I just got back from a great trip that included a girlfriend getaway with friends from college…..it also included one of the scariest storms I’ve ever driven in and a funeral.
During this trip, I did all the driving, which made for a lot of time to think and reflect.
Sunday morning started out peaceful as I took a few final moments to enjoy the view from our B & B.
Then we caught a glimpses of the water on the drive to Suttons Bay.
Our plan was to enjoy a scenic winery tour as we biked to various vineyards. The only problem was that the weather was not bike friendly and the bike shop was not renting out bikes because of the incoming storms…..That should have given me a clue.
After a few stops that included a croissant, wine tasting, and a cider tasting, we headed over to check out the fishing town of Leeland. The only thing we caught was a giant storm brewing.
Once we caught a glimpse of the storm clouds in site, we decided to head south toward Sleeping Bear Dunes. The plan was to do the wine/bike tour then spend the rest of the day hiking and climbing the dunes. That didn’t happen.
Instead we drove into the eye of the storm. Strong winds that reached between 60-70 mph, hail, lightning and rain. I’m also a recovery paranoid storm girl. I’m better than I used to be but I still flinch every time I see lighting. It got to one point where we had to pull over and I seriously thought we were in danger of a tree falling on us. My thoughts were validated because there were trees all over the road.
There were so many trees down on the road that we had to keep on detouring. We finally made our way to Sleeping Bear Dunes and were greeted with construction cones blocking the entrance. We were sooooo close to crossing an adventure off our list that we were looking forward to doing all weekend. It was really frustrating to have to give up on something that our weekend had been planned around.
We thought the storms had stopped but we were greeted with another round on our way back to Grand Rapids. We gave up on a beach view and stopped in Cadillac for dinner. Our meal took 40+ minutes to get to us when there wasn’t really a good reason….actually there was a good reason, it helped us miss the strongest part of the next storm that we would have driven right into.
The restaurant was located a block from a lake so we finally got to see the sun over water.
We also got to witness an incredible double arching rainbow.
That rainbow kept me going because we still had another 1.5 hours to drive to our destination that was filled with giant lighting across the sky that was equal parts beautiful and very scary.
The following day I made the solo drive to my younger cousin’s funeral who died unexpectedly. I spent about 5 hours in the car that day driving which gave me even more time to think and reflect.
There are so many things that don’t make sense no matter how hard we try to wrap our head around it. I don’t understand why my small family tree has had so much loss. My cousin who passed away had already lost her father two years prior. If you are new to my blog, “Why Death Has Made Me Want To Live” will fill you in on my story. I also found out that another relative was not doing well during the funeral, and that another one had died on my drive home. The most recent death was at least someone who was in their 90’s who had lived a long life but two in less than one week is a lot.
So how do I process a lot of this. Sometimes I hold on to physical things longer than I should. I’m sure there is a connection to holding on to things and losing so many people in my life. We’ve also had job loss and friendship loss over the years due to relocations and drifting away. There are also a few relationships that I had hoped would be better by now that still feel at arms length. There are still parts of me that grieve those too. There are parts of me that still feel more like a kid even though my time on earth and parental duties say otherwise. After the funeral, I noticed that several of my aunt’s expressions took me back to glimpses of my mom. It’s so odd to be navigating the storms of life without her.
So I hold onto that rainbow and it’s promise of hope in the midst of life’s storms. I’ll continue to celebrate life and take time to stop to enjoy the moments that make my soul feel more alive and give me appreciation for my surroundings.
On our way home from that trip, we reached a point where the expressway and the beach had 5 minutes between them. I stopped to take a few moments to enjoy the view, soak up all of the beauty and reflect. It was good for my soul.
So that’s where I’ll land on things. Live. Be Present. Appreciate. Reflect. Let Go. Dream. Hope……Repeat