Life is Full of Lessons Learned

Life is full of lessons learned and some lessons I have tried to learn over and over again.  Recently, I have been working on forgiveness and starting over.  Life does give us redos every now and again.  I have not always done better with the redo, but I have always learned more about myself.  I am learning of forgiveness and its great power to heal. I forgive.


"Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person of character to forgive.  When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden.  Forgiveness does not mean what happened is okay, and it does not mean that person should still be welcome in your life.  It just means you have made peace with the pain, and ready to let go."



Happy Father's Day, Dad

How does a daughter say thank you to her daddy – the man who would set the bar.  You were the first man I ever hugged, the first man I kissed, the first man I danced with.  You have always been the date I can count on and my lone ranger.

Thank you for teaching me…

How to change the oil in my car.
How to make a great grilled cheese sandwich – my go to comfort food.
How to dance – our best being the jitter-bug.
How to build a fire – and love blackened marshmallows.
How to love unconditionally.
How to take a leap of faith.
How to cuss like a sailor – I only heard you do this once in the living room while trying to hang drapes, but the lesson stuck.
How to change a tire.
How to take care of myself.
How to leave a campsite in better condition than I found it.
How not to cross wires on the camera flash – you scared the crap out of me when you hit the floor.
How to avoid poison oak and ivy – most of the time.
How to fight the good fight.
How to canoe.
How to swim – I thought my name was Kick! all the years I was on swim team.
How to love Yosemite.
How to champion the underdog.
How to look at the world with a photographer’s eyes.
How to laugh.
How to sort resisters by color and stripes while building our first color television.
How to drive a manual – in commute traffic.
How to get into trouble – regularly. 
How I should always have a partner in crime so I only have to take half the heat – thanks for taking the half, Dad.
How to fly.
How to fight injustice.
How to work hard.
How to look for the best in everyone.
How to believe in myself.
How to talk to strangers – you never know what amazing people you will meet.
How to tell a shaggy dog tale.
How to tell a raunchy joke – don’t worry, I won’t tell Mom.
How to believe in myself.
How to drive.
How to use a buck knife.
How to properly roll a sleeping bag.
How to not take crap from men – ever.
How to paint snow on the windows at Christmas.
How to accept all others as valuable human beings.
How to value and take pride in my heritage.
How to become who I want to be.
How to do for others.
How to put up a tent after dark.
How to build a teepee and a hogan.
How to love the journey and not merely the destination.
How to forgive.
How to leave one chocolate chip in the bag.
How to scared teenage boys – this skill is coming in handy.
How to love learning.
How to teach.

…and so much more.  You will forever be my first dance, Daddy.


I danced with another woman tonight,
My wife didn’t seem to mind.
We took to the floor like a pair of swans
that fate forever entwined.

Leaving our wake through the dancers who flowed
Like notes in search of a song
We tested our two step, tried out a waltz
and laughed when something went wrong!

I led and she followed, trusting each step,
spurred by the beat of the band
Like birds taking wing the very first time,
it helps to hold someone’s hand.

Although I had known this woman before
I’d thought of her as a child
But there on the dance floor, arm ‘round her waist,
I found my heart was beguiled.

For her a window had opened. I was there,
I’m eternally glad.
The rest of my life I’ll remember
the first night
she danced with her dad.


Pink Cadillacs and Edsels

The rain began to clear and we headed west.  Our plan was to stop at the Cadillac Ranch, but the roads and fields were flooded.  We shopped the gift shop for our spray paint and stowed it in the car with a promise to stop at the ranch on our way home.  LibbyLu was very excited about the opportunity to purchase spray paint.  She is well aware that, as a teenager, she can not purchase spray paint in her home state.  You can see the storm we left behind in the above photo.  Who doesn't love a pink Cadillac?

The sun began to shine as we headed out of Texas and into New Mexico.  Like my shades? We had shaken off our near miss and were beginning to return to our good time.  We stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. The last time I traveled through here on my move from California to Missouri, I stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, late one evening.  I was tired and needed sleep.  I stayed in a less than four star roadside motel.  There was nothing else available.  Business has really picked up in Santa Rosa over the years.  

You can't really call it a road trip, if you don't stop to see the oddities of the landscape in which one travels and oddities we found.  How could we resist a stop at the Route 66 Auto Museum after this sweet ride caught our eye?


This is not your father's Edsel.

The museum was closed for the day, but we enjoyed a few graphic photo opportunities.


Girls at the Big Texan

As Amarillo drew close, we decided to enjoy lunch at The Big Texan, because, well, it is expected.

We opted for Buffalo burgers rather than take on the 72 ounce steak challenge.

At the time we were seated, I asked our server how often people take on the challenge.  She informed us that people take on the challenge regularly.  I was surprised to find that four people attempted to eat the 72 ounce steak, sides, and a dessert while we enjoyed our lunch.  None of them made it which means they each owed a $72. bill.  Yikes!

Sweet LibbyLu was serenaded by a singing cowboy.  He was a way too old for my sweet girl, but she was a good sport.


There was some beer tasting and lots of eating.  It was a wonderfully fun touristy lunch.

 As we passed through Amarillo a very, very frigthening storm kicked up and driving was difficult.  After a harrowing few moments with what appeared to be a drunk driver in front of us and a tracker with trailer coming up on us fast, we pulled off to wait out the torrential downpour.  After shaking of the scare we hit the road heading west once again.


Road Trip Yarn and Views

The drive across Missouri and Oklahoma was nice.  It didn't take long to get through that first tall cup of coffee and I was knitting before the state line.

The skies were grey and textual, but the roads were dry.

We stopped here and there to take pictures of the landscape.

 The sky was darkening as we moved closer to Texas.