Which Way?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Life, Life Lessons | Posted on 27-02-2017

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I went snowshoeing with my buddies. And for some reason, I didn’t really care where we were going.

Here we were at the base of a mountain, in search of a lake. We snowshoed single file talking all the while, stopping for water, for a Caveman bar snack, for a laugh break. The leader of our pack had the trail map. I was last in line, bobbling along without the need to navigate.

Instead, I focused on the patterns in the snow, the crispness of the air, the snow-laden trees, the crunching of my snowshoes, the sweat building up under my armpits.

We came to a map in the path. There was no “you are here” marked. We had little idea where we were. Where was the lake? Who knows? Onward we went, until we came to a snow globe-like mountain. We were surrounded with snow drifts and trees and magic.

We never did find the lake. But we found beauty and peace and laughter.

In life, we don’t always know what will happen next or which path we should take. Right now, I am at a crossroads in my life. With my children growing up. With my job.

Which way will I go? I’m not sure. For now, I’m doing my best to enjoy the journey.

Which way? #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing #life #decisions

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It was like being in a snow globe! #snow #winter #nature #snowshoeing

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The Journey

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Attitude, Beauty, Encouragement, Exercise, Metaphor, Women | Posted on 29-07-2015

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I try to get a run in whenever I have the chance. Always with my essentials:

  1. Otis.
  2. Two poop bags.
  3. Trusty New Balance shoes.
  4. A sturdy bra.
  5. A ball cap.
  6. A camera.

A camera?? I often stop along the run to take pictures of flowers (while Otis sniffs). For me, running is not only exercise and de-stressing. It’s me time, Otis-and-me time, time to enjoy the journey.

Maybe the flowers’ bright and smiling faces serve as encouragement along the way?

A quilt of flower photos.

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What Would Ingrid Do?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Books, Life, Life Lessons, Parenting | Posted on 07-08-2013

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One of my favorite books as a child was The Amazing Travels of Ingrid Our Turtle (my top 10 books for children is here.)

The story is about a turtle named Ingrid who enjoys life and moves at her one pace. One day, she decides to travel beyond the yard and see the world. It takes her days to move from the garden to the curb, weeks to move from the curb to the stop sign, and so on. But before you know it, Ingrid is traveling so far that she sends postcards back to her family, as she ventures off and travels the globe. One step at a time.

Turns out, she orbits the Earth and shocks astronauts. The story teaches so many important lessons:

  • Enjoy the journey of life
  • Move at your own pace
  • Don’t worry about what other people think
  • You can overcome obstacles
  • Look beyond your “yard”

I am still learning to channel my inner Ingrid. I certainly run about as slow as she does. My children say I run sooooo slow. Sooooo what?

I remind myself what Ingrid would do:

Smile, keep moving, enjoy the journey. One step at a time.

Eastern Box Turtle

ingrid

Are We There Yet?

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Childhood, Children, Family, Fathers, Memories, Traditions, Travel, Vacation | Posted on 04-11-2012

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If the journey is half the fun, then childhood road trips sitting alongside my sister were a hoot.

Every Summer, we would journey in the family wagon hundreds of miles to see America at its finest: Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Yellowstone National Park. If it had anything to do with water falls, red rocks, forests, suspension bridges, I’ve been there.

My Dad at the wheel. My Stepmother navigating. My sister and me in the back seat, with no seat belts. No seat belts meant freedom to sprawl. Only an imaginary line down the middle to “separate” us.

Do. Not. Cross. The. Line.

This was decades before iPods and Nintendo DSs. Dude. This was before the Sony Walkman. Dude! My Dad’s car had an 8-track tape. We’d listen to Ray Conniff’s Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. We’d even sing along. Because that sucker would loop.

There was nothing to do. For hours. Or was there?

We’d play the alphabet license plate game. But when there are no cars for one hundred miles, the game goes a little slow.

Are we there yet? No.

When will we get there? We’ll get there when we get there.

I would look into the rearview mirror and check out my face. Any new pimples?

Dang. What to do now?

Rock, paper, scissors. We’d play it over and over and over. Being seven years older than my sister meant I knew how to change my rock to a scissors at the last minute, for the win.

Are we there yet? No.

When will we get there? We’ll get there when we get there.

Then finally, time for lunch. We’d pull over at a rest stop and my Stepmother would spread out a feast on a picnic table. Vienna sausages! Pringles! Spray cheese! Wafer cookies with icing! Fruit cocktail! The kind with the awesome cherries pieces and heavy syrup.

Then it would be time to distribute the HANDI WIPES.

You know those wipes that come in little packets? The kind that are folded in a little square, that smell like alcohol? The kind you get after eating fried chicken?

Our fun was unfolding those suckers into a big square. And check this out. Rolling down the window and letting the hot Summer air dry them out. I mean, this could stretch out five minutes. At least. Then when the handy wipes were all dry, you could stick out your hand and “hand surf” through the air current until our Dad yelled, “The air conditioner is on! Roll up the windows. You’re letting the cold air out.”

We’d get excited when my Dad would stop at a gas station to fill up. We’d beg for a quarter. I’d buy a Hershey bar. My sister would buy something fruity and sour and hard. Something that she knew would last a long time. Like Gobstoppers.

