Lea Lane

Lea Lane
Florida, USA
August 26
author, Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks, available at Amazon.com and on Kindle
“I’ve discovered the secret of life,” Kay Thompson, the eccentric entertainer and “Eloise” author, once said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy and a lot of tra-la-la!” And that's been my life: As a travel writer for over 30 years, I've been around the block (more like around the world), and I write true stories about interesting people and places. (Check out my travel site, Travels With Lea.) I've lived an unconventional life in conventional trappings. Been a corporate VP, worked with foster kids, acted in an Indie ("Nurse 1"), was on Jeopardy!. I've been managing editor of a travel publication, written for the Times, and authored books. OS is my home, but I also blog on The Huffington Post, and I've contributed (mostly anonymously) to everything from encyclopedias to guidebooks. Married young, divorced late; married late, widowed early, I dated lots in-between -- and survived a scary illness. After being happily, peacefully solo for many years, I'm now happily married again. I founded and still edit www.sololady.com, a lifestyle Website for single women. I'm truly grateful for each precious day, each well-earned wrinkle, my family, my cat. Truth, laughter, friendship, late love. And this blog -- on this wonderful site!

Lea Lane's Links

FEBRUARY 27, 2010 9:56PM

to lea at 17

Rate: 51 Flag

If you look at the profile and the photo up on the left you see a woman of a certain age who seems accepting of what life has brought her. There have been tremendous highs and lows, and she understands that sometimes she can’t control things, but she does the best she can.

In the photo below, there you are: a sweet, bright-eyed girl who doesn’t have a clue of what lies ahead for the next 50 years. And you could not in a million years imagine yourself the age of that photo on the left. And if you did, you would assume decrepitude.

The girl in the picture below has only been kissed, not yet even fondled. She cannot see that someday she will have two sons and two granddaughters who love her. That she will write some books and experience great suffering and joy, and travel the world, around and around. Or that she will spend much of her life alone, and yet at peace.  

The girl below smiles although she feels lost and unloved. She hopes, but she doesn't know what to expect. She doesn’t know that the boy she will begin to date in a few months will become her husband, the first of two good husbands in her life, and that things will change to privilege and then back again, and again. And that very late in her life she would find yet another good man to live with.

Oh girl that I was, you seem stiff in the photo below. In some ways, older than the woman on the left, who looks at you at 17 -- such a hopeful, innocent -- with great love and understanding. You have so much ahead of you. You will try. You will suffer. You will fail. You will succeed.

You will survive.





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You have kept your beauty and the young one could have never imagined your exciting life. Fun as always.
Lovely, Lea. That's some photo. You can be proud of your life.
Quite nice, Lea. Very thoughtful, and pleasantly written.
And that is the important thing, is it not....you survived. Not only did you survive, but you thrived. A life well lived. Bravo!
Lovely Lea Lane. Best In Category. I'd know you anywhere from the photo as a girl. Add a shot of wisdom, a dash of dignity and a soupcon of grace, et voila! it's the lady on the left.
tre, I can't let that pass. Can you tell from the smile on the top that I have been since? :)
Isn't it amazing to look back and see what we didn't know, whilst also being able to see that we could (and did) survive way more than we knew existed?
Round and round we go, how beautiful you were as a young woman Lea and how beautiful you still are, but with the wisdom of age and experience borne out by your fine words.
This is beautiful... as are you.

Thank you and I will add your post to the index.
it's amazing that for so many of us, true happiness has been found much later than we might have expected it, while so many people seem to think 17 were some of the best years of their lives.
Dare I say that both photos are fully capable of launching 1000 ships?
I dare...
That young girl at 17 would thrive if she had this kind of support. It would take years for her to feel comfortable in her skin, and take a compliment.
I'm not surprised that you were lovely at 17. And I agree with what the others have said, that you have much to be proud of with what you've done since then.
Fits perfectly indeed. I would love to know I had been places, found love more than once, and ended up as beautiful as you are! Wonderful letter
LL2, I had been almost no where except Florida and NYC at 17. I had no idea I would travel in my future. But I was always reading books about foreign places. Even when I was a child I especially loved *Heidi,* set in Switzerland.
Just perfect. You have taken this challenge and done what I could not... bypassed the youthful pain and focused on that young girl's courageous journey of overcoming, learning, living beyond your potential. You are an object lesson for all smart enough to listen.
She's done much better than survive. What a lovely piece and lovely two women. Rated.
Well, most of it has already been said, which happens sometimes when one is late to the party. Nonetheless - Yes, this post is definitely a keeper. Very lovely to read, and the two beautiful pictures truly bring the message down the last stretch. ~r for talent, grace and poise, and your excellent "comeback" to tre! (tre gets a metaphorical rating for his keen observation!)
Lea I agree you are so much younger now! rated
Lovely, Lea. Simple and profound. I value your wisdom and perspective and appreciate your writing talent.
Lovely at every age, the only thing you've lost is your innocence, but you've traded that for experience, and that seems a pretty fair trade.
I'm not surprised you were a knockout at 17 - you still are.

