Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

August 21, 2012

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation: Hot Weather, Forest Fires, and Ki Moments


Tracie-ShroyerI'm delighted to introduce Tracie Shroyer by way of her story -- a Ki Moment -- on her family's extended vacation/adventure this summer in the American West.

Tracie's  my V.A. (virtual assistant) and a great story-teller. Visit and learn more about Tracie at her Website,


-- Guest post by Tracie Shroyer, V.A.

This summer my family and I fulfilled a dream of a lifetime.

After years of planning, we left our home in Minnesota for a six-week journey to explore the American West with our three teenagers, a standard poodle, and a 19’ travel trailer.

Some friends were envious. Far more thought we were crazy. Six weeks in a tiny trailer with no Internet or television? Leave Minnesota during our only enjoyable season? What on earth were we thinking?

Nonetheless, we set off with high hopes and realistic expectations that things might occasionally get a bit bumpy along the way. What I never expected was that it would be our trailer that would cause the bumps.

Home Repairs

Our trip brought us west and south into a hot, dry summer. By the time we reached southern Utah, temperatures reached 102 degrees before lunch and both our fridge and air conditioner quit, unable to handle the extreme temperatures.

When your RV breaks down, your entire home goes in for service. New challenge: find an RV repair near a hotel that can take a family of five and a poodle -- in the Utah desert. After some searching, we packed our bags (and dog supplies) and moved from our cozy home on wheels into what turned out to be a very old, very dirty hotel. Still, life was good: we’d just found a new challenge to add to our epic adventure.

As we settled in, my husband made calls to change our travel schedule and I set up my mobile office. More challenges: the hotel didn’t have strong Wi-Fi, and my cell phone (my mobile hotspot) was receiving no signal. Hence, no mobile office!

The ki moments began to pile up. Soon the kids came back from the pool with a report: the wildfire we’d seen on the way into town had blossomed and closed the road to the hotel. Police weren’t letting drivers pass without showing a room key. In a panic, I turned on the television to get details.

Dog Days

As I tried to listen, with my husband on the phone and the kids watching smoke go by outside our window, I smelled something terrible (besides the smoke!). Knowing instinctively this wasn’t good, I looked to the dog, who despite his ability to eat a whole roast chicken with impunity, was now getting sick all over the hotel room.

Ah yes! I felt as though I was watching this scene unfold in slow motion, through someone else’s eyes. Our dream was becoming a nightmare.

I collapsed on the bed, sinking into the Bad Reality. There was no centering bell, just the drone of the TV, the chatter of kids, and the dull roar inside my head.


A Ki Moment

Leaving my husband to clean up the dog’s mess, (his dog tonight!), I took several deep breaths and sat for a moment collecting my thoughts. As I came back to center, I focused on what could be changed.

I gradually moved from overwhelm into the present moment, and I realized that despite everything, this was still our dream. We'd hit a bump, but we were safe and we were together. We felt incredibly lucky to be on this adventure, and one broken fridge was not going to bring us down. It wasn’t long before we started laughing and wondering what else might happen before the night was over.

In the end, the fridge got fixed, the fire was extinguished, and our dog was fine. Our adventure continued as planned, and we came home to Minnesota a stronger, healthier, more centered family, aware of what’s truly important in life.

-- Guest post by Tracie Shroyer

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