Never, Ever, say Never
There was a time when I was absolutely convinced that I would never eat oysters. After all, everyone knows that they have a consistency of something you’d cough up when you have a bad cold. Right? But, a couple of years ago, we visited New Orleans and the whole group of us went into a little oyster house and I decided to give them another try. They came on the half shell, baked in a glorious breading, sprinkled with parsley and finely grated Parmesan cheese. Top that with a dash of hot sauce a squeeze of lemon and well, I can no longer say that I don’t like oysters. However, I still don’t like them raw! The image of the bad cold still lingers, but never say never.
After eighteen years of working for the same wonderful company, one day I turned in my notice and found myself saying goodbye to an amazing group of people that had become like family to me. I was just as surprised as they were upon my decision to leave this dream come true job. “You’d be crazy to walk away from a place like this.” I had often said. It was a great place to work with awesome benefits and I truly loved what I did. But, after numerous hugs, there I was weeping as I drove away from that office for the last time as an employee. Never say never.
Back home, we were boxing up 18 years of living in the hollow and 25 years of marriage into plastic tubs. Our little camper sat in the driveway ready for an adventure of a lifetime. A few months before, we had accepted an offer and sold our Bed and Breakfast which was also our home and in one big leap of crazy, we’d decided to become full time travelers. I wouldn’t have believed you if you had told me a few years ago that these changes were going to happen and that I was going to accept them, not only willingly but eagerly. I am sure though that I would have told you that I could never see myself living in something as small as a camper. Even a 36 ft fifth wheel. Never say never.
Life changes, seasons change, hearts change, desires change. Here I am sitting in my home-on-wheels in the middle of a campground in Florida where we have been volunteering for a month. The arms of this new lifestyle have wrapped around me in an embrace like a warm cocoon and I have settled in very nicely. I love exploring new places and guess what… I don’t feel like my home is small at all. Never say never.
If you had asked me, I don’t know… 2 or 3 weeks ago, what I thought about running, my typical response would have been, “Ya’ll better look for the bear, ’cause this girl won’t be running unless there’s one chasing after me.” I can’t really even say what has changed. One morning I woke up and saw an ad on facebook for a 5K run during the time that we were going to be in the Nashville area this spring. I read a few bullet points, like “wicked”, “wine”, “fun”, “easy” and altogether I heard “fun, easy, wicked-wine run.” And, boom, my attention was caught.
So, this morning when I went on my 4th ever intentional run, I slipped the earbuds in and loudly cranked up Avicci’s “Wake me up. ” I thought of a few people that have inspired this embracing of change. My BFF whom I have known for over 36 years comes immediately to mind. She decided that last year was her year of personal betterment. I have followed her progress with total admiration and found her to be an amazing inspiration. My sister-in-law, whom after a divorce, hit it into high gear and started running for her health. She totally blows me away with her achievements. I’ve been inspired by past Bed and Breakfast guests whom have shared their stories with me of how running has changed their lives. Oh and to put the icing on the cake, today a young couple that are also full time travelers (RVOutlawz) stumbled into our campground, a few 2 dollar tacos shared together one evening at a local taqueria and bam! I have a running partner. Ok, so maybe it’s the 5 pounds that I have put on since living this wonderfully good life of ours, or realizing that you get out of life exactly what you put into it. Whatever this bear is; here I am with a new goal of running towards a new and better me.
Trust me, there are no thoughts of a marathon or even a half marathon in my future. I am just living life one day at a time and I will be so happy to check a 5K off of my list. But ya know…. there is a little voice that chants in my ear, “Never, ever, say Never!
I’ve included a few pictures that show some of the beautiful sights on my runs and a few interior shots of “Oh-P” Our Happy Place.