Monday, March 2, 2009


The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

---Robert Frost

There was one class in my elementary school that took French on TV. What if I had been in that class? Would I have taken French in Jr. High and High School? Then would I have gone to Grenoble for semester abroad? How would I have met Dee?

Because Dee was going to be drafted anyway, we decided to make the best of it. He got into ROTC, and applied to be in the intelligence branch. He committed to going regular army and had all the paperwork and interviews done so he could merge into the CIA after he came home (hopefully) from Viet Nam. What if he'd been killed in the war? What if he'd become a spy?

Dee was at summer camp for six weeks with ROTC, just prior to being sent to Viet Nam. I was in the hospital having baby #2 one day when he called and said he'd had a life threatening asthma attack. After a week in the infirmary a doctor gave him the choice of being discharged or staying in the army. What if he hadn't had the asthma attack? What if they'd kept him in the army anyway? What if we'd ended up being career army folks?

After Dee came home from summer camp, he applied to take the bar exam. He had to wait several months to take it, and then didn't find out where he'd been accepted for a few more months. Just after I realized I was pregnant with #3, he got accepted at Pepperdine Law School. We weighed our options and decided I was too heavy with child to think starting law school would be fun. What if we'd moved to Southern California? What if we'd been on L.A. Law?

Reflecting on Other Roads Not Taken:

  1. Graduate school in Delaware (Dee was accepted)
  2. Building the house on Jeremy Ranch (we had the floor plans drawn up)
  3. Buying the house in Draper (we'd given a down-payment)
  4. Teaching at a Jr. College in New England (a dream for after our early retirement, which would come about because of extreme wealth)
  5. College at U of U (a threat by my dad if I carried out my plans of a semester abroad)
  6. Marrying someone else (there were a couple of options)
  7. Working for the Triad Sheiks (had an offer--what a disaster!)
  8. Job with Union Carbide (had an offer--they HAD a disaster!)
  9. McBride Law School in Sacramento (the acceptance letter arrived after we bought a house)
  10. Having 12 kids (I'd probably still have teenagers!!!)
I feel lucky that we were nudged down the paths we took.

Do you wonder about a path not taken?
What made you choose the other one?


gab said...

I totally wish you had done the French thing. Because then my name would probably be Michelle...

Bev said...

I have long believed that every choice we make influences every choice we get to make thereafter.

Would I have made different ones? Looking back I can say "yes" there are some I wish I'd never made.

Part of coming to grips with the here and now involves trying not to kick myself about the "coulda, woulda, shouldas"

Sheri said...

Funny how great minds think alike? My blog today deals with this very subject!

And BTW why does the day and date say Tues. March 3 on your blog??

Keri(th) said...

There are so many paths I have not taken, and some of the ones I did, have ended up being closed off to me and I was required to make a u-turn and choose another way, even though they seemed so right at the time. The resolve in taking those paths is that I did all I could to pursue them, and yet they were not meant to be. So certainly no regrets, but oh to laugh and dream about the alternate outcomes of our lives.

Perhaps there were shortcuts unknown that would have brought my family to where we now, only sooner, but I've enjoyed the scenery along the way far too much to give it a second thought.

Great post!