To Everything There is a Season–PART 1

SEEING RED

Written on 5/8/11

(flashback)

Summer ’09 was the worst summer of my life—to date. The diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and subsequent mastectomy had left me angry at the world and seriously depressed. So much, in fact, that it was all I could do to get through my days with all the children in care and then shut the world out when the last child left each evening. I tried to make the most of moments when they would come my way, but I can say, matter-of-factly, that I was not someone you’d want to socialize with that year. Bitter resentment along with despair were the facial expressions of choice. I didn’t want to hear words of encouragement. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to find the humor in things (although I tried hard to each day and it just came out biting, sarcastic, and crass sounding). I didn’t want to do anything but cry, or scream, or punch something or someone. I had to hold it all in, though. I had to maintain so I could just get through each day and holding it in just made me an even hotter mess. If you were to ask me now if I ever exhaled that summer, I would honestly tell you no.

I know NOW that was the most unhealthy way I could have lived. Hell, I knew it then, too, but chose to ignore the signs–Defeat-est mentality at its finest and those of you who know the Type A that I am probably can’t ever imagine me getting that low. But that Type A began working overtime on my self-destruction. For example,

Why should I worry about my grades anymore– is God really gonna care that I was on the President’s List or made it into the National Honor Society?

Why should I bother turning in any paperwork for any agencies I’m accountable to for my business, like they really give a damn what I’m fighting here anyway.

Why should I bother fighting for my oldest daughter, after all, so many others had given up on her.

Why should I care what I look like, I’m just gonna lose my hair anyway… I’m just gonna look ridiculous wearing makeup…I’m just gonna have to find shirts covered with such loud prints that it will distract anyone from noticing I don’t have a chest anymore…

Why should I bother with anything…I’m just gonna be 6 feet under by the end of the year.

Why should I bother with reconstruction—I’ll finally get the boob job I always wanted just to have the best looking chest standing at attention from my coffin as everyone passes it by during the visitation.

I was feeding the beast inside me by continuing such inner destructive self-talk. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t get out of the quick sand that kept pulling me back into that pit of despair. Each time a friend would throw me a lifeline, I’d only hang on half-heartedly. I was giving up–giving in. It was all too much. I didn’t know how to process all of the stimuli attacking me. It was just easier to retreat into a comfortable cocoon of anger. I was prescribed medication after medication from anti-depressants, to anti-anxiety, to sleeping pills so I could just shut off my brain at night–all of them addictive. At least I had enough sense about me to avoid filling any of those Rx’s. My doctor wasn’t happy about that. I argued that–I drive children to schools and I won’t drive under the influence of something. I won’t take something that would make me feel loopy or jittery. I won’t take something I would only later have to fight to get off of. I knew that it was up to me to pull myself out. I just didn’t have a clue how I would go about doing that.

I know there are some women that handle such extreme stress with grace. I wish I could say I was one of them. There were times—fleeting nanoseconds that would allow me the courage to hold my head up high as I walked into a room, but they vanished as quickly as they appeared. I’ll give you a glimpse back at who I was that summer. It’s written all over my face and my body language screams, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU LOOKING AT—HAVEN’T YOU EVER SEEN SOMEONE WITH ONE boob!.” Yes, for me to bring about a change…it would probably take more courage then for me to walk into a hospital and have my chest cut off–and since that had already happened, the fight was only just beginning. Not a physical one, though—a purely mental knock-down, drag out fight that Mr. Miagi wouldn’t be able to help me get out of.

As you can see, I had truly succumbed to the anger. It overrode most of my emotions. It had itself manifested into a type of cancer that was once again invading every area of my life. The problem was that I breathed life into this type and it was by far Stage 10. By summer, it had become a comfortable friend. Letting go of the anger would have been just too easy. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be ready. I held tight to it and slammed the door on anyone trying to get in including my family. There were times when I I would look out that door’s peephole to view the world that was still going on without me. That made me angrier, still!

Then there was the crippling events surrounding my oldest daughter who had gone missing. We were dealing with the loss of a child we weren’t sure was even alive or dead at this point, and I was going through the painstaking process of supplying dental records to the police in case remains were found. The stress of just the cancer would have been enough to anyone but combine it with the stress of losing a child and the infuriating lack of help I received in trying to find her along with the judgmental advice I was getting at all turns was enough to push me into a spiraling depression. “No…I’ll hold onto this anger just a while longer,” I thought.

