Sunday, August 28, 2005

Not a Single Photo...

Earlier this month, we had a very nice Nelson Family Mini-Reunion. It was lots of fun and packed full of things to do. We drove to the Oregon Coast on Wednesday and spent a day playing in the surf and sand at the beach near Devil's Punchbowl. On Thursday, the older cousins did a 4-5 mile bike ride ending in a beautiful waterfront park near the Willamette River. The Mom's drove the younger kids to said park where all enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch and playing in the large fountain. It cycles through different water dances, and is intended for splashing and playing. Later that night the whole family gathered at yet another park for a free concert from the band "Asleep At The Wheel" (a great concert and a lot of fun!). Friday had the whole crew meeting at still another local park for paddle boating. WE RENTED THE ENTIRE PARK (yep, twenty or so of us Nelson's with six paddle boats and one Surfrider) for an hour, and spent the whole time wheeling around the little lake. Another picnic lunch was followed by the celebration of Grandma Rampton's 97th birthday (NINETY-SEVEN! I mean, how often is THAT going to happen?). And I didn't take a single picture.

Even though I'm a bit shocked by this (I ALWAYS take pictures--often I am the ONLY ONE taking pictures), there was a strange freedom in it. Permission to just sit and relax and enjoy rather than worrying about catching the perfect shot or wondering if my camera is going to fall into the lake, ocean, fountain...etc. So I guess the lesson here is that sometimes it's okay to let go and just be.

Just be a part of things. Instead of looking at your life through the barrier of a camera lens, just be a part of it.

And that's the other side.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Choices, choices

I've been thinking lately about the choices and paths we choose in life. Sort of a "Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Woods" kind of thoughts. (for the full poem, go here ). I've been looking at the choices I made that put me in the position to marry my husband. What if I had been more adventurous and gone to college in Ithaca, New York, or Colorado (two places I was mildly curious about) instead of sticking close to home and going to a junior college in Idaho followed by going to Reese Family Home Turf at Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon? (in case you don't know, my grandfather was a chemistry professor there for many years, and my father went there--met my mother there--and the apartment where I was conceived has been pointed out to me many, many times...) I met my husband in Corvallis, and I have to say, that was a good road to choose. A VERY good road, 'cause he's perfect for me!

But what if I'd stayed closer to my high school boyfriend? There was definitely a time in my life where I expected to marry him. Not that THAT would have been bad, but would definitely have led to a very different kind of life.

What if I pursued my dream to sing musical theater and/or Opera? What kind of life would I have now? What if I'd been more adamant about playing sports in middle school and high school? What if I'd taken the jazz dancing classes I always wanted to take? What if I'd been able to tour Europe or go on youth hostel tours or served a mission for my church? What if, what if, what if....

I know it's cliched, but I really think that the secret to happiness in life is not necessarily having what you want, but wanting what you've got. If I were to go back (so to speak) and try to reclaim some of those set aside possibilities, what would I give up? To claim those possibilities now, I'd have to give up something. I certainly wouldn't want to give up my children. Nor my husband. I'd definitely give up the extra weight I'm carrying now because I didn't learn to love exercise and sports when I was younger. I wouldn't give up the good or the bad experiences I've had. These experiences shaped me, and I've been grateful for them.

The truth is, those two roads never really go away. There's ALWAYS going to be choices in life. Where to live, whether or not to change jobs, do we have one more baby, do I take a nap or work on chores, do I go to the store today or tomorrow...things like that. Not every choice has dramatic consequences--but we choose every day. We choose to work out our differences with our spouses rather than walk away from the problems. We choose to take care of our children with love and tenderness rather than in a place of frustration (and sometimes that's a REALLY HARD choice to make!). We choose carrots over cookies. We choose every day to be happy with what we've got.

And that's the other side.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Where there's smoke...


Yesterday I was blithely going about my morning routine when I heard a strange noise. A raspy, crackling sound, not unlike feedback from a set of speakers. At first, I thought my husband left his online game running and the speakers up and the sound was coming through his headphones. Then the crackling turned to a popping sound and seemed to get louder. I got up and went around my desk to investigate. I found smoke pouring out of the adapter for my laptop. I quickly unplugged it from the laptop and then unplugged it from the power strip and then took the stinky thing outside. I then shut off my laptop to conserve the battery.

I am now back to using my husband's computer. I've been on the laptop exclusively for about a year now. That's where all of my pictures are. All of my bookmarks (AACK! No Blog-reading for me!). My automatic login cookies. I'm feeling a bit lost.

I have since found out that my laptop (an HP zv5000) is one of the biggest power users in the laptop world (so says the seller on eBay I bought my new adapter from). Lucky me! I really should learn to do more with it....

Hopefully the seller (in Seattle) has already shipped my new adapter and it speeds down I-5 quickly. I want to go back to my own desk and be in my own computer world. It's not too bad here on my husbands side of things, but I've become more comfortable with MY things. My space, my stuff, my view of things.

And that's the other side