Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lighthouse lessons

As usual, I am immersed in all things travel. My soul wants to wander to new places and find beautiful things. It does not want to sit here for the 11th day in a row taking calls about sick foxes, meth heads, and purse snatchers; but a girl's got to pay her bills.

Lately, I've gotten a lot of "are you ever home?" and "where are you going now?" That pleases me. If my obituary was written tomorrow, I would hope it said that I was a beloved daughter, sister, and friend, who was an avid lover of music, travel, and most importantly, life.

I'm finding a sincere apprecitation for lighthouses in all my travel research. Wondering why there are so many travel blogs written on these lighted places, I started reading between the lines. Teetering on the edge of the world, yet grounded enough to weather the storm, lighthouses have guided ships safely to harbor for hundreds of years. Getting to a lighthouse is a challenge, but if you appreciate beauty and history, it's worth the effort.

Point Bonita Lighthouse, San Francisco Bay

I have some people that I want to give up on. I want to let them wander out at sea and get lost and not worry if they ever find their own way home. I realize now that it is not my responsibility to charter their course and that sometimes finding your own way is the only way for some people to discover who they are.

I wonder if, in life, I could challenge myself to be like a light house?

Can I find a beacon in my friends and people I hold close that will always bring me home and help me find my bearings?
Can I be a beacon that doesn't burn out and doesn't give up?
Can I stand tall despite what life throws at me - wind, rain, storms, gusts that should knock me off my feet and down to me knees?

Can I do it?

***edit: after looking for quotes reference being someone's lighthouse or beacon and coming up with nothing, sitting here getting back to reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, page 12, paragaph 2: "...he was my lighthouse and my albatross in equal measure." The universe IS speaking to me!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jon said:

This is the story of my life
And I write it everyday.
I know it isn’t black and white
And it’s anything but grey.
I know that no I’m not alright, but I feel ok cause
Anything can, everything can
I been thinking and maybe
You can help me write the story of my life
What do you say?

~ Bon Jovi

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where there is pasta, there is love.

I have this pasta theory. If you cook on a regular basis, you know it is usually much easier to make things for a group than to cook for 1. Pasta is simply put a meal for a family...even if there are no relatives at your table. It's hard to not sit down with a oversized serving bowl and not expect a troop to be gathered around. It begs the question, did the Italians make the pasta or did the pasta make the Italians? Well, I guess this could go for any other noodle loving nationality, but you get my point.

I went to dinner at the A's tonight. First off, when it comes to any kind of visit to the A's, if you didn't come with food, you leave with a fully belly, and if you came with food, you leave with lunch for the next day or a plate for the family that missed the trip over. Tonight, I was part of the pasta, salad, bread, cake, and ice cream bearing party. Dinner with the A's, in all affectionate terminology, is like having dinner at the circus but with much better food and less elephant poop. There are very few places outside of my revolving front door of a home, where I feel completley...at home. In that thought, I realize that there are masses of people in this world that have no where they can feel that way. I am truly blessed.

Back at the A's, as you walk through the house, you're greeted by the abundant family of 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 child with seemingly immeasurable energy, 4 sisters, 2 "young" parents, 2 "old" parents, and 1 new person on the way. Mind you, there are still two siblings with prior plans who were missing from this equation. Two of those four sisters at dinner tonight are special in every sense of the word. Catie and Annie are simply wonderful. Where they may seem fragile and to the untrained eye, tragic, to really know these girls and this family is a blessing. I do believe that these girls are the beating heart of this household.

Although I can't imagine what it must feel like to not be in control of my body, I don't give either of the girls my pity, only my attention. I'll be the first to admit that I don't always understand what Catie has to tell me but I listen for whatever I can pick up and tonight, I made her laugh. That was pretty special. Now I know I make a lot of people laugh on a regular basis, my life is a comedy and I am the punchline, but this laugh from Catie...this was something special. Catie is a complete sweetheart and a pure joy. She is soon to be an auntie and her dad, who is the major influence of my chosen law enfocment career path and one of the moral compases in my life, is going to be a grandpa. "Hey Catie, you know what?" I ask. "I'm gonna start calling your dad 'Gramps'! How's that for a name, huh?" She responded by throwing her head back and letting loose a loud all consuming laugh. What a smile that kid has.

Then there is Annie, who greeted me at the door hanging off the banister in a big girl diaper singing to the cat. What a sight. What it is to be a kid. For the next two hours, I found myself stealing glances at Annie's mom mouthing the words "where do these kids come up with this?" Annie, for her lack of sight, remains every bit a little girl and then some. In my brief visit, we went out to the "igloo" in the backyard, played with the dogs, met all the cats, and played Barbies and then played American Girls. I was invited to a 11 year old birthday party, asked why the cow crossed the road, and called a hairy baboon with a purple butt! Annie is full of affection and always finds a way to give me a hug or lay down on my lap.

So you see just about every time I spend here in this blessed house of cop stories, American girl dolls, baby tales, shared family recipies, and baboon butts, it is always over dinner and any other way just wouldn't seem right. When I think of pasta dinner, I think of the A's. When I think of the A's, I know that the saying "Home is where your heart is" is really true. Simply put, where there is pasta, there is love.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Last week while I was standing at the Souternmost point in the Southernmost city in the US mainland, Key West, on August 11th, 2009 just before the sun set into the ocean's horizon, I made a decision to travel with more distinct purpose. Well, other than just the seeing of the world, the expanding of my horizons, the having of adventures, and the appreciation of things and places far away. I have decided to give myself exactly a year to complete the travelling and photo documentation of the following in the contiguous United States:

The Western most: Cape Alava, WA

The Eastern most: West Quoddy Head, Maine

TheNorthernmost, Northwest Angle, MN

The geographical center of the US near Lebanon, KS:
Ever been in 4 places at once? The 4 Corners:

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” - Jawaharial Nehru
So you see, I have places to be in my places to see. I'm excited to find a way to get to these places. I'm excited to go on a journey to somewhere planned and find out all that is unplanned along the way.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Worse than PMS

About every 6 months or so, I have this cycle of seething hate directed towards my job. It's back and it's worse than PMS. I can't stand a good majority of the people I work with, I hate dealing with the self-absorbed citizens that I have to talk to, and the office politics that dictate everything make me doubt the ability of good to win in the good vs. evil debate.

I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still the other night and now I have this thought stuck in my head that we really are truly the demise of our own race and planet. This is an ugly, ugly world we live in, full of unrecycled matter, dodging bullets, pandemics, and threats of nuclear warfare. I think that there has to be something better than this. Grass greaner and less angry somewhere.

I wish I could take this career decision back sometimes. Money doesn't mean much when you're disgusted 40 hours a week and you doubt the goodness of mankind. Really, ask Michael Jackson how happy all of his money made him. I used to really, really believe in the goodness of this job and then I realize that I was just a young kid that asked "how high?" when work said Jump!

I got this email from lil' Grandmama the other day that said you never lose as long as you don't lose hope. I've lost hope with my job. I guess that just makes me a big loser Sun-Wednesday 6pm-6am. I need a change, I really need a change. A big old midol for life.