Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Blue Plastic Chair

It is interesting in these early days of this new Thistle life how I waiver, both up and down, with the skepticism or enthusiasm of friends.   No one has  said, "What, are you daft?", when we tell them we'll be living the next several years in a van but we can feel their doubt.  Other times the enthusiasm pours forth with, "I want to do what you're doing!"

Because our adventure is untested, because we don't know for sure we will like this choosen path, we are vulnerable to opinions, whether stated or  sensed.  In another few months, when our travel roots are deeper, we'll know enough about our hopes being fulfilled or our doubts being correct that we  will be less sensitive to other's opinions, but right now we're vulnerable.

I sometimes get a little weary of the canned quotes that circulate on Facebook.   They overwhelm my News Feed and are shrug-my-shoulders-banal.  But just recently there was one that grabbed my attention.  Perhaps because we're about to head out in Thistle it suddenly didn't seem trite but completely germane.

Haven't we all felt held back when we were kids?    Something simple like, in the case of my dad, a wrinkled brow.  No word was spoken but I could sense his reluctance about what I was about to do and it held me back.   It held me back like this little blue plastic chair is holding back the horse.   My dad didn't say, "No, you can't."  Nevertheless, his hesitation and his expression said, "hold it",  and often I did.  He was my little blue plastic chair, something all kids need, but it does stick with us.

Just recently a dear friend gave me a gentle and encouraging  nudge out the door with two very wonderful gifts.  The first is a bird book for North America that I very much wanted.  It is time to learn the birds of our continent, and here is the perfect tool.

And a beautiful handmade-by-Anne Merino wool shawl for cool evenings in the Thistle as I sit and study birds, or blog or just hang out.

Bless Anne.  She did not tie me to a blue plastic chair but, with these gifts, told me I can fly, and I will.


"You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down."

~Toni Morrison,
Song of Solomon


  1. I'm flying with you, dear Fran, loosely tied to your coat-tails, loving every mile and view and stop. And you.