Dreams Can Come True… Before They Disappear
How I went from constantly traveling the world to traveling locally with help and a medical scooter
“There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain”
— In My Life by The Beatles
I’ve always loved that song. It was playing on the radio when I was in my car last weekend, driving through a park I hadn’t been to in years. It just seemed so fitting and brought me back to the first time I was there.
I moved to the Midwest in 2008. It had previously been 30 years since I was living on my own.
My grown daughter decided to remain in New York and I was ready for a new place with a lower cost of living. I was also starting a new career, though it didn’t quite turn out the way I planned.
The fall of 2008 was a tumultuous time for the country financially and I was certainly impacted. The New York house with the six-figure equity wouldn’t even sell, and the jobs I was looking at in Illinois were suddenly on hold.
I obtained my substitute teaching license and did some freelance writing while applying for full-time work. I even considered going back to school for my master’s degree. I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do.
Facing My Options in the Park
It was a beautiful spring day in 2009 when I decided to go for a long walk. I asked some friends in my new Champaign home and everyone suggested Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, about 20 minutes away.
The park is beautifully landscaped with lakes and gardens. I enjoyed the scenery as I walked and thought about my new life. I realized that I didn’t have any need to do anything different, as my current situation was the perfect path. The freelance writing was doing fine and I could fill in with teaching.
I had traveled all my life and continued to as I was writing about tennis for many years. I managed to get hooked up with USA Today and, while I wasn’t getting paid…