Day 17: A recipe for hope…

“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” –Joseph Addison

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I am truly learning the value of taking a leap of faith and trying something new… this is the 17th day of new experiences and the quest has been invigorating. I have no regrets and I am bursting with anticipation for what the next new experience will be!  These Quests may be interpreted by some to be simple or even questionable when it comes to harnessing your inner strength to take them on.  Perhaps many would think that trying a new food or going to a new place is not courageous. But for this shy and sheltered girl, they are indeed daily challenges that help to escape from this quiet and naïve cocoon and face the world and enjoy all that it has to offer!

I have to admit that I am lucky!  I have the resources to live my life and take on this Quest. In hindsight, there are many that are much less fortunate than me.  There are people whose parents never loved them. People who never had a family to call their own, or at the very least, a bed that is truly their own.  They create defense and coping mechanisms to deal with the constant state of flux, new schools, new friends, new people to live with.  They adapt as best they can with the hope that one day, someone will love them and care for them as every other child they go to school with does.  They know what adversity is, they know they have been dealt a difficult hand in life and yet they continue to move ahead. Sometimes their choices are poor because they don’t always have dedicated caregivers to lead the way and help calibrate their moral compass.  These foster children simply do the best they can with the circumstances they are given.  Then at the age of 18, if they have not been adopted, and after being shuffled from foster family to foster family, they are expected to face the world and succeed.

There are many fantastic and dedicated foster families that do an amazing job trying to help these children get the best chance in life. But in the end, not every foster family can adopt the many children they foster.  These committed foster families should be acknowledged and honored for the sacrifices and care they give these children they so graciously invite into their lives and homes.

But there are too many foster children who are shuffled from one family to another until they are considered “aged out” of the system. They are considered too old to receive the care they need. Their lives become a struggle to survive.   This is where my Quest has taken me today….  My Quest takes me to the center of town to a restaurant called “Z-pies”.  It is a gourmet pot pie franchise that started in California. There’s a lot more on the menu here than just food.

What makes this chain important to my Quest is not that I have never been there, but that it is a non-profit franchise that donates their proceeds to help “The Eddy House”, a shelter to help transition aged- out youth from foster care to real life.  The aged-out foster kids work at the restaurant to learn job skills, responsibility and earn money. Here is a brief description of their project according to their website, “Our mission is to provide an organized, consistent and structured lifestyle to disadvantaged and abandoned young adults who have a history of instability and transience. Our vision is to ensure that when a resident ‘graduates’ from the house they will have an educational degree or trade certificate, bank account, life skills, job resume and job skills. The philosophy at the Eddy House is Education First. Case management and Service Coordination is also an essential component of our program. Life skills are taught in a group setting as well as on an individual basis. This supportive service is greatly needed in our community.” http://www.eddyhouse.org/who-we-are/

 

As I arrived at the cute and quaint Z-pie restaurant, I received a warm greeting by the hostess/waitress and was seated in the outdoor seating area that I requested.  The cobblestone courtyard-style seating area was comfortable and spacious for a small café.  The menu included appetizers, salads, sandwiches, pot pies and desserts.  There were many delectable treats to choose from.  I ordered the chicken mushroom pot pie knowing the entire time, there would be nothing truly healthy about this meal. But sometimes you just need to sink your teeth into a good cause.

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The meal arrived and the first bite I took was simply delicious.  The buttery and flaky crust was rich and the pie filling was flavorful as I found myself savoring every bite.  By now, most should know that the appreciation and sense of taste is always important to me.  Because some days, it has to be all about the food. But today, the food is much more important than just a simple pleasure, it is providing a recipe of hope to boys that deserve the opportunity to succeed.  Before I knew it, the pie was gone, my tummy was full and my heart was happy to know that my little purchase was helping to give others a chance at going on their own Quest, called “Life”…

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The courage today is found in the foster children, the dedicated and caring foster families that take on this difficult task, the Eddy House for providing opportunities for aged-out foster boys, and the patrons who support Z-pies so that the project can continue!  I encourage everyone who lives in the area or those visiting Reno, NV, to stop in and help support this project by indulging in these sinful pot pies for a heavenly cause!