As if things weren’t bad enough… I was told once again our family would be losing insurance. My husband’s job of 17 yrs. was coming to an explosive brink. The business was trying to function with a severely alcoholic boss. My husband was the only one keeping it afloat. The boss was his childhood and lifelong friend, best man in our wedding, and Godfather to our oldest daughter. If you have ever dealt with alcoholism, you may be able to appreciate the horrific strain it can put on relationships. So, as I dealt with my cancer, Jeff dealt with his friend/boss/job and the fact he knew he was losing all three to a self-destructive personality who had also begun an affair with my former best friend of 17 years and maid of honor in our wedding. It was all too much.

Then, the insurance—this bastard—this corporate structure we had paid money into our whole lives decides to begin cutting our benefits and raising our premiums. It began a vicious cycle where the teasing thought of a couple more months worth of benefits dangled in front of me like carrots–causing complete panic on my part–how will I get the rest of my surgeries?  How will I pay for medicine?  What if this metastasizes and I can’t pay for treatment?  What do I do?  I braced for the worst–complete denial altogether once Jeff had been fired from his job. Denial in mid-treatment. What kind of insurance company does this? Mind you, this was before Obama’s healthcare reform where pre-existing conditions would be grandfathered in (or so I thought at the time).  I realized I better get a game plan…and fast.

With all that, my mental state really started nose diving. I was becoming scatterbrained–unable to focus–very attention deficit disorder–without a doubt. The strain on our marriage, our family, our lives had become nothing short of catastrophic. No amount of counseling could help. There was no way to sort it all out. Prayers were offered up just to get drowned out by the yelling—whether my own or a chorus of frustrated cries by everyone under the same roof. I stopped writing because I could no longer process any stimuli coming in or going out.

In the midst of it all, I began having a recurring dream. It continued every night for 6 months straight. I began to realize it was a sign…and once that sign revealed itself and what it meant to my life…it was the catalyst for all things that followed…

SEASONS PART 2 will be posted on Monday morning 5/23/11. Don’t miss what the dream reveals! You can do that by subscribing to this blog through RSS feeds, the subscribe by email feature, or the Networked Blogs link in the side bar (the easiest way)!  Cya soon!

Advertisements

Lost and Found

Sunset on the Mississippi

Sunset on the Mississippi

Written on August 14, 2009

I woke up yesterday with that dead feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something just didn’t feel right. “Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep or maybe I was just really hungry”, I thought as I got up in the wee hours of the morning. I knew it was something else and I could feel the anxiety start even as I maneuvered through a dark house. Two weeks. It had been two weeks since Jasmine took off again. She had only been home for five days. Prior to that, I had dropped everything and raced out to Ohio where she was found in an emergency room. I know that most people could not begin to fathom the stress our family has been put under this particular year. Just the cancer alone was knocking us down, but to have a child that goes missing–repeatedly, being told repeatedly there’s nothing anyone can do to help us or her, and to watch your other children suffer as a result of both–well the monumental stress of that far surpasses the stress of cancer and I’m beginning to think that if the one won’t kill me–the stress of the other will.

I managed the day with a two-fer–field trip to the Children’s Museum in the morning, and a pool outing in the afternoon complete with a picnic in the park. One last big hurrah before the last of the 4 boys goes off to kindegarten. The weather was hot, the sun was shining, and I knew I desperately needed the calming effects of the water to wash over me. There’s nothing that can do it any better for me then a semi-empty pool on a hot day. I could have stayed there and played with the kids all day. I could have. I wanted to. I told myself that I was dropping everything and spending time at the pool with my kids this weekend. Everything else could wait. I needed to take care of my stress levels. So, with that self-made profession, I loaded the kids up at the end of a couple fantastic hours and we headed home to deliver them all to their folks. Once the last one was gone, I ran inside, changed clothes, and raced off to the Arsenal to work in the Child Development Home. Some question why I choose to work there or at my music studio for a couple hours each evening. They question as to whether it heightens my stress level. Quite the contrary, actually. At either place–its really quiet. I still get to work with kids–something I’m passionate about–and there’s no phone ringing, dog barking, etc. Last night was no exception. It was so peaceful out at the Cottage. I only had one little girl who was simply delightful and made me laugh as she jabbered about this and that on our walk.

