See the World, Don’t See An Ocean

To go the distance is a wonderful thing!
Remember all the moments that had you smiling…
Away we shall drive, across the continent
Vows to make it the the next graduent.
Even though it’s the middle of the week
Live while you can and don’t be too sleek.
Sometimes it’s cheaper just to drive rather than fly.
To California now! The other way,
How long are we going to stay?
Even though we’ll be together  all the way.
Everyone will help when only one moves away.
Wow! You’ve scattered all over the place!
One to the West and one to the East states.
Recall that you’ve sent another to the South.
Let me know what it’s like going that route.
Don’t forget that wherever you go, you’re always home.
Home is where the heart is.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Word Challenge this week: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/05/26/weekly-word-challenge-travel/

When I was 12 years old, my family decided to drive across the Continental U.S. to see my second eldest sister graduate from boot camp. It was the middle of exams and we only had a little money. We went anyway and made up all the exams the week after.

Five or six years ago, another of my sisters was moving to California. So the majority of my family got time off, packed her up and we headed out. Nevada is a beautiful place, but once you get through the mountains and into California near Sacramento… There are practically no mountains. I spent the entire time completely lost. I grew up surrounded by mountains, without them I have absolutely no idea where I am. Having a compass didn’t help at all. (I have slight panic attacks when I have no mountains for an extended period of time.)

I’ve been to both the East Coast and the West Coast and yet have never seen an ocean.

I’ve had a panic attack and had to spend all day under a blanket while driving through Arkansas.

Many of my family have been all over. At one point I had a sister in Germany (stationed there), a sister in Hawaii (college student), another down in the bottom corner of Utah in the middle of the National Parks there (college, again) and my elder brother over in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (mission). They were all gone at the same time and the household was the smallest I’ve ever seen in my family (there were only five of us at home: one mom and four pre-teens/teens.)

My parents did all their traveling before they had us passel of kids (Dad was in the Air Force when they first met and he was stationed in various places) so I know about places, but other than reading, I haven’t actually been to very many of them.

Well, my imagination has always been up to snuff enough for me  and I do so love to look things up and then picture them in my mind. Maybe someday I’ll actually see an ocean in something other than through a lens, but until then, I’ll listen to the stories my family can tell and enjoy every moment of my travels through my mind.

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It’s Raining, It’s Storming…

Yesterday it rained a lot (it’s still raining/snowing off and on today actually…) but I was reminded of something that happened several years ago.

Several years ago, when I was first in my twenties, a new library had opened up near our house. My mother, my sister and I went for the day to get some books and a few other things done (we didn’t have internet at the time). It was raining so hard that the librarians had to turn off the automatic function of the doors into the library because the rain kept setting them off!

I’d never seen it rain so much in my entire life!

I had grown up in a desert that required extensive canal-work in order to make it livable. Luckily for me, the canal system had been put in about 100 years before I was even born, so that work was done already. I hadn’t ever really realized I lived in a desert because there were trees everywhere and though it was always really hot in the summer and we didn’t have a lot of rain, there were plants that wouldn’t have survived on their own initially in a desert.

Half a year before the library doors incident, I’d gone on a very long road trip with my family to California. (One of my sisters was moving there and we all drove her and her stuff out there because it was summer and no one had school. Getting work off was fun, but doable.) I had never seen so much green in one place! That was when it really hit me: I lived in the middle of a desert!

So, fast forward half a year.

It’s raining so hard we’re having flooding everywhere, automatic doors have to be turned off and someone manning them in order to let customers/patrons in and out of the building. You walk outside for one whole minute and when you walk back in, you’re soaked like you jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed. (Which was a funny story, but I’m not talking about it right now. And yes, we actually timed the one minute thing just to be sure.)

I wondered if this was what monsoon season looked like in certain parts of the world.

The reason this story was on my mind was because we had gone to the library to take care of some things and pick up a few books (gardening books are all the rage at my house right now…) and I was reminded of that day so many years ago. The rain yesterday wasn’t even that heavy, it just gave me a small feeling of nostalgia to remember a time when it had rained so hard.

I have never seen it rain that hard since.