August 28, 2014

One Time Only Experiences

Living in the moment is wise counsel that I ignore way too often. I spend copious amounts of time and energy worrying about the future or rehashing the past. The former I can't really control and the latter is past all control. Even, so, give me 15 minutes and I will probably spend 13 of it that way.

One of the positives of an RV trip (or any type of travel that removes you from your normal routine and place) is the chance to experience something that you will never experience again. Time, place, weather, and attitude combine in a unique way. At least for me on this trip, I was in places I have never been before and not likely to ever revisit. And, for whatever reasons, I was able to simply "be" there.

One of the most pleasant of these "one-timers" was spent in a tremendous city park on the north side of Menominee, Michigan, overlooking Green Bay. On a nearly cloudless afternoon Betty and I found a wide spot along the road, complete with shade trees, a picnic table, and the perfect spot for two folding chairs. 

We simply sat, read, looked at the water and the gulls, listened to the water lapping up against the rocks, and chatted about whatever entered our minds. 




Because dogs aren't allowed in the park, after a few hours we needed to go back to the RV to give Bailey some attention and the chance to do her business. But, for that small piece of a Sunday afternoon we forgot everything but what was happening at that moment. We both recognized we would never be in that spot again.

This mindfulness of the moment enriches us with priceless memories and allows us to be still, with each other and nature.

What a blessing.




23 comments:

  1. Bob - great post and I totally understand as I too had the same experience on our recent trip. I wonder if it has something to do partly with being in a different place but also forced out of our normal "habits" since we're on the road. At times, I seemed to try and resort to how I am at home but so many others found me in that same place - at peace with wherever I was at and whatever was really happening. Maybe our "habits" at home become "too important" for us? What do you think? I am glad to see that you and Betty are having a good time! Mike

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    1. I would love to figure out the "magic trick" to live the same way at home. But, too many obligations and appointments (car inspected, doctors, church, repairs around the house, etc) make it tough.

      We are having a tremendous time and, at the same time, feeling the pull of home and family. We are heading to Casper, WY this morning.

      So glad you and Tamara had such a good time and arrived home safely. See you in Palm Springs in January.

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    2. Oh golly Bob . . . hope the connecting highway out of Custer toward Casper is in better shape for you than when we drove on it in July! Understanding Casper is simply a layover on your way to Cody and/or Yellowstone, keep your expectations low, and remember any other option would force you up and over big hills!

      Highly recommend visiting the National Historic Trail Ctr in Casper, free with Annual National Park Pass/Golden Access Pass. Also highly recommend Ryan's Station for dinner, doing their Share plate option for Betty. (Ask when you arrive - you'll see it on the back of their menu). Both the food and ambiance were wonderful for the price, as was their Happy Hour pricing.

      Have fun, and know that we wish we were traveling again where you two are now heading!

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    3. Route 16 west out of Custer was horrid. There are some dents and rock damage to the bottom panels of the RV that we will still have in Palm Springs in January.

      We thoroughly enjoyed Buffalo and the Deer Park campground. Casper's Fort Caspar Campground is simply to be endured while we are in town getting a much-needed grooming for Bailey. But, we will absolutely check out the Trails Center and restaurant.

      We picked up several National Park or Monument stamps so far, including both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave outside of Custer, Devil's Tower (absolutely awe inspiring), and of course the Badlands and Mount Rushmore..

      It has been a trip of a lifetime!

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  2. Bob, nice reflection. We should all have more of those moments. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks, Tom. This trip has been filled to overflowing with these moments.

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  3. Great post. Having had some moments I didn't care to be in lately, it's still good to be mindful. I believe the concept of being in the moment doesn't, necessarily, mean meditation or zen, just focusing on what is happening around you at that moment and being present.

    We are now in a motel for 2 more days, with the dogs. It's a lovely place, with nice amenities, but we don't dare leave the dogs alone, so everything is revolving around them. After all they've been through lately, I think they deserve it. So we will be in the moment with these loving little furry critters, who have to be beyond confused about where they're going next!
    b

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    1. We are staying in a motel for the first time this trip in a few nights, with Bailey, and looking forward to it: room to move, long, hot showers, a king size bed to spread out in.....funny how things you take for granted at home become special after almost 7 weeks in a more rustic environment.

