Sunday, September 9, 2012


Travel~ "to follow a course or path as if by traveling". This definition of travel in the Webster dictionary brought to mind my daughter Tess and her most recent path that she has chosen to pursue. Travels, as I have talked about many times in previous blogs, can be followed near and far, and often the dreams that we have of traveling, can be part of our adventure. 

Tess is a beautiful, creative and loving 21 year old, who has chosen to live her life to the fullest. She, after 3 years tumultuous years as a college student in Chico, Ca, has finally decided to pursue her dream as a professional photographer.  What she has learned in the process of her very full life, is that she needs a college education (she's good, but wants to be the best) in order to get where she wants to go. 

So off she went a few weeks ago, on her newest and biggest adventure yet. As a new student at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Ca, she will learn what it takes to be the best.  She is excited about this  prospect; about living and working with people and professionals who think and see the world as she does. In her own words, "Mom, I am living my dream". 

As I mentioned earlier, Tess has been gone from home for 3 years now. But this time, as she left home, it was different for me.  She has been my traveling partner on countless adventures; our biggest and certainly not the last was London when she graduated from high school.  But this time when she left, I knew she was serious, I felt it. I know my girl is a lot like me in many ways, and I know for sure that the Wanderlust gene is set deep in her soul. 

This is a note I wrote to friends the night Tess moved to Santa Barbara. Since then, I got back out on the road again, cruising the 5 hours south on Hwy 101 to see my girl, where, as I pulled up to see Tess standing at her door, her smile said it all~

Miss Tess moved on to her next adventure this evening.

She is off to Santa Barbara and will start school on the 4th. I have loved having her here, although she has been a "whirlwind" in my house and has left reminders of her carefree ways. 

It is really the first time in several years that she has called my home her "home", and it has been. We have shared wonderful, long summer days, talked many hours about what it all means, and shared sadness about life and death. She is deeply saddened to hear about Jeanne (a very ill family friend), and remembers talking with her in their brief encounter about their shared love of horses. 

We laughed and giggled. Drank beer together and argued about right and wrong. I marveled that she actually made many attempts at keeping herself organized and tidy. She listened patiently to my constant urging to stay on top of things. There were many opportunities for her to listen, and she did with interest, to my many stories of laughter and tears and worry and heartache and joy of years past. We laughed at the stories I told her of our girlie adventures, and she was always willing to listen when I felt like talking. 

She loves that I have 2 friends that mean the world to me. I have been amazed and grateful for the advise she has offered when I needed a gentle ear.  Yesterday, when I replied to her question about my day at work, she said, "well Mom, I think you should do whatever you can to help those kids while you're there". Well ok then.  

Tess showed me something about herself that I really already knew, but wasn't sure she could handle...she is a free spirit. A perfect combination of the brave, adventurous, kind hearted. creative and spirited people that her genes are made up of.

She is my beautiful girl and when I walked in to an empty house tonight, I felt her absence immediately. We said goodbye before I went out, but realized that I will miss my girl like crazy. I have never felt the loss of her like I do right now, despite all the times she's left. I felt like she was really happy to be here this time, and we made the best of it. 

Today I asked her a question. What do you do if you want something in life? ..she said "you manifest it, you believe in it".  That's my girl. 

...I wish you many days traveling the world, my sweet Tess, finding new adventures along the way to fill your life with Infinite Love and Gratitude...