Feeling satiated and hopeful in so many ways…. Wondering what tomorrow will bring!

 

 

 

Day 16: Cowboys and Indians, Good Guys and Bad Guys…?

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”

W. Clement Stone

Today the sun was out, the temperature was a comfortable 70 some degrees and I decided the Quest would take me someplace old and yet new to me.  I chose to explore Fort Churchill in Silver Springs, NV.  Not being a well-versed student of history, I had not heard of Fort Churchill before, but it was recommended that I need to see this site.

So, with that, I made sure to wear some comfortable clothes, sunscreen and hiking sandals. Of course, I brought my trusted scout–Siri.  I packed some water and some snacks as the drive would be about 1.5 hours one-way.  Siri led me through the Washoe Valley which sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  The snow has mostly melted now, but the mountains look just as majestic as they always do.  I then took highway 50, AKA: “The loneliest highway” out to the Fort Churchill State Park.

FC10  I testify that HWY 50 did seem desolate and lonely, but perhaps it gave me time to contemplate what I was about to embark on.  Would I be impressed?  Would I find courage at this destination and through its story?  Have I chosen wisely to take this trip? As I headed further into the desert terrain, the minutes seemed to turn into what felt like hours. There wasn’t much that caught my attention on this drive.  Alas, Siri led me right to the entrance of the State Park.

 

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I pulled up in the tiny parking lot and parked my car.  I stepped out and made my way to the only public access building there, the museum.  As I approached the museum, I noticed an interesting plaque that was along the walkway.  It acknowledged and gave credit to the Pony Express riders.  Ah yes, the Pony Express!  That’s right, Highway 50 originally was the Pony Express route that stretched from Missouri to Sacramento.  The plaque celebrated “120 riders who rode 650,000 miles with only one rider having been killed by an Indian, one schedule that was not completed and one mail lost!”  Perhaps the USPS could learn a thing or two from these studly riders!!!  Lol!  Seriously, what bravery these men must have possessed.  Nevada is barren with mountains as far as the eye can see.  Extreme seasonal temperatures could not have made their missions easy!   They persevered in all sorts of conditions testing the human spirit in so many ways… truly impressive!

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I then stepped into the museum and was struck by the artillery guns that sat in the middle of the museum.  They were in amazing condition as if they had not aged at all.  There were many artifacts which included swords, kitchen utensils, uniforms, pictures and rifles. These artifacts led me to ask, what was the mission of Fort Churchill?  I picked up a pamphlet and read about some dark days in this country’s history and quickly felt regret for traveling this distance as I thought, “Where is the courage in this story?”

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According to the pamphlet, In May 1860 three white men kidnapped and held prisoner 2 Indian girls.  This led to the Pyramid Lake War where the Indians took the initiative to kill the 3 white men and take the girls back.  Rumors and inflated story-telling led to 105 volunteers at the Pyramid Lake that vowed to seek revenge against the Indians.  The Indians outnumbered the white avengers and this bolstered the need for the military to send troops to battle the Indians.  In the second battle, the Indians suffered defeat and retreated.  A U.S. military outpost was ordered to be built and starting July 20, 1860 tens of thousands of dollars was appropriated to build Fort Churchill along the Carson City River.  This outpost served as a reminder to the Indians of the U.S. military’s presence, to protect the Pony Express riders and also for military training.  It was built and intended to be a permanent military installation.  Over the years and many wars, the Fort was sold and then left abandoned.  In the 1950’s and 60’s a new effort was made to preserve what remained of the adobe constructed buildings that survived the years they were left abandoned.

