If as John Muir said, “Of all the paths we take, make one dirt,”

does sand count? See The Oregon Coast in the next issue.

Many moons ago—moons?–that is moons times 12 ago,  I walked into freshman Biology class plunked myself down beside a kid that didn’t take notes but got A’s anyway (Don’t you hate those people? No, envy.), I set a notebook on my desk, and wrote on the top of my page the words the professor shouted: “THIS IS THE STUDY OF LIFE!”


I want to know about life.
You know how an enthusiastic teacher can motivate you.

This man loved his subject, and I loved it too.

The trouble was that after studying, Kingdom, Class, Order, Genus, species, oh, biologists like to name things—I found that while physical life was spread out before me, there was not much about ethereal life.

The big questions couldn’t be categorized, labeled, pigeonholed, or even addressed in a satisfactory manner. I suppose it is rather like the question put to Alfred Kinsey, the sex study doctor, who, when asked why he didn’t include love into his equation answered, “Because it is not measurable.”

To me, the really interesting questions are ones not measurable.

Apologies to my biology professor, but life is not something in which we can achieve a degree. Life is something we all have, all think about, and all have trouble understanding.

That puts us all on an equal playing field.

Which brings me to my question of why we are so separate from each other?

Why do we fear strangers? Why do we demonize certain segments of our population?

Yes, they look different, act different, have different beliefs. There must be something wrong with them.

Well now, we can explain that evolutionarily.

Think of zebras, deer and other preyed upon animals; all look alike. The odd one gets singled out of the herd. He catches the eye of the predator. Whoops, old Ralph—the Zebra with brown stripes instead of black ones–is gone.

We are like that too. Different is singled out.

Remember when the TV show Star Trek burst upon the scene?

It was the first multiracial show. And on it was the first bi-racial kiss.

The Enterprise was populated with all manner of multiracial and multi-species humanoids. Spock, the hybrid Vulcan with pointie ears and little emotion, was loved. There was an Asian, a Black, a Scotsman, and on top of that all manner of aliens with faces that looked like they had been mashed into a mold.

I wondered at the time how that would change attitudes toward different races.

It took a while.

Think of the wild horse. To be ostracized from the herd is a death sentence. He would be free game for a mountain lion.

A horse will practically break his neck to get back into the herd–the safest place.

We, too, fear being ostracized, and thus we behave in a manner acceptable to the group.

For some native tribes being ostracized was the worst punishment, for alone in the wild, an alone person would surely die.

Thinking back to StarTrek, initially, it ran only for one year, and the network canceled it due to poor ratings.

Talk about an evolutionary come back. That was partly due to a writing campaign from the viewers and encouraged by the promoters.

Oh yeah, think of the flip-open communicator.

I have one of those sitting on my desk.

It doesn’t beam me up though—not yet.

Science imitating art.

And Nasa named one of the Space Shuttles Enterprise.

Isn’t that phenomenal?

We have come to a place where we are instrumental in our own evolution.

(Oh, and don’t give me any flack for using the word evolution—it means change  over time.)

Evolution is an emotion packed word, for to Creationists it means we came from monkeys.  You can believe we evolved from monkeys, God created us, or the Universe is a perpetual motion machine. It’s all up for grabs. However, the idea of beating each other up over an ideology is ludicrous.

A wise man once told me this story: Have I told you this?

We are all princesses or princes under a frog suit. The frog suit has tears showing the princess beneath, and we try to cover up those holes, yet if we ripped off the frog suit it would reveal the true princess.

I Had a Change of Heart Today

Good Morning,

I cleaned the refrigerator a couple of days ago. Imagine that! As I scrubbed it, with my head inside that huge cold machine and my butt in the air, I had this thought:

What idiot said, “If it ain’t fun don’t’ do it?”

If that were true I would never get my refrigerator cleaned.

You know, you are at the cleaning-the-refrigerator stage where all those half-used bottles that are not good enough to keep, but too good to throw away lay like fallen soldiers on the counter top. The produce fainted a few days ago and is still out cold, and opening that cottage cheese container? I was afraid to do it.

Please say you’ve done that for I don’t want to be the only one.

And then I had a second thought.

I love this refrigerator.

Remember, Joyce, when you lived in Hawaii and used an ice chest, because you had no refrigerator?  And then the mortgage loan came through, and you bought a refrigerator, but didn’t have enough solar power to run it?

Remember the Hawaiian woman at The Pond’s Restaurant who said, “Living like you are will make you appreciate everything?”

I appreciate my refrigerator.

It came with the house, a perfect fit in the space created for it, and it matches the stove and the dishwasher. Oh yes, I didn’t have a dishwasher in Hawaii either, or an oven.

I am blessed!

I thought of the saying, “You can’t be depressed and in gratitude at the same time.”

I am grateful for my refrigerator.

And now it is clean, and all the labels on the bottles face forward, and it is beautiful. I would stare at it except that having the door open pours out energy. (I once saw a commercial that demonstrated energy loss by filling a refrigerator with ping-pong balls, You can guess what happened when someone opened the door.)

Ah well, I could end my ode to the refrigerator, but I have to say that, after having none, we now have three.

There’s the dear refrigerator in the house, and two in “The Wayback,” our auxiliary building. The owners left their earlier refrigerator there, and we house ours from our previous house.

Ta Da!

The universe is laughing.

I finally took a break from “Blogging” for some house cleaning.

Not many are finding me here on www.travelswithjo.com, but that will change and I am happy for whoever shows up. My parent blog is www.wishonwhitehorses.com

Most travel bloggers are young people, singles, newly married, or young families with children. Maybe I ought to let my hair go gray and tout myself as “Gray Fox at Large,” for I haven’t seen one of those, but I’m not going to do it. And I won’t admit that there are any gray hairs under my blond.

I’ll admit I sleep with a Grandpa, but that’s all.

Last weekend, before the blogging and the cleaning frenzy, we took another day trip.

We drove to McMinnville, OR  about a two-hour drive from where we live to see the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. The Hercules, known as the Spruce Goose, Howard Hughes’ famous “flying boat” is housed there.

Upon approaching tour destination this is what we saw.

  “A plane on the roof.”

It is a full-blown commercial jet sitting atop a water park next to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum.

The hangar/Museum where The Spruce Goose lives next door where it sits like a cake with flowers around it. Only the cake, the Goose, was wood, and the flowers were airplanes polished to a sheen. Everything was spotless, the planes, the white floor—no wonder I had to come home and clean my house.




Spruce goose with hubby.

We climbed inside that ginormous airplane and ascended a narrow spiral staircase to the cockpit–the service man gave me a peek inside before it closed entrance to it.

Darn, Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor who played Howard Hughes in the movie The Aviator, wasn’t sitting there.

A duplicate of the Wright Brothers’ plane was there, and private planes, and military planes, trainers, and jets.

The Wright Brother’s aeroplane.



How long did it take man to build a contraption that would fly? Now they can throw up a boat the size of a football field, and it will fly.

Next door the Space Museum housed rockets and space capsules, and spacesuits that you wonder how a man could ever maneuver. Those suits alone were an engineering feat, let alone that someone landed on the moon.

“The Wright Brothers flew through a smoke screen of impossibility.” –“Dorthea Brande

See, a 400,000 pound wooden boat really did fly.