Travel – Iowa Day 1

I found my blog from a road trip I took in 2009 with my two youngest kids when they were 13 and 15. It was my first attempt at blogging, and I’m glad I did it because it was fun to revisit those days.

I’m taking three trips this year, and want to preserve the memories, so here goes!

Iowa, Day 1

I’m sitting in Houston Hobby Airport waiting to board. The first leg of the trip is a quick hop to Dallas and a plane change. Then on to Des Moines, get a car, and a short drive to Ames, Iowa and my beautiful daughter Rachel.

I look around at the other people waiting. I cannot find a single person who is not using their smartphone —except for that one lady who is reading on her kindle. Texting, listening to music, social media, playing games — and there are a couple of people actually talking on them. Before I took out my pen and paper to write this, I was doing the same thing! Just 20 years ago, the crowd would most likely have been reading books and newspapers. How things change.

Now I’m writing from the plane on the way from Dallas to Des Moines. The actual flight from Houston to DFW was quick, but definitely  a hurry-up-and-wait operation, as traveling by plane often is. I only had a 50 minute layover, and with all the delays I wasn’t sure I’d make it.

Delays:

1. The first flight was 10 minutes late.

2. After we landed, we were informed there was a plane in the gate we were assigned to. When we did get a gate, it took at least 10 minutes to get there.

3. I had to wait for my carry on bag. It was one of those small commuter planes, and they “valet” the bags. By the time I had the bag in hand, there were only 20 minutes left before my connecting flight was scheduled to take off.

The Dallas Fort Worth airport is like a small city, and has four terminals. I landed at gate B40, and thanks to Google, knew that I needed to get to gate A9. That was a mini road trip in itself! I and another frantic lady,  who only had 10 minutes to catch her flight took off at a sprint, following the signs to the “Skylink”. We had to go up an unnaturally tall escalator, then caught a talking train (that must have been Skylink). I lost her after that – she was on a mission. I wonder if she made her flight.

I found the signs for gates A-1 to A- 23 and broke into a jog, thankful to the inventor of the rolling suitcase. I was at A -20 and had to pee, but there was no time for creature comforts. It seemed like an eternity until way down the corridor I glimpsed A-12, A-11, A- 10, and yes! finally, A-9. It seemed like another mile but I was there!

No one else was there though, except the woman at the desk. “May I board?” I asked as she glanced up, nonchalantly. She probably deals with this every day. “I’ll call, but I think they were closing the doors.”  As my heart was sinking and she was getting no answer, guess who showed up? The PILOT! Yes! So the door was opened for me, and with great relief I was allowed to board the plane, right before the pilot. “Thank God for donuts,” he joked. I would definitely have to say Amen to that, I thought as I gratefully took my seat.

********

There was a light rain falling in Des Moines when I arrived, and it was blessedly cool, around 60 degrees. This is my first trip to visit Rachel and her husband since they have lived here. I enjoyed the changing scenery as I drove out of the city, noting large freshly plowed fields. Deep in the heart of farm country, I thought as I neared my destination.

There she is! My heart sang as I saw my dear daughter come out of the house with her little green umbrella. My little girl. So happy to see her and hug her.

After getting settled inside, I told her of my traveling adventures, and we caught up with our lives. She gave me a mandala coloring book, and I gave her a book of Rumi poems. We had a marvelous dinner of bean burritos prepared by Rachel’s husband. We talked about what we might do for the next couple of days, but made no firm plans. Then we settled into a movie. We chose Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, and it was a great choice – funny, scary, and romantic.

And I went to sleep on the comfy couch.

Uninspired

I’ve felt uninspired lately.

I haven’t even been journaling as much. I sit to write and it sounds like the same stuff over and over. Additionally, I haven’t been making much time to read other blogs, even though there are several writers I really enjoy. On top of that, I haven’t painted or taken many pictures lately. Everything just seems sorta blah.

Every so often I’ll get on wordpress, read a few posts, and wonder how people write so much, some every day. I periodically wonder why I started a blog in the first place. Oh yeah! I thought I had something to say that was inspiring. Then I got all into Blogging 101 and Photography 101 and following other blogs and hoping people would follow mine. Now I look at the list of blogs I follow and I don’t have time to read all that.  I’m not getting new followers lately — but hey! I haven’t been writing much. Would just like the stats to say woohoo! you’ve reached xxxx followers.

