Saturday, January 30, 2010

You've had a great life!

The other day, I was at school and a co-worker and I were looking through my ancient photo albums from when my husband and I travelled as exchange students to Beijing in 1987. We were studying the Chinese New Year and she looked at me and said, "Dixie! You've had a great life!"
I turned and laughed and smiled as I said impulsively, "Yes, and it's not over yet!"

She was referring to the travels I have done - not the massive debt I have accrued in doing them - but it struck me that she is right. I whine and feel overwhelmed and depressed with the rest of you - but my life has been blessed with a lot of good stuff, stuff that is not "Stuff" so much as the more valuable but intangible things like living in beautiful places surrounded by those I love and having them love me in return.

I made some different choices than financial wisdom would have dictated - but in so doing, I have always been able to keep a roof over my head and food in my children's bellies. True that there are termites in the walls and little in any savings accounts, but those walls are covered in photographs as reminders of memorable years and the savings account in my boys minds will be filled with a multitude of wonder at the beauty of our troubled, but oh so lovely world.

I have never lived where it is not beautiful. And I have travelled to see more of the beauty around this earth. I was raised where my grandfather had been raised, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in the heart of yellowstone country. I moved to The Black Hills to live in Custer State Park and then to Ashland, Oregon, and finally to the Pacific Redwood Coast. I spent a semester in Beijing China at a teacher's college and an extra month traveling by train and boat through rural China in 1987. I travelled through The Netherlands, Poland and Germany with my husband and his Choir. I took my boys to the lovely Guatemalan Lake Atitlan and drove from Los Angeles to Niagara Falls as I loved this country of ours, "From Sea to shining Sea."

So Thank you my friend for the reminder that it has been a great life, and that it keeps on being great. Si I need to keep on being grateful.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Babes of the woods.

When I was a child, my Dad was an incredible Father. He would play with us for hours, pull us on a sled or in a wagon and hike with us on the weekends in the mountains around Cody, Wyoming. he would run up the trail with one us on his shoulders, or swing us between him and Mom so that we flew between every step. Unless he was at home, in front of the TV. Then he would say, "I can't see. You make a better door than you do a window." as he craned to see around us. Or if we spoke, "Wait until the commercial."

I vowed that I would never have a TV. So after my boys were born, we spent a lot of time outdoors. We went camping, and hiked in Yellowstone, the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Pacific Redwoods. I thought I was doing it for them, but they don't remember it. Maybe it was a good influence, because they do both love camping, and just went together a few weekends ago - but the memories I treasure belong only to my husband and I and these old photographs.

Never-the-less, when they look back and swear that we spent all our time in front of the computer. I can tell them in all honesty, "I loved your childhood. I saw you. And I still do." and I will never regret making them play with sticks and rocks instead of dancing in front of Barney. I never felt bad about raising them unplugged except once, when a classmate asked, "What is your favorite football team?" and my son gulped and took his best guess, "the Pirates?" So now he loves camping and hiking, and THE STEELERS!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why I love, Where I live.

I promised myself that I would write a post here, at least once a week, but like most resolutions, I have not managed to keep up on that. I am sorry, but instead of beating myself up over the lapse, I will just do what suggests and tell myself "You are not behind. Just jump in where you are. Baby Steps."

The reason why I moved to Crescent City, CA after growing up in Wyoming, is that it has so many of the things I loved about Wyoming. Yet it doesn't have the baking heat and the far below freezing cold. As a redhead, I have always been heat sensitive, and the massive amount of overcast, rain and fog we get here, suits redheads the way that it suits redwoods. I do miss the snow at times, but I can drive to it in 40 minutes or less in the winter.

Here, I have the Pacific, the forest, the Mountains, and a small enough town that I never go to the store without being stopped by conversation in almost every aisle. The world has many beautiful places, and I have lived in some of the best, but I want to share some pictures that may show you why, this is the one place that always calls to me when I have to be away, and the home where I always return.

Happy, Happy 2010.