I walked out of the museum feeling a sense of confusion left wondering where is the bravery in killing Indians that lived on this land first?  Hmmm…   As I walked down to the path that led to the area where the remaining buildings stood, all I heard was silence as I was the only one at the time visiting this site.

FC5    I made my way down to the remnants of the fort and I was struck at how weathered they appeared and that most only had half of the building still intact.  The views through the open windows lent a suggestive perspective to what may have been what the soldiers saw as they peered out their windows.  I kept thinking how desolate this place seemed. I felt as if I were walking with a ghost, as I could envision the soldiers walking along the same path I walked with wool uniforms and perhaps carrying their rifles.

 

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The walk from building to building was short but quiet, as it gave me more time to think about what these men may have faced during the 1860’s…  sickness, weather conditions, emotional difficulties being separated from their families, perhaps even fighting a battle with the Indians they didn’t believe in. But I felt compelled to partake in as those were the orders given and all they may have known was to defend the land they now claimed as their own.   Perhaps I don’t necessarily agree with the thought that engaging the Indians in battle was courageous, but I do think that protecting the Pony Express riders from danger did require fearlessness and bravery.  The P.E. riders had a mission to ride as fast as they could across the country to deliver the mail… facing every natural element along the way and maintaining a personal state of physicality that would allow them to stay lean and ride fast.  The bravery it took was immeasurable in knowing that their lives could be in danger when the military were not protecting them… from my perspective that is a true act of courage… all in the name of delivering the written word!!!

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As I made my way to the river’s edge, I couldn’t help but notice the persistent signs warning of rattle snakes and there was no shortage of sage brush for these reptiles to hide under.  I made sure to stay on the path but thought of the danger that lurked.

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With the thought of rattle snakes on my mind, having already taken the opportunity to dip these toes in the cool river water,  I had explored all that Fort Churchill had to offer,  I made my visit short and returned to my car.  As I reached the parking lot, I looked back at the Great Basin where the remainder of Fort Churchill sat.  I heard birds singing and lizards rustling over the ground, the silence had faded but the history remained…

 

I walk away from this adventure having made the choice to acknowledge that even courageous men participate in acts with questionable judgment as was the case in the war against the Indians… But could their acts of bravery to protect the Pony Express riders reconcile those dark days?

Ironically, the Fort never became a permanent installation but the Native American Indians survived and are revered today…

I was reminded today that what some think is courageous, others may disagree with.… I did find courage at Fort Churchill…  It is with a sense of complete truth that I say that as much as I believe that soldiers were brave in protecting the P.E. riders, I believe that courage resides with the Native American Indians for persisting to preserve their tribes on the land that they originally claimed as theirs….

On the heels of this story….. wondering where tomorrow will take me?

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Day 15: Era semplicemente ok… It was just ok… ;)

“People who love to eat are always the best people!”  

-Julia Child

 

Today I decided to taste something new and with my Italian playing tricks with my tongue these days, no better time than to try an Italian sweet treat.

The item tried today was DolcideA Morbidosi- A traditional Italian Nougat.  The bar described itself as “soft almond nougat with forest fruit”.  The nougat felt soft and the color was a light pink.  My initial thoughts were that I do enjoy almonds and cherries and of course, being German, how can I not like nougat?!  I slowly unwrapped the package and the nougat clung tightly to the wrapper.  Finally, I was able to separate the two and readied myself for the first bite.  As I brought the nougat to my lips, I did not detect much of a sweet aroma.  I took the first bite and was left wondering if I wanted a second.  The taste was a bit bland, but the almonds and cherries were flavorful.  The nougat had an almost wafer-like taste to it…. nothing spectacular.  I decided to take a couple more bites and the taste began to grow on me.  Before I knew it, the entire nougat bar had been eaten but perhaps that was because I was that hungry!  I am  not sure I fell in love with this mouthful of sweetness.

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I would say that this intended sweet treat was era semplicemente ok….   It was just ok…  I tried, I conquered and I can live without this one!  Wondering what tomorrow will bring!

