Looking For Adventure

The thing about adventures is that you don’t know when you’re having them. They happen quickly. And if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss them.

I’m not talking about huge adventures. Obviously, if you’re zip-lining across the rainforests of Belize, you’re having quite a day. No, I’m talking about the little life-events that we somehow didn’t notice until quarantines, social distancing, and face masks came along.

Like the adventure of:

Trying New Restaurants. What a great adventure, walking into a hole-in-the-wall joint and wondering: “Will this food have tentacles, or will it be delicious?” That is an adventure.

Specifically, I am thinking about the time my wife and I stopped at a barbecue joint in middle Texas and the waitress said that “turkey fries” was the special. I was thinking, “Why not?” I love fried food.

I cleaned my plate. People in the cafe were elbowing their neighbors and pointing at the redheaded Floridian. A few truckers made the Sign of the Cross.

That was a great day. Remember adventures like that? Oh, we used to have tons of them. We never even knew they were happening.

There was the adventure of meeting friends for supper. The adventure of your cousin’s godawful piano recital. The adventure of the DMV. You never knew if you were going to get Cheerful DMV Lady, or DMV Lady From Hell.

There were the adventures found in little storefronts. Places where you’d buy something small, like a book, a knick-knack, or surgically sharp Japanese cutlery.

Or the olive store. Yes. That’s right. Last year, I found a store that specialized in hard-to-find olives. I didn’t even know such things existed. A Greek lady let me sample hundreds of olives until my mouth was stinging.

I was buying olives like a stockbroker hyped up on Mountain Dew. “I’ll have fifty pounds of Manzanillas and Seveillianas,” I’d say. “And gimme a pound of Arbequinas.”

My bill was something like $2774.19 because—and here’s something else I didn’t know—olives cost big money. My wife didn’t talk to me for three months.

Still, that was a great adventure.

But lately, my adventure ratio has dwindled to about nothing. These last few months I have found myself fantasizing about the ordinary adventures I once had. And I get to wondering what things would be like if we had a COVID-free life again.

Oh, if only. I know exactly what I’d do. I would go for a long drive. And I wouldn’t stop. I’d go out West, up North, northeast, southwest, or along the Eastern Seaboard. I would see as much as I could. I would happily go broke staying in quaint bed and breakfasts from here to New Brunswick.

I would walk the trails of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Accadia, and Glacier. I would visit more independent bookstores. I’d go to interesting mom-and-pop restaurants.

Like the restaurant I told you about earlier. Or ethnic places where the owners speak broken English and get excited when the bell above the door rings because you’re their first customer all afternoon. Where they don’t even let you order for yourself before they’re saying, “You seet’a right’a there, I cook’a something you gonna like!”

I’d also have a few adventures involving baseball. Even if I couldn’t attend games in person, I’d go to an old waterhole, like the old days. A dim-lit establishment where the TV above the bar has a fuzzy picture.

A place where the guy beside you is white-haired, unshaven, and comes from the old-school baseball tradition. A guy who has no phone to play on. A man who gets hacked off when his batter strikes out and cusses at his beer.

I’d give almost anything to have World Series Fever again. A boyish fever that spreads faster among kids than any virus ever could. A condition that gets so bad that young men start memorizing the numbers on the backs of baseball cards.

I would involve myself in almost any exploit that included being in a crowd. I miss that. Maybe a big festival, or a convention where the main attraction is seafood, jazz, blueberries, Canadian manufactured elevators, or steel ball bearings.

In my youth I would wander around the Destin Seafood Festival grounds, listening to the music, eating weird festival food like deep-fried shark on a stick, or deep-fried Oreos, or alligator tail.

The Seafood festival T-shirts were a big deal back then. Everyone wanted one. Each year the shirt always featured a local artist’s work. You would stand in a 10-mile-long line, eating your lukewarm eel on a stick, waiting to buy a T-shirt. And it was a true adventure.

So was going to beer joints where mediocre bands would play earsplitting music. Where giddy couples would take the dancefloor and twirl to “Mustang Sally.” Or they’d slow-dance to “Together Again.”

Young lovers would stand dangerously close to one another making young promises. They would promise that the rest of their lives would be a grand adventure. They would kiss each other while dancing and swear that no matter what anyone else said, the greatest thrill was simply being together.

