Falling in Love

I’m in love. Her name is Kyoto.It’s been a while since I’ve travelled. I mean, really travelled. Long flights, trains, backpack style trekking around the world type travel.I had been craving it, but I didnt realize just how much. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. At this moment I am deep into this across the world adventure, and as I sit here on a train eating a delicious bento box, drinking a Kirin, resting my hiking boots on the foot rest of my train seat, I am totally immersed.We, my hubby and I, are just leaving Kyoto. After four days, I didn’t want to leave. But it’s time for the next phase of our journey.Kyoto stole my heart. A piece of it is still back there in those beautiful mountains as we speed away.It all started with a hike up the remote pilgrimage mountain — Mountain of Peace. It continued with a climb up nature’s stair climber on the Fushimi Trail.The crowds thinned as we made our way up the longer route. I pushed my pace to a fairly unreasonable rate up the winding staircases when Golden Boy — with his young skin, shirtless ripped torso and blond hair — thought he could pass me. Sorry about your luck. This little girl with pig tails and a back pack can push until her insides scream with the right motivation.

The rewards at the top were worth it. A meditative space filled with little paths winding through a plethora of shrines.The icing on the cake, the last bit of melting my heart, was the hike away from the crowds, up a deserted path to a peak that looked down upon the bamobo forest and monkey park. We sat on a makeshift bench of logs and relished in the chorus of birds and insects. Nature’s music.After hiking and meditating in the mountains all day, and taking in the sites, we developed a routine of enjoying the amazing happy hour at our hotel.At night we explored the rather inique and interesting areas of Gion and Pontocho. By the end of our four days, we had gotten the hang of finding the more authentic restaurants and Japanese whiskey bars. It was truly amazing being the only white people in a joint.As I sit here on this train, my heart is a little tender. I fell in love with Kyoto. I don’t want to leave. I know I’ll be back.

 

Ode to Ike – Persistence, Positivity, Patience and Presence

Henry Ford Quote

Whether you THINK you CAN or you CAN’T, either way you are RIGHT!!!

My brother was the one that first brought my attention to this quote.  I use it here because it completely describes my grandfather’s approach to life.

Last Cruise

My dear grandpa, Isaac (Ike) Doerksen, finally found a place of peace a few days ago after 103 years of life on this earth.  I don’t believe that there was any part of his life in which he did NOT believe that if he decided to do something, then he would.  The last week of his life was not easy.  As his ability to eat, drink water, and even get up slipped away, my family and I watched this man who had been such a strong figure in our lives slowly decline.  As his physical being lost it’s strength and became a weak shell of what it used to be, I watched in what was nothing less than total amazement as the strength of mind, soul and spirit emanating from him literally infused the entire room.  He didn’t once complain.  When I told him I loved him, he used what he had left to tell me he loved me too.  He often reached for the loving hand of whoever was sitting with him and gave a healthy squeeze.  He displayed such grace right to the end.  And as he did his entire life, he didn’t give up easily.  He simply lived true perseverance as he always had.

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The Bionic Woman Returns – Cinque Terra

 

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We didn’t know it yet, but, we were nearing the end of a several month adventure.  We had left home with hefty backpacks, planning to chase the pro cycling circuit.  We had seen a lot of cycling races, done a lot of our own riding, and had also found many other adventures along the way.  Coming off of the high of accomplishing some big things in my own cycling journey, I think I was in complete belief that I was the bionic woman!!!

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A Fireball, A Fighter, A Friend: Jessica

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Jessica (far right) and her family.

 

I walked through the door and was instantly enthralled with the energy.  The room was buzzing with excitement, and bursting with positivity.  I didn’t know anyone, except the hostess for this most amazing event.  I waited in line, and as I approached the ticket booth to enter, I saw her.  I hadn’t seen Jessica since the first time we met, only about a month ago.  She was smiling from ear to ear, full of love and sincere appreciation for every person in attendance.  She greeted every single person with genuine warmth.  I melted into the hug that she so willingly thrust upon me.  I was so glad I had come.

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Strength and Spirit: My Warrior Friend

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about the strongest warrior I have ever met.  Every time I spend time with her, I walk away wanting to be better.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong, be sure to check them out!}

I was sitting at my desk, plugging away, when I overheard a conversation at the desk beside me.  This tiny, Asian girl was telling my co-worker that she had to leave early to get home before her husband completely dug up the backyard with some homemade contraption that he was trying to use to dig a hole.  The passion and energy coming out of this little woman was amazing.  The way she described this preposterous scenario was incredibly entertaining.  Her perspective on it was unbelievable.  I felt like this woman had years of wisdom and experience.  I immediately felt like I needed to know this woman.

indian-attire
Andrea and me at a wedding celebration

The desks were quite open, and thus, it was easy to join in the discussion without intruding.  From that day forward, this tiny woman, Andrea, has been one of the single most influential forces in my life.  There is nothing tiny about her.

 

Andrea and I shared a geeky IT background, and an aptitude for interfacing between the IT techies and the business side of a corporation.  It turned out that we also shared a love for many things including, but not limited to: goat cheese with honey, sparkly wine, soft and fuzzy clothing and blankets that you can’t stop touching and puppies.

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