Ghanaian Karaoke and Other Memorable Moments

Now that I’m a mommy, I sometimes wish that I had lived a more exciting life in my pre-mommy days. You know, now that it’s incredibly difficult even to leave the house to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I wish that Spencer and I had spent a year living in southern France like our friends Jay and Holly, or a year backpacking around the world like our friends Ted and Bethany.

But then I thought, I actually have had quite a few adventures in my day. I have:

Been booed off a karaoke stage in Ghana. My first time attempting public karaoke, and I was booed off. I didn’t even know this was possible! Apparently, people take their karaoke quite seriously in Ghana. Who knew? I felt like Simon Cowell was in the audience. If you have a trip to Ghana in your future, and you want to get your karaoke on, be sure to practice the song beforehand.

Climbed 10, 358 foot South Sister. The peak (ha!) of my mountain climbing career so far, I summited South Sister when I was just seven years old. I carried my stuffed kitty, Jennifer Snowball Husk, in my pink backpack. It was a slow climb, and when we reached the top, the late afternoon storm clouds were rolling in. Yes, we reached the top just in time for a lightning storm! After spending some time wedged under a giant boulder with my mom huddled against me to act as a human shield against the lightning, we eventually ran down the mountain, only to find our sleeping bags soaking wet because my parents had neglected to put up the rain fly. Exhausted, but glad to have survived, we packed up our gear and began the late drive across the Cascades, homeward to Eugene.

Swam with dolphins in the wild. Despite the fact that I’m not a great swimmer and I have an extreme phobia of sharks (stemming from too many childhood viewings of Jaws), I swam halfway across a Hawaiian bay to be in the midst of a dolphin pod. I had heard that dolphins sometimes protect people from sharks, so I decided I had nothing to fear. Watching the dolphins swim around me and hearing them talk to each other underwater was an amazing experience.

Appeared on a poster alongside Slick Rick. Need I say more? Okay, I was in a theater troupe in high school; we both had upcoming shows at the WOW Hall in Eugene.

Landed a double salchow. Perhaps the weirdest named of any figure skating jump, I nailed it the summer of 1998, before I quite skating. Fourteen years later, I still dream often of flying through the air above the ice.
So yes, I’ve had some adventures. And there are many more to come, now with my sweet Baby Bear in tow.

A few more memories:

Camping in the San Juan Islands.

Me (on the right) at Buckingham Palace.

With Spencer at the Dave Matthews Band concert in the Gorge.

Having the first dance with Spencer. (photo by TJ Cameron)

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5 comments
  1. Alice said:

    And don’t forget, you helped kickboard your mom out to the middle of that bay on the Big Island so that she, too, could enjoy the dolphins and risk being eaten by sharks!

    • ursulamarie said:

      I’m glad you were there to share that memory with me. And many other memorable moments as well! Maybe someday Marie and I will be swimming with dolphins together.

  2. Dawn said:

    Never fear–your best days are still ahead. The adventures you will have as your daughter grows will become some of your sweetest memories!

    • ursulamarie said:

      Thanks Dawn! I think you’re right πŸ™‚

  3. Oh wow, I’m terrified of karaoke, and now I’m double terrified of trying it in a foreign country, seeing as how you received such a warm welcome in Ghana πŸ˜‰ I think that if you have the spirit of adventure, you’ll live many adventurous moments no matter the continent. I know it was an adventure for me to brave the cold waters of the Oregon coast in search of clams with you and Spencer, Jay, Holly, and Bob!

    I’m so excited for you and your new little sweetie – in many ways, I think parenthood must be the biggest adventure of all – the unknowns and new territories and once-in-a-lifetime-moments. I’ll be taking notes from you so I can be prepared when it’s our turn. Hugs to you πŸ™‚ xoxo

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