Getting Bolder: Change is in the Air

 In Getting Bolder, Healthy Lifestyle, Positive Aging, Sister Stories, Transitions

Ginny, SOTF #3537, shares with us all here;

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e.cummings

OLD SCHOOL Sentiments

Remember what it felt like as a child at the end of summer? The air changed. The colors became muted as the end of the growing season hit. Nights became cooler. Locusts began their incessant call as daylight waxed to evening. We stayed outside till the street lights came on…milking every moment of joy we could from each day. School was right around the corner. Maybe we had our new book bag purchased. Maybe we had new shoes. Maybe our moms were busy sewing dresses or knitting sweaters or socks to send us into a new season. Whatever was going on in your individual world, you knew a change was coming. Something new. Something fresh. Something unknown. It was simultaneously exciting and terrifying. And…inevitable.

Change of Season

Thus we have August. The “dog days of summer”. Heat shimmers off the asphalt during the day. Nights hold a velvety warmth for an hour or so before the chill brings you closer to the fire or you grab a wrap for your shoulders. You know your camping days are numbered now. What felt like an endless stretch of time before you turns into a sense of urgency to get out there and get some fun under your belt while you still can.

No Better Time than NOW

I was fortunate to find the Sisters in late spring. When I joined, I had an open calendar, a new camper, and unlimited time to spend traveling, meeting new friends, and exploring new places. My husband had just died in March so my time was now my own for the very first time in my life. As a method of coping with his death, I signed up for every event I possibly could and I have to tell you…that was singularly the best thing I ever could have done for myself. I had instant support, yet there wasn’t any of this “hand-wringing pity” you so often are faced with as a grieving widow. Instead, I had empathetic listeners who sat respectfully while I shared my story, reached out and gave me a hug, then immediately said, “Hey, a bunch of us are going hiking in a little bit. Wanna join us?” It was exactly what I needed. Acknowledgement of my pain…encouragement for my healing.

Jump in With Both Feet

The fast paced, frenetic schedule I set up for myself when I first joined soon morphed into a more laidback stretch of time. I relaxed into the comfort that comes when you arrive at an event and recognize someone you met earlier in the year. You get a little time and experience under your belt and before you know it, you start to recognize the newbies. The ones who are currently sitting in the seat you sat in not so long ago. This is one of the very best times to be a Sister…when you can reach back and offer the same love and encouraging support to those coming up the ranks behind you. It gives you such a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment to have learned new skills you can now share.

Growing Up & Growing Confident

Sisters on the Fly has grown so much since its inception nearly two decades ago. There have been growing pains, surely. But the basic premise of the whole endeavor has withstood the test of time. Sisters have come and gone as not every group is the right fit for everyone. I am here to tell you, as a member of five years, you will get out what you put into this organization. If you are looking for someone to cater to your every whim, you are in the wrong place. But if you are willing to roll your sleeves up, pitch in where needed, step out of your comfort zone, and be willing to put yourself out there to meet new people and learn new things, you are going to thrive with these gals.

Take Ownership  & Make it Yours

If there aren’t enough events in your area…host some. If there aren’t enough events with your area of interest, create one. The Wranglers in your area are there to answer your questions and to guide you through the website to teach you how to find events. While some Wranglers host events, they can’t be expected to plan, organize, and carry out every event in your area. We Wranglers depend on our area Sisters to step up and be brave and BOLD and schedule the kinds of events you want to go to. We’ll help in anyway we can by answering questions and pointing you in the right direction.

Sisters on the Fly is entirely what YOU make it to be. There are large events all over the country that are often “bucket list” trips to aspire to. There are yearly events that are a bit competitive to get into because so many Sisters want to return year after year. That’s why we have gone “back to basics” and we are encouraging lots more small, free, impromptu gatherings. No muss, no fuss. Just camping, gathering around the campfire, sharing our Sisterhood with other like-minded women. I don’t know about you, but I kind of enjoy the smaller gatherings more anyway. You have the opportunity to really get to know your fellow Sisters on a deeper level. There is more time to bond. There is more time to laugh. There is even more time to nap or read in a hammock or stand in a river. Not every minute has to be planned out to make a SOTF event successful. This isn’t a competition to see who can put on the biggest show. Far from it.

Step in & Step Up

So, we’re winding down the camping season. Why not step in with both feet and start something new? We have recently had a huge surge in new memberships with the video released by The Travel Channel. Take advantage of that uptick in the number of Sisters available to have more fun than anyone with. You will never regret having fun with a bunch of women who have magically become girls again!

With much love,

Ginny

Post contributed by blogger, Positive Aging Expert & Motivational Speaker,
Ginny McKinney, SOTF #3537
Marshmallow Ranch Blog

Recommended Posts
Showing 18 comments
  • Toni Marshall

    Ceci:
    This is so beautifully written. I can’t wait to start meeting and attending events with these like-minded women!

