{Cabin Life} Is the Life for Me

She may look weary, but her logs still hold life. Built in 1937 for a sheep herder and his family. Her logs taken from this land. Hand hued and filled with promise. The stories she could tell. Her basement walls guarded the sheep by night and were filled with laughter by day. She saw the landscape change around her, a road punched through in the sixties connecting her to town. Yet she stood tall and held her ground against winter storms and spring floods. That new road caused the family to leave, town life was the life for them. So she sat empty and waited.

She sat empty from 67 until 1985 when a man with a dream came along. Though her roof had a hole, her windows were long gone, doors shot up with shot gun blasts, he didn’t see ruin, instead he saw promise. A promise to bring her back to a brighter day. In which as money allowed he painstakingly did. A new roof was put on, each broken window replaced, a new floor in the sleeping loft, and new doors were hung. This old pile of logs was forever his and she was thankful.

For he brought laughter and childhood wonder back into her rooms. Camp fires were once again lit and stories seeped into the night sky as fireflies took flight. This old home took a breath of relief for she knew this family would not abandon her. This family was different. This family needed her more than she needed them. Her old logs and fields of wildflowers provided refuge from the storm. Out here next to her a little girl’s illness melted away as she became Super Mannie and took on the days adventure. No turtle nor snake, nor toad nor salamander were safe when she was on the prowl. Her logs protected Super Mannie on rainy days as she colored and played connect four by lantern light. An old iron bed, heavy blankets and a breeze through the window lulled her to sleep. This place was hers and hers alone.

Gardens and apple trees were planted. Bikes and roller skates hung from the rafters. Rides to the creek and through the fields to pick wild flowers were aplenty. Forts were setup in the woods and lookouts on the hillside to watch out for bandits. In this place her imagination was allowed to run wild. Day dreams filled the sky as she laid in the field and watched the clouds pass by. Croquet was played on the lawn, wiffle ball in the fields, and kites stuck in trees. Trees to climb, Barbies lost and found, pounds to swim in as honey bees buzzed by. Christmas trees were cared for and cut in the fall. No matter the season, the land around the cabin was always filled with activity.

But just as she had seen before, the child she so loved grew up before her eyes. Yet this time it was different. The child didn’t go into town, this child returned every weekend to run her hands along her logs as she breathed in a sigh of relief. This place, this very place was her happy place. Tears would often stream as the memories of days gone by played in her mind. Her old fort is long gone, but she remembers exactly where it stood. The wild berries are no more yet she knows exactly where they grew on the fence line. This land is apart of her and she will always belong to her. Her Dad realized that she loved this place as much as he did. He realized that Super Mannie saw the promise too and on a fall day he handed her the deed. It was now her turn to carry on her legacy. With tears in her eyes she hugged her dad and said “I will do my best to carry her into the next 100 years.”

She has held on to that promise. A new roof was done and now a new foundation will be laid. A new chapter is being written with her third owner at the helm. It’s a chapter filled with promise, wonder, and love for the place she calls “childhood.” Yet her heart is heavy as she takes in the fresh country air, she holds out hope that one day she will return with a baby in her arms, the forth generation to love this place as much as she does. She dreams of the day that she will walk these fields with a child of her own. Oh the stories she could tell as she shows her child the best spot for catching turtles. For a log cabin like this one deserves to be filled with child like wonder. This land needs to hear the footsteps and laughter of a little one. Adventures are await amongst the pines and campfires are just waiting to be lit. This place is what childhood dreams are made of. A safe place from the outside world to just run free and be exactly as a child should be, FREE.

{Engaged Life} Boxes in a new zip code

Life moves on. 

My zip code has moved too. I hung up my single uptown girl shoes, only to put on a comfortable pair of committed relationship shoes. It took almost 6 years but I have finally found my zen, my happy, and that happy is a townhome in the suburbs. I know, I know I said I would never go back.  But hey when the man you love lives in the burbs you go to the damn burbs. 

My things are hap hazordly stacked in the garage. Trust me, I am slowly working on unpacking my shit and making the townhouse a home. Right now our home is in disarray, but in a good disorganized way. One that lets you know that two lives have smashed into one big life. Cullen is no longer an only child he has two brothers, an orange bitchy cat named Dexter and a gray cat named Stiffy. For the most part they get along.

