Detours are unplanned opportunities

which way sign

“When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” ~Barbara Bush

I’ve been on some interesting detours. On a driving vacation in the Rockies we took an “unimproved” road and found ourselves on a one lane track hugging the side of a mountain. It was beautiful and terrifying. The road was wide enough for one vehicle and littered with rocks. We were driving a Fiat 124 Coupe with low ground clearance. Occasionally we found a little wide part of the road, luckily, so the 4-wheel drive vehicles could pass. You never see what’s down the side of a mountain when you’re on the highway, there are guard rails and signs in the way. It took 2 hours to go about 8 miles, but it was gorgeous and exciting.

Detours don’t just come during travel. They pop up in every day life. In love. In writing. Lots of times we set out on one course and take a different turn for whatever reason. It might be as simple as curiosity that leads you down a different path. It also might be a chance encounter, or a new friend that leads you where you hadn’t planned to go.

When I was a teenager I had a guy friend who would go out with me if we didn’t have dates, so we wouldn’t be alone. We tried new restaurants and went to movies, but it never became romantic. Until I met his brother. There was something about him, his crooked smile, the way the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled, his dreamy voice, his smell (I think he wore Brut back then). Anyway, I hadn’t planned on it, but I fell in love with this tall fellow and we’ve been married for almost 37 years.

Feisty Family Values started out it’s first life as Feisty Fossils. And while my first plan was to make it a Miss Marple-esque mystery, the main characters clearly had other ideas. Number 1: women in their sixties AREN’T fossils. I know that now, but twelve years ago I had a different perspective. Number 2: an agent advised to make two of the ladies in their fifties to appeal to a larger audience. Okay. That made sense. The ladies in FFV are still fun, but the only mysteries they solve are those surrounding teens, family, cooking, cancer, and love late in life. Actually, that’s quite a lot.

So, tell me about detours you’ve taken in your life. I dare ya!

Have a great week everyone!