Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Memories—Déjà vu in Reverse


(Jerusalem 1978)

When I was young I got to travel a lot. By the time I was eighteen I had seen much of the western United States and part of the Midwest, gone across the border into Mexico, visited the East Coast, traveled to Israel, and attended school in Hawaii. I loved seeing and experiencing the new places and assumed life would be full of travel. Ahem. First came love, then came marriage, then came years and years and years of Calvin and me pushing the baby carriage—around our own little neck of the woods and not much further. However, that early travel has been a blessing and come back to visit me again and again.

The bicentennial tour I took when I was fourteen included New York. Mr. Kuykendal, our teacher and chaperone, broke off from the main group one afternoon and chartered a bus for the few students from our high school. He said, “I think it’s important you see West Point . . . and Sleepy Hollow.” So we did.

A few years later Grandpa and Grandma Hoops invited me to go to Israel with them. I hung a map of the Middle Eastern region on the wall of my bedroom and studied The Old Testament for six months preparing for our trip.

Two years later I attended my first semester of college in Hawaii. I can still smell it.

Nine months later while touring the Midwest on an animal science field trip, Dr. Orme, our teacher and advisor, insisted we stop and tour the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

I never would have guessed then that what I was seeing would be a part of my life later through the experiences of our children. Thank you Mr. Kuykendal, Grandpa and Grandma, Dr. Orme, and Hawaii.

Abe wrote the other day about their traveling: “It was almost an hour long drive. I had a good nap. We also got to see a little bit more of the country. It is still really flat, with almost no vegetation. We saw a herd of camels with a camel herder. It was pretty cool to see them. There were a bunch of them...big, small, medium, babies...everything.”

I can picture his description perfectly. Thank you reverse Déjà vu.


By the way, camels are not only patient, good-natured, and smart, they’re also wise:

Camels do not pant, nor do they sweat much—that would waste valuable water you see. Instead, they have the ability to raise their body temperature to keep them from sweating. No other mammal can do this.

You know how we humans huddle to stay warm? Camels huddle to stay cool because their body heat is often lower than the air heat.

Camels have a double set of eyelids, of sorts: a thin, clear, inner one that keeps out the sand but lets in the light, and a regular one. They also have two rows of extra-long eyelashes to help keep out the sand.

So let that be a lesson to us: Don’t sweat it, stick together, and longer lashes ARE better.


michelle said...

This is awesome! I love the idea of reverse déjà vu. And the wisdom of looking back over the years and making connections.

That camel is cute!

Barb said...

That is so interesting that you have previewed parts of the world that would be important parts of your children's lives.

Ande Payne said...

Good post, Mamma. I'm glad you traveled and inspired us...and helped us get there of course.

deidra said...

It's funny how life takes us where we need to be. Though I don't feel any importance significance of my travels yet, I love to think, "I've been there and I've seen that!"

Cali said...


I think you still look like that teenager on the camel. I'm trying to decide if this means 1) you are a young looking forty something year old; 2) you are a mature looking teenager; or 3) in my mind's eyes you still look the same as the mom that raised me. I find all three options sweet to think about.

I love you, and when I see old pictures of you, it makes me cry just a little bit... just because I love you soooooo much. Thank you for being so good at creating and raising a family.


Rachel said...

Interesting story, very thought provoking. I wonder if any of my travels will have anything to do with my children. I should probably travel more to increase the odds, right?

I recently learned that camels cannot survive in the Sahara Desert alone. They can smell the water in wells but they have to have a human help them access the water. Interesting.

Alisa said...

I too love the idea of the reverse. I wonder what else you will see from your past?!

Marie said...

So neat that you have been the places your children have ended up. It must help them feel close when they are far away.

melanie said...

I love this post Jane. I also love the thought of those experiences preparing you for motherhood and life down the road.

I hope my kids aren't disappointed when my reverse déjà vu is set all around Grant County!