It's nice to look at the untouched selves we had then and not want to trade places, isn't it?
"I was so much older then, I'm Younger than that now"
Wonderful, Lea
Young Lea grew up to be pretty amazing.
Beautiful Lea. Thank you!
Lovely at any age, your life has been quite extraordinay; but I expect there is even more to come for such an accomplished woman.
Lea- If I could chose an attitude about life to instill in my two young daughters, I would put yours in a box and present it to both of them. You are a constant inspiration to me.

And, that photo is gorgeous. You may be wiser now but no less beautiful.
Gotta say a big thank you for such lovely comments. I write sincerely and am blessed with the feedback.
Lea, I do believe you already know how much I think of your work, but this is exceptional even for you.
awww, Boa. You're a true-blue virtual friend.
Very elegant and lovely like you Lea. Your picture is beautiful, as I would expect. You do seem stiffer as a young girl, and your confident picture above is testimony to your life well lived.
Part of it is the times, Rita. We were posed in these "club" composite photos and we looked like much older women. That was a time I still wore white gloves when I dressed up.
Other than the notion that you messed up your math ("the next fifty years" - impossible), it is a lovely tribute.
Nikki, the math is correct, alas.
It's a good thing we don't know what lies ahead (or lurks beneath).

This was lovely to read Lea.

We'd know you by your smile at any age. Just lovely.
You've only grown more beautiful with the years. And just think how very much more interesting!
"You will try. You will suffer. You will fail. You will succeed.

You will survive."

And then some. What a cool way to look back at it. You are here.
I think I would have been just as fond of 17 year old Lea as I am with her later incarnation. Well done!
You HAVE survived, Lea and did it with imagination, fortitude, humor, passion, compassion and love. And that new avatar photo? I love it. Just love it.
You are always a joy to read - nice to see your younger self who looks exactly like you now! if only she knew the adventures ahead - would it have made her a bit scared or just eager to begin?
As a young woman I was likeable but insecure; part of feeling unloved. So you would have not found an adventurous person. But I was funny and had heart, and hope. It took a divorce to unlock the adventurous side of me.
You were a beautiful young girl then and a beautifuller woman now. Your now photo shows a fullfilled and peaceful person and I do relate when you said in your last comment, "It took a divorce to unlock the adventurous side of me." Rated.
Gee, were any of us happy at 17?
Lea, you looked beautiful then. You're beautiful now. And I don't just mean your picture, I mean the words you write.
"When I was seventeen, It was a very good year ..."

You've aged well, Lea, both in mind and body. Congratulations on your good fortune! You've blazed through the tough spots like a true champion. A giant {{{R}}} for resilience.
Knowing you from your past posts, this brief look into your past seems aptly sparse and free of gnashing. You were -- and are -- lovely. Not every good person attracts good to their lives, but you have.
You are just so beautiful inside and out now and then...
You all are more than kind in these comments.

And Cranky, some people did seem happy at 17.

And Bellwether, I never learned the art of gnashing.

How's your eye doing, Rod? Things happen when you've had lots of years of lots of fun.
Lovely photos and perspective on life. It is a shame that youth is wasted on the young:)
Oh Wanderer, so very true. Youth and firmness and health -- just taken for granted. Age makes you appreciate so very much more.
I'm glad I had the privilege of meeting the woman that this girl became. It was an honor, btw. Rated.
I feel the same about you, Andy. I met the real thing, not the dog.
Great letter and boy were you a dish, hee hee. rated.
And you still are, I might add.
Simply lovely. I like the softness of the older photo. Your beautiful smile hasn't changed.
Good post and a beautiful person! You look older than 17 in this picture....perhaps it's just the sophisticated hair style! I would love to see how you look now at 67. Would you ever permit that? How old are you in the profile picture? Just curious....you're so beautiful.