Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." I have to admit, when I read this quote it made me take stock and I immediately thought about my recent travels. For the past few weeks I have been able to avoid airplanes and have actually taken road trips. I love road trips. When I was young, taking them were excruciating, but now, much older, I take time to enjoy the drive. While they are every bit as exhausting as they were in my early years, I have to admit that now; these trips are giving me the opportunity to catch all the beautiful things that I once missed.
I ran across a song awhile ago that I've pretty much adopted as my own personal anthem. I was going through some difficulties and a friend recommended the song to me. And when listening to it, the song reminded me of the lessons that I have learned over my years on this earth. And more importantly, it encouraged me to not give up or surrender to those that would bring me down. Because I'm unbreakable.
Joanna and Jon are beautiful people. I met them by accident. A friend and I happened upon their wonderful store, while looking for materials to complete an art project that memorialized someone very special. We explained to Joanna what we were doing and her care and compassion warmed our hearts. She is the definition of the “beautiful people” that I wrote about in 2011.
I travel often. And I have had my share of delays due to weather. I have sat at the gate during flight delays and watched while storms pounded the tarmac with sheets of unyielding rain. I've also flown through more than my fair share of turbulence because of storms. Sometimes it is uncomfortable, and maybe a bit harrowing, but I have always seemed to make it through, no worse for the wear.
Storms are often violent and destructive. Sometimes they spawn tornadoes that destroy entire communities. Severe thunderstorms may bring with them straight line wind gusts that topple trees and cars. Hurricanes can leave thousands of people homeless. When storms are approaching they are dark and forbidding. And even though we take the time to prepare for their onslaught, nothing we do can adequately prepare us for the ride they will take us on. So we prepare, and hold on tight.
Back in the nineteen sixties, Mr. Ernest worked the midnight shift at the local steel mill. He was our next door neighbor. Our houses were separated by only a few precarious feet. And unfortunately, the passage-way between the two houses was an echo chamber. And this was something of which our mother was quick to remind us. She did often in her own, loving, and sometimes painful way.
Today I went out and had the brakes done on the car. While I sat in the lobby of the brake shop, I looked out the window and noticed the hustle and bustle of the day. There were traffic jams at the intersection and it seemed every business in this busy strip was open for business. It amused me because today is Sunday and Sunday's weren't always like this.
A few years ago I was flying out of Northwest Arkansas on an early morning flight. I was suppose to have left the night before, but a rash of unexpected, violent storms grounded all flights for the evening so I was re-booked on the first flight out in the morning. As I boarded my flight, the storms had moved on but showers remained behind, so as I took my seat on the plane, a constant stream of rain pelted the regional jet. Sitting next to me was a teenage girl. She looked a little nervous.
Back in the sixties, before there were video games, IPods and personal computers, we had the outdoors to keep us busy. Strange as it may seem, we looked forward to going outside - winter or summer. It didn't make a difference. We just wanted to be outside. At school, we had three recesses per day and once we got home and finished our chores, we went outside to play. Television for us was an after thought. Besides, we only had three channels! Yet nothing could beat summer break. We looked forward to it all year.
Quenepas are a tart fruit that grows in the tropics. A few years back, I had the opportunity to take a business trip with my boss to Puerto Rico, in which we were on a fact finding trip to see if the island would be a viable market for our product. Before leaving, however, one of her employees and friends, mentioned that he had lived on the island as a child and fondly remembered eating quenepas. I'm not sure if he asked her to bring them back, but even if he didn't, I soon found out that he was going to get them anyways.