Did You Know…?

Allow me a few minutes to ramble, if you will, to explain why I write this blog.

A medical scare for my husband about 5 years ago brought forth a sense of urgency in him to get on with life.  Being the great adventurer that he is, he wanted to buy an RV and start exploring this beautiful country and others.  For Terry, hiking, biking, kayaking, being out in nature, is where he feels most in touch with his higher power.

Enter me, the other half of this couple, the one always driven, the classic workaholic – although I too love nature, exploration, and staying fit.  The whole RV thing took me a while to wrap my head around.  Not only would I be retiring earlier than many (age 54), but living in a 38 foot home-on-wheels with my husband left me wondering…would it bring us closer or push us apart?  I also wanted this to be a time in my life when I slowed way down and got to know me far better.  The big question – could I actually do this?  Terry was worried whether this driven personality of mine could handle early retirement.  Well, the verdict is in.  I love it, love Terry more, and feel blessed to be able to get to know LuAnn better.

Immediately following retirement we headed back to Sedona, where we had a home, to visit one of my closest friends Barb, truly my anam cara (soul friend). It seemed the perfect place to begin this journey, alongside Barb.  You see, she was critically ill for many years and we all knew her days were numbered.  A talented artist and musician, it seemed the more physically ill she became, the more her spirit grew.  The lessons she taught those fortunate enough to know her came at an increasingly rapid pace.  Her passing about 1.5 years ago left a huge hole in my soul,  but memories so rich they will last a lifetime.  She taught me to follow my passions as she did up until her death at age 53 – still creating beautiful works of art on her computer with only her big toe, as she had ultimately lost the use of her arms.

Our first year was spent in Mexico and this blog was initially started as a way to keep family and friends informed of our whereabouts.  We got the sense that many thought we were being chased throughout Mexico by the drug cartels (lol) but, like others who have ventured SOB,  we found a culture rich in family and history.  The interior of Mexico and its colonial cities is breath-taking. Unfortunately,  border town strife and over-the-top media attention has, for the most part, given Mexico a bad rap.

Our year in Mexico ended; we said via con Dios to a beautiful country; and moved on to explore our native homeland, the US.  We have found jaw-dropping beauty along the way and met some wonderful folks that we feel blessed to call friends.  What I never imagined, however, was the impact my blogger friends would have on my life.  The talent I have uncovered by so many of you leaves me speechless and a bit vulnerable, I might add, as I prepare to enter your world.  The message drummed into my head at a very early age of “not good enough” has floated back in a time or two,  but I forcefully push it aside.  So, without further adieu and to finally stop the rambling, I give you my first attempt at baring my soul through poetry.  My blogger friend Penny of the why about this, one of the most inspirational blogs I have come across, gave me the final nudge I needed.  Thank you my friend. 🙂  Here it is, short and not always so sweet (think of Sylvia Plath meets Maya Angelou):

Did you know…? 

Did you know your troubled past

bled into our lives too?

Little fingers clutching a mother,

tear-stained faces telling the tale.

A mother’s grief reflected in our eyes.


Did you know the shame I claimed for my own,

the price a child pays for that trauma?

Was this your shame as well,

a cycle repeated? 


Did you know I stood at the precipice,

staring into the abyss,

willing the alluring darkness to take me,

pulling back from the edge at the last? 


Did you know when I learned of your passing

I felt only emptiness,

the darkness calling to me once more?

A repeat performance for my eyes only.

Did you know you took my childhood

but I refused to give you more?

I shouted to the heavens,

“I choose happiness, compassion, love,

the wonder in each day…


We did not speak of the pain,

the loss,

the scars that seemed to never heal.

Nevertheless, I forgave you.


Did you know?

© LuAnn Oburn 2012

Hello Retirement!

This is my first official blog since stepping across the threshold of retirement.  This word, for me at times, has evoked some less than positive thoughts, so I decided to review its definition as provided by good old Webster’s.  His definition of retirement is as follows:  “withdrawal into privacy or seclusion”, with the lovely synonyms of “desolation”, “quarantine”, “separation”, and “solitude” thrown into the mix.  Who wouldn’t want to sign up for that?  Well, if you are not yet totally depressed, let me tell you that, although I enter this new phase of my life with a little trepidation, I do not intend to embrace Webster’s depiction of retirement, but choose instead to open my mind to discovering what is possible, both through the eyes of nature and exploring the inner dimension.

I am enjoying my first few weeks of “seclusion” in Sedona, Arizona, where my husband Terry and I resided before we ventured into the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park and all of its wonders.  Since Terry and I will be doing some traveling and will spend a good portion of our time south of the border for the forseeable future, I could not leave before feeding my soul by visiting my friend Barbara for a few weeks.

I met Barb approximately 5 years ago at a company picnic where I spotted her across the lawn and our lives have remained entwined ever since.  Barb is a gifted artist and musician whose life took a sharp turn when she was exposed to heavy metals in her studio back east.  She is now confined to a wheelchair, and although she is entrapped in her physical body in many ways, her mind and soul still soar with the eagles!  She is so in tune with nature (delighting in her plants and the birds in her garden) and expresses herself beautifully in her artwork and her writing, all perfected on the computer with the use of her big toe!

One of the simple joys for me when I am with Barb is our bedside chats, which actually is me crawling in bed with her to say good morning and sharing personal thoughts and reflections.  At these times I feel we are standing before each other, stripped down, being true to ourselves, no pretenses, no judgments.  Barb has a way of cutting through all that is irrelevant.  Does she realize what lessons she is teaching to those of us who are blessed to know her in this way?  I think not.

Barbara is my anam cara (soul friend), the one who reminds me not to be afraid to show the world the real me, the person who I am and the one I want to be.  It is fitting that I should begin my retirement in a place of beauty like Sedona, alongside the beautiful spirit who is Barb.  It is fitting that my initial blog honor Barb, the one who sees me as I am, loves me as I am, just as I love her.

Please enjoy the photos of Barb’s garden and those of Sedona and, for those who are venturing into retirement, already there, or on the path to getting to know and honoring their true self, “take your candle and go light your world”.  ~Kathy Troccoli~

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