Sometimes I wish somebody would have told me that I was having so many adventures while I was having them. I can be pretty blind at times. I wish someone would have pointed to the little things in life and said, “Hey! Pay attention, kid! You’re not going to live forever! Life is full of fun! Don’t miss it!”

Which is why I wrote this to you.


  1. Robert Chiles - July 6, 2020 11:28 am

    There’s a word for that. It’s called mindfulness. Or maybe another word, called gratitude. Just pay attention, because, as you say, life is all too short. My wife and I go on adventures all the time, usually heading down mountain roads we’ve never been on before. Sometimes we get lost. That’s the best part. Because we never lose each other.

  2. Keloth Anne - July 6, 2020 11:34 am

    Oh this is just right on the mark—so timely and just excellent 🥰♥️
    I too, am ready for life without COVID 😷
    Thank you and you two stay healthy and know that you are loved, appreciated and missed ♥️♥️

  3. Liz Bishop - July 6, 2020 11:48 am

    Just beginning to enjoy your blog. It’s a great way to start the day! I too miss the little adventures! I’m 72, so I worry how many I may have left!

  4. Jan - July 6, 2020 11:54 am

    Those days are great – when you start on a road trip to one place and wind up somewhere else after stopping at numerous “antique” stores. Those are the ones where the “antiques” may be things you examine closely while holding them up to the light and searching for identifying marks or trying to figure out what they are used for. You may have no particular destination in mind but you enjoy the places you go and the people you are with – for me, it is my husband, my sister and my brother-in-law. We have traveled all over the country in our 1997 Suburban – always arriving home with many “treasures”. Please, Lord, let us live those kind of days again!

  5. Ala Red Clay Girl - July 6, 2020 12:11 pm

    Every morning I go on an adventure with you. Although I never know where you are going to take me, I know it’s going to be a worthwhile trip. Thank you, Sean, for these daily ventures and for reminding me to always be grateful, even for the little things.

  6. Kate Medina Writes - July 6, 2020 12:14 pm

    Yes. Everything about this. Thanks Sean.

  7. Nell Thomas - July 6, 2020 12:45 pm

    Thanks. My animals – 1 dog and 4 cats take me on adventures everyday. At 73 believe it or not- I am back on the old stomping grounds where I grew up. It brings back alot of memories of a simpler day and age.

  8. Chris Spencer - July 6, 2020 12:56 pm

    Thanks again Sean and Jamie Martin Dietrich. A wise lesson you wrote for us. May God always bless you both.

  9. Teresa Tindle - July 6, 2020 1:01 pm

    Oh my, but you hit the nail on the head. Every day is really an adventure. But for sure we don’t realize it until maybe it’s too late. Getting up everyday is an adventure when you get older. There are so many things I can no longer do the old fashioned way. I spend hours sometimes figuring out how to do everyday things. Like wash my clothes. In my house my laundry room is outside under my carport. So I’m not able to go up and down the stairs and carry clothes. So I throw them out my back door. Go down the stairs and put them in to wash. Then after drying I throwthem back in the door and bingo clothes done. My children think I’m nuts. But life’s an adventure. You laugh and do what you gotta do.

  10. Helen Taylor Andrews - July 6, 2020 1:50 pm

    Having an adventure can sometimes mean getting to the bathroom without ‘accident’ , or maybe just getting out of bed without having to sit back down. My sis and I used to take small trips the county next to us where we lived for 9 years. We still consider it home. Lunch at the Hardee’s is definitely an adventure since we are people watchers and the farmers and folks coming in certainly hold our attention. We know that it doesn’t take much to entertain us so after our ‘trip to the country’ and after dining with the fine citizens of Headland, we return home, seeing the farms and homes of folks we remembered from more than 60 years ago as we go home. Enjoy each day and an adventure is what you make it. Love to you and Jamie!!

  11. F. Norman Vickers http://www.ja - July 6, 2020 2:05 pm

    I’ve been on your list for several years. Love reading your columns. Amazed that you can come up with good material daily. Ever get writer’s block?

    Also admire your musical skills, having seen you perform several times.

    Good wishes. You’re a treasure.

    Norman Vickers
    Jazz Pensacola

  12. Jim Thomssen - July 6, 2020 2:06 pm

    Yeah, adventures like walking the dog 4 times a day are getting old….but the dog seems xcited every time I pick up the leash. What’s that about?