 

Day 14: Italiano!

In my time, you needed to speak a little Italian, and that was it.” -Juan Manuel Fangio

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My second Italian lesson and I am still enjoying it, even though it is getting a bit more difficult.  This week’s lesson introduced some simple sentences such as, “Do you speak English?”  “Do you understand Italian?” and the use of negatives in a sentence.

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The program that I am using is not book based, but rather teaches by listening to the language and repeating the phrases and words.  Even though 30 minutes a day is recommended, I have only been doing 15 minutes a day of review and find that so far, that seems to be sufficient.  I have no intention of being a master in the language, but I would like to be able to hold my own without looking too ridiculous when speaking.

 

Hoping to take this soon to be developed skill to Italy one day….  For today, I am left wondering what tomorrow will bring…  Arrivederci!

Day 13: Sometimes the road we choose to take is not the road we find ourselves on..

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“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”

-Harry S. Truman

 

 

It was Monday morning and the plan was to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.  I have never been across the bridge and thought it would be a perfect challenge. The bridge is long, high, intimidating and beautiful.  I also remembered that it was a fond memory of my Dad’s and I needed to see this engineering wonder.

As I made my way to the bridge, it seemed that the route I had intended to take just wasn’t making much sense.  And just as I was starting to try and figure out which way I was heading, I looked to my right and there was the Golden Gate National Cemetery…  I could not believe what I was seeing… thousands of white marble headstones with small flags strategically placed in front of them.  Let me be clear, there were so many I wasn’t sure where the cemetery began and where it ended, but I was certain I absolutely needed to stop and pay my respects on this Memorial Day.

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I did not have any family members in the United States military, but I have an incredible appreciation and admiration for all military servicemen/women that have served their country with honor and dignity.  They have afforded us the priceless freedoms that are protected under the U.S. Constitution and they must know that their efforts and lives have not been lost in vain.  Furthermore, my father although not a U.S. serviceman, still fought on the same side as the U.S. in WWII… if he were here today, he would have insisted that we go out of our way to pay our respects, because it is the right thing to do for those who served.

 

I entered the cemetery and found myself gasping quickly for a breath as I was shocked at the sheer numbers of servicemen/women that had served this country and that were now no longer living.  As I was able to make it to the top of the hill where the large flag stood waving in the wind, I could see the gravesites in perfect alignment for as far as the eye could see.   This is where courage resides… this is where the brave are buried… this is what sacrifice looks like…. This is what Memorial Day is all about…

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Thank you to all the servicemen/women, past and present, for your persistence, bravery, determination and absolute courage in protecting the very freedoms that we all have been afforded because of the sacrifices you have made.  You are all qi2courage heroes because you have chosen a selfless path with danger afoot to protect this amazingly beautiful free country, “The United States of America”!

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I did make it to the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was teeming with people and traffic was crowded.  Indeed it was a beautiful sight, but somehow stopping to walk across it seemed less important after just leaving the National Cemetery.  I will visit again very soon and I will keep this Quest on the list of things to do.

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Today’s Quest reminded me that sometimes the road we think we are supposed to follow takes us in an unexpected direction. It can lead us to places we never thought we would see, but are meant to experience.  I am humbled by this experience and take with me the images of our fallen soldiers. Every time I post, I want to remember all those flags and gravestones. They are symbols that my First Amendment right to post is a freedom that came at a very high price. To servicemen and women, past and present—thank you for your service.

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Humbled and deeply grateful…. Several tears shed and their spirit now with me…. Wondering what tomorrow will bring.