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  4. What timely reflections for me. We just spent 11 days in our trailer that we keep down in Pismo Beach and it became glaringly obvious that being in the present moment came naturally to me in that atmosphere but that essence is sorely absent at home. We came home on Sunday and I have been dragging around since then in my "post trip blues" mood :( Not to mention that the washer broke down at the first sighting of the mountain of trailer and personal laundry :) :) .....resulting in an extended trip to the only laundromat in town....smack in the middle of a less than desirable neighbourhood.......sense of humor needed here!

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    1. I am keeping my fingers crossed that when I turn the water on at home nothing has dried out to the point we have a leak somewhere, that the hot water heater works, and our other car starts when I turn the key,. I am expecting a dead battery on the car, but that is a call to AAA and problem solved.

      We'd love to carry the attitude we have had on this trip home with us. It has been a very special time.

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  5. Living in the moment? What a concept!

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    1. Like right now as I sit in the RV in Casper, Wyoming, sorting laundry!

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  6. Since I still feel a little bit like a visitor in my new home, I have found a very new habit slowly forming - sitting in our backyard facing the mountains and the lake in the distance and watching the sun go down. It is truly being in the moment with my partner, sometimes talking, sometimes just being. I hope it never becomes mundane!

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    1. That sounds lovely. Betty and I are dedicating ourselves to more time in our backyard when we get home (and the heat leaves sometime in late October!).

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  7. Bob, I needed to hear this. This summer, we've been so caught up in trying to help our adult kids wade through their deep waters, that my husband and I have neglected to get away. He wants to take off after Labor Day, but I've dragged my feet. After reading this, my mind is made up. It's high time we took care of ourselves, too. I appreciate your post.

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    1. Good for you! Go and enjoy your husband and your time away. We can't get back a second we waste, but we can make a mindful decision to make the time we have count.

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    2. Bob, I decided to take hubby's and your advice. Flew the coop for a short break, and decided change is awfully good!! The days seem to go by more quickly, and I don't want to regret not having spent them to their fullest. Thanks for your encouragement.

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  8. I think this whole idea that the "one time experience" is precious is very fundamental human nature. I keep wanting to redo things I have done when I had a great time, and it's true somethings never get old, but I always do better when I refuse to succumb to the comfortable and do something new. Even Soren Kierkegaard wrote about this basic truth in his essay "Either Or", basically arguing that no experience can ever truly be repeated.

    Greg Rice
    http://www.finansavvy.com

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    1. To try to repeat a unique experience, is by definition, destined to fail. After all, unique is the only one of something. But, I'm afraid I fall back on the familiar too often.

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  9. I love this post. And I love the idea of sitting on the shore of Green Bay and being in the moment. As a native Yooper, I know how wonderful it is to sit and just "be" on those lakes, and I'm a bit jealous. Hope the rest of the trip goes well. I'm enjoying following along although I rarely post comments. Cheers!

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    1. Hi, Hope. We learned the term "Yooper" on this trip - upper peninsula resident - love it. As I respond to your comment we are in Las Vegas and about 30 degrees warmer than Door County or Menominee. Too late to go back, I'm afraid.

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  10. Great post! Like the other Pam above, I really needed to hear this.....we've been so busy much of the summer that I'm just now leaving a comment even those I read & enjoyed it days ago.

    I took a meditation class a year ago & it has helped; but home, with its list of items to be completed, fixed, etc, etc, etc does get in the way of actually living, that's true. I know for us a simple drive, not too far away, would move me out of the "look what has to be done" mode; I just have to take the first step on that road. Ironically, the Pismo Beach mentioned above and several other gorgeous vacation destinations are very close to our home; we just need to let the work wait and walk out the door.

    Thanks for reminding me the other road, the one certainly less traveled is patiently there waiting for me. Time IS something I can't get back; I'd like to use ir more enjoyably. I am SO glad for you and Betty that you have taken this time and, obviously, made great use of it. Thank you for sharing part of it with us.

    pam

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    1. You are so welcome, Pam. A few days ago I was actually thinking about our trip to wine country around Paso Robles and remembering how much fun we had. Take advantage of one of the most beautiful parts of California.

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