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janice in Julia's kitchen
        HOW"S YOUR LIFE BEEN GOING? The USUAL EVERYDAY STUFF?  Hardly memorable --days slipping by unnoticed until years go by,... and you wonder , WHERE DID ALL THAT TIME GO?  You know that old saying ---time flies.  Well as lives go,  I've had some pretty interesting moments  that slammed the foot on the brake of my life slogging forward in some string of ho-hum  days. I sang national TV jingles for over a decade, -- hung out in NYC with some great musicians, sang on some really cool gigs-- but sorry to say,  because I did so much of it, EVEN THAT LOST IT'S SPARKLE OVER TIME.
         I've finally come to realize that the things that make our lives MEMORABLE, not plain Jane average, ARE THE EXTAORDINARY EXPERIENCES we have along the way-- I'm nott talking about the weddings, births, deaths, amazing milestones our children traversed--- of course they're important .  What I am  talking about are THE ONES THAT SHOOT YOU OUT OF YOUR UNIVERSE, CREATE A BLIP ON YOUR RADAR, A HOLE IN YOUR TIME SPACE CONTINUUM.   In most instances, they're not going to come to you. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CREATE THEM Or if they do appear ---you're going to have to GRAB THE CONTROLS WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF.
        MY FIRST TASTE OF BEING SPUN OUT OF ORBIT was the time I had been studying the stock market with my dad ---not a rich man by any stretch of the imagination. He still USED TO LOVE READING THE STOCK QUOTES IN THE SUNDAY PAPER-- so I followed them with him-- I had been following one in particular for a few months, Barnwell Industries.  And ONE DAY HE GAVE ME 100 BUCKS to invest in it.  IT WENT UP 8 POINTS! He sold it, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I HAD A MAGICAL AMOUNT OF CASH in my hands. My mother, wisely said, it could only be spent on something special-- I WAS 14. THAT SUMMER for 2 months, I was in LONDON, PARIS and TOURS, FRANCE studying French at the University of Touraine, eating the most delicious pastries I had ever tasted.  To this day, many decades later, I'm still searching for those flavors -- that trip SHOT ME OUT OF MY UNIVERSE in a way that I can still remember.  WHAT DID I LEARN?

There's no time to ponder or weigh your options. 


        A lot of people, me included, put those experiences on hold for a long time, making excuse after excuse not to go.  You think you'll eventually do it, but will you? I certainly agreed with that -- "I" ll get to it later" logic-- cash was always at a premium, my son was young, he was in school, too much extra effort.  But THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I FINALLY JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. And, I'd pull Zack out of d school and the charge card out of my drawer AND BOOK A TRIP TO DISNEY WORLD.--yeah, I'D PAY FOR IT LATER. But those trips were some of THE MOST MEMORABLE TIMES I EVER SPENT WITH MY SON..
        AFTER AN almost 10 year EXCUSE LADEN TRAVEL DESERT, my life started to pick up again.  I JOINED A ROCK AND ROLL BAND THAT THAT TRAVELLED THE WORLD TWICE--entered some BIG TIME FOOD CONTESTS and WON them-- THERE WAS EVEN AUDITION FOR THE VOICE IN NASHVILLE with 5000, yes 5000, other hopefuls. Do I think much about the days in between? alittle-- THEY'RE AVERAGE MEDIUM DAYS, as my son would say. But THOSE TRIPS TO EVERYWHERE???.....
        Well here I am again, AN INNOCENT EMAIL ARRIVES from Molly, my food writing teacher, at 10:43 pm, on an otherwise BORING Tuesday night in February saying, "LA PEETCH, JULIA CHILD'S HOME IN PROVENCE, writing, eating, traveling-- WANNA GO?  I didn't even think about it- my kneejerk reaction?  "I'm in!"

That picture above is ME IN JULIA'S KITCHEN IN PROVENCE!
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