“The foremost quality of our pioneers was faith, with faith in God, they did what every pioneer does… they stepped forward into the unknown.” Dallin H. Oaks
“The descendants of these pioneers can partially settle the account by being true to the cause for which their ancestors suffered so much to be part of.” James E. Faust
The Bee Gee’s song “Island in the Stream” blares from the radio of our Honda CR-V as we fly across miles and miles of barren flat fields surrounded by sage brush, rocks, and weeds. There is no sign of habitation for as far as the eye can see.
As I sit here in the comfort of my car, I think of my ancestors, who slowly traipsed across the many states in covered wagons looking for new lands to settle.
Here I’m bored with the flat scenery, but saved by playing the music in the comfort of my car versus sitting on the hard wooden bench seats of the wagons. The pioneers did not have the ability to play music as they traveled along, unless someone played a harmonica or fiddle as they bumped along the dusty roads. How spoiled we are.
This part of the world, to our pioneers, must have looked bleak. I admire their fortitude for continuing through this unknown territory to who knows what they would find. I even wonder if the desire to seek new came from their family, who left their home country for a new land?
What would it have been like to land in a new world in the late 1700’s from Germany, not even being able to speak our language? Then to travel across such desolate areas…
How does one leave the comfort and familiarity of our home to forge ahead into a new, unknown territory… especially without the vibrant music of the Bee Gee’s to encourage us along.
Later in the day, the gray clouds rolled in plastering themselves on the road directly in front of us. Then I thought of Christopher Columbus’ theory that the world was flat. Boy, it sure looked that way. It appeared as if the end of the road was a spring-board into outer space; or are we a bunch of lemmings following one another right off the cliff?
The pioneers forged ahead without GPS systems, and without detailed maps. Heck, there weren’t even any street signs to tell our ancestors whether they were going the wrong direction or not. To add to the dilemma when they arrived at their destination, they had to worry about growing their own food as they couldn’t run to the grocery store to pick up a few things. Heck, they didn’t even have a McDonald’s or a Pizza Hut, so they could stop to bring home a fast dinner before they settled in for the night.
I’m delighted that my ancestors did find their way to the NW as they had one heck of a long road to hoe with desolate lands and weather to deal with in route. I wonder if I would have been willing to make such a long trip with friends and family in tow? But what an awesome adventure!
“Reflection is the beginning of reform.” Mark Twain
“It is not a guiding spirit that reveals to me secretly in a flash what I must say or do, but thought and reflection.” Napoleon
This picture gives you a pretty clear idea of what I thought my chances were for completing the 2015 A – Z Bloggers’ Challenge. Actually, when I signed up, I nearly backed out, after all, what in the world would I write about? Besides would anyone actually read anything I write? There are so many intelligent, creative writers out there, that I felt I could not hold a candle to them. However, my friends nudged me and encouraged me to participate again. So, “Oh what the heck, I’ll give it a try.” The practice will be good for me, right?
I have even been questioning whether I should keep my blog, as I was running out of ideas to write about. But I think the Challenge challenged my brain too. I needed incentive. I have always admired Erma Bombeck’s style of writing. I would LOVE to be like Erma someday as she had a delightful way with humor in depicting life. Maybe I can step-up the Challenge to make me work harder at reflecting about life… with a bit of humor.
Life intrigues me. Maybe I never grew out of the “why” stage, as I constantly ask “WHY?” You do remember your three or four year olds asking “Why” all of the time; well that’s me. As I ponder questions about my life and research answers, my light-bulb goes on. “OH… THAT’S WHY!”
I’m learning that for me the Challenge is a great time to reflect. It also gives me a goal to work for. Now, maybe the Challenge will challenge me in other ways… give me new goals.
What I loved most about the Challenge is meeting new people, with fabulous ideas and minds, making new friends. This is another way to help me grow and expand my ideas by listening to the other writers out there. I found it time consuming to write and follow others, but it definitely is a benefit for my growth. I highly encourage others to traipse around through the neighborhood of other bloggers. Meet your neighbors and make new friends. Since I tend toward hiding in the shadows, I definitely need to be more proactive about seeking out others’ blogs. The Challenge was a fabulous learning experience so next year I need to stretch some more.
My challenge to me… challenge me MORE!
I really and seriously considered writing “zero, zip, zilch… that’s it!” and running for cover as the Challenge is over. Then the other night as I was starting to close up the blinds before I headed upstairs to watch TV, I just happened to notice some movement down at the bay. The tide was going out and I saw flapping wings. Now what is going on? At first I thought it was a duck or a seagull, but then I noticed the white head and realized it was a bald eagle. Ok, what the heck is that eagle doing? I thought it would swoop up in grand style with a big fish. Then I saw the bump.