I sat on the porch swing for a long time with her and I realized how much I missed the porch swing of my house in Davenport. It dawned on me that I had been seriously void of any swing therapy for myself in the past 4 years. When I left, the breeze was blowing in and the hazy sun was beginning to set. I decided to take the way off the Island that snakes you along the Mississippi. I was so taken aback by the peace and calm of the evening, the breeze blowing across the river, the sun giving off its final burst before setting into the horizon, and the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. I stopped the car, drank in the solitude for just a moment, then took my phone out and snapped a picture. I was so appreciative for the lull in my life at that moment. True to the forces that are governing my life right now, though, the moment was gone as quickly as it appeared and the ringtone on my phone interrupted the silence. I looked at who was calling in and my heart skipped a few beats. I sucked in my breath and quickly answered, “Hey Mitch, what’s up”. Mitch was the boy that left with Jasmine on that cross country trip which culminated into a quarantine unit of St. Anne’s Hospital in Westerville, Ohio.

I have found it extremely difficult to really be able to discern which of Jasmine’s friends are truly concerned for her safety. The numbers of kids who are more eager to pressure her into God knows what or to emotionally yank her down are staggering. I have only found a handful through the years that do not view me as the enemy–the adult who is just trying to put the cabosh on whatever good time may be going on. Yes, there are still times when I have to control myself from chewing those friends out as well, but I try very hard to remember that none of us in this world are perfect. We all make mistakes and kids just do them on a more regular basis until one day–the lightbulb turns on. This handful of true friends knows Jasmine’s problems and still love her. They are genuinely worried for her safety and well-being and have formed an alliance of sorts with me to do what it takes to see she gets the help she needs. Mitch is no different and if weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have half the clue I do about the circumstances revolving around her extensive roadtrip earlier this summer.

“Mrs. Heald, drop what your doing. Jasmine just called me and she is in a lot of trouble. She’s hurt and needs to go to the hospital.”

At the same time, my husband beeped in–“Jasmine just called–she wants to come home–she’s not doing well”.

I wanted to throw up. Right there on the banks of the Mississippi. How much worse can it be this time? Each time she took off and came back, she was in much more perilous physical condition then the time before. The ailments were at times life threatening. I cannot begin to describe the feelings you go through as a parent when you get these types of calls. Knowing that HIPPA laws were going to prevent any medical staff from relaying information to me since my child was 17 only increased my anxiety. I told Mitch he would probably reach her faster than I would and to go to her and don’t let her leave his sight. I told him to text me the exact location and I would contact 911.

A coordinated effort was quickly put into place between two neighboring communities and paramedics were called once the text message came through. I raced off to find the ambulance fearing the worst, but hoping for the best. I passed an ambulance going in the opposite direction. I wondered if that was hers. There are two hospitals close to where she was found. I wasn’t sure which one she would be taken to. When the 911 dispatcher called me back to tell me both hospitals were full and she was enroute to the West Campus, I knew I had just passed her. I turned around and raced down the side streets to avoid the lights. I arrived to see three squad cars and an ambulance. My heart stopped. I turned the car off and sat in there for just a few more moments so I could do some much needed praying.

“Dear God, please surround my daughter with your loving arms and help lift her up out of this Hell she has been suffering in. Help ease her afflictions and quietly whisper your word in her ear so she may be reminded you are there with her always”.

I ran into the emergency room and was buzzered in. I could hear her crying through the hallway. When I opened the door, my heart broke once again. I went to her and held her and told her I loved her just as I had done in Ohio, just as I had over Mother’s Day weekend when we stood in the rain under a streetlight behind a restaurant. Each time she has been lost and then found, I ask her if she has reached her bottom. Each time she says yes. Each time we are all amazed that she still has had further to sink. There is nothing so saddening then to see a young person who once used to be filled with laughter and love and life, gifted with musical talent and beauty, and graced with such intelligence that many colleges were lining up to grant scholarships to–and then within a period of one year–its gone–and all that remains is the shell of that person. A shell that has also been so badly wounded that you barely recognize the person standing before you.

