The year was 1959 I was brought home from the hospital as a newborn to the only home I had known for the next 9 years, a 10x60ft mobile home in a trailer park in Decatur Illinois. Yep, for nine years I didn’t know what it was like to live in a house that didn’t have wheels, a hitch, skirting and tail lights. And to top it all off, our trailer park was located in a part of the country that was constantly frequented by tornadoes, ice storms, blizzards, hail the size of golf balls and humidity that would choke a fish. Only the very rich had air conditioning, so we cooled our metal house with big osculating fans that had big sharp metal blades where you were sure to lose a finger if you got too close.
TRAILER PARK KIDS
Us “trailer park kids” rode our bikes around the metal neighborhood and played in the nearby cornfields that surrounded our trailer park. We would pretend to be cowboys and cowgirls and would ride our pretend horses. I dreamed of many things. I dreamed that I would be a singer or a cowgirl and if I was lucky, a singing cowgirl like Dale Evans.
When my dad finally told the Army he was done, he said California is the place to BE! We packed up the car and moved across country to the land – o – plenty! Swimming pools, mansions, Palm Trees, Beaches, and of course where movie stars roamed the streets. I had heard many stories about it! Especially since the Beverly Hillbillies was my favorite show! Maybe I would run into Dale Evans at the grocery store! I could hardly wait!
WHERE ARE THE MOVIE STARS?
Well, as you can imagine, I was a little disappointed when the mansions and beach I had heard about was replaced by rows of stinky chicken and pig farms in the small town in Northern California. But, there was some good news, we moved to a stick build house in the country and we had horses!
DREAMS O PLENTY
We all come from diverse backgrounds. Some of us had privileged childhoods, while some of us came from horrid conditions, but we all have one thing in common we were all kids. We didn’t start out as adults. As kids, we dreamed of being astronauts, movie stars, cowboys, or train engineers. We dreamed, imagined and pretended that we could fly! I remember running around the front yard flapping my arms with my mind taking me high above the trailer park. I imagined I could see the rows of trailers and the cornfields below. We believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. We were convinced that these individuals existed and the idea of them was magical and you couldn’t convince us otherwise.
It’s a big fat bummer that when we grow older and have to take on responsibility we lose this piece of our mind. We forget what it is to naturally dream and imagine. As we move into adulthood, the imagination starts to fade, but we still have some dreams and ideas of what we want to do, things to accomplish or what we want to be.
Our authority figures tell is to get a “LIFE.” So some of us choose to pack our bags, stand at the curb and happily jump on the Crazy bus called LIFE. For a lot of us, the amenities on this Crazy bus consist of work, worry, stress, mortgage, rent, bills, car payments, problem kids, college tuition – you name it. The stewards on this bus are friends, co-workers, parents, family members and others who were dishing up all sorts of extras while we travel down this windy crazy LOOOOONG road to the middle. There is no time for such nonsense of dreaming while riding this Crazy bus. Oh, we’ve tried to get off this bus a few times, but it just won’t stop or slow down long enough for us to depart. While we ride on the Crazy Bus, our childhood dreams are all left far behind.
Then one day, as we travel down the road on the CRAZY BUS we see a big road sign up ahead. It says MIDDLE AGE! What? NO! Our mortality is all of a sudden in our face. The Crazy bus Stewards are now handing you letters from the retirement organizations, long term health care, information about SENIOR DRIVERS and other nonsense about old people. This couldn’t possibly be for me!! NO WAY!
STOP THE BUS, I WANT OFF!
STOP, WAIT, HOLD THE BUS, I WANT OFF NOW before I see the sign that says OLD PERSON! Who is with me?? I don’t know bout you, but I’m getting off this crazy bus and taking the slow train! The train that’s full of imagination and dreams.
Now, I have to admit to you that I never really rode on the Crazy bus full time. I kept getting off, then back on, then off, then back on. We all have to ride that bus to survive, however I wasn’t accepting everything the stewards were dishing out to me, so I was constantly pulling the stop request.
I did become a professional singer AND a cowgirl, I even sing upon my horse professionally just like Dale Evans. I have flown airplanes, been a radio personality, fought forest fires, and authored a couple of books. If it pops in my head and I want to do it, I JUST DO IT! Simple!
If you are stuck on this bus, and want off, then GET OFF THE BUS! Pull the cord! Open your mind and start dreaming, however, unlike a kid, you are now in a position where you can start to act upon a dream or two! I don’t care if you are 80. As long as you are breathing, you can fulfill at least one of those child hood dreams.
DREAMS COME IN CHAPTERS
However, there is one big problem. If you had a dream about running away with the circus as a trapeze artist I think there is a rule or law that when you are over 50 your butt should never go over your head. Gravity isn’t kind to us older folks!
Some of things we dreamed about are just impossible for us to achieve because are bodies are past what our minds want to do. But don’t let this stop you from doing some form or CHAPTER of a dream.
So.. I’m not only a believer.. I’m living PROOF that you can still do things that you have dreamed about in some fashion or form if you want.
Nothing is out of the question and NOTHING is off limits or crazy. So, go forth my friend. Get OFF the crazy bus for a while and do something that you’ve always dreamed about…or version of it.