I followed a beer truck today. I found myself right behind it as I traveled to Winterport to Rachel's house. It had the word "Heineken" painted in large letters across the back, and I, though a nondrinker, know enough of cultural things to recognize that this is a brand of beer.
Beer was my enemy for many years, because Ed is a recovering alcoholic. I say recovering, because that's what they tell us to say, but as he hasn't had a drink since 1984, I would say he has recovered. At any rate, I did some reminiscing as I drove a few miles behind this beer truck. I thought about life's many surprises, the unexpected twists and turns, things that make our lives turn out in the oddest, wildest, most incredible ways. One minute I marry an active alcoholic college dropout, and before I know it, I'm sleeping with a sober United Methodist pastor with a Master's degree. Go figure.
The move from Tennessee to Maine still has the power to shock me. One day I'm a pastor's wife, moving around from parish to parish, and before I know it, I live in Maine - Maine! - in a 3-story Victorian house and I become a medical transcriptionist. Whoa - when did that happen?
For that matter, I still can't believe I'm the mother of 2 kids! I can't believe I'm 52!
Oh, the things I have learned - things I never would have planned, but now I can't imagine life without them. At one point in my life, I learned to quilt. At another point, I learned to play the Celtic harp. This year I even went sea kayaking! All of these changes have affected my life in a substantial way. Some I faced with fear, some with excitement, some just with a sense of wonder.
The popularity of horoscopes and fortune-telling is evidence that some people have an innate desire to know their futures. Not me. I certainly wouldn't want to look forward to the bad things, and I wouldn't want to miss the joyous surprise of the good things.
And I'm still traveling. Not behind the beer truck anymore, but on the move nonetheless. Tonight is the last night we spend in our house, then we continue our journey in another location. Life is just full of surprises - and through gentle tears, I am smiling.