Abandoned

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The heat bore down on my shoulders as I walked the perimeter of the forlorn oasis. It seemed someone just forgot to unlock the gate, but it was forgotten long ago. In the heat of a summer day, an abandoned swimming pool is not what you want to find while traveling.

An empty hole of concrete, painted white. Overgrown cracks in the walkways. Last years leaves blowing around, crunchy and brown. Its enough to break a child’s heart or a grown-up’s heart who wishes to splash like a child again. Yes, I could find something else to do with my afternoon. No, I was not going to throw myself on the ground in a full blown toddler meltdown (although the thought crossed my mind). The abandoned pool seemed more desolate the longer I surveyed it. As I moved on back to my car for bigger adventures my thoughts began to wander, like they usually do, to writing about my discovery. I was having trouble putting this one in a positive light. I am not fond of summer weather. I am often heard sating the only two activities one should be doing is hiding in blessed air conditioning or swimming in a cool, clear, pool during these oppressive days.

My traveling heart is always looking for the experiences in my adventures that easily translate into meaningful life lessons. To be honest I was coming up blank at the time. Sure you could say something like, “Nurture your life so others won’t see it as abandoned” or “If life drains you be sure to fill up again”, but really? We all know our nourishment both physically and spiritually is a requirement for our own personal success. It seems contrite and almost condescending to hear the clichés over and over again.

So today I leave you with this simple statement…

If you are feeling abandoned, unlock your gate, let someone in.

Travel well my friends.

 

Celebration Preparations

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This day marks the beginning of the only ten days of summer I love!  I am a snow-bunny at heart.  So when the days stretch longer and the sun over heats the earth I run for cover, better known as indoor air conditioning.  The activities of summer are fun, the vistas are brighter but the heat melts me, which in turn, makes me cranky.  I was born during one of Nebraska’s infamous heat waves.  My mother tells of how she thought it was far too hot in our house when I came home from the hospital and she promptly moved my bassinet to a prime location, in front of the window air conditioner, where I would slumber peacefully with nary a bead of sweat on my soft baby skin.  I believe my love affair with A/C started right then and there.  So from my first moments till now I have had a tumultuous relationship with warm weather.  Back to why I love these next ten days of summer…. 

Nebraska has some very strict laws about fireworks, what we can and cannot light off.  So we also have a time frame of when we can send fireballs of sparks soaring to the heavens.  Today marks the beginning of the selling season for fireworks!  Little tents have popped up all over the state.  Most of these temporary houses of splendor are decked out in red, white and blue.  With banners beckoning you to stop and spend all of your hard earned money on piles of sparklers, fountains of bursting lights and screaming smoke balls.  Parents slink by the stands praying their beloved little ones don’t notice the new structures that hold untold curiosities.  Teenagers flock to spend their fortunes on five second displays.  I, will spend time investigating the new fun just like every year.  I go into numerous tents, comparing prices, comparing quality, talking with the vendors.  This is the holiday that helps me “survive” the summer, one magical evening of fireworks.

The Fourth of July was the pinnacle of the summer for me as a child.  Our family always spent the holiday in the country with family.  Our families’ Independence Day celebrations were known across the community as the best gathering in a tri county area.  Neighbors would start gathering just after the children got up from their naps.  The farmers would come in early from the fields to scrub up and join in for the picnic.  I remember us kids running off to plan skits to perform for the “older” adults.  The food would sway the rows of tables.  It was a the start of a seemingly unending night.  Everyone brought fireworks to share and display.  We took turns lighting one spectacular explosion after another until the smallest of the children fell asleep in a grandparents arms and had to be carried to bed.  Memories like those can not be imagined they must be experienced.

So to gleefully mark the beginning of 2014 fireworks season I will stop in to the first open tent I see and let my sense of smell take me down memory lane to my favorite 2nd favorite holiday!

fireworks