Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quest by Quotation

Adventure is just bad planning. Roald Amundsen

Do you believe adventure is just bad planning? What does this quote say to you about planning ahead and spontaneity?

What are your plans for today?

"What are your plans for today?", my dentist asked. Why do they always ask questions when their fingers are in your mouth? He had to ask the question again because I didn't answer. "What are your plans for today?" I looked at him with this stunned look in my eye and said, "I have no plans." "Lucky you," he replied.

I left the dentist with the realization that it was 9:00 AM and I had already had the highlight of my day. The dentist! I called my husband and asked if our rescheduled trip to Hawaii was on or not. If it hadn't been, well, I would have been in the temp services office of NC State or Manpower within the half hour. No plans! The dentist thought I was lucky. My friends still think I am fortunate to be between jobs, working on a wonderful volunteer program like The Flower Shuttle, seeing friends, traveling with my husband, and writing. But I wasn't feeling blessed, only blindsided.

Now I know that God has plans for me: "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) I continue to count on that blessing each day. I still remind myself of my earlier "Ah, ha!" moment post-postponed surgery when I tried the great experiment of just seeing what would rise forth on days that were free of any and all plans. But that morning in my dentist's office, I was hit with the realization that maybe sometimes I avoid making plans because I expect adventure to just drop in my lap. Some days it does. Some days it doesn't. And on those days, plans come in handy.

In reality, I do have longer term plans as I work on a charity event for The Flower Shuttle which will be held in October. Then we try again to go to Hawaii. Do I need to have firm plans for each day, each hour? Obviously, my dentist assumed so and, for just a moment, so did I. But I think mainly what I needed the reminder of a sense of adventure when approaching each day, regardless of what I may already seeing myself doing in it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Quest by Quotation

No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language. Theodore Bikel

What heirlooms capture YOUR past? Is there a favorite piece of clothing you just can't part with? Or is it your grandmother's set of dishes? Your old baseball glove? Or simply a memory....

Out with the Old, In with the Older!

I have spent a good bit of time this morning moving mementos and antiques out of their display cases and shelves. Church tithing banks that families used to collect their offerings for Sunday, duck decoys, and dust, lots of dust, all have gotten moved, wiped or packed away. I had thought I had done a great job with my husband of decluttering in the past few months. "Look at all that open space," we congratulated ourselves. Then my dad wanted us to divide more heirlooms and take them home.

Dividing heirlooms is not one of my favorite tasks. "Who gets what" combined with having to find space while also expecting my husband's (an only child) heirlooms to show up does not make for my kind of fun. My thought is, "if I have done without these things since I moved out at the age of 19, then I can do without them now." Well, except anything with a peacock on it - the fireboard, china plate, carnival glass bowl and yellowware pitcher. I am obsessed with peacocks but haven't the slightest inking why. No accounting for taste, I guess.

So I am dividing items into categories: stuff which is taking up space but has no meaning and can be sold or stored, "growing up" items with memories, married life acquirements that make me sentimental, things to rotate but keep on display, things destined for my children or the's work! No wonder the Bible warns about accumulating stuff with the story of the merchant who built bigger and bigger barns.

But I must confess that getting a piece of old slave made pottery from the Hilton plantation (with all the historical and emotional angst that entails), more of my dad's bird carvings, and other family items does cause a ripple of excitement as I anticipate their arrival. I can add them to the memories of partnering with my dad as we worked on his memoir as things truly worth holding on to with both hands. They inspire ruminations of history or appreciation of relationships and times gone by. So I will find the space for these things.

Maybe if I can get my kids to take some of the things that inspire their memories....