I credit my father for giving me a sense of adventure and my mother for tempering it with a sense of impending doom. For while I am often eager to see and do things, I’m cautious to a fault and can tell you at least three things that might go wrong with any exciting activity. So I tend to be more of an observing adventurer, rather than a doing adventurer. However, that has still meant a life filled with memories.
Dad and I recently sat and watched a television special about Route 66 and reminisced about the sights along the way. We were able to recall many of the restaurants and motels and gas stations along the famous highway, having driven it nearly every summer. Thanks to our summer migrations between California and Oklahoma I’ve visited a lot of famous tourist spots and some not-so-well-known places in between. Summers were always filled with “look at that!’ moments, many of which have stayed with me forever.
Being married to a man who loves speed and danger and thrills has added many more “look at that!” moments to my repertoire and caused me to expand my sense of adventure. We have been to places and participated in activities that certainly set off my sense of impending doom, but I have lived to talk about them.
I’m glad we were able to share some experiences with our children even though we didn’t have a lot of money. We dragged them around to a lot of places and listened with satisfaction as they excitedly said, “look at that!” I think they remember more of the places and activities that we shared than they do presents and things that we bought them.
I thought about some of our past adventures yesterday while we wandered around Hagerman Wildlife Refuge. We have gotten older and wiser and more cautious in our wanderings, but both of us still love to see new sights and experience new places. It’s easier to stick to the usual routines and to “go to work, go home” each day, but there is so much more joy to be had if we venture outside our routine. Gary and I could have easily skipped the visit to Hagerman yesterday. I had been up the night before with a horrible headache. We weren’t quite sure where it was located, and though we had both looked at the map on Google, I had left the printed copy on my desk. The weather was cold and it began to sprinkle. We weren’t sure if there would even be very many birds this late in the winter. But neither of us suggested turning back.
So, we just drove in the general direction until we saw a sign. Then we drove and drove and drove down a winding dirt road until we saw water. Then we drove around until we saw our first bird. After that we spent an hour repeating, “look at that!”