I’m Finally Doing it!

  • If your Grandpa becomes your step-dad, do you then call him dad or Grandpa?
  • If the gun shots are coming from the right, do I run left or shelter in place?
  • Will they come after me if I leave for the airport despite their threats of what they will do if I leave?

This is a snapshot of some of the life questions I have found myself considering during my four plus decades. Each of those questions presented as real life situations I found myself in.

It was that time my mom married my grandpa, that time I survived a mall shooting in Seattle, or that time I was planning an escape from a Scientology base when I was in the cult. These examples barely scratch the surface for what I've come to realize is an unusual life. I'm fascinated by the life experiences of other people and for some reason assumed most were as crazy as mine. Some are, but not everyone shares that time I became a teenage bride to avoid living in a dorm, or that time five generations of my family were in a house on the Big Island of Hawaii thinking a missile from North Korea was headed for us, because the government was telling us it was over the emergency alert system. For thirty-eight grueling minutes we thought we were going to die.

For years people have been telling me I should write a book.  I've always wanted to write a book. I've been a published columnist for over a decade. Well, I'm finally doing it! I'm going to write the dang book. This is something I've attempted in the past but never really got rolling on. My day to day life and work keep me fairly busy. I haven't carved out the time and made this a priority. I also lacked needed mentorship for the project. A book is nothing like the columns I write. Also if I'm being honest, some of these experiences are painful to revisit. As a writer I process much of what I experience by writing about it. My columns and blog post are part of my healing.

During the road trip Tony and I took to connect with the joy of wandering, while also raising awareness and support for the Twin Cities Lyme Foundation, we connected with friends of ours who run P2 Parallel Consulting. Pat and Pam Johns do Executive Coaching, Keynote Speaking, and Accountability Coaching to name just a few of their services. They also operate P2 Rendevous Retreat and Campground in Cannon Falls Minnesota. We spent the last two days of our trip with them in our wonderful Sprinter Van from RVThereYet.com RV Rental.

My writer's retreat! Meet Candy the Camper

While there I found the perfect spot to write my book. An adorable camper they call "Candy the Camper". It has A/C, a bed, table, fridge and even a stove. A wonderful space for me to hunker down and focus in. It's also only an hour from my home.  When I'm home, there is too much going on for me to have the focus needed to crank out a book. Trying to do it at home hasn't worked so far. If I want a different result, I need to do something different. Our short time at P2 was incredibly relaxing. The photos of their retreat and campground on Hip Camp do not do it justice.

They have tent campsites, a Teepee and a Safari Tent that people can rent and stay in. They are on the highest point in Goodhue County. You truly feel like you are up in the mountains because of their 60 acres of forest and being up higher. Amazingly there are hardly any bugs because of the cedar trees that surround them. A big plus for me!

Pat Johns has agreed to be my accountability coach and help me through the process of writing the book. We have already laid out a simple plan to get started. This will really help me get it done! As it is with most everything I do as a chronic over-sharer, I want to share the process with you. Be sure to follow my Adventures In Living Aloha page on Facebook.

One of the acres of trails at P2 Rendevous Retreat and Campground

P2 Rendevous Retreat and Campground has acres of manicured trails for walks and hikes when I need some space. There are three different labyrinths. The location and environment inspires creativity. There will be times when Tony will come with me and times when I go on my own, which will be a first for me. I also hope to bring a few friends with me to experience the place while I'm there.

Learning from my experiences is what (I think) has gotten me through and beyond most of them. As a perpetual optimist, I've been able to find the good in almost anything and turn lemons into lemonade. Even my years growing up in Scientology, which is still something I'm recovering from.

I've come to learn that we ALL have our "cult". For me it was Scientology. For others it could be an addiction, controlling or abusive relationship, dysfunctional family that you can't shake etc. There is much to learn from theses experiences and a lot we can learn from each other, especially when it comes to not being defined by them.

Same goes for the oddly long list of other "That time" experiences I'll be sharing. In fact my working title is "That Time".

So, I'm finally doing it! What is something you have wanted to do?

Live Aloha,






Ultimately I'm a writer who works out her issues through shamelessly sharing them. My partner Tony and I strive to "Live Aloha", but often miss the mark. I overshare about our travels, life and blended family.

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