It’s a Calling. It’s a Dream. It’s a Park!

WoodWind Park

Hubby and I are pretty quiet people with loud, preposterous dreams.

Since 2001 we have actively sought purpose. Much of that time has been spent throwing out ridiculous ideas over coffee or while laying awake in bed. Sometimes we would stop in the middle of the trail we had been walking because an awesome idea had arrived.

“Let’s build a free sports center.”

“Let’s renovate an old movie theatre and turn it into a music venue.”

“Let’s buy that old creamery and use one part for a bar and grill and the other part for a formal dining room.”

“Let’s sell t-shirts with a character doing fun active things. Let’s call him Pudgie.”

“Let’s make fried ice cream in every flavor imaginable.”

“Let’s find a way to bring people together for events and ideas.”

My journals have recorded this messy pursuit. I wrote down whisperings and nudgings that got louder and louder for us over the past ten years. What I realize is that every curiosity, every misstep, every miscalculation was a flat-out answer to prayers.

What felt like simply fun and interesting conversations was a calling neither of us realized we were contemplating answering. I kid you not, these “visions” were so strong for me that I literally wrote an entire draft of a novel about this magical place that houses eternity and some of the elements of what I wrote about three years ago are actually starting to be real-life things.

Hubby and I realize we were meant to buy an abandoned ski hill and turn it into something amazing. To foster a place where activity can be offered for practically nothing, where music can be enjoyed in big and small ways, where informal and formal dining can co-exist, where apparel highlighting the antics of our cartoon Pudgie is actually possible, where fried ice cream has a place to be created and where events and ideas will be endless.

For this imagined thing to come to life, we will be selling our house, downsizing to our cabin on the lake that is less than twenty minutes from our new project, changing the nature of the jobs we have and working like crazy for the next couple years to get the doors open and the outside welcoming.

The progress and setbacks are being chronicled on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we are grateful for the support and prayers we are receiving from all corners of the world.

Copyright Meagan Frank 2019

 

 

Don’t Delete the Awkward Pictures

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?
April 25, 2012
Special Edition for

For a few months on Wednesdays (or as close to Wednesday as I can manage) I have chronicled the ways I’ve chosen to grow through my life. It is a snapshot…a bite-sized version of intentional steps I take to improve myself. Very often it is not a painless process.

Some weeks are better than others, and I never shy away from the growth that is uncomfortable.

I Choose to Grow the same way I deal with my digital pictures. It’s easy to take hundreds and thousands of digital pictures and then delete all the photos that are not perfect.  I make a point to keep at least one awkward picture with every grouping that I print.  The awkward photos tell a story too…and I am not good at pretending that everything is perfect.

Awkward Picture of the Week

Saturday night, while I sat at my writing desk, Big Sprout, our nearly twelve-year-old son, came in and sat on the wooden music chair my daughter uses to practice her french horn. This is rather common behavior for him.  My husband trailed quietly behind him and lay down on the foot of our bed.

I should have thought, “This is going to be an important moment.”

I didn’t know that.

The conversation started rather simply… Big Sprout asked questions about how his dad and I thought he played in his two hockey games that day.

There was nothing about that conversation that I had planned.

After more dialogue than I can explain here, I hadn’t planned to say, “Your chances of making it the NHL are pretty slim.”  I hadn’t planned to watch his face sink and his eyes well. I hadn’t planned to get the look of “What the hell were you thinking?” from my husband. I hadn’t planned to feel like the worst mother in the world.

I scrambled back to better parenting when I explained to him that it wasn’t that I didn’t believe he could, but that it only matters that he put action behind what he believes about himself. I believe he is destined for great things, and I will do anything he needs to help him get there…but the work it’s going to take, has to come from him.

Doubting and dissecting every part of that conversation led to a blogpost on my sports blog. Dialogue started. Debate began. And now, that snapshot of parenting will be the feature topic of conversation on Hey Coach Tony’s ESPN radio show this upcoming Saturday morning. I hadn’t planned that either.

