For more than three months in the summer of 1970, my family lived in a car and pop-up camper as we travelled west from Ontario across the prairies, into the mountains of Alberta and B.C., and north to the Yukon and Alaska. For me, at age four, it was the trip of a lifetime, opening my mind and expanding my horizons in ways that have resonated throughout my life.
The fiftieth anniversary of that trip was last year, during the pandemic summer of 2020. I had toyed with the idea of re-tracing our steps with my husband and daughters, at least doing a shorter version of it – the “Highlight Reel” — but no one else was hugely excited about doing it, so my big plans fizzled out. The pandemic would have made it impossible anyway.
I still wanted to do something, though. In June 2020, as the anniversary of our departure day approached, and we were told to “limit travel, stay home, save lives,” I decided to take a virtual road trip. I invited my sister and father along (virtually, of course,) and Mom was with us too, in a way, because I had the travel journal she had kept. I could read her words and hear her voice and look at the slides that she and Dad took.
There were brilliant moments, like the one on the mountain pictured above, and frustrating moments when my body and brain wouldn’t let me do the virtual road trip in the way I had envisioned it. But MS teaches me to make plans and goals that are flexible, to do what I can, when I can, that it’s okay to go slowly and make stops and detours. You can discover some amazing things that way.
Make the Leap Blog School officially ended yesterday for the Class of February 2021. The experience was “wonder-full,” just as Kerry Clare said it would be. I learned a lot, worked hard, and had fun. True, I only got five of the eight assignments finished but, as with the road trip, I’m going at my own pace, and discovering the joys of “slow blogging.”
Best of all, after wanting to do this for so long, and after three false starts, here I am with a blog! (Imagine that shouted from a mountaintop.) I didn’t know it would be so fulfilling. Once I press the “Publish” button, I feel a great release, and I’m happy and excited to work on the next post. To actually finish a piece of writing and send it into the world – that’s huge, for me.
So thank you, dear friends, for reading. Thank you for the comments and best wishes. I’m sending best wishes to you, too, and I hope you’ll come back soon.