The one thing that remains a constant in this whole nightmare is that I am her mother. I have not agreed with or respected the decisions she has made this past year, but I am and always will be her mother and I will love her just the same. She was given to me by God to raise and to guide in her journey through life. How could I forsake her now when she needs me the most. Even though I want to lecture her until my tongue falls out–what good would that do? She is in obvious deep, emotional and physical pain. Earlier this year, I would have had no problem giving her a piece of my mind. It wasn’t until I met a woman in our local wig boutique one day. She said something to me that day that has resounded through me all summer. I don’t remember her name, but I’ll never forget her face. The enlightenment that I received from that chance encounter helped open my eyes in a few if not many areas of my life. I will elaborate more in another post, but for now let me leave you with the wisdom she imparted—-“Just Own It”.

As I pondered that over the next several days, I realized it not only had to do with my life and what was happening to me in reference to my cancer treatment, my hair loss, or my emotional ups and downs–but it very well could take a place in my understanding how my relationship with my oldest daughter needed to be evaluated. It was very evident to everyone that I had become for quite some time completely against all of my daughter’s life choices. They were completely against everything and anything I had ever tried to instill in her. She was making choices that I knew would have life long consequences, and as any mother, I would never have chosen those decisions for her. I realize that they are her decisions. She’s going to have to learn the lessons that come from them. I just know–having already been young–that you can either go through life the easy way or the hard way. The way she was choosing is certainly NOT how I would have advised her, but some idividuals just need to learn the lessons on their own even if its a much harder row to hoe.

Looking back over this year, I saw myself completely disassociating myself from her. I was becoming indifferent toward her. I didn’t want to see her and the chaos that lied in her wake. I didn’t want others to see it. I didn’t want others to judge what kind of mother must she have had for her to be so out of control. I knew in my heart that we had always provided for our daughter and our other children the values and beliefs of our family and our church. I knew that we were good, honest, hard-working, nurturing, loving, playful parents who enjoyed spending time with our kids in and out of school. We have supported all their ideas and extra currirular endeavors and we have always had their back when it came to anything that they needed our help with. Then, they start growing up and making their own decisions–ones that could have devastating consequences and you are frustrated, infuriated that all you’ve taught them has gone in one ear and out the other, disappointed that the dreams you had for them are not the dreams they have for themselves, and in a way–embarrassed. People judge. They do. Just like they love to tear something apart. It’s human nature–not the best side of it, but it is.

It was easier to turn into one of those people at that point. It was easier for me to start tearing apart all her ideas and thoughts and actions. It was easier for me to DIS-OWN her than it was for me to accept her and all her baggage and all her bad choices. It was so much easier for me to not care because caring was tearing my heart into tiny little pieces. In a way, it was a self-preservation technique. I know that sounds messed up, but I had gotten to a place where I just couldn’t handle any more. I had just been diagnosed with cancer. I was trying to juggle jobs and family and house and school and here was this entitiy–this child I had given birth to–who was now very symbolically spitting in our face and giving us the bird to everything we had tried to teach her. It was more than I could bear. The centrifigal force of my world spinning out of control has been uncomparable to anything I’ve ever known. So, it really hit me in the face like a ton of bricks when this woman told me, “Just Own It”.

I realized, as I said before, that I had begun to dis-own my oldest child. I couldn’t take what others must be whispering behind my back about her upbringing or about my daughter for that matter. I knew they all didn’t have a clue–no real intimate knowledge of the workings of my family and I was clinging to those friends of mine who did understand. They have been my saving grace through this along with an intense amount of prayer. It was extremely difficult for me to admit that I had begun to disown her. It’s a common element that runs pretty prevalent through our family and I was also beginning to realize that the thing I feared the most–losing my child–was actually happening with my help. I was becoming much like my own mother and that caused me so much grief I began to suffer terrible anxiety attacks.

