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I spy joy in an adventurer!

I spent a day with my family in the Tillamook State Forest. While the boys were enjoying a BBQ, Taryn and I set out for a walk on a fire road, trailing behind mountain bike rider and friend, Sue.

We picked up walking sticks; stopped and stared at elk droppings while bent at the waist (only we used the technical term “poop”); and picked up such treasures as a piece of dried out bone and a half-dead snail (because the shell was so pretty). We were adventurers!

As we’re trying to figure the best way to carry all our riches, an old memory flashed in my mind that I hadn’t thought of in years. When I was Taryn’s age, my dad would take me out exploring the deserts of New Mexico. I, just like my daughter, would find all manner of trinkets that had to be, without question, collected and taken home. But my dad, I suddenly remembered while holding a half-dead snail, would bring plastic ziplock bags to neatly hold whatever messy objects I deemed desirable.

Life really is a circle. A series of circles, actually. Next time Taryn and I go wandering the wilds of Oregon or Washington, I’ll bring some baggies. And maybe, in 30 or 40 years when she’s out exploring with her daughter, picking up messy and divine treasures, she’ll suddenly get a flash or our journeys together and begin to share a story about when she was a little girl. Her mother, she’ll say, would bring plastic ziplock baggies to hold such riches. And she’ll smile and think how wonderful are the circles of life.

April 8, 2009   No Comments

I spy joy in reptiles

Every Tuesday night for several months of the school year my kids’ school (Hough Elementary) hosts an event for kids and family to come together. Last night was Reptile Man night. It’s one of my personal favorites, and is very popular with the kids. Reptile Man is Scott Petersen, and he’s really good at what he does.
Scott educates the audience with all kinds of interesting facts about reptiles while he pulls out a variety of exotics like Black Mambas, King Cobras, large Anacondas (albino, even) and the colorful Gila Monster. There are oohs and ahhs and excited gasps continually throughout his show. Joy remains present in full force as children line up afterward to get their photos taken with one of the animals (an alligator or a boa constrictor were the choices last night).
While in line with my kids for a shot with the beautiful boa, one of their classmates, Madi, got in line behind us and was just beside herself with giddiness. She told us that while she was getting her picture taken with the alligator it peed on her. She giggled and held out her shirt to show as many passers by as she could.
Not only did this alligator’s lack of bladder control not dissuade her from posing with the boa, but I believe it was one of the most fun and interesting adventures she’d had all week. I was so delighted with her whimsy and ability to laugh about an experience that would have brought less confident children to tears that I had to take her photo and share the story.
Hats off to you, marvelous Madi! May your joi de vivre light the way for everyone you meet.

February 11, 2009   No Comments