Sharing that awkward moment of our lives has led to growth for a lot of people…and had I just pretended it didn’t happen, the story would have ended there. Instead…the story continues.

To our son’s credit, he chose a better reaction than I could have possibly scripted for him. Instead of wilting with my comments or being pushed down because of them, he chose a new attitude about what hockey (and work) mean to him right now. He may not completely understand how it will pay off for him in his life, but he made a step on Sunday toward embracing work ethic…determination…grit. I couldn’t have been prouder of him… nor more relieved.

I didn’t take a picture of my son as he sat on that chair, with the background sillhouette of my husband on the bed. I didn’t need to. That image is a permanent part of me now.

I’m not sure who grew more in that moment, me or our son, but I know, without a doubt, we both made a choice to grow because of it.

What sorts of choices did you make to grow this week?

I would love to hear how you are choosing to grow.  Either comment here, or send me an email:  choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com.

                          

Copyright 2012     Meagan Frank              www.meaganfrank.com                            Choosing to Grow

Harvesting Walt’s Wheat

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?

March 28, 2012

I grew to think of Walt Disney as an awe-inspiring farmer.

The Big Picture

Walt Disney was a man of vision. He had imagination, creativity, and guts. But what he had most of all was BELIEF.

He believed that progress was not only possible…it was happening.  He believed lakes could exist where the ground was dry and a magical city could be built…straight from imagination. He believed in the power of people. And he believed in the world that finally emerged in Orlando, Florida.

Just because he didn’t see it all happen before he died, didn’t change his belief that it was possible.

There is a lot to learn from someone like Walt Disney.

In the Magic Kingdom, it is hard not to be blown away by his legacy. The mouse for sure, but then everything that comes with him. There are quotes scattered on walls throughout the park and…Walt is there. He’s in the magic of the kingdom and the innovation of Epcot.

He knew it would keep growing long after he had gone. He said:

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

 That’s what I took away from our time in those parks. There were the family memories for sure, but I couldn’t help thinking about how grand Walt’s plan was from the beginning, and how amazing it is that the tens of thousands of people who work to make that dream a reality hold the same beliefs he did. It’s not about the money that place makes (which is almost unfathomable) but it’s more about the experience it creates. It’s inspiring…and on a bigger scale than any other man-made place I’ve ever seen.
The Really Big Picture
As part of our week in Florida, we attended mass at a little Catholic church called St. Faustina. The Haitian priest started his homily telling the older congregation that he was going to talk about dying. I was impressed by his comfort, and I was enthralled with his delivery.
“Wheat cannot produce unless it dies,” he said.
He was referring to the verse in John;
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (John 12: 23-24)
It was impossible for me not to think about Walt Disney.
It got me thinking about my own compulsion to create for the here and now. It’s how we’re supposed to think, right? We are only relevant if people know about us now…if our creations are important TODAY.
But what about a legacy?  What about dying to self so that we can help others? Lots of others…for a really long time? What about a vision that is too big to be completed in one lifetime, but that is rooted in love and belief at such a level that it will exist… and fluorish… long after we’re gone.
Does anyone think like that anymore?
Well, I want to start.
Maybe we can all find motivation in the magic of fireworks… and by two more quotes of Walt Disney:
When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
AND
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. 
Well, Walt, I was thoroughly entertained, and you taught me plenty. Your dreams have come true. Your wheat has provided nourishment 100-times over, and we would all be lucky to have an opportunity to pursue such passion in our lives.
I feel as though I am safely tucked in my hull, and I want to do whatever I need to do to start the germinating process for that next crop to be harvested.
Where are you in the growing process?  Have you shed the hull and found a way to “die” to produce much fruit?
If you are growing, I’d love to hear about the ways you choose to grow.
Send me a comment or a quick note to my email choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com
Happy Growing!
Copyright 2012   Meagan Frank                                                Choosing to Grow