Does this happen to you? Waking up a few mornings ago, I discovered this famous Beatles
song happily bouncing about as if my brain’s circuitry were a trampoline. I’ll admit that having an upbeat tune stuck in my head all day is preferable to the metallic “cicada song” noise which I co-exist with (thank you tinnitus), but still, I felt bemused. I hadn’t thought of this song, let alone sung it in a very long time. BUT...perhaps it held a pertinent message I needed to consider in light of our current lifestyle.
I didn’t grow up in a family that had a history of moving very often. In fact, my mother was born and raised in one location while my father‘s family moved but once during his childhood. When I was 14, my family moved from Southern California to western Washington. It was a move I loved because of the beauty of the area and all it had to offer. No more “watch out for rattlesnakes when you get off your horse.” or “Be sure and check your shoes for scorpions!” warnings from my mama. These had morphed into ”Bundle up, it’s cold outside” along with “You DO have your umbrella this time, don’t you?” Yes, a big change, but one that was exciting, new, adventurous, and wonderful. I reveled in exploring forested land, hiking endless trails and climbing mountains that took me into the clouds.
My life has been one full of travel and living in diverse locations. From the very gitgo, I am very patriotic and love the wonderful country where I was blessed to be born. As long as I can remember, I wanted to serve in the US Navy, so it only followed that immediately following college graduation, I departed for the opposite side of the country and began my career as a Navy Nurse Corps officer in Virginia. Virginia??? Boy, that was an eye opening adventure. To begin with, I had a challenging first year being able to decipher what folks were saying. I discovered that their BBQ was not at all what I was used to, especially an anemically pale pork which had the appearance of being premasticated, bathed in a vinegary sauce and arrived on a bun with a plop of coleslaw covering the meat. I honestly thought somebody was playing a trick on me. I learned otherwise and it soon became a favorite meal. I enjoyed the period I lived in Portsmouth. That I was walking distance to a both a river marina where I managed a sailing association’s small fleet and could go sailing anytime I wished was amazing. And that I could walk with my roommate to lovely seafood restaurant with a fabulous dance floor where we could Disco our hearts out didn’t hurt either.
Military orders took me from Virginia to Florida then across the Atlantic to Naples, Italy where I fell in love with my wonderful Shep. Ah, Bella Italia! It’s been 32 years but my heart still longs for you and your wonderful people. Time stands still for none of us and the following years found us in Washington, D.C., San Diego, Bremerton and Adak, Alaska. When we moved to Nephi, Utah following my Navy retirement, we were certain that would be our ultimate home town, but we felt a strong pull to return to Washington state so off we went to the beautiful Methow valley. Some 9 years later we crossed the Pacific to live for almost 8 years on the Big Island. We miss our ohana there but with a blessedly ever increasing population of grandchildren, needed to reposition ourselves closer to family.
So here we are today, living full time in an RV, reveling in spending time with our family and renewing precious friendships. The Beatles song has faded and now I can clearly hear Carole King singing “My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.” along with Daddy’s chuckling and Mama lovingly saying, once again “Janet Ann, you are SO like your father!”
Yes, our lives are there for us to write our own story, chart our own course, bless the lives of others, learn, discover...imagine...dream. The cornucopia of experiences, bushels of blessings, and boat loads of love have made my life a glorious tapestry. I am richly blessed, eternally grateful, and abundantly happy. For all these and more I thank my Heavenly Father, my Savior Jesus Christ, the army of angels that must certainly be watching over me, a wonderful family, dear friends and my sweetheart, best traveling companion and dearest friend ever, Shep.