Raincoats and other contingency plans
If I spent some time in the deep cave of my memories, I could certainly remember a truly bad day. However, going there is not a good use of my time.
This week I needed to dodge some stressful thinking and opted to make a mental list of my all-time best memories. Within an instant, I was flooded with warm feelings. Post-card images flashed through my mind — some of them wildly romantic when I had a hand to hold. Others were of places beautiful and wide, best captured while twirling in place with arms wide open. At the time these memories were made, I knew to hold my breathe and fire up those brain axioms where life’s magic is stored.
Some of these moments were with my dad, riding double on his bicycle or scouring the junk yards for car parts. I distinctly recall that day we took his Mustang for an errand and ended up in Santa Cruz at sunset.
Even as I am worrying about things for which I have no control, overall life continues to be good. That’s something important to remember.
And still, I catch myself in stinkin’ thinkin’.
Very soon, our group of 18 teachers from 16 different countries will go on a road trip. The group is here with the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.
My simple job is get them places, show them things and ensure they have a good time.
Over several months, every hour of our road trip was carefully planned.
Reservations, Google maps, packing lists — then came the 10-day forecast. Rain.
With only 10 days to recalibrate, I wondered how this could have happened. One day we’re driving through the orchards gawking at almond bloom and the next day I’m handing out cheap umbrellas.
I’ve taken road trips with five groups to San Francisco, and each one was on a glorious day — a glorious day when California was in the middle of a drought.
This week I found myself begrudgingly quoting wisdom my mother or grandmother must have drilled into my head.
“There is no bad weather. There are only inappropriate clothing choices.”
Both of these women survived winters in Minnesota.
Rain likely? We bought tickets for the California Academy of Sciences. Wind along the bay? We’ll split our shopping time between Union Square and Pier 39. The harbor boat ride has glass windows for a foggy view of Alcatraz. Even though folks love the memories of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, the wind gets tiresome at the halfway mark, even on the best day.
One detail to be determined is a visit to the Pacific Ocean. Our teachers from landlocked countries in Africa cannot be denied sand between their toes. However, everyone has been warned to pack
several extra pairs of dry socks.
I remember one day when I was teaching third graders. I was tired from the day and had several hours of teacher work before bed.
I called my dad for encouragement.
“Did you lose any children today?” he asked.
“What are you talking about?”
“Did you lose any children?”
“Then it was a good day.”
Rain and wind? Memories will be made.
Garden enthusiast Heather Hacking loves when you share what’s growing on. Reach out at email@example.com, and snail mail, P.O. Box 5166, Chico CA 95927.