Now it is times like this that I wish I had binoculars as I simply could not tell what the eagle was attempting to pull out of the water. The eagle would peck away at whatever was trapped in the eagle’s talons. At first I thought the eagle had a fish. Then the eagle would flap its’ wings like crazy trying to rise up out of the water and mud… with no success. Whatever, the eagle had trapped was heavier than the eagle. I watched the process for about 20 minutes as the eagle pecked, then industriously flapped its’ wings some more in an attempt to rise out of the water. Then you could almost see the eagle say “I’m POOPED! I need a rest” as the eagle would relax and float on top of the bump for a few minutes. Then the process would repeat itself constantly. Evidently, an eagle can lift up to about four pounds, so whatever was in the water was heavier than the eagle. I’m guessing that the prey must have been an otter or a baby seal; or who knows, maybe a beaver. This eagle must have been VERY hungry to try for something that big.
However, try as it might the eagle never successfully pulled the body from the water so it had Zilch for dinner. And, I didn’t stick around long enough to find out the results of the eagle’s endeavors, but I did notice that by the time I was upstairs and looked out the window, the eagle was gone, but the “bump” was still there. So I have ZERO results for you from this story. However, this could be YOUR opportunity to add your own ending.
Now, thank you for stopping by to visit my blog and for your comments while on this journey. I truly appreciate your friendship. It has been quite a wild ride. In the beginning, I thought I might have zip, zero, and zilch to say, but I surprised myself.
“Because what’s worse than knowing you wanted something besides knowing you can never have it.” James Patterson
“How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.” Sylvia Plath
“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd —The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.” Fernando Pessoa
“A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.” Lionel Shriver
What do you “yearn” for… the A – Z Challenge to be over (we only have one more day), money, power, beauty, youth, things, love, or adventure? I simply yearn to be able to do the things I “kind of” once was able to do… like my modern dance moves or my water ballet that I did for years. Discovering that my aging body has a mind of its’ own totally bums me out as I enjoy being goofy, periodically. I also enjoy the freedom of movement that the water provided my body.
I once yearned to be a mermaid as I rode the swell of the waves as they raced toward shore. Then in synchronized swimming, I so loved being under the water and moving to the music. Fluidity with nature has always been important to me… the grace of sting rays, the playfulness of dolphins, so I have a yen to be part of their world. Ok, I wouldn’t mind finding that time warp I keep hearing about so I could get my teenage body back too.
Now, as I walk the Poulsbo waterfront, nature reaches out to embrace me. The ravens chase the seagulls off their turf– the lamp post. Or the seagulls float high in the air above me, as if a puppet on a string. But when the bald eagle visits, the seagulls angrily squawk and let him know in no uncertain terms that the eagle is not welcome. Meanwhile the otter or the seal swim along the shore looking for baby fish to munch on for their meal ignoring the feathery turmoil above them. Plus, I am surrounded by parents and children playing, seniors walking their pets, and I am happy.
I walk along feeling engulfed by nature as the wind lifts my hair blowing it in a hundred directions. The sun warms my soul. I no longer have to yearn as I now recognize that I am part of this world… one with nature.
Oh man, talk about the truth coming out of hiding!
When I walked into my physical therapist’s office for the first time, I brought a disk of my x-rays of my back, so the poor man would know what my dilemma is. The problem is that I had no concept of how enlightening the x-rays would be. Years ago, I had seen some x-rays of my teeth, and later x-rays of my knees, and all these pictures showed were my bones. I can handle THAT!
In the days before 3D x-rays all we saw were skeletal pictures leaving the flesh details to our imagination—or so I thought! Now technology has improved, as I was about to learn! My physical therapist invited me into his office to examine the x-rays with him so he could point out what was wrong with my back.
Keep in mind that despite my “wild and whacky” ways I am pretty conservative about some things… like I hide in the dark to change my clothes as I don’t want to scare anyone. After all, after bearing two children, my body didn’t want to go back to “the way it was” prior to my kids’ births. My lean bikini days are LONG GONE!
So, here I am back in my physical therapist’s office and he has loaded the disk of my back and the pictures are slowly coming up on the screen of his computer. Realize; the x-rays show from my shoulders down past my waist to my hips. What I was not prepared for was how realistic the pictures would be as they included my flesh as well as my bones. Just what I “wanted” to do… stand essentially naked in front of an unknown man; as to me the pictures depicted me as “Granny” from the old cartoons in the Playboy Magazine.
I worked hard at not shrieking, “Oh My God! That CAN’T be me!” as I contrived to hide my vivid flush that spread across my face. To add insult to injury the x-ray technician’s descriptive report even described the food still digesting in my colon. I was so embarrassed I’m not sure my therapist witnessed me crawling from his office to escape these sights!
The next time the doctor wants me to get x-rayed I’m wearing a suit of armor with a skeleton etched on it.