring tone will be. It will be interesting to see where the adventure leads.

It’s time to work at living

You can see the workings from both sides of the watch

Have you ever made a leap of faith and what brought it on? For me, Bells Palsy was the wakeup call. I’d love to hear how you figured out that change was necessary and how you leaped into your adventure.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene

In Search of Adventure

For the last 2 weeks I have been at home alone while everyone else was working. How can I be envious of that? Everyone else doesn’t want to have to go to work but me, I have to be different. I’d like somewhere to go and interact with people. I was getting a bit of cabin fever and frustrated that the only time getting out is a possibility is when someone takes me in my own car that I can’t drive. This Bells Palsy has reduced the size of my world considerabley.

So I called the city transit center and spoke, oddly enough, to a real human being. I explained where I was planning on starting from and where I wanted to end up and asked what bus did I need to get there. After a few questions and answers, we were on the same page and I was off. I’ve been here for 3 months and finally decided it was time to give it a try. Off I went for a 20 minute walk down our street to the bus stop.

The driver was so kind and lowered the bus for me. They can do that. I use a cane for balance and wear a hat to warm my head so I guess I look in need of extra care. I started to feed my dollar bill into the fare machine and he says seniors ride free. Woo hoo! I can afford to make this trip often. I guess I look old too.

Unfortunately, I got off one stop too early and had to walk farther than was necessary but I am now more familiar with the route. I was able to buy my yarn after taking forever to find a color that worked well and some greeting cards that require careful selection without feeling like I was making someone wait on me. I bet I walked 3 miles at least so I had my exercise for the day. By the time I walked to all the places I wanted to go, walked back to the bus stop and the 20 minute walk back down our street home, my feet were no longer happy with me.

I rode the bus and the MAX in Portland, Oregon some while I was living there last year but I had help navigating the system. This one here is a bit scarier to figure out but it had to be done for personal freedoms sake. We are all interdependent in so many ways but sometimes we just want to do what we want to do. I finally just had to give it a try. It wasn’t a big adventure but it added to my potential to stand on my own anywhere I wind up in the future. I’m a big girl now. I know how to ride the bus.

From my heart to yours,
Marlene