Typical Sunday Morning. John just left for morning meetings. Me out of the shower and in my bathrobe. Jackson and Jebb running around in just their underwear, Gabe, Seth, and Elise still asleep after sleeping on red couch (translation: not sleeping). It was just after 9:00 when the doorbell rang. J&J bolted to answer it. I hear a man's voice asking if Dad's home? Nope. Your Mom? Nope. Neither Home? Yep. Just then I round the corner and who should have the pleasure of seeing my purple robe with large white polka dots (no, that's not a setup for a joke about Barney the Dinosaur)? It was Kip's best friend Dan Cook stopping thru Durango on his Around the Globe Tour.
Dan has literally been driving and fly fishing around the world for 2 years. We saw him when he left and he is now wrapping up his tour as he is coming from Cape Horn northward to the top of Alaska where he started his trip. Previous to this, he went all around Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Russia, Mongolia, Europe, South and now North America. He obtained a Toyota Land Cruiser pickup in Australia that he modified for the trip (right side steering wheel). It has been his home for the last 2 years! Everything he needs is in the back of his diesel truck.
I quickly called John (who was walking into welfare mtg) and he took care of some things at church then headed home. I woke up the kids so they could see Dan, then I excused myself to quickly get dressed ;). Dan was very gracious with all of our typical craziness in the morning. I really wanted to hear about some of his experiences. I got our globe down and he retraced his trip for us. Mongolia sounded absolutely amazing! John returned home in good time (the church is 20 min. away). We don't have church til 11:00, so we were still doing great on time. How often do you get to hear first hand about an experience like this?
John checked out the truck and was very impressed (I could see the gears spinning...but Dan already has it sold :)). He was glad to see Dan too! The older kids were up and around and getting dressed for church. I managed to get J&J dressed in their white shirts and tan pants as well. We visited for a while longer and Gabe and Elise both whispered to me that we were going to be late to church. We visited a little more then Dan said he had to get going as he had to get to SLC. He is starting a foundation that will take disabled Veterans and their families on fly fishing trips. VERY Cool!
I mused to myself at the stark difference between the lives we led contrasted with Dan's lifestyle and the way it was all presented this Sunday morning. We were on a schedule with our 5 rugrats to attend to responsibilities while Dan had the whole world open to him each day (literally). Without making any judgements, it was very fun for me to consider the two life choices. That is the wonderful thing about Free Agency, we get to choose our own life course and seek what we find joy in. John and I had a fun conversation later that day about the idea of traveling together or even alone. Each imagined scenario would vary according to who was involved (solo, as a couple, or as a family). John and I both fancy ourselves as people who like to travel and have the experiences that come from that.
Dan headed out on another journey as we waved goodbye. We ended up missing Sac. Mtg. (I think we could have made most of it, but Jebb walked into the house soaked from head to toe as he was out trying to 'water the cats' and then we sat in road construction for 15 minutes).
I was a real pleasure to visit for the morning with Dan. It is a really great thing to be able to share our life experiences with other people. Dan says that he believes all people are pretty much the same. They just want to live their lives as best they can while doing what they like with the people they like (I am paraphrasing). I believe that too. I think most people are really good and want to help out where they can. I am so grateful that I am able to choose my own course. I am grateful for the life that I have. I guess that is key-Living the life you love and loving the life you live because in reality, we ALL have the whole world wide open to us!