Sometimes we listen to our parents and sometimes we don’t; we simply have to learn some life lessons on our own.

I did listen to my mother about a few things. To this day, I will not walk past a strange van randomly parked by the sidewalk. My mom said someone might be waiting in the van to snatch us. I don’t know why she issued this particular warning.

I can’t trace this back to my mom exactly, but I know she enjoyed a clean house. I cannot leave the house or go to bed at night until the kitchen is clean.

Life lessons I learned on my own.

Always wear underwear to school. Mornings are not my time of day. And once when I was in elementary school, I pulled on a dress, but forgot my underwear. No worries – I was still wearing my pajama bottom shorts. But, as it turned out, that day was P.E. and we did a lot of bending exercises. I was mortified my fellow classmates would see my pajamas. Not sure why I wasn’t worried about them seeing my underwear? It’s funny how certain life lessons stick with you.

Don’t chew gum while on a roller coaster. While you’re screaming and your hair is whipping around, there’s a very good chance the gum will get stuck in your hair.

Don’t hitchhike. Luckily, this turned out okay. But one of my dumber choices.

If you live where it snows, you must have an ice scraper for your windshield. Fingernails and pieces of bark do not work. Another snow lesson: if you head to the airport for a trip and it’s sunny, still store snow clothes in your car for your return. Otherwise, you might find yourself knee-deep in the snow in loafers.

If someone says their dog is friendly, don’t believe them. Trust the look on the dog’s face.

And, proving that we never stop learning these life lessons: don’t camp in the desert in April.

Yes, I just got back from tenting in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s a really wonderful campground if you ever want to go. But, I wouldn’t recommend it in April. There’s a reason it’s only open for seven months of the year.

It’s hot!!

What life lessons have you learned?