Live Dangerously

 

IMG_0662
Beachfront bar in Sayulita, Mexico.

I have to admit that I re-read this the other day and laughed out loud. I was so irritated by the travel advice given in the photocopies I received when I went to get my Twinrix vaccination. I really resent being made to feel afraid of the big world around me.

Yes, I realize that I could get sick or attacked or injured while traveling. But any number of terrible things could happen to me at any time and anywhere. I refuse to let this fact keep me from experiencing life.

Am I sometimes afraid? Of course! I’m nervous about entering a lot of new situations. I try to explore those unfamiliar sights and tastes and sounds anyway. No, it doesn’t always work out and occasionally I feel disappointed or a little ill or generally let down. And then I get over it.

I hope you have a very nice weekend and, if you’re in my neck of the woods, keep warm and take care!

~ Lori

Not so long ago when I went to get my Twinrix vaccination, I received from the pharmacy what I call The Red Folder of Fear. In it was information about all the devastating things that could happen to me if I leave my house.

For your benefit, dear reader, I’ll share some of these tips with you here. You can find more information to keep you at home at or, at the very least, keep you afraid at Health Canada’s website.

After all, travelling isn’t about enjoying the world. It’s about enjoying safety precautions.

“Too much sun can be harmful, so be careful!”

Yes. Here’s a newsflash: Sun can cause sunburn and sun can cause us to age, just like life does.

Listen to me read this post:

“If you are in the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., [You daredevil!] wear long pants, long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim.”

Safe and attractive. Don’t go out after dark, either, because that’s unsafe for a whole heap of other reasons. That gives you two or three hours in the morning, and another two hours before supper to experience the paradise you flew five hours to see and the vacation you spent a month’s wages on.

What’s my recommendation for avoiding the afternoon sun? Find a shady bar or a lawn chair under an umbrella and keep hydrating with whatever they’re serving. Prefer not to sample the local beverages? Go for a massage. That’s pretty safe, and it will get you out of that ridiculous hat and those long pants.

For the sake of all that’s good in the world, even if that dangerous sun is shining, leave your hotel room.

IMG_0419
Iguana at the Marina in Puerto Vallarta.

Here’s a good one:

“Wash your own salad greens in a solution of six drops of chlorine bleach in one litre of safe water. Soak for thirty minutes, and then rinse with safe water.”

Is the water safe? How can you know for sure? This whole water scenario sounds risky to me.

“Lori, are you coming downstairs for a margarita?”

“No, you go ahead. I’ve got lettuce soaking in the bathroom sink and I still need to peel some vegetables. Also, I’m frightened of the sunshine.”

Yes, peeling your own vegetables (and nuts?) is also advised in The Red Folder of Fear:

“Peel your own fruits, vegetables, and nuts.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve peeled a nut. It might be fun to try that again.

IMG_0641
A dangerous heap of coconuts.

“Beware of local buses. They are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, and in a hurry.”

Suggested interpretation: If it’s good enough for the locals, it’s not good enough for me.

Local buses can be your ticket to affordable adventure. Seriously. Local public transportation can take you places you’d never think to visit on your own. Riding the bus is a great way to tour and a good chance to rub elbows with the locals.

Sure, don’t lick your fingers after clutching the bar on the back of the seat in front of you. But why would you do that? You’re a world-travelling bus rider. You’ll wash your hands and then lick your fingers.

Why were you clutching the seat bar or the one above your head? Because, often, these buses are in a hurry, so hold on tight and enjoy the scenery!

IMG_5961
Some of the 24 suggested first aid items.

Don’t leave home without it.

The Red Folder of Fear lists twenty-four handy items you could pack in your travel medical kit depending on a list of ten factors I’m not going to mention. I suggest antihistamines, a pain reliever, bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, something for nausea, and sunscreen.

Within its comprehensive list of twenty-four items, The Red Folder of Fear suggests bringing:

  • A thermometer.
  • A first aid book.
  • Shampoo for treating lice and scabies.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Disinfectant.
  • A Swiss army knife. (I love this one and so do the folks at airport security!)

