Ode to the Road
The Road Trips of Our Lives
Recently, in the early morning dawn, I dreamed I was a child
again, helping my parents to pack up our white Rambler for our
annual summer vacation. When I awoke, I had a yen to pack up my
car and take off. This feeling is not unfamiliar to me. It reoccurs
every summer and seems to be imbedded in my subconscious by wonderful,
childhood vacation memories.
I encourage you to take a sentimental journey by reminiscing
on your own childhood family vacations, and then on trips taken
later on in your life. Although you might not remember what you
did last week, vacation memories—even those from long ago,
are often surprisingly vivid. Road trips reflect how we viewed
life at various ages and stages of our life. Take time out to
remember the excitement you felt as a child, a young adult and
perhaps as a parent—as you left your every day routine behind
to explore and share exciting new places with your family.
That’s me, relaxing in a mountain stream. When I was a child,
our family vacations were spent in the beautiful outdoors. I loved
being near the water…and still do. Reminisce on the places and
activities that kept you happily occupied on your childhood vacations.
These memories hold the key to places and interests that are just
waiting to be rediscovered.
The most wonderful thing about our childhood vacations is spending
time together with our parents, brothers, and sisters. At no other
time is a family more of a cohesive unit than when traveling together—especially
on a road trip.
When I was a child, our family vacations were spent in the beautiful
outdoors. I loved being near the water and fondly recall lakeside
vacations that were spent water skiing, swimming, and boating.
Reminisce on the places and activities that kept you happily occupied
on your childhood vacations. These memories hold the key to places
and interests that are just waiting to be rediscovered.
The Teen and Young Adult Years
Life is exhilarating and we’re likely to impetuously seize
opportunities to independently travel with our friends, rather
than our parents. Problematic scenarios such as running out of
money or having car trouble are the furthest things from our mind.
Looking back at my own naivety and lack of sensibility reminds
me why I question the judgment of my teenage daughter. Mark Twain’s
quote could certainly have been written by me, “Providence
protects fools and idiots. I know because I have tested it.”
The Parenting Years
Anticipating problems becomes very important to us when we’re
parents and the well-being of our precious cargo is foremost on
our minds. Parents have the responsibility of planning, packing,
and paying for their family’s trip as well as making sure
that it’s fun and safe. Vacations can be quite arduous,
especially when our kids are young. And yet—the memories
of those family vacations will warm your heart and make you smile
for years and years to come. And one day your kids will remember
their wonderful family vacations and pass the legacy on to their
The Kids are Grown
My most recent road trips demarcate a new phase in my life. With
all three of my children over the age of 18, I’ve returned
to the days when I can take spur of the moment road trips. They
are as exhilarating today as they were when I was young, but now
I have the common sense that I lacked as a teenager. For the first
time in decades, I’ve taken childfree trips with my husband
and several of my friends. I’ve also taken several long
distance road trips by myself. If you need to clear your mind
or get your creative juices flowing, I highly recommend that you
take a road trip on your own. The task of driving occupies enough
of the left-brain to free your right-brained creativity. Solo
road trips can be a spiritual journey, helping us to learn to
listen to ourselves. We can stop whenever we like, wherever we
like, for as long as we like. And it gives us the opportunity
to reminisce on the road trips of our lives.
Note: This article does not address very real concerns about
gas prices, the environment, and a war that is intimately related
to petroleum. Click here to read
Things Drivers Can Do About Our Dependency
Update on my two new radio shows:
I thought my online radio shows were ready to roll but in my excitement,
a number of technical issues that are necessary components of syndication
were overlooked—causing my show to be delayed. If RSS feeds, aggregators,
and pinging sound like Greek to you, then you’ll understand how
I’ve been feeling. Luckily, I’ve found some wonderful people
whose left brains are functioning at an optimal level and they are helping
me find my way through the maze. And very soon, my shows will be hitting
the airwaves. If you signed up to receive either of my new radio shows
via email, I apologize for the delay. I hope you’ll find that
it was worth the wait!
I’ve got a lot going on between my parenting book, my audio relaxation
series for kids and now my new radio shows. To help you understand the
difference between my two radio shows, here’s the run down.
Out for Dreamers
Children's Stories and Visualizations for Bedtime or Quiet
My parenting book, The Floppy Sleep Game Book includes story
visualizations about a magical place called Dream Land. Many of you
have written to me asking for more story/visualizations for your children.
