Blogging since 2008 has brought many rewards, including writing and sharing my stories and meeting many people online who also have dreams. Then in 2010 I took my first step off my own continent and visited South Africa. A magical land that captured my spirit. I returned in 2013 and am back again in 2014.
My family thinks I’m crazy. I come from a family of monkeys.
I’ve dreamed of traveling all my life, drooling over the images in National Geographic as a child. Upon high school graduation I dreamed of traveling across the USA in a horse covered wagon taking photos and sharing my story in National Geographic. We all have a dream.
But instead life got in the way. I got a job, got married, raised step-children, went to college, got divorced, became a National Park Ranger. And all that time I continued to travel, and dream.
I celebrated 50 years in Oregon with friends from Oregon Caves National Monument. We had a big bonfire at a friend’s home and I’d asked people to bring something they wanted to get rid of to throw in the fire. I wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to be less impatient and for the next three months I waited for EVERYTHING. So I learned patience and then decided I didn’t like waiting so I gave that up. I dreamed of another 50 years ahead of me.
I celebrated 40 years in Mexico with my ex-husband camping along the Caribbean just south of Tulum. I spent the day in a terrible self-imposed funk inside the camper with wind blowing the beach sand sideways. I knew the marriage was over and hated myself for staying in it. I dreamed of being single and by the next year I was happily divorced.
Sometimes I’m just a slow learner.
I celebrated 30 years in a hospital watching my step-daughter get her stomach pumped from taking all the pills in our medicine cabinet in an attempt at suicide, or maybe it was just a cry for help. Being a teenager isn’t always easy. And neither is being a parent. I dreamed of a better life for her, and me.
I’ve gotten into a few scrapes along the way.
I celebrated 20 years in southern Illinois with the current live-in boyfriend. In fact I quit a job to have my birthday off, because it is MY day after all. I’d asked two weeks in advance for the day off from a job at a cafeteria where I decorated and cut pies and cakes. Because my birthday fell on Easter that year I was told they would be very busy and I had to work. So I gave them two weeks notice. On my last day at the close of business I asked a fellow employee to send the manager into the back prep area for me to say goodbye. I was waiting with a full, giant sized pastry bag full of whipped cream and squirted him all over his three piece suit as a going away gift. I filled my dream of getting back at him for not giving me the day off.
I like to be sneaky sometimes.
I celebrated 10 years in the suburbs of Chicago where I grew up. In fact it was the last birthday party my Mom organized for me as I got in trouble the following summer. We lived at the end of a dead end road next to a swamp where I was told not to play but of course did. I came home one day covered in tar from a bucket that had been left behind by a nearby construction crew and after Mom scrubbed me down with turpentine in the tub I was informed, “No more birthday parties for you!” I dreamed of a party until a friend threw me a surprise party for my Sweet 16th.
I’m not beyond getting into trouble while having fun.
I wonder what 70 years of life will bring? I dream of more travel and meeting more wonderful people from around the world. And maybe more of you bloggers as well.
(After rain Monday night and waking up in a lake with my tent floating we are now dry and warm in a Chalet for the next two nights at Augrabies Falls. Joan is taking me to dinner here for my 60th birthday. A wonderful way to celebrate!)
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