Tuesday, July 16, 2013

John Denver

In 1974, I drove to Alaska.  That was before the Alaskan Canadian Highway was paved.  I drove over 2,000 miles on a dirt road.  With no radio.  Those were the days of 8 track tapes.  Yes, I'm older than dirt.

One of the reasons 8 tracks have fallen by the wayside is because the players ate the tapes.  They were literally tapes and all of a sudden the music would get hinky and before you could pull it out, the damn machine would just start mangling the tape.  My machine ate every tape I had with me except one.  John Denver's Greatest Hits.

I used to love JD and do again now, but admit there were a lot of years I'd start quietly screaming to myself when I heard "Rocky Mountain High".

I've been thinking about John today.  I just finished packing and as I packed I was humming that old classic "Leaving on a Jet Plane".  I'm cheesy.  I sing it every time I'm going away.  Even when I'm going away on a boat, which is a bit nonsensical.

John wrote "Leaving on a Jet Plan".  He gets it.  You want to leave.  At some level you have to leave.  But you don't want to leave.  It's hard to say goodbye.

The night before I left for Samoa, my friends Ralph and Mary Lou and I went out for Mexican food.  That evening I was laughing one minute and crying the next.  Tonight, we're doing a reenactment, except we'll be having Mexican take out.  My emotions are all over the board again.  Very excited.  Very nervous - mostly about teaching 30 first graders.  I can't wait to get on the plane.  I don't want to leave.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?  Because it makes me feel alive.  Because it keeps me outside my comfort zone which helps me grow.    Because I'll have more photos than anyone else in the nursing home.  Because it feels so good to come home.

If I think too hard about the fact that I'll be in Bangkok on Thursday and Mandalay on Saturday and teaching my new class next Tuesday it twists my brain into a knot.  So I'm taking it one day at a time.

Tomorrow I'll be leaving on a jet plane.  I'll be singing along with John in my head.
I'm leaving on a jet plane for this Mandalay...

not this Mandalay.


  1. Nancy,
    If we do land in a home, I know that we will both have great stories of no regrets living!

  2. Nancy,
    Thanks for your story. God speed and safe travels. Be sure to take more notes and more pictures. Even the ones inside your head will be a great escape.

    Even now when I hear John sing, I just stop what I'm doing (unless I'm driving) to listen to his beautiful voice and feel his words. He's my great escape.