About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

High Fives

(In this thanksgiving season I'm grateful for many things. I have had a good life. Don't get me wrong, I've had times in the refiner's fire throughout my life--as have you, I'm sure. But, there have been many high moments as well. These memorable moments are what our hostess, Mariposa , asks us to share for Fun Monday. Listed below are my "High Fives".)

TRAVEL--I got my first passport in 1971 when I was 25 years old. Since then I've always kept an active passport so I could fly off to a foreign country whenever I got the chance. My first trips out of the U.S. were just across the border to Mexico and Canada. Then I lived and worked in the Caribbean for three years. After coming back to the U.S. I just wanted to see more of the world, always planning and saving my money for the next trip. I was willing to give up what some considered necessities--like air conditioning--for travel. So far, I've visited 18 countries.

In two countries, St Kitts and Ukraine, I lived and worked with the people. On St Kitts I learned what it felt like to be a minority. In Ukraine, I witnessed political unrest and began to understand the struggles of women to advance and support their families in unstable societies. In the other 16 countries, I was simply a traveler, learning to appreciate the people, culture, and natural beauty of each country I visited. Travel educates and entertains. It helps us understand ourselves and others. I have memories of many high five moments from my travels.

BOOT CAMP -- recently Angela and the Lurchers wrote about wanting to own a set of dog tags. She confessed that she didn't actually know where this desire was coming from. I actually earned the dog tags that you see here for the successful completion of a grueling physical fitness boot camp run by an Army drill sergeant. Throughout this camp I experienced both highs and lows--sometimes on the same day! I've written about this before, in fact last week. So briefly, here's what Back to Basics boot camp was all about. For six week intervals about twenty people of all ages and fitness levels met before sunrise five days a week for one hard hour of exercise based on the same program used to whip raw Army recruits into shape. At the end of the six weeks class we were evaluated--weight loss, flexibility, # push-ups/sit-ups in a minute, time to run one mile, measurements, body fat %(augh-tt-t!). At the end of the first six weeks, I had improved in all categories and was awarded these dog tags as proof of it. My buddy Sally and I kept up this program for three years.

WAYFARER'S WALK -- I've written about this before as well, but it definitely belongs on my high five list. In 2003 Sally, my partner in all foolhardy physical trials, and I completed The Wayfarers Coast to Coast walk across northern England. In six days we walked about 80 miles--around the lakes of the Lake District National Park, across the hills and valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and finally across the wild moors of the Vale of York and Cleveland Way in the North Yorkshire National Park. We dipped our boots in the Irish Sea at Newby Bridge on the west side and, after six challenging days of walking, we reached the North Sea at Whitby.

Here you see a group of tired, but triumphant, walkers having a champagne toast on the beach at Whitby. The badge attached here is our finisher's patch--the only one I may ever own! (I'm third from the right standing; Sally is third from right kneeling.)

Well I had another high five moment to cover, but since it's Thanksgiving week will close for now. You're busy trying to figure out which end of the turkey to stuff, laundering sheets for the anticipated (?) company, and wondering exactly when you lapsed into insanity and invited 20 people for dinner on Thursday. One thing that I'm grateful for is all the funny, creative, and interesting people I've met through blogging. There would definitely be fewer high moments in my life without you all. Now head over to Mariposa's place to read about other high five moments. And, I hope your Thanksgiving holiday is all you want it to be.


IamwhoIam said...

All great moments, well that first lasted how long. Travel has given me both high and lows. and to get you dog tag congrates. good friend and a challaning walk what more could you want.

Celeste said...

You have done more than just travel, you have experienced...a lot of people miss out on that. Me? I'm a little home-body.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Sarah said...

Such great moments. I'm quite envious at the amount you've travelled. And the stamps in your passport I bet! I've not got any stamps in my current passport - you don't get them travelling within the EU if you've got a British passport. Such a shame!
That walk sounds amazing - such a challenge, I bet it was worth it though.
Thanks for sharing your FM with us.

Hootin' Anni said...

The experiences you've gone through in your life is commendable. High 5!!!!

Happy Monday.

Mine's posted, but you'll need to scroll down beyond my Ranch Hand Breakfast photos I posted this morning on my blog to read some of my 'memories'.

Lane said...

I'm high fiving you Faye for being awarded those dog tags! Well deserved.

You've have some wonderful experiences on your trips and I've loved hearing about them.

Happy Thanksgiving:-)

Mariposa said...

All great moments indeed!

