Couch Surfing and My Hip Dad

My dad got home from a fishing trip today and saw that there was a random car with an out of state license plate in the driveway.  After putting his gear down and giving me a hug he says, “Are those couch surfers or do you know those people?”  I love that this is my dad’s response, and he couldn’t have said it any more nonchalantly, like it didn’t matter that there could be two strangers sleeping in the extra bedroom in his house.

I introduced my dad to Couch Surfing after living a very active CS life in San Diego.  My apartment was always filled with strangers from other parts of the world.  These strangers, or instant friends, became more than just weekend guests.  They became a part of my world, some staying for extra days, weeks, months, and it was beautiful.  I made some very good friends at the time, by hosting and meeting other local hosts, friends that I still talk to and friends that I will stay connected with for the rest of my life.

This is the part of Couch Surfing that I wanted my dad to see.  I wanted him to see that CS is not a community full of freeloaders and people that want to steal your precious stuff.  It’s about being comfortable with yourself, your surroundings, and letting other people into your life.  It’s about opening yourself up to others which is something all of us should practice.

So, after hosting a frisbee world champion, a couple of dudes passing through trying to avoid the busy city, a couple of girls that just wanted to go on a bike ride in the forest, and many friends of friends of friends my dad has become part of the Couch Surfing community without even realizing it.  He is now used to and comfortable with meeting new people, and his generous hospitality has extended beyond the realm of family members.  He has grown to trust his daughter and her judgements (I hope!).  Above all, he has learned the importance of hydration and making new friends.  Much of my happiness and knowledge of the world comes from meeting new people, sharing lives, and sharing homes.

That is the type of thing a person carries with them forever, whether they are on the Couch Surfing website or not.  We learn to share from the moment we come into contact with other human beings.  Remember what they taught us in school, “sharing is caring”.  Thank you dad for being so open, accepting, caring, and way hip.

Just Another Way To Show My Love For Rod Stewart

Sometimes the wrong turns out just right.

I walked into the yoga studio, and after saying hello, the instructor informs me that class might be cancelled today.  Instantly, I felt a little down.  I had picked out a new place, woke up early, and drove 30 minutes to do a hot power class, and now I was being told it probably wasn’t going to happen.  I knew I should have picked a different studio!  Since I was early I decided to wait around a bit.  I searched Google to see if there were any other studios in the area.  Nothing close by.  The instructor then informed me that she was just a substitute and wasn’t even prepared to teach a hot vinyasa class.  I sunk a little bit lower, but I was still going to wait until 9 am to see if anyone else would arrive.  Just then, three more people showed up and class was back on!  I ended up practicing for free and got to take a mat home with me.  The studio was going to take a bunch of left-behind mats to Salvation Army, and the instructor offered one to me.  What a morning!  And, to top things off, an organic grocery store/deli/juice bar appeared on a map just minutes up the road!

With juice in hand and Rod Stewart’s new album, “Time”, on the stereo I was ready for the rest of my day.  With a little patience what could have been a disastrous morning took a turn for the best and put a smile on my face.

It’s only wrong when you decide it’s wrong, when you give up on making it right.

Rod

Big Kids and Ball Pits

The big kids decided to have a day of fun in St. Louis.  They walked over to the City Museum, the perfect place to have oodles of fun!  It’s like more like a playground for people of all ages than it is a museum.  You can slide into the basement, crawl through underground tunnels, squeeze yourself through holes you never thought you could fit through, climb trees, zip down a ten story slide, chuck balls at your friends or random strangers in the ball pit, climb through wires that stretch out into the air, jump on top of airplanes, and discover secret tunnels and rooms throughout the stretch of the building.  There are signs that read “Please Touch” in the museum-like section on the second floor.  You can touch paintings, turtle shells, and old pinball machines.  Nothing is off limits, except for the gigantic rocking chair which you are left to look at and wish you had one of your own.

I have a ridiculously big smile across my face just thinking about this place.  If you want to go to a magical land where every single person is happy go to the City Museum.  There is nothing like it.  Adults become kids in an instant and kids remember how awesome being a kid really is :-)

Dinos!

Ten Stories!Tunnel!

Robbie!Mickey!Ball Pit!

Family, It Never Stops Growing

I tried to log into WordPress today and realized that I forgot my password.  This is a sign that I need to get back into the swing of things.  Believe me, I am still smiling on a daily basis, and you should be too!

I would like to share a little something that shows you can still smile no matter what is happening in your life.  Even in dark times, there is always a light.  You just need to open yourself to it.

Recently, a family member passed away.  She was my dad’s aunt, married to my Gram’s brother, mother to five of my aunts and uncles, grandmother to a bunch.  Much of my family is like this.  I call people my aunt, uncle, cousin even if that’s not what they technically are.  Sometimes I even forget how I am related to all of these people that I love!  There are just so many of them, and every time we get together it seems like the family grows and grows.  I am very lucky to have all of these wonderful people in my life which is something I am reminded of all the time.

I called my aunt to tell her how sorry I was that she lost her mom.  I wanted to be there for her, help her in any way I could.  Throughout the conversation she ended up consoling me.  She made me smile.  We both smiled remembering her mom, my great aunt, Lorraine.

Lorraine was a very petite, under 5 feet tall, yet powerful lady.  I was always happy to talk to her at family parties.  She told it like it is and was always up for a good laugh.  You could tell she was the head of her family, the family she left so many of her traits within.  Above all, Lorraine was a caregiver, a caregiver to everyone.  I see this in all of my family members.  We will always care for each other and all the people in our lives.  Our family doesn’t just stop at Nowicki, Sava, Banks, Goldsmith, or Kelly.   It extends beyond names as we show the love Lorraine showed us to those we meet along the way.

If you have love share it.  It’s not meant to be kept a secret.

Sharing Some Love :-)

http://mywifesfightwithbreastcancer.com

I came across this website/blog the other day.  Whether you have had an experience with cancer or not, these photographs and memories still affect a certain part of the brain and stir emotions you may or may not be aware of.  This family took a journey together, and I value their openness to share it.  I only wish that I was able to do for my mom the same things this man did for his wife.  Maybe I did in some capacity and don’t realize it.  I know that our family and friends were there for my mom.  Hopefully I was too.

Check out the blog and give this man your support.  Maybe you will see a new side, a living side, to something you’ve experienced or have only heard about.