In response, I’ve created the Time Out for Dreamers audio
series. Each week, I will be recording a new visualization that you
can download and play for your children. (The text will also be included
for those of you who prefer to read it to your kids.)
Sign up to receive Time Out for Dreamers, children’s weekly audio
recordings, via email.
Time Out With
Inspirational Stories and Insights that Lead to Inner Peace
When we listen, we breathe in one another’s words. On the Time
Out With Patti Teel online radio show, guests will share their personal
stories of triumph. By revisiting the past, these courageous guests
may help you to transform your present. Every show will include spiritual
insights that will lead us towards inner peace, even when we’re
facing difficult times.
Click here to subscribe
via email for the Time Out with Patti Teel radio show.
A special thanks to my upcoming guests:
Wendy Garrido and Sue Woodward: This dynamic mother
daughter duo has created a magazine to inspire conscious parenting and
empowered kids. In my interviews with Wendy and Sue I discovered that
Wendy had been an empowered child—largely due to the way her single
mother, Sue, had raised her. Hear Wendy and Sue’s insights and
learn how they are passing along their legacy of empowerment in an innovative
publication, North Star Family Matters. www.northstarfamilymatters.com
Barb Westgate uses an innovative and imaginative E-parenting
program called the Rainbow Planet Connection, brainchild of Carol Wood
and Karyn Nash. Barb shares touching, anecdotal stories demonstrating
the positive effects that breathing, as well as body and emotional awareness,
have had on her young participant’s lives. For more information
on this exciting new program, visit www.rainbowplanetconnection.com
August Dream Starter: Riding on a Cloud
Dream Starters are visualizations which promote relaxation,
imagination and well-being as they guide children into the world of
You can find more story visualizations about Dream Land, where children
manifest whatever they desire, in The Floppy Sleep Game Book. Or visit
Patti’s new site, Timeoutfordreamers.com for recordings that you
To prepare for these dream starters, (or visualizations), create a
quiet comfortable atmosphere in which your child can relax.
- Step One ~ Progressive Relaxation, Tensing &
Relaxing Muscle Groups
Have your child lie down in his bed. Have him lift each arm and
leg individually, holding each limb tightly before loosely flopping
it down on his bed. Then have him wrinkle his face and hold his
eyes tightly closed, before relaxing his face. (Tense each muscle
group for at least 5 seconds.)
- Step Two ~ Focus on the breath
Have your child get very quiet and watch his own breath.
- Step Three ~ Creative Visualization
Now that your child is relaxed, read (or tell) the following visualization.
Of course, feel free to modify it according to your child’s age
Riding on a Cloud
Close your eyes and imagine a beautiful place where all your dreams
come true. Instantly you arrive in a wondrous place called Dream Land.
Magical dream dust, which looks like tiny pieces of glitter, darts through
the air—flying here, there, and everywhere.
You join a small group of pajama-clad children who have gathered outside
of a crystal dome. You see the words Dream Academy, spelled out in twinkling
lights above the doorway. The door opens and the friendly, magical Dream
Maker welcomes you and the other children. You follow her into the Dream
Academy classroom. Instead of desks, there are low fluffy clouds floating
near the floor. Each cloud has a child’s name on it. You and the
other dreaming children each find your own cloud and lie down.
There is no ceiling in the Dream Academy classroom. When you lie down,
you can relax and look up at the sparkling stars and at the round, silver
moon. Sink down into the cloud’s softness. If you’d like,
you can wish upon a star. (Pause)
The Dream Maker takes some magical dream dust out of her pouch and
tosses it into the sky towards the beautiful moon. Instantly, the moon
moves closer and closer until it is floating just above you and the
other children. “Thank-you Moon,” says the Dream Maker.
Once again, she tosses dream dust towards the moon and it becomes a
gigantic movie screen. The moon screen shows a sunny beach with waves
that gently roll onto a clean, sandy beach.
The waves roll in and out, in and out, in and out. You find yourself
breathing to the rhythm of the waves—in and out, in and out, in
If you’d like, your cloud will take you to the sandy beach. It
will gently carry you safely to the beach, or anywhere else that you’d
like to go. Close your eyes and enjoy your dream flight. Good night.