Travel is such a great activity and like you, it has allowed me to have highs and lows!

And yes, it's true, I share with you those high moments here in the BLOGland...for three years!

Happy Fun Monday!

Mariposa said...

And yes, great minds we are!

You've got a high 5!

Tracy said...

You've done some thrilling things in your life. This assignment was a piece of cake for you.

Pamela said...

I'd trade you a fluff in a furniture story for a walk across England anyday. hey!

I haven't been able to travel much - and that is a great desire.

A great list.

Trailboss said...

Hi! Came over from hulagirl. I am in the same part of Kentucky as she is. Nice to meet a fellow Kentuckian!

{i}Post said...

I wish I was brave enough to travel. I swear I have a fear of traveling! Growing up in the same place my whole life has made me a home body. As much as I would love to see the world, I just can't get myself to do it. Maybe when the kids are grown...

Anonymous said...

wow - what wonderful moments, thanks for sharing. Nigel & Karl are doing some walking across Exmoor National Park.

Thank you, too, for visiting my site. Judyx

Faye said...

iamwhoiam--I believe you know about earning dog tags from personal experience?

celeste--home always comes first. Anxious to travel; delighted to come home.

sarah--you're right about the passport stamps. Like looking over them and remembering all knids of immigration experiences. I was very surprised at how little we actually needed to show passports when traveling through Europe in September.

hootin' anni--memorable for sure!

lane--those dog tags are special because I admired the young drill sergeant(mother of three)so much who awarded them to me. Warning--I'm not finished with European travelogue. . .

mariposa--congrats on 3 year blog anniversary.

tracy--it takes a range of experiences to make a good life. Agree?

pamela--on that particular day in the furniture store, had you been in England you could have traveled a few miles under you own "tail wind"? lol

trailboss--hey, now there's three Kentuckians in this blog community--we need a chapter!

ipost--in the glimpses we've had of your home can see why you don't want to leave it, even for travel adventures.

tea4two--we encountered a father son running up what we called Heartbreak/Rebellion Hill near High Jervaulx Farm--they were just practicing while we died!

m (the misanthrope) said...

Awww...I wish I had a friend like Sally! Great post, thanks for sharing! And happy Thanksgiving!

Janis said...

Your are certainly a well traveled person. Thanks for sharing your great adventures with us. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Karmyn R said...

Well, you definitely EARNED those dog tags!!!

Faye said...

misanthrope--friends like Sally are hard to find, easy to keep.

janis--yes, knees please don't fail now!

karmyn--it helped to have great respect for your drill sergeant. Sergeant R won a national physical fitness competition in D.C. beating out all her male competitors--much to their chagrin. I was just proud to be trained by her.

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

Not having the travel bug myself, I'm always impressed by those that travel like you have done!

Sayre said...

I got my first passport when I was 10, but the one I got for myself was much more thrilling - at age 40!

Oh! That Wayfarer's Walk sounds wonderful. I might have to do that one day.

ChrisB said...

I love reading about travel experiences. You have had some really memorable trips.
I didn't get my first passport until I was about 29, although I did go on a school trip to Switzerland when I was 16. and most of my travelling has taken place in the last 8yrs. I'm getting in as much as I can before I get too old!

Faye said...

AOJ--leaving my dogs when I travel is always a tug. Luckily I've found a kennel that Willie loves. He does a full butt wag when I drop him off and gets a daily "nature" walk. And, all my travel photos include a "dog a day" shot to compensate for missing the dogs when I travel.

sayre--if you should decide to take one of the Wayfarer walks, be wary of how many little walking men icons are beside each walk description. This Coast to Coast had three WM--their most challenging walk. . .

chrisb--I agree with you about the urge to travel before getting too old. That's a great motivation for me as well, because even in the best of circumstances travel is strenuous, mentally and physically.

Have you read the travel writings of Alice Steinbach--Without Reservations, The Travels of an Independent Woman or Educating Alice, Adventures of a Curious Woman? Enjoy her writing because she sees travel as a way of learning something new and is willing to go it alone or with a group.

Swampwitch said...

High Five to you my friend !

What a "journal of highs." Even though I didn't post my own Mon Funday this week, due to my blog being HIGHjacked, many travel memories came to mind when I was thinking about this particular assignment.

Gobble. Gobble. Gobble, Gobble, Gobble. That's turky talk for, have a great Thanksgiving.

Ari_1965 said...

Now I want dog tags, too.

By the way, as of today I've signed up to host Fun Monday on Dec. 1.

The signup is at:


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