  13. James D Brewer - July 6, 2020 2:31 pm

    Thank you for a timely entry.. In 1985 I first began to journal in earnest. Reading back through those paper books what we regarded as mundane, everyday experiences have become legendary events among friends who lived them. There is no way I could again live life with that degree of energy of 35 years ago but that does not mean life has stopped. I relish I can still be active, thankful to be able to appreciate the life already lived, and still am hopefull for a happy future…….

  14. aleathia nicholson - July 6, 2020 3:02 pm

    Thank ya kindly.

  15. Linda Foshee - July 6, 2020 3:28 pm

    You are “real”, Sean Dietrich! Thanks for the inspiration.

  16. Betty F. - July 6, 2020 3:29 pm

    Sean- Once again you hit it out of the ballpark with your writing. How do you manage to come up with fresh angles and stories in the middle of this quarantine? I can hardly remember what day it is without checking the date on your article each morning.
    (Yes, I know it is called a blog, not an article, but the name “blog” sounds like something hollow and disheartening to me. You are never either of those.) You bring light out of the muddle.Thanks.
    Peace to you and Jamie.

  17. Bobbie - July 6, 2020 3:42 pm

    Oh, Sean. You have read my mind, and those of many others I’m sure. I was just saying this, in simpler terms, to my grandson yesterday. We should’ve paid more attention, we should’ve known we wouldn’t pass this way again…but we didn’t. We were having our ‘not known at the time’ adventure. It was an ordinary thing …we thought. We’d do it again. Plenty of time. Then something like COVID hits, and life is never the same. We realize then what we had, we miss it. This I think is the definition of taking things for granted.
    Thank you as always for being able to express what so many of us feel. This is one of your best !!
    Today is one more day. Let’s try to see the good, believe there is more to come just down the road. God bless you and your family.

  18. Teri Davidson - July 6, 2020 3:47 pm

    Excuse my apparent ignorance….. but what exactly were those Turkey fries? Ive never heard of them. 🤔

  19. Mike Goggin (female & could be you grandmother) - July 6, 2020 4:35 pm

    I want to adopt you!

  20. Terry Olive - July 6, 2020 5:05 pm

    I`m a pretty rare Olive, myself.

  21. Laura - July 6, 2020 5:08 pm

    Love this- such a great reminder not to take the little moments in life for granted!

  22. Linda Moon - July 6, 2020 5:12 pm

    I knew someone who adventured in the rainforests of Belize on her honeymoon. And after that, marriage comes with a lot more and a few ordeals thrown in, too. But, what exactly are “turkey fries”? We would’ve never ordered those while adventuring in middle Texas! I love your new attention to adventures, Sean. Keep your eyes open and you’ll never stop finding them. Just maybe some of us were born to be wild!

  23. Berryman Mary M - July 6, 2020 6:26 pm

    Thank you, Sean. Reminding us of all the little adventures we used to take for granted. I always enjoy your writing and sometimes in the COVID days, I save your daily column for a special treat, to enjoy when I really need a boost. Thanks so much. You and Jamie stay safe!

  24. Dee Frances Hoomes Wichman from Damascus, AL but now of Ocean Springs, MS - July 6, 2020 8:34 pm

    Loved this! Maybe you can come to the MS gulf coast for Cruising the Coast in Oct. Last year we had over 8,000 cars registered and of course, not everybody registers. The great thing about it is that you can look at the cars and don’t have to get that close to people if you don’t want to. I love the old cars. Cars made from steel and not aluminum or plastic. Nov brings the Peter Anderson arts festival. Of course, I’d love for you to come anytime especially if you were going to speak. I’d like to suggest the Mary C. It is where I went to high school but is now a cultural center. I really enjoy your writing. You are real.

  25. Dave Dail - July 6, 2020 10:51 pm

    I’m suffering from the same problem caused by high Covid and low finances. I did go visit 5 of my 6 grandkids over the fourth and we had many adventures which will suffice til the next time. I enjoyed your article, Covid will end when we put God first in our lives-all our problems will.

  26. Christina - July 7, 2020 5:21 am

    Come over to So Cal and don’t forget to bring some of those homegrown tomatoes with you! (We are an hour away from Joshua Tree!)

  27. Brooks - July 7, 2020 11:18 am

    A guy that GETS IT.
    His life isn’t any different than the next guys, but he CHOOSES to see the adventure in the little things.
    LOVE it.
    Thanks Sean.


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