Saturday, November 03, 2007

Adventurous? Really?

When we lived near Portland we used to go to the Audubon center a lot. You know, John James Audubon, the bird artist. The center there is in the middle of Forest Park, and it's just a great place to visit. Lots of stuffed birds to look at. I know some find that gruesome, but I think it's great to see those birds up close. We also enjoyed visiting the birds in the rehabilitation center.

So when we moved it seemed perfectly natural to seek out an Audubon center here. Well, we hit the jackpot - Audubon's first home, Mill Grove, is just a beautiful 40-minute country drive away.

Last week we decided to go, and put out a message on our homeschool group's website for some companions.

Well, we got a great response, and 3 other families joined us. Many more had interest but not the time. We're going to try to set up a "real" field trip/class there soon. It was very similar to the center in Portland - the rehab center, the stuffed birds, the hiking trails. This center had a lot of prints that I'd love to spend more time studying. My kids and I will have to go again, alone, without the distraction of friends.

The funny part was the reaction of people. They were amazed that I was going out and about so much after being here only a few months. I got that reaction, too, at the first "park day" we went to, less than one week after arriving in town. (We had joined the group before moving. I do thank God for yahoo groups and other ways to connect with people long distance. Truly. It is a real blessing to be able to scope out an area and acquire some acquaintances immediately upon arriving in a new town.)

Anyway, I don't think that's very adventurous. I think that's just, I don't know, normal. We moved, we need and want to get to know the area and get to know some people, so we get around. We'll be attracted to some places that the "natives" or other long-time residents won't think of. There are places near Portland that we never got around to visiting. But I figure we're not going to get to know the area or find any friends if we stay home all the time and are hesitant to try to find our way to new places. But, it seems that most people don't think that way.

I'll tell you about someone adventurous. A few years ago when I was planning a women's weekend retreat with my small church, we got a call from someone new in town. She'd never been to our church but wanted to come to the retreat. Wow, that really put us in a tizzy. Why would she want to spend the weekend with a bunch of strangers? But she came, and we loved her, and she and her husband started attending our church immediately. Their church-shopping days were over right then.

So I don't think going on a day trip to an unknown place in a town 40 miles away is so very adventurous.

And I wouldn't say that people who don't like to do that are wrong. Some people are more comfortable at home. Some people can't get around easily. I don't think what we do is "the right way" but I also don't think it's remarkable.

How adventurous are you?

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