By the end of this list, I’m wondering if I’m becoming less of a tourist and more of a serial killer.

I get the impression from The Red Folder of Fear that the only safe place to vacation is on my big red couch at home. If I stay there, I decrease my chances of illness and injury, of trauma during and following a wild bus ride, and of having any fun.

While that folder increases my chances of staying alive, it greatly reduces the chance that I’ll get to experience life at all.

Did you like what you read here? Consider following my blog either right here on WordPress or through email. This way, you won’t miss any of my posts. Thanks for reading! ~ Lori

 

 

 

 

 

There’s Always Next Year

My friend Dave ambled around the side of the house and into my backyard today as I was working. Not expecting anyone to visit and being focused on my work, I jumped out of my skin. He laughed and then we talked about calves and gardening while his red dog rolled happily around on my newly-cut lawn.

IMG_0881“My garden’s not doing anything,” he told me. “It’s too dry.” I’ve heard similar complaints from other friends and neighbours. The squash and zucchini seeds that I sowed are really slow to sprout.

“Our garden isn’t growing very well, either,” I reassured Dave.

He shrugged and said, “I don’t care if I don’t have a garden this year. There’s always next year.”

328122-Relax-Take-Your-Time-And-Enjoy-Life

“Is there?” I replied without even thinking.

Dave stopped and looked at me hard, and so I said, “Well we don’t know for sure, do we, if we’ll have a next year?” Dave looked skeptical. I was only being realistic but I could tell that this was a bit of a downer for Dave. I’m nice but I can be a bit of a downer sometimes.

It’s true that I never assume anymore that there’s a next year or a next month. I’m usually pretty sure there’s a next day but, one day, I’ll be wrong. Maybe that’s why I’m so happy to spend this June in my yard and in Mexico.

Seriously, I’ve never enjoyed yard work so much. When I was teaching and then going to school for a year, yard work was always a tedious task, a job that had to be rushed through and fit into an already hectic schedule. Today as I worked, I breathed in deeply the lilac-scented air and listened to the sweet birdsongs as my feathered friends waited for me to go back into the house so that they could visit the feeder. This afternoon, I’m sweaty and happy, and I’m particularly grateful to be alive.

IMG_6508

One reason for this thankfulness is that I’m getting older. I turned 52 in May while the list of people I know who never got to live for 52 years grows longer with each passing year. Out of respect for them, I try not to complain about getting older. I know it sounds trite but it’s true: we are fortunate to grow old.

Another reason for my contentedness is that I’m not working as a teacher right now. That’s not to say that there isn’t joy to be found within school walls this time of year. It’s just that you have to look much harder for it. Outside those walls and those constricting responsibilities, the world is buzzing with life and the sun is shining its longest days. The air is warm and the breeze is soft, and I’m alive to experience it all. Really, when you’re solidly middle-aged and less-employed, life is beautiful.

stress3

There isn’t always a next year. I hope there is because this right here is the best part of my life and I would like it to continue. But I also realize how lucky I’ve been to live this life up until now and if there isn’t a next year, today that thought just makes me more grateful for this one.

Thanks for reading. Have a very happy rest of your week!

~ Lori

Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind…

 

Live Dangerously

 

IMG_0662
Beachfront bar in Sayulita, Mexico.

I have to admit that I re-read this the other day and laughed out loud. I was so irritated by the travel advice given in the photocopies I received when I went to get my Twinrix vaccination. I really resent being made to feel afraid of the big world around me.

Yes, I realize that I could get sick or attacked or injured while traveling. But any number of terrible things could happen to me at any time and anywhere. I refuse to let this fact keep me from experiencing life.

Am I sometimes afraid? Of course! I’m nervous about entering a lot of new situations. I try to explore those unfamiliar sights and tastes and sounds anyway. No, it doesn’t always work out and occasionally I feel disappointed or a little ill or generally let down. And then I get over it.