    When women support one another, amazingly wonderful things happen…
    Toni Marshall, Fredericksburg TX
    Sister #10634

    • Sam Wellman

      Hi Toni,
      I just joined and saw you message. I lived in FBG for many years and had Samuel’s Bridal and Formal on the corner of Main & Kerville Hwy cady corner from the court house. When I closed my show I sub leased to the Secret Garden that I think is still there.
      I am like you so excited to get with the gals and have the fun I see them having.
      I hope we run into each other alone the way.
      Sam (was Sam Sagebiel)

    • Ginny McKinney

      Thank you, Toni! When I first started writing the Getting Bolder sweeties for the Sisters, I couldn’t wait to tell everone how this wonderful organization helped me step out of the grief of losing my husband and back into life…in a new way. I’m excited you have joined us! I hope to see you around a campfire one of these days! ❤️

    • Ginny McKinney

      Thank you, Toni! When I first started writing the Getting Bolder series for the Sisters, I couldn’t wait to tell everone how this wonderful organization helped me step out of the grief of losing my husband and back into life…in a new way. I’m excited you have joined us! I hope to see you around a campfire one of these days! ❤️

  • GISELA STAYTON

    Loved this!! Newly here. Sure could use a good campfire weekend.

    • Ginny McKinney

      Thank you, Toni! When I first started writing the Getting Bolder series for the Sisters, I couldn’t wait to tell everone how this wonderful organization helped me step out of the grief of losing my husband and back into life…in a new way. I’m excited you have joined us! I hope to see you around a campfire one of these days! ❤️

  • Ginny McKinney

    Well, obviously I hit about ten buttons in rapid succession there! 🤪 Thank you all (Including Toni!) for your kind remarks. I enjoy writing “Getting Bolder”…it offers me the opportunity to pay it forward.

    Hope to see you around the campfire one of these day!

    My best,

    Ginny

  • Peggy Jezek

    Hi Genny,
    New Sister here (Sister #11343) Loved reading your blog. So inspiring. I too lost my husband in March (of this year). Healing is continuing, but looking forward to meeting the West Texas Sisterhood and having some adventures.
    Peggy J
    Sister #11343

    • Ginny McKinney

      Peggy, my heart is with you in your loss. Still so fresh. Good for you for getting out and meeting new people. It really helps to move around. Just remember…there’s only one way to grieve. That’s to grieve. Don’t try to travel around it…travel through it! Hope our paths cross down the road! ❤️

  • Susan Blair

    Ginny, your story is beautiful and sad, but comforting too. I am so excited to start this chapter in my life with SOTF. I truly believe this will be my tribe. I hope to meet you some day.
    Susan B.

    • Ginny McKinney

      Thank you, Susan. The Sisters really set me on a path of personal growth and adventure I never dreamed possible. Get out there and have more fun that anyone! ❤️

  • Beth Cronin

    Hi, sister 11609 here….just got a 1989 mini motorhome and learning how to turn everything on😁 retired and took a few years to get my health back up to speed…years of high stress work at a women’s prison will do that to you…so now need to to refurbish my lapsed social skills and find some laughter, friends, good books and wine. Am dragging a couple dogs but they have fencing and mellow dispositions…I figure I turn 70 next month and wanna see if I can turn back the clock so to speak…anyone in my area…would love to connect

    • Ginny McKinney

      Hi, Beth! Your little mini motor home sounds like a lot of fun. I understand about getting your social skills back. I had kind of neglected my girlfriends for several years while I focused on Mr. Virgo. When he passed away, I needed to build a whole new social circle. The Sisters really helped me do that sand I have great friends all across the country now! Have fun and hope to see you around the campfire one of these days! ❤️

  • Ceci Bennett

    Ginny, thanks for being an awesome part of the heart and soul of Sisters on the fly through your writing and your “sistership!” (Who ever came up with “fellow”-ship?! This is “Sister”-ship!)
    Ceci # 127

  • Cynthia Wilson

    Reading all of these writings gives me hope. I have fallen through the cracks of life. I look forward to getting back on track. This really sounds like a good group.

  • Wanda MILTON

    Hi! Just joined, ten minutes ago! Lost my husband the end of April, this year. Trying to stay busy and make plans. Recently sold our 30 foot 5th wheel. It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done….full of so many great memories. Determined to continue camping, once I find something small enough for me to drive and handle. I’m a great grandmother of small stature, so there are limits! Love to travel, but dreading being by myself. I’ve found something to look forward to! Can’t wait to start meeting and participating with everyone….and, improve my social skills.

  • Jean Harris

    Ginny, thanks for sharing your story with us. I just joined today – Sister 11979 (Jean Harris) . My husband has been gone for 5 years and I worked until last September when I was forced into retirement at the young age of 73. My adult children have taken me on some great vacations this year and I took a road trip to Portland with my 84 year young sister. Now I am anxious to see what else is out there for me to do. I have always loved camping and only have a tent, but I’m in the process of buying a vintage trailer that I will redo myself. My first Sisters on the Fly adventure will be in East TX the last weekend of November.

Leave a Comment

Most Recent Projects