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July 30, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

Changing Lanes

The 1975 song, Times Of Your Life, by Paul Anka is the music for today's message.

Four years ago today, I started on a driving trip across the Western states of: Nevada; Utah; Idaho; Oregon; Washington; and down through California until back home. It was a soul-searching trip to touch places of the heart and heal them over. A pathfinder such as I takes that kind of trip as often as needed in life. Otherwise certain questions about self could never be as fully answered.

Along the way I met many people and spoke to them about where they lived and places of interest they would recommend to me. One of the places I went to see was the place where in 1869, the last spike was driven to finish the TransContinental Railroad. I took some video on that trip and here is a short Quicktime movie of the reenactment at that historic location.

That trip and many others in my life remind me of the ideas, thoughts, and dreams I've shared with my wife and daughter over the years.

When driving we often change lanes for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's to prepare for an on or off ramp to new experiences in life. Sometimes its for a better view or perspective of the road ahead. There are many parallels and analogies to changing lanes while driving and when steering a course through life.

In my previous home page I mentioned my daughter was here for a visit. It was a wonderful time and often the topic changed to Jenny and Michael's plans to start a family. I wrote some thoughts about that eventuality in June. I can already feel my mind wrapping around the realization that a new generation of our family line is being planned now.

During the month of August I am taking a break from my Twin Oaks Toastmasters meetings. After two-and-a-half years, I need some extra time to recharge from that regular weekly schedule. That club achieved a lot in the past two years and we members have great expectations for this year and the next few to follow. This past week for example, a local college professor sent several students to visit our meeting and report back with their observations. We must be doing something right if outsiders are now taking the time to benchmark us.

In my humble opinion, Paul Anka's song is a reminder that we need to remember the life we lived. We learn many lessons along the way. Each lesson effects us differently as we merge the old paths with the new. I remember most of the important moments in my life. Not all were happy moments, but even for those circumstances I tried to turn negatives into positives. Besides, I can always use that knowledge to understand what is in my rear-view mirror of life and avoid some congestion ahead. Changing lanes is a natural consequence on the road of life. Do so wisely. :-)

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In celebration of my 2001 trip mentioned above, I offer my Digital Insight into an image inspired by a special midnight observation while staying at the house of my friends, Larry and Yvonne Dalke.

Moonlight Memories (Image created in September 2001)

At the end of July and through early August 2001, I took a solitary automobile trip up through the states of Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. I saw portions of those states I had never explored previously. During that trip, I had a lot of time to consider many things that were on my mind back then.

After driving from the Eastern edge of Washington to just outside Seattle, I stayed a couple days at my friend's house in North Bend, Washington. Behind his house is, Mount Si, it rises tall and steep nearby. One night, I looked out a window and saw the moon shining it's light, illuminating that monolith. The mood and feelings I was experiencing were captured in that moment. This is one of my favorite images, it will always remain special to me. Using my own words, I quote from that page's narration:

"There's magic in moonlight, mountains, and memories."

Don


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