Backpacking at 66

These days I have been thinking of my daughter, Laura’s, backpacking trip to Europe the summer after she graduated from the Perpich Arts High School. I had never done that type of a trip even though I finished high school in 1968, which was when such a trip was the thing to do. I thought of Laura as very brave, which she was, and very determined. She and friend Rachel graduated and off they went. I felt I was living vicariously through her, as I would never have that opportunity in my lifetime. Well, my goodness, never say never. Who knew at 66 I would be heading off with a backpack for Europe?

Like that nervous teen heading out into something unknown, not sure the full extent of the challenge and all that lies ahead. I am also remembering the long distance calls from a phone from anywhere, like “Mom, we’ve been robbed. Send money.” She was way more out of touch than I will ever be with a cell phone, Di’s I pad, and the relative instantaneous communication with photos, Facebook, I message, and face time, to name a few.

A big difference in our trips is my need for comfort. I don’t think Laura and Rachel gave that one much thought. Their planning took a few weeks, while mine has taken months.

I am very grateful for this opportunity and in no small part to Leo, with all his support in many many ways. It might have been easier at 18 but I am not the same person. I love that I get to take a more conscious me on this journey, laugh with my sister who is celebrating 70 years as we head out into trouble not remembering in which pocket we put what, gasping then remembering. Watching out for each other as we attempt to make one full brain between us.

As I lie in bed at night enjoying the comfort of my bed and feeling gratitude for home and clothes and car and on and on, I wonder now why am I doing this? And I know that this is just all part of the isness of my life. It is all part of the flow.

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