Sigh. That’s bullshit. That’s no reason to write, or paint, or any other pursuit.  If, in the course of writing, I put something out there and someone truly finds inspiration, great. If not, I’ve expressed myself. This is what all the great writers and painters say- do it for yourself first. So if I don’t have anything for awhile, that’s ok. I’ll read and study and travel, and be curious about everything.

So. New resolution. Stop being so concerned about putting up a blog post for the sake of putting up a blog post.  And when in the course of  the journey of life inspiration comes, go for it, in whatever form it takes.

May Musings

ReflectionsAh, May. These first few days, at least here on the Gulf Coast, are when you know it’s fixing to be super steamy humid hot, so you really really enjoy that last bit of cool weather. Today is like that. I sat by the lake this morning, enjoying the 60 degree air, wondering where all the pelicans are that frequented this pier just last fall. I suppose they are busy with nesting or raising their babies, and will be back here later this year. I also love looking at the reflections on the water, and all the fish jumping.   A few ducks and gulls flew by, but that was it. The morning was quiet, disturbed only by a small motor boat in a hurry to get somewhere else. The fisherman nearby wasn’t too happy about that.

April was fairly uneventful. I dove into my studies, and am really enjoying the things I’m learning about Ayurveda. I had  a misconception that Ayurveda was eastern medicine that uses plants and food for healing. Actually, it is consciousness based, knowledge of truth and life (that’s what ayurveda means). It is the science of how nature works, and that science is universal.  It’s about really knowing what is happening in a person’s being and addressing all the layers, not just the physical. I’m loving it!

I “read” (listened to) Super Brain. Fascinating stuff, about how to use our brain as a gateway for achieving health, happiness, and spiritual growth. Gave me lots to think about, if you’ll excuse the pun!

We took another trip to Caddo Lake, near Uncertain. Here’s what I wrote about that place after our visit last July. This time, we mostly stayed in or close by the cabin, just enjoying connecting with nature. Still couldn’t get the great blue heron to pose for a picture!

Coming up for me in May – I decided last month to make a trip to Ames, Iowa, to visit my daughter. This after a mini reunion with all my Texas kids – 3 here in the Houston area, one coming in from Austin and another from Nacogdoches. I’m always very happy to spend time with my children.  The only one I won’t get to see this month is my son in Massachusetts, but I’ve got the wheels turning in my brain for a New England trip in the fall.

And today? I’m gonna spend it at home, a rare treat, it seems. I’ve got the windows open, no particular plans….I’d like to finish the painting I’ve been working on, read a bit, learn something new…Maybe just sit in the sun for a bit.

Still facing fear

I am reblogging my first post. I “met” another blogger who had just started Morning pages, so went back to read this. Indeed there is something magical about writing 3 pages longhand about whatever is in your head first thing in the morning. So much has opened up for me in this last year, and there is so much opening up ahead.

Facing Fear (written and posted June 20, 2014)

I chose “embracing uncertainty” as the name of my blog because this has been my life, although until recently, I couldn’t see that. I always liked the illusion of being in control, of making things happen.

Learning the seven spiritual laws has really changed the way I look at life. Detachment simply means not being attached to a particular outcome, or point of view. I get up in the morning and have no idea what the day will bring. I meet someone or have a conversation, and let life flow, as opposed to imposing my views or desires on others, or even GOD.

For three months, since I started meditating regularly, I have asked myself the soul question: Who am I? The idea is to just ask,  then meditate, with no expectations of anything. This is really an effort for me , as I like immediate answers. I recently opened a book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, subtitled A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. The author suggests writing morning pages, three longhand pages of whatever comes to mind. The hope is that whatever is blocked will be released. So I have been doing this for a couple of weeks, and it has basically become a journaling. Yesterday I came across an author who mentors and got  her 21 spoonfed writing tips for finding your writing voice. The first tip is to “spend some time writing about what makes you who you are, what moments in your life have shaped you.” Wow. Same as the soul question.

So I sat to write. And admitted on paper that I resist this exploration. And started writing, not expecting much. But as I wrote, I was able to see that I am a passionate, loving woman, and I give myself wholly to those I choose to love. As I continued to explore events and people who have shaped me and my life, I had what to me was an amazing aha revelation – the facing of fear has shaped me in a major way. And this:

Facing fear is like walking blindfolded through a wall of flame, not knowing how badly I might be burned, or if I will survive the heat, and if I do survive, not knowing what I will find on the other side or if I will be able to handle it.

Accepting the inevitability of change doesn’t mean giving up what I want. I just recognize that I control my choices, but have no idea what the consequences will be. Watching life unfold becomes wonderful instead of fearful.