Thursday, November 6, 2014

A father-in-law's perspective

My propensity is for sharing what I read, hear or see.

Call it a gift, or call it a developed inclination, satisfaction for me is taking in life and beaming it back out to the world.

Blogs are a way to do this. Sharing things of interest also happens when visiting, as my husband Al will readily testify. 

The car is often where thoughts formulate as the two of us drive somewhere together. The other day a quote from the November 2014 O (the Oprah Winfrey magazine) worked its way into the conversation. 

"There are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths" is the quote (attributed to Mark Nepo). It was fresh in my mind when I brought it up as a line with truth to it. 

The quote has meaning for me. It corroborates my game sense. Give me a new road and I’ll take it every time. I’m not unwilling to back up, turn around, admit I’m lost, or retrace the route, if it comes to that. 

The thing gained is new area that is tested and tried. You widen your boundaries on familiar when you press into the previously unknown. My philosophy has evolved to believe that the journey is every bit as worthy as the destination. 

Provide yourself with extra time is my tip for anyone wanting to experiment with this creed. Extra time and a topped-off gas tank are handy when you skip the straight road for unexpected paths.

The quote from O led Al to recall and share a comment made by my dad many years ago. Dad’s words have stayed with him he says.

It was after a long road vacation we took. It was the kind of trip made in the years our kids were in grade school. We wanted to show them the wonders of our big United States. 

The trip included stops at many places that aren’t on interstates but require going out of the way to see them. We put a bunch of miles on the car. We came home full of the vision of our wonderful country through its regional attractions.

The trip, and the photos we took, were happily shared with my folks when we visited them shortly afterwards. 

Al and my dad were probably in the living room, close enough, as it came to dinnertime, to hear the rattle of plates as they came out of the kitchen shelves to be set on the table,

As they visited Al remarked (with a sense of accomplishment in his voice) that we hadn’t taken one wrong turn on the trip.

“That’s too bad,” my dad answered. An inveterate road trip man himself, my dad by then had racked up thousands of miles with my mom as they traveled West each fall in well-earned vacation time after closing down the seasonal home.

The wisdom in my dad’s reply took maybe a second to sink in. Al was impressed with it, enough so that it has stuck and shaped some of his perspective about travel.

The gist of what my dad was saying is this: a wrong turn here or there, or a detour, can be considered a nuisance or a delay at the time. It can have interesting and even beneficial results if you’re open to the experience.

Seemingly wrong turns and detours can teach us there are many ways to get where we’re going in life. 

Unexpected or spontaneous roads may turn out to be more suitable or more rewarding than the planned (and often predictable) route, or the destination you start out to see.

Ro Giencke – November 6, 2014.




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