When Adventure Comes Calling
Adventure doesn't often call my name.
Or if it does, maybe I don't listen.
I can't imagine the courage it took to embark on an adventure to a new life in a new country, as all of my ancestors did.
I wonder if I would have stayed behind in the familiar old country instead of stepping on that ship.
I prefer reading about adventure rather than experiencing it.
As a child, I loved reading about the adventures of the children in the Chronicles of Narnia, but I never really wanted to travel to a far-away land to find adventure of my own.
Adventure is for people who are quick to think on their feet. Change course on a dime. Switch to plan B.
Not me. I like to carefully follow plan A. I love it when the details unfold according to the original plan.
It could be that I’m missing out on a lot.
It’s very possible that I’m a borderline stick-in-the-mud.
But I tend to think I’m playing it safe.
Adventurous people end up in a lot of unexpected situations. Jams. Scrapes. Predicaments.
I prefer to keep those to a minimum.
We’ve been friends for more than 20 years. She’s never in one place for very long.
When adventure calls her name again, she’s off to experience the next great unknown. She travels the globe and has lived in more places than I can count.
A few months ago she asked me to go with her to shop for an RV so she could hit the road and head out west.
I’ve never been camping in my life. I’m not even sure I’ve been inside of an RV. I told her I couldn’t imagine how I could help her choose an RV.
She said I had style that could lend itself to the world of recreational vehicles. I told her I’d rather stick a pen in my eye or pull out all of my eyelashes than go shopping for an RV.
Besides I was a little afraid I’d be held partially responsible for the choice if she decided that she no longer wanted to see the world aboard a mammoth rolling vehicle.
So she went without me and purchased what she affectionately calls “Big Mama.” She admits life with Big Mama was rough at first. There was a learning curve to driving it, fueling it, and repairing it.
She had to learn how to clear out her own sewage lines and how to park it. She tows a tiny car behind it so she can drive around without Big Mama when she arrives at her destination.
Through the years, she has dragged me reluctantly along on her adventures. Early in our friendship, she thought it would be funny to tell people my name was Ella. She thought it was hysterical introducing me as Ella and since I didn't think it was so hilarious, she thought it was even funnier.
For the past 20 years, she has left me voice mails yelled at the loudest possible decibel that say, “HELLO E--L--L--A!”
I always know it’s her and actually, I kind of like having an alternate identity.
I've been her guest at a swanky party her dad hosted, where we bunked in her dad’s guesthouse.
I’ve helped her DIY a cottage she rented, painting and laying new tiles on the kitchen floor.
I’ve sat in the audience of an arena show she directed, as she handled sports stars and thousands of kids who wanted to see them.
I've helped her friends throw a 30th birthday party for her at a NASCAR-themed restaurant, sped over the Orlando lakes in her ski boat, and ridden in her red sports car, slouched down in the seat, while she zipped along in the emergency lane on the interstate just because she didn’t want to wait in miles-long rush hour traffic.
She has been telling me for years now that I’m missing all the fun on Facebook. She posts updates on her travels, her cats and Big Mama.
Finally I caved.
She was the first person I sent a friend request to and I received a response a few seconds after I sent it.
“STOP THE PRESSES! I almost drove Big Mama off the road!”
I breathed a sigh of relief that I was not responsible for the crashing of the recreational vehicle, but it was certainly nice to receive such a robust welcome to Facebook.
Now that I am following her adventures on Facebook, just this weekend her escapades included catching a shark while she was fishing in the waters of South Florida.
My life is off-the-chart boring compared to hers. But most of the time, it's all the adventure I can take.
Besides she says she’s coming back to town soon with Big Mama. So I can spend a weekend RV-ing with her.
Maybe I’ll be busy reading a book.
Or cleaning my house.
Or organizing my pantry.
It's possible I may need to be elsewhere when Big Mama rolls into my neighborhood.
But then, why would I want to miss out on the next great adventure?