Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Banyon Street my new favorite

So currently we're resting our heads in beautiful Punta Gorda, Florida.  We're staying at the home of a wonderful family Katie used to Nanny for...her "second family" as she liked to call them...I now feel lucky enough to have come to know and love them equally.  To all of the Marcians I thank you so much for your amazing hospitality and generosity.  Marion I have always and will always cherish the time I get to spend with you and the conversations shared are always a huge nourishment to my spirit, I learn so much everytime.  I tip my glass of Hess to you :D (I really am drinking Hess, but in a plastic wine glass because I couldn't find the "adult" ones, oh well it suits me better).  

The boys and I have been having some great adventures here in Florida.  I think I just realized the other day I feel like we've reclaimed the summer lost.  This at least is what this portion of our trip feels big great summer experience.  Katie got (even more) dreadfully ill in late June and remained in the hospital almost fully until her passing.  After she passed I can honestly say that the rest of July, August, September and maybe part of October were a blur.  I remember speaking on the phone one day in late November to someone talking about school..thinking with full conviction that the school year was about to begin because really it was like an odd awakening experience.  I felt at that moment I had been punched in the did we get to November, where did the Summer go?  The fall?? Where am I?  So now as the boys and I are immersed in one another I feel like we're getting this time back...and living it to the fullest.  Some highlights include:  Watching a Pelican swallow a fish in one gulp...the boys were awed at the power of the pelican.  Aiden held a 3 year old aligator on an air boat tour we took, all the while some dad in the background berated his 12 year old for allowing a 4 year old to show him up...the poor 12 year old was scared out of his gord, and I don't blame him.  Today I rented a bike and huffed the boys around behind me in a trailer, fun was had by all.   More importantly we're just relaxing with one another, doing lots of swimming and playing in many various beaches.   I have come to realize that while not many can take this kind of time out to be with their loved ones, it is something I hope I never forget to do when this trip is over..just taking whatever available free time to sit in the moment...really BE in the moment without distraction of internet, phone, TV whatever it is..that is something we all can do..invest in the ones we love...if even for an hour or two...but in just doing that there is so much to gain...and learn...and all grow in the process.

The picture above is of my new favorite street that I found today on an island in Florida called Boca Grande.  We took a day trip here today and this street was our first stop, it's called Banyan Street where these trees line both sides of the street.   To just walk this short block is like breathing the biggest most peaceful breath of fresh air.  As the boys ran around and attempted to climb any possible tree I just peacefully drank in this block and thanked my lucky stars, and more importantly God for helping me to remember to take time out to breathe everyday knowing that while some days seem unbearable there are always small rewards (like Banyan street) that keep us going.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What Can I Build?

Wow what a day it was yesterday, I found myself feeling so filled with hope and inspiration watching the scenes which unfolded all day long yesterday.  Watching President Obama take office, hearing his words, seeing the crowds it became quite a day of thought and reflection for me.  I've read and read the script of Obama's inauguration speech and I just can not get enough of it.  Yesterday this is what stuck with me for the entire day (oddly enough) "know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy".  While I know he was referring to something completely different this simple statement stuck with me throughout the entire day.  I kept thinking about my own life and the things I wish to "build" .  My oh my I have this HUGE responsibility to my boys I am building two people to be the best men possible, to contribute to society to love those that others will not, to see good in the world, to hope for things people say are run in the direction of love and prosperity, not towards those material things that will not realize in their core that love and memories are really the ONLY things in life that will last forever and so we chase after these things.  I sometimes get some overwhelmed with trying to even express to myself, to organize my thoughts. 

Apart from the boys, I'm trying to rebuild my own life, to chase after only that which will grow me as a person and not those things that only destroy my spirit.  So that means I have to be aware of those things that will destroy me or tear me down...and these are the things I've been thinking about since I heard that sentence uttered yesterday.  I think what I've thought about most is trying to push the fear I experience on a daily basis for what will happen or become of my life this time next year out of my mind...our journey, our entire life journey up to this point was about taking risks, about being stretched, about doing what others said we could not do...these things always worked THEY ALWAYS WORKED (I say this or rather yell it to just remind myself).  I have big hope and dreams for our future.  Our Great Adventure thus far has stretched me as a person but everyday I experience something new, I see new things and I am reminded that life is good and worth living and those things that paralyze me with fear are just road blocks along our rugged journey.  I'll continue to create my new life to be exactly what I want from it no matter what it takes.