I knew that the only thing I could do to help ease the pain in my heart was to “Own It”. Own that I have a teen that is making really bad decisions. Own that I can’t control everything about her life. Own that I do and will always love her. Own that people will always talk, but it is me that has to look myself in the mirror and ask myself if I have done everything that I can for the children God has entrusted me to teach. Own that I am not perfect and I make mistakes also and I have to forgive her. In essence, I was going to have to OWN Jasmine, again. Despite the questionable opinions of others, the raised eyebrows, the tsk-tsk-tsk they say under their breath. I know that they have never had to experience what our family has and I would never wish our burdens of this past year on even my worst enemy. I know that unless they walk a mile in my shoes, they could never understand the place I am at right now and how monstrous the mountain I had to climb to get here was. So, to those that wonder why I would drop everything and go help a child that keeps messing up–go ahead and whisper. I no longer care what you may think–it’s my responsibility to my children to help them–at any age–without enabling them. I would travel to the ends of the Earth for them. I would lay down my own life for them. It’s my duty to them to “Own Them”.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I know you are all wondering how she is and what happened to her. Out of respect for her privacy, I will not elaborate any further other than to say, “It’s bad”. She is safe, though, and being treated for the time being. She was transported to a hospital about an hour and a half away. She is struggling with the consequences of her choices and we are all praying for her. We had an opportunity to travel up to see her yesterday. It was bittersweet. It was nice knowing where she was and knowing she was getting the help she needed, but hard knowing that she will be released soon, I think. Continued prayers for her are deeply appreciated. I have given her a journal. She is also a writer. I told her to write down her experiences–the good, bad, and ugly–from her perspective. Maybe, she could help another teen and offer them encouragement that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just pray after this, she will see the light herself.

Heartfelt Thanks…

I am overwhelmed.  I can’t think straight.  My world seems to be spinning into outer space.  I have so much to write.  So little time.  I have so many demands on me right now, I can’t breathe.  I can’t sleep.  I can’t eat.  I have so much to say, so much to purge, so much to vomit up onto my computer screen, but the countdown is on.  I want so badly to catch up and make sense of what is happening to me and around me.  I want to wake up from this nightmare and know that this is not really happening.  But that will never happen.

What I want to do more than anything is thank everyone for all their prayers.  All the kind words, the encouraging remarks, the laughter, the hugs, the hand holding-in spirit and in person.  I have wanted to respond to each and everyone one of you that has posted comments.  If I make it out of this, I will–I promise.  I can’t tell you how much it has meant in my darkest moments to come back and know that there is goodness and kindness in this world that will come from complete strangers and those that have been there the whole way with me.  I want you all to know that I am deeply humbled and grateful to have this outlet to release my frustration, fears, newfound wisdom, and if for some reason, someone out there should find it helpful in anyway, or can relate to my story in any way, or it provokes someone out there to go get a mammogram–then it was worth the hours of writing through blurred and tear filled eyes to get my thoughts out. 

The story has continued, it is still compelling, it is still heartwrenching, it is still worth me telling.  However, my life has become filled with distractions along the way and has caused me even greater heartache.  My oldest daughter has run away from home again.  This time, I fear for good.  The subject is so intertwined with what is happening to me, I have not been able to seperate one from the other and since this was a blog about my journey with cancer, I have found it difficult to concentrate on even this because all my energy has been going to her.  It has torn my family apart, it has caused so much sorrow and I have had deep flashbacks to my childhood when my own sister ran away.  Those feelings are much a part of me all over again, and the pain is raw and real.  I force through my days right now, carrying out my cheery duties of  “Tina”, daycare provider and Mom–of a runaway, a daughter who will turn 13 (a teenager) on this Wed., March 18, 2009, and a 5 yr. old that is having trouble dealing with what is happening to his mommy.  I have a limited relationship with my husband at the moment, and have decided it was time for me to grab the life raft my pastor has thrown out to me.  I have joined a bible study, bought a new bible, and have been overwhelmed at the messages and signs that have been coming at me lately.

I have been honored this past Wednesday at our state capitol for community excellence in my profession and I could not be more thrilled to be at the top of my game in that aspect.  The price of that is taking its toll, on my family, my education, and my health, however.  I am trying, but as hard as I try, more demands keep cropping up despite my attempts to delegate them off somewhere else.  I feel as though many are just as secretly terrified that something is going to go wrong and heaven forbid I don’t get everything all done before I should kick the bucket or be incapacitated for several weeks.  My accountant is one of those people.  She got really upset when I said I would need an extension for taxes.  I just don’t have the time or energy to put into it right now.  Isn’t there a joke about how there’s only two things you are guaranteed in life–taxes, and death…well, my accountant must swear by that rule of thumb and wants to make sure I pay mine, if necessary, just in case…

I also have a class I can’t keep up with no matter how hard I try and I think I just need to withdraw instead of screwing up my GPA.  I have one teacher who is also not friendly at all and is unsympathetic to the fact that I will be having surgery or that I will be unable to do anything for about a week.  I have checked into voice recognition software, but its EXPENSIVE and I just can’t afford it, so maybe I could get a friend to type while I dictate.  More than anything, I just want to sit and write.  I need to relieve myself of this burden I’ve been carrying.  I’ve been swamped with midterms, doctor appointments, and information overload.  Even though, I pray there will be more time in the future to really lay out my chronological account of events, what it all boils down to is this…

I am having a radical mastectomy on Thursday, March, 19, 2009. 

