Monday, April 4, 2011


I was 19 years old, married for a whopping 3 months, and everything we owned was now stuffed into a '69  Chevy van, including the incorrigible mutt formerly known as Jeremy.  We were coasting down the gravel driveway of Tim's parents' house, waving goodbye to our mothers who were holding each other tight and, I'm sure, crying, although we were already too far away to see for sure.  It was the first day of our grand adventure into adult life, the first day of a sometimes regrettable 5 day discovery of every inch of the shoulder of route 70 where Tim got to try out his newly acquired Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics A & P license trying to coax that van to Wichita in time to make his first day at Boeing without getting fired for being late.

We endured a good bit of hardship those first few years, being dirt poor, finding ourselves homeless due to a tornado, 1000 miles away from any family help, being newly married, dirt poor and did I mention dirt poor?  We had our first child in those years and somehow managed not only to survive, but to thrive.  Jobs in aviation have a way of encouraging the nomadic lifestyle, a fact demonstrated by the next 5 or 6 jobs and 4 states where we bought homes, had more children, sold homes, bought more homes and finally ended up here lifting the shrink wrap off our first boat purchase in 32 years of marriage to find the name Nomad painted boldly on the stern.  I think we both nearly died laughing at the appropriateness of it all.

There are some people who can live in one place all their lives and have never traveled more than 50 miles away from home.  There are some that find they have to travel that wish they didn't.  And there are some like us who, being true nomads, are chafing at the bit after 5 years in one place.  Don't get me wrong, change hasn't always been welcome.  A few of the job-related moves were unbelievable tests of character and fortitude, but each experience was a thread of a different color in the tapestry, an exercise in strength-building, a step in the journey to this place we find ourselves today, getting ready to fit all our belongings once again into a small space and take off for a new adventure.  Like our adventure nearly 40 years ago, we don't have any assurance of its outcome, or promises of a hardship-free journey but like Canadian author Rita Golden Gelman says, "“Risk-taking, trust, and serendipity are key ingredients of joy. Without risk, nothing new ever happens. Without trust, fear creeps in. Without serendipity, there are no surprises.”   Let the adventures begin!

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