Oddly enough as I type, Koen has swallowed a lego helmet!  SO alas THIS blog must come to an end (ahh I'm laughing because he's ok).  Oh life..what a journey...I'll keep thinking about those things I do that destroy me, destroy those around me, and just should be pushed out of my life altogether, like legos.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009


So there I was driving along a Florida back road when I see the above
sign. Who knows why, but I was so amused by this sign and it left me
thinking of a number of things which I will share some with you now.

1st - I was about to get out of my car to snap a picture of this sign
when I thought AM I NUTS?!?!? (turns out this time I'm not). If the
sign is true then some killer Florida panther could be waiting right
outside my minivan, so I stayed put.

Then I started to think of stupid stuff like holy cow what if you got
a flat tire on this strip of road, I would be losing lug nuts all over
the place constantly worried some panther was lurking in the backround.

Or if you hit a panther (say like you hit a deer) do you get out of
the car to check on the injured beast? I say NO because unlike bambi,
if his guy is not hurt I'm a goner!

I could go on and on but I'll spare you and stop here. Point is this
has to be one of my most favorite street signs to date. Who knew?!

Monday, January 12, 2009

The adventure begins

So TONS has happened since I last wrote. I'm jobless, and homeless, but I have immense peace regarding the decision, so I know with un-waivering doubt I'm doing the right thing. I'll try to sum up the past month in as few words as possible. BUT before I do let me first say, now that this great adventure has begun, I commit to update this blog at least once a week if not more. In fact I do hope it is more as there is so much running through my head I need to get it out.

Alright, so I left New Jersey on December 20th. This was a task I did not think I was going to be able to accomplish but I DID it (crazy dancing in celebration). Surprisingly, when our apartment door slammed behind me for the final time it was as if the weight of 1000 elephants was lifted from my shoulders. No longer would I have to occupy this space where my dreams were shattered, no longer would I re-live the horrific events that those walls bore witness to...these moments are alive enough in my head, to physically be in that space was too intense. What is ironic is that I didn't even know I felt such disdain for this space until that door slammed for the last time, to which I breathed the most amazing sigh of relief I
have ever experienced in life.

On to Christmas. As expected holidays without your dearest just suck! While it was awesome to be with family for such a long time I was indeed happy to see Christmas come and go as quickly as possible. Speaking of wishing something away, I was also filled with glee to see the departure of 2008, which will forever be known as the worst possible year in my life. What I bore witness to in just one years time is mind blowing, but thankfully a new year is upon us
and I have incredibly high expectations.

So flash forward to now and we are on day 4 of our Great Adventure. Two of the four days have been devoted to driving, but we are currently in Florida where we will remain until nearly the
end of February. It took SO much to get to this point, I've felt nearly every emotion in the book and maybe some new ones that haven't been recorded. I look forward to being consistent in my
blogging and sharing each and every thing done and felt on our journey. I leave you with this: today as I watched my boys run down the beautiful beach, excitement bursting from every ounce of their beings...or while I swam around the pool with my 4 year old
for so long we could've been mistaken for raisins...It was this day with these moments that I knew in the core, the very depth of my being that I've done the right thing. This trip, this time
together, these moments shared...this is exactly the only way healing was going to occur for us. Boy oh boy has it been scary as hell leading up to this trip, and even during, but right now I have peace in my guts and I'm quite fond of the feeling. I write it out because I know fear and doubt and anguish will creep back in, so it will be nice to read what I just wrote as a reminder.

I hope you find whatever it is that will bring peace to your guts this year. Whenever you figure out what exactly that is, won't you please share, because I learn so much from the experiences of others as I sure hope you'll learn from mine.