Uncovered another “thing” while kayaking

As life goes….as I’ve learned in therapy….as I’ve uncovered in myself as I embrace new thought, my life as far back as I can remember has been guided by fear!

Over the years, I’ve done some brave and, what some might call, crazy or fearless things which I would say do not meld (for lack of better word) with the belief that I am guided by fear. I think in a subconscious way, I embrace these challenges in order to work through my fear but I’m positive this insight did not knowingly have a bearing on my decisions at the time.

I do not swim very well, in fact I’ve never known if I knew how to swim well enough to save myself….and quite frankly I have a fear of the water….no doubt thanks to my mother who feared everything. Keeping that in mind, I have an incredible desire to be in a boat on the water…we’ve owned a pontoon and two sailboats and now kayaks.

Last weekend for the first time, we took them to the River…the Niangua….for a a maiden 4 hour ….cue Gillians Island music….River voyage. Before I actually got completely on the River, I was personally completely in the river. Within the first hour we had to go around a sand bar where two guys were fishing and because of swirling water and Lack of experience, I got too close to the steep bank and turned it over again! Once I recovered and was helped back in by said fishermen, we were off again.

It was fun, I learned technique, I relaxed, I felt the sun on my body, i experienced the beauty of nature a way I had never seen it before. But the one thing that sticks in my mind was when, as we were floating down the river, he yelled back and said…so did that experience scare you? NO. It did not scare me. I would like to figure out why it didn’t.

Until next time….

Notably

Minnesota is a large state. While sitting in an AmericInn lobby this morning drinking my coffee and eating an English muffin, I found out that while Minnesota is large by area it only ranks 12th out off 50….and the state cannot brag about water area either (see last column in screen shot). so that land of lakes is probably notable for the amount of lakes within its boarders not the actual area or volume for that matter.

The AmericInn runs Fox News on their lobby TV 24/7. While I’m not sure right now if this is staff or Corp policy. It does make a difference to me….and while they have every right to have their TV turned to any channel they support…this has an impact on me and my choices where I spend my money when I require lodging.

Saw this in a bookstore.

Wish I had written it. Would like to spend more time on the North Shore to perhaps collect facts in order to write a book about it….or at least spend a lot of time at the North Shore collecting facts and then make a decision.

Today is our 39th anniversary! In order to stay married this long, you have to embrace the fact that marriage can be damn hard and overcoming the bad times is what makes it work for 39 years! I received a piece of advice early on…most successful marriages work because of the commitment portion..commitment is what makes you work through the tough times because inevitably you don’t like each other 100 percent of the time and the trick is to not dislike each other at the same time. Happy Anniversary to Him!

Until next time….

Sometime between 2000 and 2007

We visited the North Shore…we’ve narrowed it down to those years…because we ate at the current Betty’s Pie Shop which moved to its present location in 2000….and I started blogging in 2007 and I can’t find record of it.

No picture of the Pie because who has time to take pictures of Pie!

We left Grand Marais with a final look around…we may pull the camper and do the campground next time.

After Grand Marais, our first stop was Cascade River State Park. Beautiful…easy trail…a few steps but very doable for this…

Tettegouch State Park is huge with lots of hiking possibilities…we did the Shovel Point hike which is 200 feet above Lake Superior. 300 steps and inclines up but OMG. When we arrived on top there were already rock climbers on top and beginning their descent.

We decided to leave the other hikes to our next visit. We headed back to Two Harbors because we knew Betty’s Pies was waiting…had a nice visit with our friend Sue at her house and got to see more of the north shore off the beaten path.

The north shore is a must visit at least once in your life!

Grand Marais, MN

For the most part this will be a picture blog because pictures tell the story about this beautiful place.

While he did this after breakfast…

I did this

He didn’t fall into the drink and we were reunited

Lots of shops line the streets…not your typical souvenir stores but higher quality merchandise….art stores, jewelers, etc… I fell in love with an amethyst ring which is now mine. Our 39th Anniversary is Saturday so perfect timing!

It was a tough decision…the ring vs jewelry created from this stone

We are going to slowly meander south tomorrow and visit some state parks and waterfalls on the way. Not quite sure how far we will get….perhaps back to Two Harbors. There are not a lot of regular hotels between here and there.

Until next time…..

North Shore Day 1

Cold rain and temps in the 60s but that didn’t slow us down. When traveling the United States, I really enjoy when the landscape and the trees change. Driving along Lake Superior in the North Shore area of Minnesota is beautiful! Its only nature! Miles and miles of water, trees, incredible rock lined roads and tunnels.

Gooseberry Falls were a little disappointing …. the water flow wasn’t as heavy as the first time we were here….although the sight and the sound were still breath taking. I stood for a long time and centered myself taking it all in using all of my senses.

Split Rock Lighthouse tour…$10 per person….the lighthouse is a must see and the views of the shore line are breathtaking even on a cloudy, rainy day.

We made it to Grand Marais by 4:00. Probably the furthest north we will go because we didn’t bring passports. We have a room in a hotel right along the lake although trees mostly hide a great view

The various sea birds are providing a manic chorus. I hope they SHUTUP when the sun goes down.