Day 12: A walk among giants…

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”

Aristotle

I decided to start the day with a run by the Bay… no, the knee is not really sure it could handle the run, but it has been a while since I was inspired by the sunrise on a run. What better way to start a day than with a sunrise run by the Bay.  I headed out to the running trail that hugged the water’s edge and with several limps, skips and adjustments, I soon found myself in a running stride.  I could hardly focus on the run as I was caught in a trance as I watched the sky change color before my eyes… a deep pink to a light orange to a bright yellow… it was hard not to notice the shimmering glow on the ocean’s small waves.  As I ran I remember thinking… if and only if, this is my last run, I have been blessed with the most beautiful view… how grateful can I be…

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I arrived near the end of the trail and turned around to head back and complete a 5k.  As I kept my stare on the sunrise I felt an amazing energy from within… the pain could not be felt, but the stride became longer and I could feel the muscles working so very hard to propel me forward faster.  I passed one skillful runner with a smile on my face wondering if he could see my altered gait… then as soon as I had that thought; I realized that how I got there shouldn’t even matter…  As I reached the last 200yds, I decided to sprint and as if it were my last and final race….  As I completed the run, I looked out at the Bay with an immense amount of appreciation and gratitude as my knee let me know the pace I had put it through… it didn’t matter at that point as I had found the strength from within to do what many physicians had warned me I shouldn’t be able to do anymore…. I will admit, I resisted shedding a tear and chose to sigh deeply hoping this wouldn’t be my last sunrise run…  With that it was time to leave as there was a Quest calling my name.

One of the items on my Quest list was to experience the redwood forest.  I simply could not fathom that there could be trees with amazing girth that predated the Indians some hundreds of years ago.  I had Siri take the lead and navigate my way to the Purisima Redwood Open Space Preserve in California.  Siri had me driving down the highway, which then led me to make a turn down a very narrow wild flower-lined road that seem to twist and turn. The postcard looking roadway took me past cow pastures, bulls, horses and open grasslands.  At one point, I was wondering if Siri had led me astray again, but before I could question it, the road came to an abrupt end and there in front of me was the tiniest 5 car parking lot and the trail head.  I was a bit amazed that in just a matter of 100 feet the terrain went from grasslands to deep, rich, dark forest.

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I stepped out of the car and headed on the trail.  I was immediately taken aback at how lush the forest was.  It was dense with green ferns, tall trees, shrubs, babbling brooks and a creek running through it.  I distinctly remember the cool wet feeling as I entered the forest.  Light streamed through the few breaks in the treetop canopy sending beams of light to the ground as if heaven were shining down.  The banana slugs were slowly but intently feeding on the forest floor vegetation and the clover grew in tall, thick clusters.  I stopped and thought, there must be one four leaf clover in this group, but to stop and look would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack… I walked away knowing that even without finding it, I felt like the luckiest girl having the opportunity to have this experience!

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I continued to walk and I thought my camera would break with the amount of pictures I found myself taking.  Every angle, every tree, every living organism seemed photogenic.  And then just as I thought I had seen it all, there in front of me was a giant among giants…. I went down to look at this tree that if it could talk, the stories it could tell… It must have had a width of at least 7-9 feet!  I stood next to it and I couldn’t help but be speechless and in complete awe!  If everyone had this opportunity to see these giants, would they walk away with a better appreciation for nature and protecting the environment?  Would they understand the lifetimes that these trees have lived through… the floods, the wind, the storms, the people that have cut down the others.

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I continued my trek through the forest and took even more pictures. I felt sheer admiration for this magical, natural place.  As I made it to the 2 mile mark and had climbed some hundreds of feet, my knee was letting me know it is time to head back and say my “Goodbye’s” to this piece of heaven.  But before I did, I had to make one stop… I wanted to take the opportunity to dip my foot in the creek and feel the cool water run through my toes.   And that is exactly what I did…

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As I approached the beginning of the trail, I thought to myself, how lucky I am to have walked among giants… to be reminded of the beauty nature has to offer and that this precious gift should be protected.  Kudos to you California for recognizing early on the valuable resources you have been gifted and to protect them so that everyone has the opportunity to see them if they choose to.  Thank you California for allowing me to see and appreciate this great wonder!

