Open up that golden gate…

Some time last summer, my mother decided she needed an adventure. A permanent one. She figured that before she was too old to actually do something about it, she would relocate to the East Coast. Maybe that doesn’t sound like an adventure to some, but when you’ve lived in one place for over 40 years, and you’re not planning on returning, it’s an adventure. She’s always had wanderlust, and if someone asked me to sum her up in one rich word, I’d say she’s a dreamer. And that’s not anything to be ashamed of.

I am, too.

How does one live any time on this earth without dreams? Without wonderings and urges or hopes to go places different than what she knows best, or become someone other than who she is now?

I can’t imagine.

But I’ve also learned that most often, dreams require work, and sometimes, the timing of all that’s necessary to make them come true is wrong. It takes amazing strength to admit that maybe, you’re just not strong enough to make it work. You’re tired.


My mother, who turned 70 late last year, has, with the help of her sister, once again packed up her little white car, bundled up her cat, Emily, and yesterday set out for home from upstate New York.

She’s outfitted with a trip itinerary courtesy of her brother-in-law, a cell phone, and two daughters and a sister who are at computers, keeping watch of weather, and looking for motels along the way.

Amazing, isn’t it?

I think she is.

Anyone who likes to wander,

ought to keep this saying in his mind:

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder”

of the good old place you leave behind.

When you’ve hit the trail a while

seems you rarely see a smile;

that’s why I must fly out yonder,

where a frown is mighty hard to find!

California here I come,

right back where I started from.

Where bowers of flowers bloom in the sun,

Each morning at dawning

birdies sing an’ ev’rything:

A sun-kiss’d miss said, “don’t be late,”

That’s why I can hardly wait,

Open up that golden gate,

California here I come.

You go, Mom.



6 responses to “Open up that golden gate…”

  1. I am be gonna doing the same thing when I am her age. I am 29 and I have lived in 2 countries, more than a dozen cities and several states (in both countries) I’ve been in Columbus for about 2 years and I feel I can’t take it anymore. I want to see the Mediterranean Sea now :-p

    Good luck to your mom because her dreams will take her far 😀

  2. Bless her, wherever she is!

  3. VGF

    Your ability to open up and talk about the your love for your mom – and the depth and breadth of it- really touches me, and I think you’re both lucky. See you Sat.

  4. Ben, I don’t blame you for wanting to move on. The Mediterranean is lovely from what I remember about it and very much like it is here — except with a warmer ocean. What are you waiting for? Pack those bags!

    Thanks, Ann. I’ve already got a couple of phone calls in today, and she’s fine. Ballsy, but fine.

    Hugs to you, VGF, for that. I do count my blessings. Looking forward to Sat!

  5. That is it, that is it! If your Mom can do it with a cat, I can do it with three little boys. I have been thinking about driving from Maine to Alabama (all the way to the coast). I have a cell phone and I might even have some friends from here to there. Look out mapquest, here I come!

    Maybe in the fall…can’t leave Maine during the spring and summer.

    Loved the post. Thanks for giving me a little push. It might just happen.

  6. Hi RM! I believe I’ve read your comments on Ritzy’s blog…and aren’t you the photographer friend? w00t! and welcome! Wow, a trip with three children? You go, girl! What does Jamie Oliver say? Easy peasy? Hahahaha. As a source of comparison, I helped chaparone 120 8th graders on a trip from San Diego to the East Coast for a week. Now THAT was exhausting!

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