I’d gobble mine up in five seconds. And her candy outlasted mine. Always. Dang her.

Then she would nap. And I’d have no one to chat with and bicker with and play with for a few hours. Silence. Except for Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown.

I’d stare out the window. How many more miles until the next rest stop? I had to pee. How many until Mesa Verde?

Are we there yet? No.

When will we get there? We’ll get there when we get there.

By evening, after driving all day, we’d arrive at our Best Western. Always with crisp white sheets. Tiny, rectangular soaps. And a swimming pool. A glorious pool! Finally, something to DO!

The funny thing is, I don’t really remember the monuments, the sights, or the National parks that much. Faded pictures in a musty old photo album remind me that I’ve been to all the places.

Instead, what I remember is the endless driving, sitting alongside my sister. The idleness and how we’d try to pass the time. Ah, the simplicity of childhood.

And I kinda wish I could sit in the backseat with my sister now, to talk. Laugh. Bicker. And play rock, paper, scissors. But she lives an ocean away.

Being an adult is busy and complicated. I haven’t sat idly in the backseat of a car with nothing to do except air out our handy wipes….well, since childhood.

It’s the Journey, Silly, Not the Destination

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Advice, Attitude, Children, Family, Nature, Parenting, Photography, Travel | Posted on 26-07-2012

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I have high expectations. And I am a planner. These two traits sometimes get in the way of being mellow and living in the moment.

The other day was a go-with-the-flow day. I took two of my children to spend a day in the country. No plans. Just: let’s see what we will see and stop where and when we want.

Guess what?

It was awesome!

We visited a lavender field, bought fresh-off-the-tree peaches, met a fine horse, and encountered peaceful butterflies.

It was a fun-filled day–not forced or planned. And it exceeded my expectations. In fact, I’m thinking about planning another outing soon 🙂

Sweaty Bodies, Drakkar Noir, and Journey

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Teenagers | Posted on 18-06-2012

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The song Faithfully by Journey brings me back.

Back to the high school dance in the gym with the hardwood floors and the sweaty teenager bodies. The boys smelled like Drakkar Noir. The bodies pressed against each other for the slow songs, and for the last song.

I wore my hair big and my leggings skinny. Shoulder-padded blouse with a cinch belt. Heavy eyeliner. Minty-gum breath (always).

I clung onto some boy, as he smashed against me.

It was 1984.

This song is kinda bittersweet for me.

When Faithfully ended, it was my cue that the coach would soon transform into a pumpkin.

The lights in the gym turning back on was a rude awakening. The realities of pimpled faces in your face and my 11:00 p.m. curfew looming. No after-the-dance parties for me. When the dance ended, it meant one thing: time to go home.

But I would go to bed replaying the wonderful night in my head, with still a hint of Drakkar Noir on my neck, left by a boy.

It’s the Little Things That Make Memories, Stupid

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Childrearing, Connections, Family, Ideas, Life Lessons, Memories, Mothering | Posted on 14-11-2011

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Little things make big memories. Remember that.

I don’t think it’s always the mega family trip to Disneyland that makes the best memories for children. The term “making memories” is often too forced and there are sky-high expectations associated with “the annual family vacation.”

Y’all saw National Lampoon’s Vacation, right? Was it Walley World that Rusty and Audrey will always remember? Or was it the bits and pieces along the way–aka the journey–that will make a lasting impression?

I think it’s the little things that happen on the fly that might fuel the memories. Here are 17 little things that go on around here:, that just might make the cut:

  1. laughing at farts
  2. buying milkshakes on a freezing, rainy day
  3. lying in bed, side by side, reading
  4. having a proper burial service for our hamster, Popcorn, under the tree in our backyard
  5. hollering at the Canadian Snow Geese flying overhead: “HAPPY MIGRATION!” in the middle of the grocery store parking lot…at the top of our lungs
  6. listening to the coins and zippers clanking in the dryer (my daughter says she loves that sound as she drifts off to sleep. Maybe because she knows she is well taken care of with clean laundry?)
  7. butterfly kisses
  8. firecracker sundaes on the 4th of July. You put sparklers in a hot fudge sundae. Instant magic.
  9. whooping it up when Kevin from Home Alone kicks butt against the two bad guys. Kid power at its finest.
  10. doing the popcorn dance: punching the air as the kernels burst into popcorn into our popcorn popper (Oh and I highly recommend this brand available but I’ve seen it cheaper at other stores
  11. pop + popcorn + movie on Friday nights
  12. giving my daughter one of my favorite pair of earrings. Just because.
  13. pomegranates and egg nog in November. Always.
  14. singing “Do Your Boobs Hang Low” at the top of our lungs in the car
  15. French toast for dinner
  16. cutting out paper snowflakes and displaying them in the front window–each and every one of them–even if the holes are gaping and they really look like Charlie Brown’s ghost costume
  17. just talking and listening

What good memories will stay with truly stay with children as they get older? I don’t know…my kids are still young.

But don’t ya want to enjoy the journey? And the molehills will turn into mountains–on their own–because little memories add up. Big time.