If you haven’t heard Three Dog Night singing An Old Fashioned Love Song you’re missing out on a song that immediately reminds me of riding in the back of my parent’s station wagon.
It reminds me of men with long hair and thick mustaches, of women with feathered hair and a million other images of the early 70’s.
Images of my friends and I spying on older siblings making out in VW vans float through my mind, a childhood spent outdoors on bikes.
We ran amok through the neighborhood and tried to remember to be home before dark but I almost never made it.
It wasn’t because I was a bad kid, I just got lost in what I was doing and inevitably wouldn’t notice the sun’s descent before it was almost too late.
Those early days when I would join Snoopy in fighting the Red Baron slowly morphed into the time in which girls moved from annoying into interesting.
It is hard not to think back upon those times without a giant smile crossing my face. I had an amazing childhood and the fun I had as a teenager could be described as legendary.
This is the backdrop I use when I look upon the lives my children are living and ask myself if they are having as much fun as I did.
I work hard not to compare the two because times are different and it is impossible to measure happiness in a meaningful way.
Hell, there is no apples-to-apples comparison I can use to determine if their childhood is better or worse than the one I lived and that is ok.
Well, most of the time it is ok with me, but sometimes it is isn’t.
Sometimes it is hard for me not to look back and think about how I lived in one house from the time I was three until I graduated from high school.
Hell, my parents didn’t sell that house until earlier this year so my kids knew it as well as I did.
Anyway, I kept my old house for ten years but that didn’t give the kids enough time to say it was part of their entire childhood.
It wasn’t the central root, just a part of it.
When we first moved I told them it was part of an adventure but I didn’t really mean it. It was just something I said and then things changed.
69 Reasons Why You Answer When Adventure Calls
Don’t ask me to tell you when I started to believe the lie I told my children because I don’t know how to answer it.
What I know is somewhere during a very dark moment a fire that I had thought extinguished found new life.
Can’t tell you what the spark was or claim that I stole fire from the gods I can only tell you I remembered who I was.
I remembered the boy from the station wagon and the teenager who told a girl he couldn’t kiss her because he wouldn’t be able to only do it once.
When those echoes of the distant past surfaced in the present I knew I was ready to throw myself into living life hard.
I knew I didn’t just want adventure, I needed it.
Adventure wasn’t something I lugged around in a box called extreme sports or limited to anything you would accuse an adrenalin junkie of using for a fix.
It was all of those things and more.
Because I remembered when you spent time with the right person and opened up your soul the world would fill with magic.
Or more accurately you would see the magic that had always been there but you had failed to recognize.
And I promised myself I would do my best to answer the call when adventure knocked.
The Traveling Jack Show
Adventure knocked on my door the other day and I heard a soft voice ask if I was ready to leave the Shire.
My heart leapt and I did my best to stay cool and reply with a soft “maybe.”
Not because I was playing a game but because I needed to confirm my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me and time to process what it meant.
Adventure confirmed I was the recipient of the attention and asked how soon I could leave.
I asked three follow-up questions and said when I received the answer I would be able to tell adventure if I could go.
And then I started packing like a fiend and began making preparations for the Traveling Jack show because in a short time I’ll hit the road again.
Unless something crazy happens I’ll set off with a general destination in mind knowing that I don’t have a final one yet and won’t for a while.
I’ll figure it out as I go and we’ll see what kind merry time adventure leads me upon. Or better yet we’ll see if adventure can keep up with a man who isn’t as old as his birthday claims he is.
I am nervous but excited about the things that come next.
There are 983,838,322 items on the to-do list but I know there is no way I’ll get them all done before I have to go.
Unless something crazy happens I’ll blink and adventure will knock upon my door at dawn and ask if I am ready to go.
I’ll say yes even if I am not and head out because the best moments in life are those you find when you are not looking for them.
And you don’t find what you are not looking for when you spend your time behind a desk or lying a couch.
Well, not always, sometimes life surprises you and you discover the quiet moment you thought nothing of is the one you can’t stop thinking about.
But the point is life happens while we are thinking about what we might do so we can’t let that thoughtful time stop us from doing what we should do.
Adventure calls and I answer.