August 31, 2010

Sr. Wantabee was given a trip to Alaska. It was a dream come true. She left on Friday the 13th from gate F 13. Others felt that was the explanation for the 4 hour wait while the engine was repaired! But a plane load of midwesterns, mostly men with their cold boxes arrived in Anchorage to transfer to points more remote.
Sr. Wantabee had missed her connected little put-put plane so sat in the airport and chatted with a man from Bosnia who had not run from the war, but had run from the death of his mother and hopped boats all over the globe. They shared what is the best part of the goat to eat in different cultures and what is the best part of the fish to eat also. He had eventually settled in LA and married late in life and had two youngsters but had to come North for a couple weeks to fish. He and his friend hopped a their Cesna and Sr. Wantabee marveled that in the middle of the Anchorage airport she had met a man who understood her past and the fun of comparing cultural differences.
Unpon arriving at her destination she was driven on a dirt road to a small fishing town that is alive with tourists in the summer and has an active fish processing plant. She, in fact slept on a fishing boat made into an excursion boat to carry scientists around the area. As she walked down the ramp to the pier area where perhaps a hundred boats were anchored, she gasped. Close to a hundred salmon were swimming in circles like the beginning of a giant funnel. The leader occassionally leaped into the air, right there between the shore and the pier, almost within her reach. At that moment she knew she wanted to fish just as bad as those men on the airlines.
As a young adult Sr. Wantabee had fished for salmon with her cousins off Vancouver Island. The family story goes that her cousin caught a huge 18 pound fish while Sr. Wantabee, with all delight yelled, “It’s a whale!” Sr. Wantabee snagged the next fish which sank to bottom and ran the other way. By the time the boat was turned the truth was evident. The line was not secured to the pole and gone. The big one got away!
Outside this little fishing town, there were streams and salmon filled them, spawning, within 10 yards of her! Sr. Wantabee got a liscense for a day and began her hunt for the elusive “big one.” The fish jumped to the right of the skiff, to the left, in front, behind but her line caught 25 rocks, 3 jelly fish and 5 hand fulls of seaweed.
Sr. Wantabee began to loose spirit and had to self reflect. Why was she sad? Did she think her family woud never believe her tale of so many fish so close? Did she really want to brag to the men at work who fished all the time? Was she trying to catch the one that got away? Or was she trying to catch the past, catch an image, and impress? Certainly she was not hungry!
Yet again the fish got away. Yet again Sr. Wantabee tried to explain to her family the thrills of her youth. Yet again Sr. Wantabee felt like the little old lady at work. But in her heart, she knew the fish was still out there and she had had another adventure trying to catch it!

A Borrowed Name

August 29, 2010

Friday, Sr. Wantabee was on the units at the hospital. She met a very interesting lady of comprable age to her. She was waiting to go home from an orthopedic operation. She shared about her life. She was adopted and raised by a family of a certain faith tradition. she went through all their rituals. As an adult she married a man who had been adopted by a family and raised in a different faith tradition. He carried scars from that tradition. They raised their daughter to be an independent thinker and decide for herself, exposing her occassionally to each of their traditions. Now the daughter is 30ish and not married and the patient is feeling the need to see a grandchild. “It’s the start of a bloodline,” she shared. “Even our names are borrowed!” She continued, “I want to look into the face of a grandchild and see something of myself and not feel different.” Sr. Wantabee’s husband is adopted and she has adopted two children so adoption is not a new subject to her. She had never thought of names as “borrowed.” How very interesting. As we travel through life, we are given so many names, daughter, sister, child, family of origin name, family of marriage name, titles of position. Which name really reaches to the core of my being she pondered.


August 29, 2010

Sr. Wantabee has been off line for several weeks because her life has been too busy to process. In the midst of the flurry of life, she was sent to Alaska to shadow a fellow “sister” in a little fishing village. What a wonderful experience.
As they chatted Sr. Wantabee shared that each summer as a youth, her family would plan to join relatives up North and “the clan” would go to the ocean for a week, which involved fishing. As a young adult, the family shifted to Vancouver Island as their place of fishing for “the big salmon.”
During the year Sr. Wantabee would walk with her father up to Sears at night and they would “chew” the previous vacation, which route to take this year, what would be needed and plan for that magical week at the ocean. Now, that day, Sr. Wantabee was living on a fishing boat, watching ministry happen in a small remote town in Alaska that could only be flown into. Ecstacy!
The other sister shared that their family vacation consisted of the family sitting down with a map of a province in Canada, all closing their eyes and putting their finger on any spot. they would pick the town and find a road that led from that town to nowhere and then when vacation time came, they hooked up the trailer to their car and drove to “the end of the road” to see what was there. One time there was a lake a little ferry. When she was given the job in Alaska, her father visited, gave her two thumbs up and said, “You have reached the end of the road! Well done.” When she moved further remote to the fishing village that can only be reached by plane, he visited again and said, “You have gone beyond the end of the road!”
Today Sr. Wantabee knows her goal but chews what happened and how to get there. The other sister loves to hike into the wilderness to the top of a mountain and see what is beyond the peak. Upon returning home, Sr. Wantabee realized how true this little story is for how she functions in life. She wants a goal. Then she chews how to get there, doing it a little differently each time. visiting Alaska was a dream come true but she is already chewing on how to return. How did your family organize vacations?