If You Give a Child an Atlas

As we approach Burlington, Colorado, my daughter notices the Kit Carson County Carousel on the atlas.  We spontaneously decide to follow the signs off the interstate to find this carousel. 

What’s happened to the scheduled, inflexible, impatient traveler I normally am? 

For a quarter, you can ride on the back of a seahorse, a camel, a zebra, or even a deer with enormous antlers.  There we ride, in the middle of nowhere, going 12 miles per hour on a gorgeous carousel built in 1905. 

Later, my daughter spreads the atlas across her lap.  I see the spirit of adventure rising up in our old minivan.  You can go anywhere and do anything!  Why not follow the trail of Louis and Clark?   Why not? 

A few hours later, we stop in Kansas and find friends (the Newmans!) who recommend a local restaurant for dinner.  Why not?  We stay a night in this city and enjoy the unknown and the spontaneous. 

My friend reminds me, “Spontaneous things are better.”  I’m finally learning to relax, be flexible, and have adventures.  What will we find on the atlas today?  Suddenly, a day in the minivan doesn’t seem so difficult. 

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Journal:  What spontaneous thing did I do recently?

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Sledding in My Pearls

Our Saucer Sled

It’s late afternoon, and I’m all fixed up for a night out.  I even have my pearls on. 

My youngest daughter stands by the door and says, “Mom, can we go sledding real quick?  Real quick?”  She’s already pulling on her snow pants, and as I look out the window towards the sledding hill, something comes over me.  I realize I must do this; I must take a minute and live with flair.  So many moments of pure joy have come from spontaneous, ridiculous activity.  I have to go sledding. 

Of course this makes no sense at all. 

I pull on Grandpa’s huge snowsuit (that fits over my outfit without messing it up), grab my husband’s jacket and gloves, yank on some boots, and I’m out the door. 

Sledding in Pearls

We sled down the hill in a bright blue saucer.  I sit down first, and she plops down right on top of me.  We push off, holding on to each other for dear life. 

I’m actually late for our evening plans.  As the woman who is always ten minutes early to everything, I’m amazed with the joy I feel being late for something.  I apologize to the other couples and point to the sledding hill.  As I strip off my snow gear, I tell everyone not to worry.  I’m ready to go.  See?  I even have my pearls on. 

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