This has all come up as of today.  I knew it was a card on the table.  I prayed someone would call the surgeon’s bluff.  I prayed I would see some hint that his poker face was just a bunch of B.S.  I was wrong. I will have the full story I hope and pray soon.  Right now, I can’t think, I am emotionally spent and physically exhausted.  This is happening.  There is no ace up my sleeve.  There is no trump card.  I can’t throw my cards in and ask for all new ones.  I have to play this hand out.  I would rather be playing strip poker in front of thousands then have to undergo this process, though.  Maybe….that is what I am doing by writing this blog, now that I think about it.  I am stripping off the layers…that have covered up all sorts of yucky character traits…in a way that would leave me exposed to thousands…of strangers as well as friends…and strangers that may become my friends.  How I wish I could explore this concept fully in my mind and round out my thoughts right now.  I am just too scared and tired to do that right now.  I just can’t believe this is happening.

I don’t know if I will be able to check in for some time.  I don’t know what will happen on Thursday.  I don’t know if  things will all go well.  I pray it does.  I am asking for you to stop and say a prayer, for me and for my family–I’m not picky–any denomination will do.  If you would all say a prayer for my daughter, Jasmine, that she may see the light and run toward it and away from those that have pulled her down;  for my daughter, Jordan, who is terrified that she will lose her mom the day after her birthday; for my little boy, Justin, that he won’t be so scared and worried that God is coming to get me; and for Jeff, that he has the strength and stamina to keep up with these kids and sees to it they are well taken care of should something happen or while I am laid up.  If I don’t ever make it back on, thanks for listening, caring, praying, loving, and thinking of me and my family.  Thanks for stopping in–for a long time, or just for a peak.  Thanks for commenting–I’ll leave my husband the password to get in–maybe words of encouragement would help them all get through what lies ahead.  And if I do make it out of this, be sure to check back, you’ll be in for one hell of a read.  You’ll never believe what has transpired in the past couple weeks while I’ve been away.  I can’t believe it myself.

I pray that God will see me through this safely and that I shall be called truly, in time, Mrs. Heald.  How prophetic that seems now, looking back.  Little did I know 20 years ago, that my husband’s name would be my biggest sign.  Its funny, I have such a low voice that whenever someone would ask me my name over the phone, they would never be able to quite catch the pronunciation.  I would have to spell it out–“H as in Harry, E as in elephant, A as in Alice, L as in Larry, and D as in David–like I was HURT but now I am HEALD”  I have actually said that thousands of times.  What a huge misguided sign that was.  I have been hurt, but I haven’t been healed–YET.  I married a man that would be all I should ever hope to become, in body, mind, and spirit.  Jeff, I love you.  Jasmine, Jordan, Justin…I love you more than you will ever know, forever and ever, with all my heart and soul…Mommy

Started Tracking on 12-1-09

kvphotobug.com

The life and musings of a passionate photographer

GreatBigBeautifulTomorrow

Just a nerdy History major and Cosmetologist with a love of all things vintage and a passion for books

bodyandsoulnourishmentblog

Welcome to my site to find inspiration and nourishment for the body and soul

my alaskan odyssey

when you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

Go Circa Mundi

Every Exit is an Entry

andymcoaching

Canoe and kayak coaching for the aspiring paddlesport enthusiast

A wee walk

brian and martina's outdoor blog

a sense of place

Ronnie Hughes

Exit Booted

a travel blog by tokyoaaron

The Paddler ezine

Magazine for white water, sea and expedition kayaking and canoeing paddlers

Kayakwriter's Blog

Writing and photography on the outdoors, sea kayaking, camping and dogs.

souzzchef

Adventures in food, travel, and backcountry kitchens

The Impatient Traveler

Impatiently awaiting the next adventure

travailsonatandemwithboo

Father and daughter cycling duo swapping pedals for paddles to kayak the length of the longest lakes of Wales, England and Scotland.

from victory road

a journey of faith, art, and life

Ticket to Adventures

Travel blog from around the world, near and far.

The Wallflower Wanderer

The true adventures of a timid world traveler

%d bloggers like this: