Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stepping out of Grouse Creek into the World

When our daughter was all of five years of age we lived in Grouse Creek, a town of less than one hundred people set in the desert hills of Northwestern Box Elder county. When she was five she wandered off and her excuse was that she couldn't help it because her feet just kept going and going. Wandering off in Grouse Creek was dangerous with literally millions of acres of canyons, gullies, hills, cliffs and desert to get lost in. So when my husband found her well beyond where a five year old should be, we were greatly relieved. Now at 27 her feet have taken her the world over. I'm pretty sure she feels the same way too--that she can't help it. The need to see, feel, and explore has not dissipated. This small town girl has lived on her own in Denmark, Austria, Alaska, Argentina, Guatemala, San Francisco, Brooklyn and now Manhattan. She has traveled throughout Europe, South America, Central America, Cambodia and Thailand--and I'm sure I've missed some. Her ventures aren't with groups and usually aren't even with friends, though she makes friends easily and stays in touch with people from every corner of the world.

For a mother having a daughter like her is both a challenge and a reward. Worrying comes second nature to mothers and maybe even easier for me than some. People used to ask me if I worried about her and I would answer, yes, but I try not to think too much about it. Then for some reason many people feel the need to tell horror stories about whatever country or place she happened to be living in at the time. "Did you hear about the earthquake, murder, drowning, typhoon, drug cartels, hurricane, bombing, and so on and so on?" "Yes, but did you hear about the _____ (fill in the blank) that happened right here in happy valley, Utah?" Danger is around every corner whether it's in the tiny town of Grouse Creek or bustling cities of Buenos Aires or NYC. So you might as well live your life putting one step in front of the other exploring the world and seeing what is out there--letting your feet take you wherever they will. I was lucky enough to share my birthday with my daughter. We walked a lot, saw a lot, and I enjoyed it all. When I got on the plane she sent me a text message. It was simply a sad face. I got tears in my eyes and my heart ached. Saying goodbye never gets any easier from the time she embarked on her first camping trip in the mountains, or one of her many adventures.

NYC from a bridge

Sculpture at Storm King

Roy Lichtenstein sculpture. We liked the reflection better than the sculpture.

Loved this stone wall at Storm King

Buddha Torn apart

The Kiss with Daniel

The Kiss with Ginger

A Henry Moore. I loved this British artist when I first saw his work in England 34 years ago.

This one was fascinating from every angle.

Riding the Ferry. An inexpensive way to see sights.


City at sunset

Bluff State Park

Bluff State park Tree

The beach all to ourselves in Connecticut