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Feeling ever grateful for experiencing this amazing sight!  Wondering what tomorrow will bring!!!

Day 11: Facing my fears to enter the City by the Bay….

 

“Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.”

Earl Nightingale

 

It was a busy day on Friday, the plan was to head to San Francisco and take in some new adventures.  What I didn’t pay too close attention to was the timing, Memorial Day weekend!!!  Seriously, what was I thinking?  The traffic was backed up for miles as I approached the new bridge into San Francisco.  I have been to this city once before, but my visit was brief and there was no time to really take in the sights as they were intended to be enjoyed.  And so I returned with the hope of going on some new adventures and still yet, searching for courage.

As I made my way to the city by the Bay, I was caught in a lot of traffic which gave me some time to think… I thought about my Dad and remembered how much he loved this city!  It was the first U.S. city he lived in when coming to America.  He lived here for some time, but work at the time was scarce.  He received word that there was a job in Chicago that fit his ability and as much as he wanted to stay, he needed to eat.  And so he made the trek to the Midwest leaving his heart in the city by the Bay.  I remember him speaking of San Fran as if it were an old and dear friend, one that you never want to give up but sometimes have to let go.  I wondered what it was that had him so enamored and in love with this city.  I thought this as I sat in a line of traffic that barely moved.

Then, just as I had thought, “Why am I doing this?” I looked ahead and there before me was this amazing bridge.  It could have been a work of art, and in my mind it was indeed!  The lines of the bridge bent and curved with this subtle steel grey color that reflected the many lights strategically placed on the suspenders.  I found myself unknowingly admiring a bridge!  It was a new gateway to the city that my Dad had longed to return to and now I was beginning to understand what mesmerized him.  The view from the bridge was nothing short of breath-taking!!!

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I remember crossing the old bridge with anxiety and fear.  It seemed so open and I felt very high up and vulnerable to the other drivers who may not have been paying close attention.  I also remember thinking how that bridge did not make me want to return, since it frightened me to cross. Yet, here I was, on this new attractive modern bridge, not fearing for my life but anxious to see what sits on the other side…

The traffic cleared. I crossed the amazing bridge with eager anticipation to learn why my Dad loved this place so!

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Facing my fears and absolutely smiling…. Wondering what tomorrow will bring!

Day 10: Stepping back in time on a mission to find a timeless piece to hold my treasures from this journey.

“Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.”

Ralph Waldo

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The new experience today was two-fold… I needed to find a box to put all my treasures in from my adventures and what better place to look for one, than in the past.  I have never been to an antique store. But I thought this would be a great place to find a unique box that had some history.

I made my way to the antique store downtown and right before stepping in, I remember thinking, “I hope I find what I am looking for.”   The store had their antiques nicely displayed in the window and I was excited to see what I might find inside.  As I opened the door, I immediately picked up on the scent that was reminiscent of my Grandmother’s closet that held priceless treasures from her past.  The kind of treasures she would say in a gentle but firm voice, “You can look, but don’t touch, we wouldn’t want anything to break.”  I was overwhelmed by the amount of antiques in this store. There was so much to take in and yet, I had to remind myself I was on a mission.

I came across old cameras, typewriters, clothes, china, books… wondering all the while, who had parted with these once precious items. If the antiques could talk, what would they say?  I picked up one box, but it was too small.  I found a second, and it was not that durable.  I continued the search…  I came across a rather large stamp collection I found interesting… Then, I found some crazy looking stuffed animals that someone may have once loved, and now they sat on a shelf, perhaps hoping to find a home.  As I continued to walk through this larger than anticipated antique shop, I found an original WWII trunk in fantastic condition that was calling my name. But alas, I resisted and stayed on my mission!

