Posts tagged travel
Posts tagged travel
How many people have the luxury of being able to put their life on hold for a limited amount of time? As I look back over the last few years there have been several times when I have put my life on hold, helped someone out and then resumed my real life without skipping a beat.
When I received the phone call from my brother informing me that my mother had experienced a massive stroke, I loaded up my two small girls into the brand new minivan and took off for Texas. I stayed there for a month, helping decide which rehab center to have Mom admitted, doing a little gardening for Dad to maintain normalcy for him, helping Grandma cope with the idea that she might outlive her entire family… By the end of July 1995 I returned to Colorado Springs and the swim lessons, back to school shopping, and life went on. I was changed, but was able to step back into my life.
I have had several opportunities to repeat the scenario as I have helped out my parents, friends, siblings and the youth group at church. This week I had the pleasure of postponing all of my homework for my first week of Grad School 2012/2013 as I took my daughter to San Diego every day lining up housing and job interviews in anticipation of her move to the area in two weeks.
This ability to stop everything and focus on others is a blessing that many do not have. I have a flexible job that allows me to take comp time, a husband that supports my efforts, and the money to spend on gasoline and lunches out, with a few shopping trips thrown in.
I just wanted to pause and thank God for the ability to care, the money to share and the work schedule that permits me to pursue my passions.
Every child has heard, “be careful when crossing the street.” What does that mean? Does it mean that the street is inherently dangerous? Does it imply that children aren’t naturally careful beings? Is the statement encouraging the child to be aware of his surroundings? Sometimes a caring adult will hold the child’s hand as they venture into the unknown dangers of the street, and others stand and observe, ready to shout out the presence of unforeseen obstacles. “Stop, look, and listen” were the words that were burned into our very beings.
Why do we have to cross the streets? Is our journey so important that we risk our lives to get to the destination? I remember my mother telling me that when she learned to drive, she would encircle the Tulsa blocks in order to go left. She would rather drive around the block than make a left turn.
In considering the alternatives, I made a list of pros and cons.
Pro: crossing the street leads to a new location
Con: new location might be scary
Pro: crossing the street means that you are growing up
Con: growing up is hard
Pro: making it across the street without getting run over is an accomplishment
Con: there are too many cars to even try
If we never cross the street, we can stay safely in the green grass on our side of the sidewalk. We can turn around and go into the house anytime we want. On the other side of the street, we are out of control. We are on somebody’s unfamiliar turf.
Fast forward 50 some years. I have crossed a few streets, fallen down and bruised my knees, my favorite car was totaled by a teenager driving a pickup truck, but I am still alive and experiencing new endeavors. As I look at the rest of my life, I realize that I am at the halfway point. Halfway finished with my life, halfway finished raising my family, halfway through a healthy marriage, halfway through my MLS (Mature Library Student) degree, and halfway toward my career goals. It is an ok place to be. As I stand on the yellow line in the middle of the road, I can see the traffic on both sides, and determine that when the time is right I can move on.
It is my dream that we encourage each other on our journeys. Hold hands when needed, shout out direction when justified, and sit back and celebrate each others’ successes. As long as we don’t set up camp in the halfway point, it is ok to pause, asses our goals, plan our departure, then continue on life’s journey with confidence.
Folkestone Road. Dover, Kent, UK. Safe haven—halfway across the road.
In 1984, I was visiting Heidelberg Germany on a crisp Sunday morning in September. Heidelberg, the location of one of the oldest universities is also a town that boasts a plethora of churches and cathedrals. The scenery and history of the city was awe-inspiring to this 26 year old. My husband had purchased a brand new SLR camera for the trip, and a yellow bag full of special lenses and filters. After visiting the ruins of the Heidelberg castle the day before, we woke early—eager to get on the Romantic Road.
What we didn’t expect were the church bells. The cacophony of bells was beautifully deafening so I ran to the window to capture the moment. I snapped picture after picture of the view from our pension window, the quaint, lace—bedecked opening that was the only feature of our tiny budget lodging; leaning out as far as I could, I tried to spot the facades of each of the churches that surrounded our tiny room.
I will never again be able to hear the bells of Heidelberg as I experienced them that morning, but will always cherish the moment.
What moments have shaped your memories, and how did you choose to capture the moment? Writing, passing on the stories with our friends and families is an important window to our very soul. The next time you hear something that triggers a memory, tell someone what you are feeling and why. They will be glad you did.
This has been reposted from the NYPL and Smithsonian Magazine web sites.
The Deerstalker: Where Sherlock Holmes’ Popular Image Came From, via Smithsonian Magazine.
An interesting read, and a similar theme to an upcoming exhibition at NYPL, which will focus on how Dickens’ characters have been portrayed visually over the years.
** Edited to add: We see there’s been some confusion about this post. We know that Dickens didn’t write the Sherlock Holmes books — what we meant to say was that our exhibition, like this article, focuses on how illustrators have portrayed fictional characters over the years. The article refers to Sherlock Holmes, while our exhibition will focus on the characters of Dickens. Hope that clears things up!
NYPL is currently digitizing the papers of Samuel J. Tilden. In conjunction with this important archival resource, NYPL is offering researchfellowships of up to $5,000 to support research projects related to Tilden’s circle of activity and the political culture in New York and the United States during the 19th century.
The application deadline is September 1! Learn More