Joy Ride

I have to tell everyone . . . I have had a hard couple of weeks and the stress has been wrecking havoc on my digestive system and my sleep cycle. It was so bad at the end of last week that Friday night when I was driving home from work, all I wanted to do was come home and go to bed pulling the covers over my head. I did get home and managed to eek out some interest in a movie but sure enough, I just wanted to go to bed. Once in bed I decided that I wasn’t getting out of it in the morning unless I had to. Luckily the next morning brought a brighter perspective.

When I woke up, I laid in bed thinking about things and decided that staying home was only going to make it worse, so the best thing for me was to get out of bed and get out of the house. For a long time now, I have been keeping a list of places and things that I want to see when I have a moment (which seems to be never). I decided that today was the day I was going to accomplish the list.

I got up, got ready, quickly ate breakfast and then sat down to the computer to map my route. It ended up being a VERY big circle of stops all over the Portland metro area. I left at 11 am and actually wasn’t able to complete my list because places where closed or it was dark.

I had the best day ever!! I have now learned the real meaning behind the term “joy ride”. Just being outside in the sun, enjoy the beauty of fall, mingling with others, brought a huge smile to my face. I was reminded that yes, life is difficult and completely sucks at times and yes, you can have those moments where it is okay to draw the covers over your head but going forward in gratitude for what you have, what you see, where you live, and those you love, really can bring a smile to your face and your heart.

As we go into November, I pray that everyone will try to have an “attitude of gratitude”. A little bit of it goes a long way and once you have it, pass it along to others in the form of service. We will look back at those moments with love and happiness and will be able to make it through all the dark stormy days of our lives.

If anyone wants to see my crazy drive–here it is!

Finding the Best of Halloween

So I know this is traditionally the post about the best places I have been . . . and believe me, the list is very long. However, all week I was thinking about all the fun things that I would like to do in regards to my favorite time of year, fall and, my favorite holiday, Halloween.

This year has been weird with the move, the lack of cooler weather on a consistent basis, missing my Halloween decorations and of course no party. I have really tried to get in the mood but for some reason I still feel like I am on some extended summer vacation.

So I have been dreaming about all of the things that I want to do in my life regarding fall and Halloween and I decided that I would share with you my top five. Do any of you have a fall dream?


  1. Ireland– yes, Ireland. I want to be there not for St. Patrick’s Day but for Halloween since technically Halloween is an ancient Druid holiday started by the Celts. We can visit the church that inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula, climb up an old decaying castle at midnight and tell ghost stories and I am sure, party with the best of them in Dublin.ย 
  2. Romania–I guess we can see why I would want to go here. I would actually love to participate in one of the Halloween parties that take place every year at the Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle).ย 
  3. Mexico–so the celebration starts on October 31st but it goes until November 2nd because it is Dias de los Muertos! Fiesta anyone?! Mexico is full of such vibrate color and life and to celebrate your ancestors for 3 days . . . what could be more wonderful than that? ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
  4. Salem, Massachusetts–You have to visit the “Witch City” at least once in your life. Besides that, everyone knows how beautiful the fall foliage is this time of year in Massachusetts as well. Make a weekend of it!
  5. Fall Drives–that is right; you can’t celebrate this season without taking a leisure drive through beautiful country, stopping at cider mills for hot cider and donuts. I have been on at least 5 of these in my life time and I am positive there are more and the most important one I still need to do is drive through Sleep Hallow, Vermont.ย 


Slow Driving

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Don’t think I am weird but when it is lightly drizzling rain outside I somehow feel the need to take a slow drive somewhere. There is something about the quietness that the rain brings to me that calms me and a drive by myself gives me the opportunity to just think.
With that being said, it is also summer and I don’t know about any of you but my whole life has been filled with summer road trips. I have some great memories that come from car trips and it never involved speaking on the phone or watching a movie to pass the time. I always loved the conversations I had with the people in the car and I loved the scenery as it passed by. I would stare out the window and imagine what the lives were like of the people that I passed by.
So today, I decided to share some of my favorite drives. As I thought about this, I realized that I have WAY more than 5 to share. I am not necessarily sharing my top 5 but I am sharing the first 5 that came to mind.
What is your favorite drive? Please share with everyone! Who knows, we might all end up on it some day. ๐Ÿ™‚
1.This first drive isย between my current house and Portland, OR. I love this drive for two reasons: first, it reminds me of serving a mission for my church. This was the area tha t served in and as I drive through it, I think about all of the people that I met. I think about the lives I was able to help change and I think about my own changed life. The second reason is watching the changing landscape. I love the desert and grew up in it. It can be so beautiful watching the dusty landscape share some flowers every now and then. I love watching that change as I get closer to the coast and see water renew the ground and bring a different kind of life to it with the ferns and evergreens that dot the landscape. I sit and wonder about how beautiful our earth is and what a blessing it is to share in it.
2. I spent my formative years always near a portion of this drive and many times we found ourselves vacationing along it as well. I love PCH or for those of you who don’t know, Pacific Coast Highway. This drive is where I really developed my love of being close to the ocean.
3. I spent my whole life making this drive two different ways then was shown a new one once my brother and sister-in-law were married and it now ranks high on my list. I love the drive from Idaho Falls, ID to Jackson Hole, WY via Victor, ID. I get the opportunity to pass through a couple of valleys, up and down a couple of mountains and follow the Snake River for a time. It is beautiful and full of wildlife. Just be very careful not to hit a moose when travelling around 10pm on Christmas Eve. ๐Ÿ™‚
4. This drive was more of a meandering through upstate New York and it was well worth the meander. I highly suggest that everyone spend time in upstate NY.
5. My last drive is through the backside of highway 5 in Oregon through the Willamette Valley. It goes through a lot of vineyards but mostly, it is just quiet and it feels slightly off the grid.