I wondered when I would leave home to explore the world but I was only four years old.
I had to wait until I was at least nine.
So I just kept riding my orange push-pedal fire engine around the block knowing that one day I would fly free.
For fun, I would walk downtown to the city library and get lost in the stalls reading books and smelling the rarified air of literature. There was adventure in those books. Wild wonderful global explorations that called to my heart.
I’d be exploring when I got taller. But for now I could read the book, Mary Poppins and how she floated from cloud-to-cloud and visited worlds I could only imagine.
Someday I would discover the world just like her.
Arrive when and where I wanted to then float off to a new place.
I brought home armloads of books and was determined to read every book I found interesting. I started reading before kindergarden because I wanted to discover the worlds beyond my own boundaries of Canandaigua, an Upstate, New York, Finger Lakes town.
Canandaigua was bursting with colonial houses and wide front porches, full attics and large basements. It was the land of snowflakes freshly falling on every Christmas morning guaranteed. Sleigh rides, snowball fights, and building forts in the heaps of snow.
It was a good place to grow up.
But it was so cold my face froze one winter and I had a large patch of red on my cheeks when I drank alcohol for years. After I moved to the tropics my face returned to normal.
My cheeks had thawed.
I knew I wanted to be an artist but kept it to myself in my medically inclined professional family.
My bestfriend Cherie and I hatched a plan to run away on a motorcycle with one suitcase bungeed to the back – off we would go in to the rarefied air of world exploration.
Today I bungeed my rolling suitcase to the back step of a red truck – a pickup-like affair transporting people in Thailand to their destination for cheap – 50 cents a ride. They did not charge me the inflated tourist price so I gave him more than a 100% tip after he helped me move my luggage in the pouring rain off the truck.
The drivers never do that – I’ve been in Thailand 6 times and that is just not done.
So I have arrived!
I just realized right this minute that my deepest dream I held in my heart as a child has come true.
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