I hope you have a very nice weekend and, if you’re in my neck of the woods, keep warm and take care!

~ Lori

Not so long ago when I went to get my Twinrix vaccination, I received from the pharmacy what I call The Red Folder of Fear. In it was information about all the devastating things that could happen to me if I leave my house.

For your benefit, dear reader, I’ll share some of these tips with you here. You can find more information to keep you at home at or, at the very least, keep you afraid at Health Canada’s website.

After all, travelling isn’t about enjoying the world. It’s about enjoying safety precautions.

“Too much sun can be harmful, so be careful!”

Yes. Here’s a newsflash: Sun can cause sunburn and sun can cause us to age, just like life does.

Listen to me read this post:

“If you are in the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., [You daredevil!] wear long pants, long sleeves and a hat with a wide brim.”

Safe and attractive. Don’t go out after dark, either, because that’s unsafe for a whole heap of other reasons. That gives you two or three hours in the morning, and another two hours before supper to experience the paradise you flew five hours to see and the vacation you spent a month’s wages on.

What’s my recommendation for avoiding the afternoon sun? Find a shady bar or a lawn chair under an umbrella and keep hydrating with whatever they’re serving. Prefer not to sample the local beverages? Go for a massage. That’s pretty safe, and it will get you out of that ridiculous hat and those long pants.

For the sake of all that’s good in the world, even if that dangerous sun is shining, leave your hotel room.

IMG_0419
Iguana at the Marina in Puerto Vallarta.

Here’s a good one:

“Wash your own salad greens in a solution of six drops of chlorine bleach in one litre of safe water. Soak for thirty minutes, and then rinse with safe water.”

Is the water safe? How can you know for sure? This whole water scenario sounds risky to me.

“Lori, are you coming downstairs for a margarita?”

“No, you go ahead. I’ve got lettuce soaking in the bathroom sink and I still need to peel some vegetables. Also, I’m frightened of the sunshine.”

Yes, peeling your own vegetables (and nuts?) is also advised in The Red Folder of Fear:

“Peel your own fruits, vegetables, and nuts.”

It’s been a long time since I’ve peeled a nut. It might be fun to try that again.

IMG_0641
A dangerous heap of coconuts.

“Beware of local buses. They are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, and in a hurry.”

Suggested interpretation: If it’s good enough for the locals, it’s not good enough for me.

Local buses can be your ticket to affordable adventure. Seriously. Local public transportation can take you places you’d never think to visit on your own. Riding the bus is a great way to tour and a good chance to rub elbows with the locals.

Sure, don’t lick your fingers after clutching the bar on the back of the seat in front of you. But why would you do that? You’re a world-travelling bus rider. You’ll wash your hands and then lick your fingers.

Why were you clutching the seat bar or the one above your head? Because, often, these buses are in a hurry, so hold on tight and enjoy the scenery!

IMG_5961
Some of the 24 suggested first aid items.

Don’t leave home without it.

The Red Folder of Fear lists twenty-four handy items you could pack in your travel medical kit depending on a list of ten factors I’m not going to mention. I suggest antihistamines, a pain reliever, bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, something for nausea, and sunscreen.

Within its comprehensive list of twenty-four items, The Red Folder of Fear suggests bringing:

  • A thermometer.
  • A first aid book.
  • Shampoo for treating lice and scabies.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Disinfectant.
  • A Swiss Army Knife. (I love this one and so do the folks at airport security!)

By the end of this list, I’m wondering if I’m becoming less of a tourist and more of a serial killer.

I get the impression from The Red Folder of Fear that the only safe place to vacation is on my big red couch at home. If I stay there, I decrease my chances of illness and injury, of trauma during and following a wild bus ride, and of having any fun.

While that folder increases my chances of staying alive, it greatly reduces the chance that I’ll get to experience life at all.

Did you like what you read here? Consider following my blog either right here on WordPress or through email. See the right sidebar to follow me. This way, you won’t miss any of my posts. Thanks for reading! ~ Lori