Youthful Indiscretions and Inadvertent Adventures

To all appearances, you are now a mature, sensible adult whose current reaction to adventures might parallel Bilbo Baggins’ when he said, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”

But you weren’t always like that. There’s a twinkle in your eye and just a hint of a sly grin that tells us that you, like Bilbo, have had adventures and have come away the better for them. And we, of course, want to hear about them.

Adventures come in all sorts, and yours don’t have to involve Orcs and dragons. There are adventures you deliberately seek out, such as the ones Doug Guido, Beryl Byles and Neil Cosentino have recently shared: adventures involving travel and new experiences.


I could have flown to Japan, but instead I decided I’d try to make that lifelong dream come true. I called Navy Operations in Washington D.C. and asked if I could travel to Japan on a Navy warship. Luck was with me. A flotilla of warships was departing in two days, and I would be allowed on board. — Neil Cosentino

And there are adventures that pounce on you unexpectedly when you were minding your own business and not–we repeat not–looking for excitement. Such as Beryl’s and Theresa’s inadvertent visits to Newfoundland. Neil has a few of those, too. (And I never did tell my mom about that unnerving motorcycle ride home from the Fort Lee Sport Parachute Club party.) We could classify those as “Sometimes you find adventure. Sometimes adventure finds you.”

Then the captain announced that he had actually told us “a little white lie” about the reason for the premature landing. The real reason was because “America was under attack” and all airports had been closed. He added that the twin towers of the World Trade Center had been destroyed and a portion of the Pentagon had also been hit. It seemed totally surreal.

Beryl Byles

And, of course, there are those “Hold my beer!” episodes. Those moments you were careful not to tell your kids about until they were well past the stage of wanting to emulate them. And, trust us, they’re well past that stage, so now would be a great time to tell that story you’ve been holding in for so long.

They put us in a holding cell in the Tombs. I had to buy my own dinner—a liverwurst sandwich on white bread—and no drink. This took all my money save a nickel for the carfare home. There were about five or six of us. The night court started at 7 p.m. I walked in front of the judge like a guilty convict marching up the steps to the gallows. I was the only kid who was still in school.

Bruce Zimmerman

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As always–we want to make it easy for you to share your tale of adventure–deliberately sought or accidentally experienced. And sitting down at your desk with a keyboard in front of you may create instant and insurmountable writer’s block.

So, don’t do it that way. Instead, do this.

Pour yourself a beer. Or a glass of wine. Take it and your smartphone to a quiet place. Sit down. Put your feet up. Pause for a moment to savor your beverage. Now, open email on your smartphone, put yourself in as the recipient, choose Voice Entry as your means of input. And just tell the story.

Pause as often as you like to collect your thoughts.  Or revisit your beer. Your phone is infinitely patient. When you’re through, hit “Send”. Remember, it’s going to you. Nobody else will see it.

The next day, at your convenience, open it and read it.  Great story, right? So, what’s next?

Well, if you feel good about it, just forward it to connectsolli25@gmail.com with a note saying, “Feel free to edit this!”. (We would anyway.  It’s our job.)

Or you can save it as a word processing document, revise it to your liking, and send us that. 

Open the Email: Begin by opening the email you want to save. Make sure it’s fully loaded, including any images or attachments.

Access the ‘File’ Menu: Look for the ‘File’ menu, usually located in the top-left corner of your email client. If you’re having trouble finding it, check under other menus like ‘More’ options.

Select ‘Save As’: From the ‘File’ menu, choose ‘Save As’. This action will open a dialog box prompting you to select where you want to save the file on your computer. Remember this location for easy access later.

Choose the Location: Pick the folder on your computer where you’d like to save the email. Be sure to select a memorable location.

Specify the File Type: In the ‘Save as type’ drop-down menu, choose ‘Word Document’.

Click ‘Save’: Finally, click the ‘Save’ button. Your email will now be saved as a Word document.

Finally–and this is our favorite–you can say, “Not bad. But I think I can tell it even better!” Which, of course, means another glass of wine as you lean the recliner back, open email to yourself, and tell the tale of your adventure again.


Whichever method you use, share the end results with us, so that we can share them with your friends at OLLI.

Who will, once they read it, like and admire you even more.

— Editors


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