Thursday, March 7, 2013


Journey’s seem to be all around me. Earlier this week my sweet friend’s journey, here on Earth came to an end. Came to an end all too young (42) and there seems to be a vacuum effect with the spot she has left. While mine and her interactions were sporadic and random, a text message here and there, facebook kept the pace of happenings and interactions and I loved her dearly. I cannot imagine what those that were much closer to her are feeling this week. My heart is broken.

I was sorting the mail this afternoon and in it was an envelope, handwritten, with the return address of one of the former youth in our church. It is actually the second one we have received this week, from a second former youth member (as well as friends of one or more of our children).

I pulled the other envelope from the stack and opened both. Both made me remember a third “former youth” and a road in front of him.

A journey ahead for all.

The first letter was raising funds for competition, under what is formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ. The competition is in Belgium, where there will be mission type opportunities too. He says in the letter, that in addition to competing in pole vaulting, there is a goal of deepening his relationship with God and sharing his faith. A big change from the campus of UGA.

The second letter was raising funds too. This one is closer to home, but quite a journey in a huge way. In fact, this letter is what made me remember the young man that heads out tomorrow on his journey. Basically the same as the young man sending out fundraising letters: hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Six months from Springer Mountain Georgia to Mount Katahdin Maine. Two young men, on similar journeys, starting a month apart, taking time to test their endurance, search their souls, digging deep in self discovery, perseverance with a goal of achievement and finding a direction for when they return home.

The Dillon (letter gentleman) has traveled some. Lived in a couple cities – worked at an ice cream shop to cover rent and surfed in his free time, living life to the fullest in an easy going simple way. The friend that traveled this path with him, discovered he was ready to go back to school and finish his Batchelor’s degree. I will be excited to see what discoveries Dillon comes home with and what direction he goes next.

Our young friend Josh begins his tomorrow, with a college friend, and countless strangers. Josh is a post graduate trying to figure out his niche in this great big world. Transitioning can be overwhelming. I have been excited for him as this date as inched closer. I have enjoyed hearing how his preparations have progressed as he readies for this journey. For Josh, this has been a goal since he entered Boy Scouts.

And then I thought of our Traveler. Four years ago she was preparing for college graduation with big plans for living in the Netherlands. Graduation came, plans crashed and she struggled to regroup in her post graduate setting. She moved to a big city and has traveled extensively. Over the past year, her dad has had several phone calls asking for his thoughts on her ideas about finding a career – most the time about going back to college.

I noticed a bit ago, she had posted last night about figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. I have to smile, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

As I type this about the journey's of five others, I do know this: the journey, no matter how well thought out and planned for, will take on a life of its own. It is best to embrace each moment and fill it with as much joy and love as possible and grasp the teachings that come with it. All the other details will work out, even if bumpy and even if in the end there are tears. Candy showed all of us, that were looking, how to do that. As she battled cancer, which is never what anyone wants on their journey, she lived. She lived with a level of faith, contentment and joy that was apparent in her smile and the peace of her journey.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

TP 235 Part II: Ross Alley Frisco

Ross Alley in San Francisco was a great spot for the letters and character theme that Carmi has been hosting.  I knew China Town needed to have a quick run through, if not for any other reason than Ross Alley.  We found the sign and hung a right.

Past the arrow...

And past Superior Trading Company....

To the birthplace of the fortune cookie. Did you know that the fortune cookie is not a traditional Chinese treat? But an "American" Chinese treat? Created right here in the United States, right here on Ross Alley in San Fransisco.

 But that was not our only stop in this alley. I had read about a gentleman, a barber, that had a very short appearance in the Prusuit of Happiness movie with Will Smith. And I read that if you asked the gentleman to play his instrument, he would. And he did. His name is Jun Yu and he did have a cameo in the movie. I had read NOT to have him give you haircut, so I did not ask my husband to take that chance. But I did ask him if he would play us a song. FIRST though, he takes the bow and with that cute smile works his way thru the bullet points that list the movie title, Will Smith's name, the channel it aired on, the date and time. Then he will play a Mozart piece on his ehru (kinda squeeky violin sound, made on a tin can looking piece that plugs into the wall). Sometimes those side steps in life take you to a spot with a little bit of sunshine and humor, if we let it.  We experienced letters and characters that day!

This character has given me a smile thinking about that alley and the sounds and the sites.

Life has its bumps, and my excitement to be back blogging was challenged (and this post almost skipped) this past week by a friend's fight against cancer turning for the worse. As her family stays by her side to be a part of every awake moment there is left, I have thought about her life and what a great, while random and sporadic, spot of sunshine she has been in my world, and many others.  She made fighting cancer look so easy, but what she really did, was live life in each moment with a combination of contentment and forward moving. Enjoying what was around her, but going for the adventure, whether the beach or Aruba or cheering on her son and his basketball team, she has remained involved and living life big.

So I thought, hey, don't step away from sharing the fun and enjoyable moments in my life and from sharing the thoughts and feelings. As I visited Carmi's blog to see this week's theme, I was glad it was still letters, and I was saddened to read of his family's loss and mourning. Yesterday he posted a single shot of how there can be a bright spot in the midst of the grayest of times. So I moved forward with the post, because the bright and pleasant moments are important too.

It felt good typing out this post. Go live and smile and make the most of all things this week. Even the squeeky moments in life!

Check out Carmi's Blog and maybe listen to Jun Yu play his ehru (I am a sorry video taker) :)