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I continued on, starting to lose some hope that I would find the perfect box/chest to hold my treasures.  When just then, I came upon a set of stairs leading to yet a floor below.  I made my way down the stairs and was in awe at what I found…  Horse bridles, old typewriters, colored glass, pictures, old records, guns, swords, baby items, and costumes.  I continued to walk with hope in my heart and a feeling what I needed to find was still in the store.  As I turned the corner and looked down, there it was, a perfect wooden box, just the right size and in good shape.  I picked it up and noticed the brass emblem on the top, “Piffers Khyber Pass 1880”.  It appeared to be a keepsake box and perfect for what I needed.  The price was $16 and the box was in good shape.  I wondered who had owned it and why they parted with it?  I wondered what the box once contained. Were the contents valuable to the person that possessed it?  I wondered…  I came to the quick realization that the story of who owned this box may never be known. What will be known is the new owner will place treasures inside that will serve as priceless memories and evidence of this amazing Quest!

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I am not sure why I never had the “antiquing” experience before.  Moving forward, I cannot wait to return, look into the past, and pick-up another treasure.

Absolutely smiling from my find…. and wondering what tomorrow will bring…. 🙂

Day 9: Love chocolate…. love bacon… Have I fallen for them both?

“Chocolate covered bacon:  If it can’t stop your heart from joy, it will just stop your heart!”

 

 

Is chocolate covered bacon kismet?

It is not your usual Hershey’s or Crunch bar, but maybe somewhere in between…  I chose to head to the store and find something exotic to try.  While reaching for this bacon chocolate bar, one of the store employees just steps away said, “Are you really going to try that?”  I replied, “Of course.”  He said, “Can I ask why you chose that?”  I went on to explain that I wanted to try something new and exotic and that there will be many more things to try over the next year.  He said, “In that case, I have plenty to show you!”  With enthusiasm in his step, he leapt up and became my personal shopper.  We perused through so many questionable items and they all made their way into my basket.  With that, I thanked him for his time and advice and off I went to pay for my purchases.

When I arrived home, I sat and looked at this unusual meat/candy bar and tried to imagine what it might taste like.  Bacon is greasy and salty with hints of smoke and maple flavor and chocolate is simply always sinfully delicious.  What will this be like?  Will I fall in love with this new exotic treat or will I walk away never to return?

I carefully unwrapped the bar and broke a corner off.  It looked like a regular milk chocolate bar.  I did detect a greasy feeling to the chocolate and I could see flecks of what I presumed were finely crushed bacon bits.  I brought the piece to my mouth and took in the aroma.  It had a maple scent mixed with chocolate.  I brought it cautiously to my tongue and there it melted ever so quickly.  I made sure to keep it on my palate for a little bit of time trying to see if I either loved it or didn’t… I then found myself carelessly swallowing with no ambition or excitement to try the next bite.  It had a subtle maple flavor and was a bit salty… though, sadly to say, no sense of delight that would have me rush for a second piece.  I did try a couple more bites to see if my mind would change, but unfortunately, this chocolate bar may be the only chocolate bar I could safely say that I could live without!

Glad I had the courage to try it.

But I won’t be “pigging out” on bacon-chocolate anytime soon. Wondering what tomorrow’s adventures will bring!

Day 8: Buona Sera

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

-Leonardo da Vinci

 

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I have decided to take on a challenge of learning a new language… Italian.  Why Italian?  I speak German, know some Russian, have taken Spanish and French.  Out of the three languages of love, the only one I have not fallen for is Italian…until now.

The lesson started off well.  The greetings and simple questions seemed similar to the Spanish language that I had learned so many years ago, but I found that I enjoyed the sound of the Italian language. The spoken word seemed to hold more emotion and energy. The new words seemed to flow effortlessly… for now! 😉  I found myself “wanting” to converse in this language… I have a friend that is from Italy and I look forward to becoming more proficient so that I can converse in the language…

But for now, it will take baby steps such as this Good day message of “Buona Sera!”

Ciao a pesto! J