Until next time……

Just a couple of connected short stories……

When I was a child, our family.. dad, mom and Nina Sue would visit Grandma in tiny town, Nichols, Iowa a few times a year. These were special times for me because it was my dad’s hometown and he would always take me with him to socialize with old friends at Chown’s Appliance, the DX Station and Rice’s Cafe. We always stopped in The Cafe to get me a fountain drink and talk to Neva Rice and the woman he called Grandma Rice. Just thinking about Rice’s Cafe, I can still see the ceiling fans and hear the wooden screen door slam shut every time someone came in or out.

A couple years ago I connected with an old classmate of mine. We went through school together and we had all of the same teachers and home rooms except for kindergarten…and….I would not define us really as friends in school…more childhood acquainted. After awhile, I also connected with his wife on FB….mainly reference some comments we shared on FB about some health issues Chuck was enduring. Over the last couple of years, we developed our own friendship and a mutual bond developed. Sue and I finally met in person tonight in a hospital room in Duluth,MN. He and I planned a mini vacation to visit his brother in New Ulm, revisit the North Shore and stop in and see Sue and Chuck who live north of Duluth. As timing would have it, we had to visit them in a hospital room as he had not been released after a recent surgery.

And now the connection! I asked Chuck if he had any relatives in small town, Nichols, Iowa. I’d always been curious because of his last name…he said no…but Sue piped up and said she did. She had relatives…two women…a mother and daughter….Neva Rice and her mother owned a cafe in Nichols when she was young…..Rice’s Cafe.

Things like this cannot be coincidences. This was synchronicity at its best. I am blessed!

Until next time….

Jax called me yesterday

GRANDMA! Followed by some 5 year old rambling about painting with acrylics and paint brushes and mom said NO! I finally asked him if he wanted me to talk to mom and he said YES! It all revolves around him telling his mom that he could paint by himself but he only had one paint brush but he knew how to rinse it in a glass of water and blot it with a paper towel and change colors. Jenny said, “he can do that himself”? Hahaha yep he can! ❤️ my heart was full. That sweet little voice and me wondering what transpired in the conversation before he decided grandma needed to be contacted….

I woke up this morning smiling about it followed by a lone tear because everything changes today….the first day of kindergarten. While I’m so filled with love and excitement for him knowing it’s time….I’m also feeling a void….I’ll miss that sweet, excited little boy bursting through the garage door 3 days a week excited for today’s adventure whatever it is, hearing him yell GRANNDDD..ma when I’m in another room, I’m going to miss putting puzzles together several times a day or week and the little disagreements over pieces and the joy when we’ve put the very same puzzle together once again!

Now there will be a whole new excitement and wonder and stories when we see him! Today the world of possibilities opens up to him! Somebody hand me a Kleenex.

Until next time….

Asking for a friend. Okay, okay it was me.

I had a major fail today..

She was probably 65 year old woman with a definite pear shape…I mention the pear shape because after her non-courteous, snippy behavior at the check out, when she finally moved, I judged her for not wearing a longer blouse to camouflage the caboose. My irritation began as I stood in line while she tried to come up with pennies for change so she wouldn’t have to receive pennies back. The clerk had completely checked out my items and stacked them on the counter but I was unable to advance forward because she stood dead in her space and looked through every sack before she put them in her cart. Finally I was able to get up to the credit card machine to check out and the clerk got my groceries sacked.

…..and of course she was parked in front of me in the parking lot. When I saw her carry her case of Dr Pepper to the other side of the car, I just KNEW she was going to,leave her grocery cart sitting there. Yep. She got in the car and drove off. Dark black smoke was starting to escape from my ears. Before she shut her door, I bit my tongue instead of HEY…PUT YOUR SHOPPING CART AWAY. While I was pushing both of our carts around two cars to the cart corral I shook my head and said out loud….you lazy bitch.

What is the correct way to handle this situation?

Sometimes…..

sometimes we get so caught up in the drama and speed of our lives that we don’t remember, realize, recall just how lucky we are and how much we are loved, as well as, our capacity to spread our love around.

We spent a long weekend “back home” in Iowa.  My heart was beating out of my chest Friday watching our youngest daughter as she worked with deaf kids participating in Iowa Baseball Camp for the deaf.  Several players for the Iowa Cubs along with volunteer leaders and interpreters worked with the kids all week which culminated in the Friday morning game played on the field.  The pure joy on the faces of the kids as they hit balls and ran the bases and watching the pure joy of the adult staff feeling the feels from the kids was a warm fuzzy!

Today, I spent the day with old friends and their family (because of who they are and how they love actually feels like my family)!  We were there to celebrate the 25 th wedding anniversary of Mark and Denise…..Denise wearing black shirt.

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The four of us are seldom all together but when we are, we fall back into rhythm and finish sentences we started last time we were together!  I also snapped pics from their video of He and I at the wedding 25 years ago.

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I’m proud to say I’m the one wearing the green dress with the large white bow in my hair 👀….. which begs an answer to the question…why did we wear big bows in our hair?

I am blessed, I am loved and I love!

until next time….