Just Get in the Car and Drive


I need the sea.

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Yves Cousteau

I haven’t been to the beach at all this summer.  With gas prices, it is just not in the books for us to spend that much money to go to the beach for a day.  I wish I lived closer.

The open spaces of the West provide that clarity and calm.  I need wide open spaces.

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I am  not much a water person, as far as swimming goes.  I am not a strong swimmer.  As long as I have a floatie, I am fine to bob in the water, but much of the time I spend close to shore and frog swim, otherwise known as the breast stroke.

Safely swimming with my floatie

I took swim lessons as a child and remember diving into the frigid water early mornings.  I remember complaining how cold the water was and my mom came to swim classes with me.

I spoke to my mom recently and she was totally with it.  It is strange to see her in person, as she is confined to her wheelchair and bed. But on the phone, I imagine her animated and full of physical movement.

My parents were very spontaneous when I was a child.  We often ended up hoping into our RV and taking off on weekends without a moment’s notice.  As far as I can remember my parents didn’t worry about logistics; they just went.  They both were free spirits.  But then again, my mom probably had everything already figured out in her head how to pull off last-minute trips.

Now that I am a mother, I stress about just getting showered, dressed and out the door. Sippy cups have to be packed, diapers and wipes, and of course snacks.  Nobody wants to be in the car with a hungry toddler.

I am thinking about a last minute trip to the beach. What would that involve?  Would it be better to just get in the car and drive, as my parents often did? We’d pick up supplies when necessary. For my parents, coffee and cigarettes were (my parents were both chain smokers) the only necessary items.  My parents took us to parks every weekend, where we could play and they could talk.

This short little post is all I can crank out today.  I am having writer’s block a little.  I am just so busy, as is the rest of America.  But I feel that I am getting ready to harvest the summer crop of thoughts and ideas that have been growing.

I recently wrote a grant through my local arts council to help fund a research trip to Chicago for a book project I am working on.  I grew up in Chicago (ages 0 – 15) so Chicago is my home too.  We moved to Cheyenne when I was 15.

The book project I am working on is called The Community Kitchen: Women in the Kitchen and History in the Making.  I am very excited about this project.  You can click on the link to learn about its history and my connection to it.  My graduate school adviser wrote me a letter of reference for the grant.  I was floored by what he said about my writing ability and the potential of this project.  I have a hard time believing in myself sometimes.  OK — I will freaking admit it, I am insecure.  But I read this quote (courtesy of the Book Doctors) and it struck a chord with me and also made me feel better.

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.”
― Bertrand Russell

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”

 Robert Hughes 

I must be a great artist because I doubt myself way too much.  The thing is, I know I am meant to be an author and to teach others to write. Actually, I think my true duty as a teacher is to inspire others to write and to inspire them to share their story.  I believe everyone has a story.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

memomuse in the White Mountains

Well, I better close up this post and get to my own writing.  You too!  If you are looking for inspirational quotes, check out this facebook  page, https://www.facebook.com/TheBookDoctors.  Trust me.

Anyway,  hope you have time to be spontaneous and go off on an adventure.  I think I will be spontaneous and write and not worry where I am going.  No maps, no GPS, no sippy cups, no snacks. Just do as my parents did and just get in the car with the essentials–in my case, gas in the tank. And just drive…

Or perhaps, I should learn from my son and go off the pavement and onto the unknown road…

My son creating his own path and going off the paved road.

memomuse on top of the world. This photo is from my honeymoon in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Forest. Those are the Grand Teton Mountains and Lake Jenny behind me.

Remember–whatever road you are on–Journal Your Journey

Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.
Journal Your Journey

And wherever you are–make some wishes.

Hope. Wish. Dream. Be.
Wishes can fuel an empty gas tank.

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