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Do Detours Test Our Sense Of Direction?

Oct 9, 2007
Along the road of life there are detours - like family. John and I discussed having a family. We read books; then we painted the extra bedroom yellow. We thought we were ready; but I wasn't ready for my life to be taken over by a little giant, who determined what I did and when I did it. When I got up and when I went to bed were in his tiny hands even though they were in mittens so he wouldn't scratch his face. Little did I know it would take at least eighteen years to get back on the main road of life.

Illness is an unplanned detour. Whether it's the flu or an African teetsie fly bite, when we get back on track, life looks different. That's when we promise ourselves we'll never take our health for granted again. Unfortunately, we don't remember that promise until the next time we're ill.

Uncle Sam, dressed in an orange work vest and yellow hard hat, waved detour signs in our path a year after John and I were married. "Hmmm", said Uncle Sam. "I've been looking for a college art major to be a sergeant in the combat engineers in Vietnam".

Two years later we were in Virginia. John didn't re-enlist; but because he was combat-trained, he suggested we stay in Virginia. We were equi-distant from both mothers-in-law - a perfect location to decide which direction our life should go.

Some directions we choose. Changing jobs we hope will change our future. Taking vacations we hope will change our present. Both are changes we make in the road as life repairs.

When I was yearning for the spontaneity that was lost when the road was resurfaced with more responsibilities, I saw a detour - a woman at a gas station struggling to clean the windshield of a huge RV. I'd always thought RV'ing was like packing household responsibilities and taking them on vacation.

Needless to say John was surprised - okay, shocked - when I suggested we RV for a week. "You're going to cook in a RV?" "As much as I do at home", I said. "You're going to make beds and do laundry?" "Only my side of the bed and only my laundry. Aren't RV'ers meant to pull their own weight?" I asked. Where are we planning to go? Reno, Nevada. It seems like the perfect detour for such a gamble.
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KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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