Mama Always Told Me…

Stuck by the side of the road? It’s an adventure! Lost in a strange town? It’s an adventure! Found a gorgeous little beach off the coast highway? It’s an adventure!

My parents loved to travel and raised my brother and me with a good sense of adventure. Every summer, as soon as school let out we’d load up the camper and tag along on my dad’s business trips. The route always took in a great number of other things on the way to and from wherever we were going. Dollars were short but my folks managed to work in the gift of travel this way and expand our borders. I still find travel to be a great form of education and inspiration.

Planning a roadtrip with your family or friends soon? The Parked in Paradise website has some great tips about getting the most of your next adventure. Their Roadtrip Handbook to the USA is the perfect guide for inspiration and guidance to make it a success.

Some of the images in my memory bank:

Crawdad fishing in a crystal cold Oregon stream, with our jeans rolled up to our knees, then cooking our catch in the camper as the rain beat on the roof. Singing “Chantilly Lace” at the top of our lungs along with the Big Bopper on the oldies station. Sledding on the north slope of a Colorado mountain in June during a long haul drive to somewhere else. The, “Hey, let’s stop by the road and you kids can sled on your coats” moment. Reading massive numbers of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries to pass the time during the drives. Wow! Such great memories. My folks taught us to look for the serendipity in life—those sometimes spontaneous, sometimes planned treasures of time, location or people met along the way.

This gift of a sense of adventure has stood me in good stead through life, providing needed flexibility, a sense of humor and anticipation. Have to admit, I’m a planner so I’m still working on the flexibility part! But Mom’s words, shouted back through the wind, “Isn’t this an adventure?!” as we cruised down the highway on a motorcycle, my 12 year old lanky arms wrapped around her, have stayed with me for several more decades down the road.

I think of conversations overheard as a child sitting around a circle of adults, listening as they recounted experiences, hunting trips, babies (this one not so much), travels and interesting people they had met. Maybe it’s inevitable that I grew up loving words and now focus on honoring people’s lives by telling their stories. Each life is a God given unique gift, something to cherish.

In this blog I’ll be sharing thoughts on life adventures, memories and storytelling and give you some tools and inspiration for sharing them with your family. Sometimes we’ll talk a little history, after all we’re part of the ongoing stream and human beings haven’t changed any over the years! Most of all I hope to encourage you to talk to the people in your life, young and old, about their memories, hopes and dreams. They will feel valued, you might learn something and you both will have the joy of sharing stories.

I invite you to share your life journey, contact me and let me know your memories, the things that matter in your life and what you’ve learned from others. Will this be the year you share your story?

(article updated 1/20/21)

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    Karen Ray

    Address: 331 Bristol Avenue, Las Cruces, NM, 88001

    Phone: 575-323-1048