My Grand (to me) Adventure

This grand adventure of mine actually started on a sad note at my Great Aunt Geneva’s funeral. While I only got to see her once a year, she was a rad lady and always so nice. A few years ago we found out she had a brain tumor. She went through countless surgeries, radiation, and chemo but always kept her spirit. Every year the ladies in my family get together for a long weekend vacation, humorously called “Wild Women’s Weekend”. Even though she was weak from chemo, she came to visit during our weekend. She is probably one of the strongest women I have met. She died peacefully in the company of all her children as my uncle played Amazing Grace on his acoustic guitar. If you ask me, there couldn’t have been a more beautiful way to go.

Monday night my dad and I drove out to Indiana to meet my mom for the funeral which would be the next day. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. The rain from the previous night cleared up and the sun was shining as we gathered around the grave site. Aunt G’s service was wonderful, but one part in particular made me really stop and think. It was a poem that the minister read called “The Dash”. Have you heard it? You should look it up, it’s written by Linda Ellis. I won’t write out the whole thing, but one part actually brought a few tears to my eyes and I rarely show emotion. Even at a funeral.

“I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone,

from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

and spoke of the following date with tears,

but he said what mattered most of all

was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

that she spent alive on earth.

And now only those who loved her

know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

the cars…the house…the cash.

What matters is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.”

I stood there thinking about those lines and how I wanted to spend my “dash”. It made me want to run off and start doing everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Europe? I need to go.  Skydiving? Where’s the plane? Save the world? I better start now. It’s crazy how a few lines in a poem can completely change your outlook on life. I wanted to start doing things NOW. I figured I should probably start small, but what can a girl do in the boonies of Indiana? And that’s when my grand adventure started...

Now I apologize if you get through this and think, “THAT was an adventure???”, but since my dad and I drove separately than my mom to the funeral, we had two cars that needed to get back to Dayton. It’s never really a question where I will sit when it comes to driving... the passenger’s seat. I’ve never driven by myself for more than the 45 minutes it took to drive from my parent’s house to my college house. The funeral was 3.5 hours away from Dayton. Never in my life would I think “Heck yes, I’ll drive by myself!” But that day... I did. So I hopped into the car by myself and set off on the open road(ish).

Side story... Mike is obsessed with this spicy mustard that is sold in Indianapolis at a place called Scotty’s Brewhouse. You can buy it online but we never got around to doing it. Turns out, there’s a Scotty’s in Bloomington, Indiana so I decided to turn this drive home into a full blown roadtrip. I hooked Siri up and off we went to Bloomington.

I’m sure I sounded like a crazypants talking to the waitress about how I was driving home from a funeral and needed to stock up on their Mofo Sauce. I’m sure I looked even weirder walking down the street to my car with 6 bottles of it in my arms. But who cars, I’ll never see those people again in my life.

Next up, I wanted some fireworks. I had my eye set on this giant fire engine red store we passed on the way up that had a huge “FIREWORKS” sign on the front. Long story short, AMAZEBALLS. I don’t think I’ve been in a fireworks store before. Or at least I don’t remember. Why do I live such a sheltered life, you ask? Well, my friends, fireworks are sadly illegal in Ohio. I will leave out of this story where I plan to shoot these off. It’s totally not going to be in Ohio.

My final stop for the day (driving is tiring!) was at this amazing place called Warm Glow Candle Company. My lovely friend, Valerie, got me hooked on it. They hand-make all their candles and they smell AMAZING. It was so hard not to buy every single scent they had. Luckily, I chose not to give a migraine to any guest that enters our apartment. I settled on one called “Tranquility” and man, did I feel pretty tranquil smelling it.

Overall, driving alone isn’t so bad. It was quite the adventure for me. I came home to a happy pup who gave me lots and lots of puppy kisses, which, if you ask me, is a perfect end to any day. So here’s to my Aunt Geneva, for kick starting my “dash”. Rest in peace, Wild Woman!


  1. Very inspiring story and I really like that poem! So sorry to hear about your loss.

  2. I loved this.
    My grandmas funeral was earlier this year. She was her own type of Wild Woman.

    I hope that one day soon I can go off on my own adventures and bring more life to my dash!


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