Sometimes it takes a little impulsiveness to bring clarity |

Sometimes it takes a little impulsiveness to bring clarity

Karel Ancona-Henry
Special to the Appeal

Sometimes temper and clarity meet at a crossroads that gives new perspective.

In my years on this planet, I’ve had two of those moments, one many years ago and one just recently.

The first was during my first marriage (there have been three) when my then husband had again not returned home – he liked to party – and at about 1 a.m., in a fit, I kicked the wall.


There I stood, my foot firmly planted against the backside of the exterior wall (this is when I also realized I had no insulation in my 1920s bungalow) as I moved rapidly through anger and into “What were you thinking, you fool?” followed by “Perhaps it’s time to divorce this jackass.”

See? Temper meets clarity, where there’s little more to do than laugh and realize you’ve made more work for yourself by creating the hole.

Impulsiveness operates in the same way, I found recently.

Setting out to Lake Lahontan about dusk, armed with nothing but a bottle of Bacardi Peach Rum, I was off to Beach 11 to see Dave and Shelly Long. I didn’t bother to call Shelly ahead of time, because there was no ahead of time.

Off I went, paid the park ranger my $10, told her to be safe and drove off the pavement to where the dirt roads twist and meander all over the place.

Even with the brights on, it was dark, but fearlessly I made my way forward.

And if not for four-low, would be buried up to my axle and other parts in sand.

“Dear God, just get me to dry land,” I started praying, knowing if I drove west, at some point, I would get back on the road.

Well folks, there’s very big sagebrush, drops in terrain and rocks between the beach and road.

At one point, surrounded by brush taller than me, and perhaps that’s not saying much, thoughts were racing through my mind.

“You fool, you could have at least brought water; what good is peach rum going to do in this situation?” and, as I’m imagining a skeleton sitting in the driver’s seat, “at least if Mikki were here with me, we could laugh about this and drink the peach rum while hiking out of this god-forsaken place; AAA couldn’t save you now.”

I lumped two trees out of my path, gingerly making my way down cliffs that a seasoned four-wheeling person would scoff at and praying my fanny off. You know those prayers; the bargaining variety.

“God if you’ll only get me safely out of this, I will never think I can find my way around Lahontan in the dark, alone and without water ever again. Oh yeah, and I promise to not be an impulsive fool (’til the next time it happens).”

I was never so happy to see pavement in my life. I went back through the entrance, where the park ranger said, “Oh yes! I’ve been lost out there in daylight!”

I drove home, put my as yet – and still – unopened bottle of peach rum in the liquor cabinet and went to bed.

The next morning there was a voice message from Shelly, which she had left for me at 1:30 a.m.

“Karel, are you OK?”

Bless her heart. Better late than never.

Lesson learned, for now.

In other news:

Don’t forget that Dayton Valley Days is upon us, one last community hurray before we disappear inside to be seen by no one until spring. It’s a lovely way to celebrate that gateway between the seasons and takes place in Old Town Dayton on Saturday and Sunday.

FISH, Friends in Service Helping, is a thrift store and is still in need of volunteers. When you donate to FISH or shop there, you’re participating. That participation translates into providing food baskets, showers, temporary housing and more for individuals and families in need. The shop is located at 710 Highway 50. Call Nikki at 241-7654, for more information about how you can participate, volunteer and make a difference.

I will be hosting a Home and Garden Party Open House at my home Sept. 20-21 from 3:30-8 p.m., or by appointment. Call for more information and directions. I look forward to meeting new people and visiting with others I’ve not seen in a while.

Dayton Community Task Force is a worthy organization committed to making a difference in the lives of Dayton’s youth. There’s plenty of work to be done, folks, and what a great investment of time and energy. For more information, contact Sara Ross at, or call Healthy Communities at 246-7550.

• Karel can be reached at 246-4000 or