My Dad has told me many things throughout my life. Things like, “it’s just as easy to keep top half of the gas tank full as the bottom half” and “don’t ruin a steak with steak sauce”.
And then there is this. “Whatever you do, do not cross the Mississippi. Nothing good ever happens east of the Mississippi. Actually, there really is no reason to leave the state of Wyoming and not much of a reason to leave Natrona county but for Christ’s sake don’t cross the Mississippi.”
Wonder what it means that I ended up living just a few miles from the west bank of the Mississippi…..
Anyway, the point is tomorrow morning I am crossing that fateful river and then some. I am headed to the Dominican Republic with a group of women from my church to help out at a school that we support down there, the Doulas Discovery School. Which is across the Mississippi and also out of the country.
Dad is not excited for me. He has also said, “if you have to go somewhere just make sure it’s somewhere that I get to you a horseback if I need to.” He’s got a horse that will swim the North Platte but I don’t think he could quite manage the swim to the Dominican. So, Dad is just pretending that it’s not happening. And now that he’s read this and been reminded I’m probably in trouble all over again.
And while I love the idea of travel and seeing new places and learning about new cultures, I’m kind of a nervous traveler. I’m not sure why…..
I’ve never been very brave or adventurous. When I was 10 and showing a steer in 4-H for the first time, I disappeared. Mom was sure I’d been abducted because I was too shy to talk to people I knew half the time, let alone to try anything like running away or talking to strangers. So clearly, I had to have been forceable kidnapped. Turns out, I was hiding in the camp trailer closet under a pile of clothes because I so nervous and scared about showing my steer. I really have come a long way.
But this year I’m trying to be more brave. I’m not talking heroic bravery here. I’m talking everyday bravery like trying Split Pea Soup (which is surprisingly delicious) and Grapefruit (which is good as long there is sugar on it) and crossing the Mississippi.
I will be traveling with a really nice group of ladies and also with my good friend Barb who has promised to hold my hand and/or smack some sense into me if I start to have a panic attack.
And the big bonus is, today here in Minnesota schools are closed for the third time this year due to extreme cold, wind chill is 30 below here but the temperature in the Dominican is 88 degrees ABOVE zero! I’m feeling braver already….