Take Him on a Date

If you know me at all, then you know that my brother and I grew up completely inseparable.  We were practically conjoined at the hip.  So when I grew up, and began to explore the world of dating; it was weird for him to have this other man take so much of my time and attention.  When I got engaged things began to get worse.  So by the time I called off the engagement; my brother wasn’t there for me.  I had distanced myself in my pursuit of another relationship, and he had begun to move on.  And then it felt as though he replaced me when he got engaged himself.  What happened?  Was it my fault that our tight bond seemed to have been broken?

And that’s when I realized; it was time to take him on a date.

Reason 1: Sharing

Sometimes you just need to reconnect.  As you grow up, you start missing out on pieces of each other’s lives.  It can be as simple as listening to how their week is going, to finding out the details of their wedding planning.  It also gives you a chance to share your own stories, struggles and where life is taking you.  Having a close brother means you always have someone to tell your secrets to or the things you can’t tell mom and dad.  So do that again!  Share with each other!

Reason 2: Listening

The most important piece of this is an opportunity to truly hear about what is going in their life.  Like dating, you are listening to what the other person has to say.  If you listen then you get to know them again.  You can find out how you can support and love them in the best way possible.  Don’t dominate the conversation about everything that is going on with you.  Self-centeredness may be what drove you apart.  So make sure you purposefully listen.

Reason 3: Fun

With the stresses of life you forget what it is like to be a kid again.  Sometimes each of you just need to get away from the reality of life and play and have some fun.  I just took him out to a theme park where we were able to talk and just be brother and sister again.  It was just the two of us, like we had been together for years and years before either of us became “adults.”

So, the next time you get a chance; take him on a date.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  It can be just grabbing a cup of coffee and dedicating time to catching up on all the excitement that has been happening.  That way you can get reconnected, and experience life together again.

Dear Keys on My Front Seat

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To my dearest keys,

I don’t think I’ve told you enough how important you have been to me on this particular vacation adventure. You have helped me open packages, lock my doors and turn on my car. You have given me the ability to listen to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack on repeat throughout this three day drive. You conveniently clip to my hip so that we are never parted. Until this day…

We made it to our destination in Minnesota with no problem. We drove deep into the night, stopping only at around 4am because exhaustion finally consumed us. We arrived to the church in one piece! And then, I abandoned you. I had gotten out of TAZ (my car) to go into the church when I realized that TAZ would heat up from the afternoon sun. So I climbed back inside and put up my heat shield visor. I carefully avoided knocking over the dinosaurs on my dash, and then got out of the car. I shut the door and realized that you were missing from my belt loop. I glanced in the window and saw you on my front seat. How could I be so reckless in my actions?! So I pulled on the handle. Nothing happened. I pulled again. And then I proceeded to try to pull every handle on every door.  Nothing. I had made it this far, only to lock my keys in the car.

So, I called AAA and sheepishly admitted to locking my precious keys in the front seat of the car. Within the hour, assistance arrived. He pried the door open just enough to put in a piece of wire to try to unlock the doors. But the sun was glaring in the window and the locking mechanisms weren’t cooperating. So he decided to go fishing for you, my keys, laying so innocently on my seat. He hooked you and brought you up to the tiny opening in the door. But the carabiner was too thick to get through! So, he got a smaller piece of wire, like a coat hanger with a tiny  hook on the end. And carefully he was able to free the car key enough so that I could unlock my doors.

Being reunited with you was such an amazing feeling. I promised you I would never let you leave my side again. Because, I never want again to have to write a letter to the keys on my front seat again.

Sincerely,

An Apologetic Traveler

Dear Dinos on my Dash

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Dear dinos on my dash,

Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for reminding me of my friends. Thank you for keeping watch over my car when I’m not there. Thank you for introducing me to new people. Like that one time on the drive from Boston to Virginia…

I had pulled over at a rest area, hungry for some munchies and desperately needing to charge my phone in a real outlet. My car charger was fried and instead of using a map and listening to a CD, I had been running GPS and Pandora and was quickly sucking the life out of my little phone. I believe by this point, I had only made it to about New Jersey. It was going to be a long ride. On my way into the rest area, I had a guy tell me there was a major accident on the road ahead and I should take my time at the rest stop. I looked at the road and saw cars flying by, so I ignored his advice.

I found an outlet, in a window, and awkwardly sat there watching people as my phone trickle-charged. Every once in a while I would pretend to check my email or Facebook, just to look a little more normal. Eventually I was satisfied that I had enough power to make it to the next rest stop down the road. I bought a sandwich and headed back to my car.

Now there you were, my dearest dinos, watching me wolf down a roast beef sandwich when a strange man walked past our windshield. He motioned and waved and mouthed, “I love your dinosaurs.” This, of course, was a typical reaction. You and I were used to that. I smiled and waved, and he walked by. But then he came back and walked up to my passenger window, indicating that I should roll it down. I cracked it just enough so that I could hear what he was trying to say.

“Would you like to make some money?” he asked. Now I know what you’re thinking, I should’ve turned on my car and driven off as quick as I could. But if I had done so then, that would mean that now my story would be over. He continued, “I’d like to take a nap in my car, and I would feel better if I knew someone was keeping an eye on my car while I was sleeping. The traffic is terrible, and it’s not like you’re going to get anywhere right now. It’ll only be for like 45 minutes or so. You never have to get out of your car. I’ll pay you $300.” I looked at the traffic, which was now completely stopped. The man had a point. I really wasn’t going anywhere. I looked at you, my dashboard friends, and thought, “It couldn’t hurt.”

So I backed up my car into the space next to his, keeping my doors locked and windows only cracked. I started texting my mom with the little battery power I had, just in case something were to happen to me. I also made each of you, dashboard dinos, promise to grow full size the moment things started to look like things were going downhill. This man was no match for our little dino army. He got into his car, put up some towels over his windows and I waited. The time went by so quickly and less than 30 minutes later he came out and handed me $300. He thanked me for taking the time out of my travels to help him feel safe. It turns out he was an engineer and of course, my physics side immediately started geeking out and we had a wonderful conversation. He gave me his card, told me to call if I wanted to bring him in to do a special presentation to my class and we parted ways.

So my dearest dinos, what did I learn from this encounter you ask? The world isn’t completely full of people with bad intentions. Sometimes someone else just needs you to look out for them too. Be safe, make wise choices, and you never know who you’ll meet when you keep dinos on your dashboard.