Choosing a Road

In my writer’s notebook I created a list slice-of-life2of everything that came to mind when I thought about roads. I made a quick list:


street                                  freeway

lanes                                    alley

dirt roads                           back roads

avenues                              boulevards

Route 66                            yellow brick.

trail                                     paths

road to redemption       wrong way

road less traveled            one-way road

dead end                            cobbled

paved                                  lined

highway                              roundabouts

long-and-winding road

on-and-off ramps

all roads lead to Rome

potholes                             boardwalk

byway                                 asphalt

concrete                             gravel

on the road again            rocky road


take the high road

*In your writer’s notebook, write about how your life is like one of these roads. Perhaps you can create a metaphor or simile here. This is my example:

My life has been a long and winding road that led me away from education and back to it again. My love for horses steered me closer and closer to a lifetime of teaching riding lessons and working at the stables.  I believe I was born with a gene that connected me with horses, discovering in my thirties that my great grandparents had actually trained horses for the Russian tsar.

From the time I was fourteen, the riding ring was a road I jogged – usually, with a pony next to me as I taught up-downers (beginners) how to post to the trot. The ponies all had wonderful names – Balantine, Oswald, Cookie Monster, Cimarron, Merry Legs, Tom Terrific (Paco), and Chimey. The most memorable pony, Jungle Juice, was my favorite one. He followed me like a dog is trained to heel, and I loved him with all my heart!

I almost lost myself down that road, even considering a fulltime vocation as a riding instructor with my own stable. The families I had every year – my students at Upper Moreland – pulled at my heartstrings, too. In my forties, it was starting to be more difficult to juggle two jobs that demanded a lot of time and effort. I could no longer straddle the fence. I had to choose my path. When I made a decision to return to school for a doctoral degree in educational leadership and a K-12 reading certification, I knew my journey’s destination.

I still miss my equine buddies – many who are still in horses and run their own stables – and all the horses and students (ranging in age from four to sixty-four!) I ever taught.  I treasure the memories!


Tom Terrific, a large pony with a big heart!  We called him Paco.  He could jump the fences in Unionville! Everyone loved him!

13 thoughts on “Choosing a Road

  1. This is such a great piece. I love to make lists so of course you hooked me from the beginning. Your connection between your love for horses and the road you have traveled is a strong one which I enjoyed reading. You’ve given me ideas to ponder. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a wonderful exercise to uncover the layers of thought and meaning a simple word like “roads” can elicit. I know your story, of course, and I know the decision wasn’t a snap. But you chose wisely and well and we are all better teachers because of it.

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  3. So much to love here, Lynne. We would go to horse auctions once a month. And then one month, my mom actually bought a horse.

    I’m stuck between John Denver and “Country Roads” or after going to Rome last August – all roads lead to Rome!!! Fun and thought-provoking!

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  4. This will be an exercise I will have to remember to do. It is thought provoking and very reflective. My own course has been going down one road and diverging to the road not taken by many anymore (to stay at home to raise my family) and now returning to be a student again for a second Master’s Degree. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a great warm-up for writing; I am definitely going to try it. You have lived such an interesting life; I appreciate how you reflected back and included many supporting details. My favorite line was, “I could no longer straddle the fence. I had to choose my path.” Tough decision, but, I can tell from your post, you are an “all or nothing” person. To complete your doctorate was some challenge! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Brainstorming, quick / free writes usually begin with listing for me … so your post hooked me at once. I’ve enjoyed skipping along your road with you; thanks for inviting me. My road has had lots of bends and a couple unusual twists. Your writing has made me think of a few mileposts along it.

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  7. I loved reading your extensive list of “road” words. There are many associations here for me. And so surprised to read of your equine loves, not a road I’ve ever traveled. My family still laughs about the time we went to a dude ranch for vacation. My horse was named “Ute,” and he was incorrigible!

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  8. I love brainstorming words and meanings – a great exercise that can lead to lots of ideas. I read your list of road words a couple of times and kept coming back to “yellow brick.” I’ll have to think about that a bit I guess. Glad you included the horses’ names – so interesting and fun! Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like this brainstorming idea! Your horse’s names are awesome, by the way.
    I like how you mentioned ‘straddling the fence’ between jobs, as it created an image of you literally at the fence of the horse farm.

    Liked by 1 person

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