“If she hadn’t started running with a traveling man…”

If she hadn’t started running with a traveling man, then she never would have slept in a tent like this…2016-03-26 22.43.05

..but with a good partner, everything is an adventure.

The Oak Ridge Boys were playing a show at Grand Casino Mille Lacs on  Saturday March 26th, 2016, and Mille Lacs Kathio State Park was less than five miles away. Was it fate? Was it meant to be?

Despite a little snow in the forecast, and the fact that Minnesota State Park camp sites don’t open until April, we headed north out of Minneapolis. The friendly people at the ranger station gave us free range to the camp sites. No water, no problem! We picked the best spot (they were all available), put up our tent, headed out for an 8 mile hike, returned and made our transformation into jeans and cowboy boots, heated up some food on our camp stove, had a drink, and were ready to roll.

The Oak Ridge Boys have been serenading country music loving folk for decades. I was a little worried they’d be so old that I wouldn’t recognize them or the music (e.g. Bob Dylan, Midway Stadium, 2013). Fortunately they rocked it, and left me with lovely, lasting memories. They played for less than two hours, and the lyrics came out a wee bit slower than on the records my dad used to play for us. As I clapped, hooted and hollered for every classic they sang, my Canadian husband smiled and slapped his knee right next to me. My baby may not be American Made, but he’s one hell of a keeper. I’m glad I asked that man to ma-ma-ma-marry me (Closing Song: Bobbie Sue)!

It was another memorable evening in this wonderful life. “It’s just an ordinary story about the way things go, round and a round nobody knows, but that old highway rolls on forever…(The Oak Ridge Boys, Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight”)

PS: If you are unfamiliar with the band recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of fame, The Oak Ridge Boys, you’re a little lost right now. Click the underlined hyperlinks to fill your life and ears with the joy of their music.

Consume less, travel more

At the end of 2014 I read an article about a woman who decided to shop only at consignment stores for a year. She gave herself a $50/month budget. The article fascinated me, and it sounded like a challenge I wanted to try. Did I really need to make a detour through the clothing section every time I went to Target to pick up supplies? Why did Marshalls always seem to be “on my way” ? Did I even realize how much I was spending on these somewhat unconscious purchases? I shared the idea with Will, and we decided to try it.

We completed the one-year challenge. We took it quite seriously. We spent a combined total of $210 on clothes, shoes and accessories in 2015. Of that, I made up $186 of the spending, primarily at Turn Style Consignment Stores throughout the city. I was amazed at the amount of quality finds I made (Coach Purse, Cole Haan Shoes, Lululemon hoodie, and much more). Will spent a total of $24, and that was our only cheat purchase. We were basking in the sun on Catalina Island in July and he was flip-flop-less. I encouraged him to buy new flip flops. He immediately got blisters. I think it was bad karma for breaking our rules!

So what did we learn? That we don’t need all the shit that we thought we did! That by cleaning out all the corners or our home and being more creative with what we already have, we didn’t feel the need for new things. It really made us aware of where we were spending our money, and stressed the importance of buying quality products that will last. It was also a great way to reiterate how awesome people can be. As we’d talk to friends, co-workers, clients, neighbors, etc about things we were looking for, sometimes they’d magically appear. You never know who has what you are looking for, and either they’ll lend it to you or have been looking for a reason to get rid of it.

This challenge was such a great experience for us, we’re going to keep it going. We’ll give ourselves the month of January to stock up on white t-shirts, socks, undies, etc…basically the things we actually felt a need for after a year. Then February 1st we’re diving right back in. As we’ve ventured back into stores this month we’ve realized we’re a bit disgusted at the amount of “stuff” that is there for consumption. I don’t mind seeing that change in us. We’re far more excited about our upcoming trip to Israel than any material crap.

Will is suggesting we take it a step further and limit wine, whiskey and beer in 2016. We’re going to take the 29 days of February off of booze. Beyond that, I am not sure. I can only handle so much.

2015-08-23 11.30.44
awesome chairs – found on the side of the road in Alexandria

Back in the saddle

After a fractured radius pulled me away from the bike trails for a few months, it’s great to be back in the saddle and back on the trails. I missed three months of sweet biking, so Will and I decided to get fat tire bikes to bike through the winter.

It’s our first go at winter biking. The unusually mild MN temperatures have made it easy for us to get out the door and on the trails. We’ve biked the trails by Minnehaha Falls, toured around Minnehaha Creek, Lake Nokomis and the Longfellow neighborhood. Last weekend we explored the Fort Snelling area, and Afton State Park. While I know I need to work to get back into shape, it didn’t make it any better that I was locked in my big chain ring trying to power up hills at Afton. My bike mechanic / husband got the bike squared away, but two hours pedalling up and down hills in slushy snow made me ready for a glass of wine.

The bikes we purchased are Norco Bigfoot 6.3. They are an entry level fat bike, and on the heavy side at 30-35 pounds each, but a great pick for our first winter biking adventures.

And the perfect place to stop for a bite and beverage after a grueling bike workout is Lolo in Stillwater. We arrived just in time for Social Hour!

It begins…

Where does adventure start? Does it begin on a trip far away, or is it part of who you are? Does it happen to you, or do you create it? And what is the appeal of adventure? To Terrance Wilby & Beth Collins McComb, all of life is an adventure if you choose to make it that way. And the only way to live life and love life is to choose adventure. You don’t need to travel the world to find adventure, it’s all around you. It’s hiking at night through your neighborhood to see things in a different light. It’s driving an hour away from home to explore a park you’ve never been to. Of course, adventure lies in leaving your home and traveling far away. Making that happen as much as possible is our number one goal in life.

One way to get the most out of life it to look upon it as an adventure.         

                                                       William Feather

 

So my fellow adventurers, get outside and go for a walk. Find the beauty around you, even in the dead of winter. And keep creating your own adventures. We hope you’ll follow us, WilbyCollins, along on the adventures to come!

adventure

 

all the little things that add up to something big

September 27, 2015
September 27, 2015, Photo credit Will McComb

Sometimes several beautiful things come together to create something truly spectacular. Take, for instance, the Super Harvest Full Blood Moon Eclipse that took place back on Sunday night September 27th. Any of those moon phases on their own would invite gazing, so all of them together were pretty incredible, and potentially once in a lifetime experiences.

This uniqueness is kind of like a solid relationship. It’s pretty awesome when the craziness of our own personalities match up with another human being. It almost feels creepy to find that some deep down quirky traits that make us who we are match up with someone else who came from a totally different background. But it happens, and it’s wonderful. Those relationships are also once in a lifetime. It’s all the little things that add up to something big. And it takes something like a Super Harvest Full Blood Moon Eclipse to make me think about that and appreciate those people in my life who are crazy enough to be like me.

Stop to smell the roses

Sometimes something as mundane as the commute to work can just take my breath away. This was what I got to look at as I walked to the cabinet shop on Tuesday morning.

some days the walk to work kind of takes your breath away

It’s amazing to me. Now that the stress of of trying to sell a 41 year old family business that my late father started is gone, I have been stopping to smell the roses a lot more often. Literally. Last Wednesday I took an afternoon break to run around Lake Harriet. As the rose gardens came into view my first thought was, “I need to get back to work.” After a few more paces, I decided that stopping to smell the roses on a gorgeous October day would be much more important than getting back to work. And it was totally worth it.

hydrangeas in the rose garden
hydrangeas in the rose garden