When I was taking classes toward my graduate degree for teaching, I remember one class above all the rest. It wasn't the subject matter I recall. I honestly can't even picture the teacher, but it was something she said that sticks with me to this day and has served me well, not only in the classroom, but in life.
What were those fabulous words of wisdom? Well, she said, "Be prepared for the unexpected and when it happens, because it will, try to make the most of it."
At the time, I was about twenty three, taking notes and ready to apply that sentiment strictly to classroom situations, you know, find the teachable moment in the chaos, kind of thing. However, as the years rolled on and twenty three became thirty three and then forty three, I began to view those words in a completely different light.
They became more poignant as the unexpected went from surprise fire drills that interrupted my carefully planned lessons to surprise biopsies, miscarriages, illnesses and sick mothers that interrupted my carefully planned life.
Quite a loss of innocence.
Of course, not all unexpected journeys are grim, some turn out to be quite pleasurable.
I much prefer these.
This weekend, for example, we headed out to farm country to pick pumpkins. The plan was to spend the day riding tractors, stomping through orange colored fields, getting lost in corn mazes and eating caramel apples. Unfortunately, by noon we were dead stopped in traffic, a red line was visible on the GPS for as far as we could scroll and Siri was telling us it was hopeless, abandon ship, go back home...
...and we almost did.
Then on a whim, we decided to take a turn south and head away from the cows and endless stretches of corn and drive toward the beach. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, surely we could have a fabulous fall adventure in a sweet ocean village as well as we could out in the fields.
And guess what? We did.
Unbelievably, town offered the exact same activities as the farmlands.
We started with apple picking. I prefer the red ones. Big surprise.
Then we moved on to the pumpkin patch.
The little ones are so sweet.
My kids were especially fond of the petting zoo. We even brought some of those fur babies home.
We went through the most charming maze and we didn't get lost once.
The only thing we didn't get to do was ride the tractor, because we spent a really long time at the snack booth.
That's okay though, our cars are four wheel drives, so we rough it on a daily basis.
It was not the day we had so carefully mapped out, but in the end our unexpected journey turned out to be lovely one. We certainly made the most of it, just like my professor said I should.
Did I mention that I got an A in that class?
Gee. I hope we don't run into traffic next year.
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