At night I make dinner for two instead of one. I feed three animals instead of one. Everyday I get to come home to my best friend. I get a little giddy when I hear the garage door open and Jay comes bouncing through the door. His face lights up when he sees me cooking away he tries to get in a hug, but I brush him off. You can’t break your woman’s focus while she’s cooking. Breaking focus equals burnt food and no one likes burnt food. To me the key  to a good relationship is eating dinner together every night and we do just that while watching Super Girl on Netflix. So yes I can say that we are a couple who Netflix and chill. 

We are building a life together. A life with two cats, one of which is bitchy and a muppet like dog at our side. One day we hope to be parents to a two legged child. Fertility is a mystery, you either have it or you don’t. One thing I do have is Jay and I wouldn’t want to go through this journey with anyone else. Jay knows what I’ve been through and that men have the smaller part in fertility. I’ve been poked, probed, scanned and prodded, while he just gave a sample. The odds are against us, yet we have hope that deep within the blueprints lies a room called parenthood. We know that rainbows are hard to catch, but watching him/her grow will be worth it.

In Jay I found home. He can make me laugh at the drop of a hat, then again we all know I crack my own self up. We have a running joke of hiding a light saber on eachother’s side of the bed. Most nights I make it through without cracking up until he finds it. Plus there are running stories of Dexter and Stiffy’s adventures behind Walgreens. Laughter makes a home. Jay reminds me to not be so serious and to live life to the fullest and to take chances. Life is different, different in a good way. I’ve found my human, my grove, I’ve change my zip code and I’m never looking back.

{PERSPECTIVE} 10 Years of Have Bear Will Travel

10 yearsTen years ago today I boarded a plane with 67 strangers bound for Glasgow Scotland. The only thing I knew was “I’m going to Scotland and will live in a palace.” Everything else was left up to fate. That trip lead me to start havebearwilltravel.com. It was my attempt to stay connected to friends and family back home. I wanted a place where I could share my adventures in real-time. Scotland was only the beginning, it was my starting point to an amazing adventure.

I got to travel Europe, attend the Edinburgh Tattoo, saw the Queen at the Highland games, and there is nothing like spotting a hairy coo in your front yard. I went looking for Nessie, but came up empty-handed, pub crawls, yea I’ve gotta few under my belt, art was a plenty, ghosts were all around, the underground can’t be beat, Rosslyn Chapel is way prettier in person, and if you listen you just might hear the footsteps of giants. I was an intern with the New Scottish Parliament, they thought it would be highly entertaining for me to give tours of the building to school children and tack stacks of papers.

Scotland truly was one hell of an adventure and I now have a place to call “Home” in the Midlothians. Once I returned home I continued to blog about my adventures and encouraged others to step out side of their comfort zones. Funny thing, little did I know that this blog would see me through thick and thin. It has been my outlet to the world, a place for me to gain perspective, encourage others, and a place for me to write my story.

Looking back I did a lot of incredibly amazing shit, so amazing that I have to stop and think “yea you actually did that!” Ten years ago I had no idea where life would take me or what the future would hold. I am a firm believer that everything should be left up to fate. Fate will never fail us and as long as we believe, she will come through. I’ve been married, became a step mom, had a pulmonary embolism and a stroke, became a mama, got a divorce, quit my job, found my voice, fell in love, said good-bye, and hello.

I am literally in awe of my life. I have walked the beaches of Sardinia, stood on Mount Tibidabo, sailed the canals of Venice, climbed the pyramids of Egypt, zip corded through the jungles of Belize, set sail on the high seas, collected sea shells in Mexico, panned for gold in Alaska, and shopped in Morocco. I have stood on three of the seven continents and hopefully will see the remaining four before I die. My soul needs to travel this world and as long as I am able I will always choose GO.

Go? Alfred who is now a very ratty teddy bear still goes wherever I go. He is after all the “bear” in Have Bear Will Travel. That ratty old teddy bear has seen me through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the down right hilarious moments of my life. We never grow up, we just tuck our teddy into our suit cases and no one is none the wiser. I will carry that ratty teddy bear with me until the day I die.

If I could go back 10 years I will tell my 21-year-old self to enjoy the journey and to live in the moment. Moments make us who we are, without them we are books with blank pages. I would tell her to hold on tight because you are going to have more potholes than smooth pavement. That life can be cruel and unfair. That she will endure heartache, turmoil, and fight for her life, only to say goodbye to a son who never walked the earth. Mostly I would tell her” “You are stronger than you could ever imagine and to not worry about law school, you will change the world without a law degree.”