Pack your bags & try the pie….

It all started with a casual conversation…

My sister, Marie and her friend Heather were talking about spending some time with their daughters. “We should really do something with our girls before they go off to college next year… And while they still like us.” What the mom’s didn’t realize was that the girls overhead the conversation and it lit a spark. Both of them probably knew it was one of those things people say, wishing for it to happen, but knowing that it probably wouldn’t. Time would slip away, and before they knew it, they’d be off to college. So the girls, soon to be seniors in high school, took it upon themselves to plan a trip. The girls told the moms what days to take off of work and what to pack, but nothing else. “You need 3 days off, tennis shoes & shorts for sure.” No clues. No hints. No slip ups. Their lips were sealed, but their minds were racing. You could see the sparkle in their eyes when they talked about the upcoming adventure. 

The girls researched where to go, what things to do in the area, popular places to eat, etc. The moms were still totally unaware of what was in store. Anticipation was thick as they loaded up the car early in the morning of day 1. It was 3 hours into the trip before they found out where they were headed. Duluth, MN. 

Their 3 day adventure would take them biking along Canal Park, having meals by Lake Superior, a trip to Gooseberry Falls, Glensheen mansion & Betty’s Pies & more. 3 days. That’s it. This wasn’t a week long vacation to the Caribbean. It was 3 days in northern Minnesota, and it meant more to the moms than the girls will ever know. It meant that they cared enough to want to spend time together. It mean that they planned out their trip with excitement & mystery. It meant that the love those moms show their daughters came back full circle. It makes me emotional and teary eyed thinking about it. I’m sure it will make them all smile each time they think of their trip together. Time spent together that they wouldn’t trade for the world. 

Take the trip. Try the pie. Walk by the lake. Love. Laugh. 

It makes me think of a surprise trip that I planned 16 years ago. Cameron was about to turn 30, and I wanted to surprise him. Before kids, before 9/11, before airport security & before you needed a passport for Canada, I planned a surprise trip to Niagara Falls. I did have a binder and a plan but it was all secret to him. I got him to the airport & had his bags already packed. I had a sign with his name on it. His plane ticket was purchased & we were off.

We stayed on the Canadian Falls side & had a great time. We went on a biking trip to vineyards in the area and saw the falls up close. I normally don’t add this many pictures, but look at these kids!! I’m not sure what made us laugh at the vineyard picture, but I’m guessing it was something that seemed funnier given the amount of wine we had.

I realize that we do need to work to make a living, but it can’t be at the expense of our life. These moments won’t come around again. We don’t get a “do-over.” I still grin when I think about this trip – as will those 4 ladies when they think about their Duluth adventures.

On your journey of enough, take the time to have a detour. Go somewhere new. Try a new food. Have a new adventure. Stop and listen and soak it all in. Spend some time with those you hold dear. Oh, and for sure -have the pie! 

Sometimes you just need to say, “why not?”

Last Saturday, we went skiing for the last time at Andes Tower Hills in Alexandria, MN.  Through the generosity of some wonderful friends & the people at Andes, we were able to enjoy a great skiing season this year. I didn’t count how many times we went, but it was quite a few. We enjoyed our time with family and friends in the crisp northern winter. Saturday was unusually warm… 60+ in March isn’t very common. It was the last day that they were going to be open, so we went. Even by 11am, there were areas of slush on the hills. They have an event called “the pond plunge” – where you ski down one of the steepest hills into a pool of water at least 10 feet long. Most people end up falling in & the water is very cold. Only a few glide across. Some people dress up in shorts or scuba gear or Hawaiian outfits as they go down. My husband decided to ski down the bunny hill instead of the big hill as Elf on the Shelf. “Why not?!” The kids thought it was great. The people who know him didn’t bat an eye – of course it’s something he would do. He got asked, “oh you must be doing the pond plunge?” He said, “Nope, just having fun!”

This month, I’m trying an Ayurveda digestive reset. “Why not?” One week of food journaling, one week of clean eating, one week of kitchari, another week of clean eating. The first week, I said goodbye to some downfalls- donuts, burgers, pizza, etc. This week, I’ve gone 3 days without added sugar. I’m admittedly a band wagon jumper. I’ve tried lots of things in the past, but this is more about jump starting a healthier eating style & finding my triggers. I eat when I’m frustrated or bored… I bake when I’m stressed. If I want this past year’s cancer to be my last, I need to make some changes. “Why not?”

Change is scary. Adjusting to the new normal takes time. Learning to adapt is something they don’t talk to you about after the active treatment is over. Similar things when you have a tragic event – PTSD. Doctors treat your physical body and send you on your way. Lots of emotional things change too. One thing that might happen is a realization that life is short, so don’t wait. Tell your friends and family what they mean to you. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. Do something scary. Try something new. Ski in an Elf costume or try a new diet… “Why not?!”