Thursday, March 18, 2010
The one vacation that I do remember was our trip to Yellowstone when I was nine or ten. The high points were Old Faithful, the wooden walk ways over the steaming ground, prairie dogs, and the rustic cabin we had for the night. I know memories are totally unreliable, but I think we saw the dormitories where the employees lived. I knew I would ever be cool enough to do something like that. I'm still not cool, and I'm not a college student anymore, but 50 plus years later, I'm on my way.
Flash forward to 1971 and my infamous hippie trip. You haven't heard about that yet? Where have you been? Actually, it was pretty tame. We just drove and drove from one side of the country to the other. My traveling companion wasn't very talkative so it slightly resembled traveling with my parents. Again, the highlight of our trip was stopping in Yellowstone. We took a short hike and sat for a while by a small waterfall. It must have been early June and there were patches of snow on the ground. I have never felt such peace in my life.
I let the Yellowstone dream die for many years. Life got in the way like it usually does. Who knew that raising children would take so long? Working with a nurse at a dialysis clinic in Yucca Valley, California, finally got me back on my path. She and her husband had worked the national parks for ten years before returning home. Her stories got everything stirred up again, and I started to fantasize about running away. She was the one who told me about coolworks.com, the mother lode of alternative jobs.
I still didn't think it would ever happen for me, so I passed the opportunity on to my sons. My oldest son had graduated from college and was working at Staples. My other son was working a seasonal job at Lowe's. I knew the time had come to send them on their own adventure. For the first time in their lives, they listened to me. When they drove away, I was tempted to throw myself on top of their cars. I showed restraint for a year, although I have threatened more than once to no one in particular that I was running away. Thanks to a husband who knows better than to say no and sons who like having me around, I will finally find out what waits for me in Yellowstone. The countdown begins.