Family & that damn I-70 West

Here we are Travellers, the final stop and last hoorah of the traveling Pussy saga….

My final destination before I turned back home was my in-laws who are outside of Fort Collins, Colorado in a tiny town/suburb…when I was planning this little excursion, this for me was the finish line because if I could make it there in one piece, then I knew I could find the way home…

Here’s the song, Could it BE any more appropriate?

When I arrived at their home, I was greeted by their lovely lady dog lounging on their lawn. I should tell you, she’s one of my favorite canines that I have encountered in this life. This is the first time I had seen her since she went blind and I was so simultaneously happy and teary eyed in that moment. I have known Gracie almost all her life and she remembered me without even seeing me!

I spent the day with them wandering around Fort Collins. My mom-in-law and I had dinner, walked Gracie, wearing her fancy eye goggles, on the trail and then I had the second best shower of my trip in their downstairs bathroom. The next morning, I got up, packed up and headed home.

Where does that take us? I-70 West. For a long while. The dullest, flattest, most uneventful drive, EVER. I’m not exaggerating, ask anyone who has driven it…If stone cold boredom was a road, it would be this one. (A Note to self for future travels is to always take a longer route less travelled approach.) Such a fabulous journey deserved a better ending, but it is what it is.

I had a lot of thinking time…not a bad thing. What does one ponder while driving thru the mundane terrain on their way back to everyday life?

Mostly, about family and how I have felt displaced most of my life from my related family, due to either the circumstances of my upbringing, or the fact that I’m an only child with a stubborn independent streak. I’m one of those island unto themselves humans, which is not always a good thing. Let it be said, I so much enjoyed every family member I visited on this journey and with each encounter, I thought, I should spend more time getting to know the people I’m related to. AND letting them know me. I have built a fortress of sorts around myself and it seems in all the self protection, I have kept others out. That’s a hard one to unlearn and we’re all not getting any younger, are we?

I thought a great deal about my grandparents, and I guess what I want to say here is, how well do you know your family? Have you endeavored to know them? It seems most of us know the familiar veneers of the people who are present in our upbringing, but I’m talking about KNOWING the person. Knowing them as the individual they are versus as the role they are playing in your life. I think we tend to forget that our parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles are all humans with dreams, goals, tragedies, hopes, fears, failures, romances, adventures and other stories that should be heard and listened to. I think it would be safe to say that learning about your family is learning about yourself as well, right?

I rarely say “I wish I had…” because I think wishing is for wells and fairy tales and we cannot reach back to change the past. But, I wish I had realized the importance of really getting to know the people who surrounded me as I grew up. I wish I had been more self aware. I wish I had asked more questions and heard more stories. One of the things I respect and envy most in my cousin’s nature is that he has always been an inquiring soul, even when we were young. When my Grandfather died, he was actually the one who knew his war stories when his own children did not…

Maybe I’m alone in this one, but I often wonder about my furry family and if they remember their moms and siblings. Do they yearn to see them or even remember them? Did their parents know that all their kids would be most likely given away to humans AND usually each one would face this world by themselves? We just watched THIS last night, and it could not be more fitting.

 

It’s been a few months now since this trip ended, and it’s all very much still with me. I tried my best to be completely present during my travels, to take it all in. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my life and I could make some big declaration about changing, there’s been a radical change!! No, in truth, it’s more like a small spark was ignited and it’s glowing inside me still.  And I LOVED TRAVELLING, who knew? I’m going to do more, A LOT more!

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My final take away isn’t anything you haven’t heard before, but it bears worth repeating: BE CURIOUS, BE BRAVE, and LISTEN. And then just apply that to everything. And don’t let anyone talk you out of traveling on the road alone, it’s everything.  In fact, I’m abit sad that I will never have a “first” road trip again, so go out there and get yours!!

 

The movie or movies you should watch are the two of the few Marvel comic book adaptations that are worth the price of admission, in my opinion. AND, fair warning, the only two that have made me cry. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy are really an opus to family, aren’t they? Both the families that we are born to and the ones we make for ourselves. Lastly, a teensy bit of political commentary, God speed James Gunn, I agree with your cast, and it’s a shame when a movement that could do so much good gets turned so wrong.

 

 

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