The Problem with Propane & Bear Bait

When there is a recall on your motorhome that has to do with a propane line, you turn the gas off until you can have the required service work done. It’s a no-brainer. Propane is flammable, and with just the right leakage factor, potentially explosive.

Do you know how long it takes to get a service appointment when you are bopping around Florida State Parks in a rolling combustion coach? Too long. No propane means no heat, no range top burners, no hot water. I can wash dishes in cold water, but a cold shower is out of the question.

Maybe it’s the shower thing. Maybe that is why I smell like bear bait.

I have had two close encounters with Florida Black Bear in the past week. In the first near-brush with Yogi, I was jogging down a path that ran along the Tamiami trail. A car stopped, rolled down the window and was yelling something about “blah-blah-blah, behind you.” I thought he was telling me that he would soon be jogging behind me. Not so. He waited for me at the end of the trail to inform me that he had been trying to tell me that there was a bear behind me. It was not my lightening speed that kept the bear from catching me. He just lost interest. Mauling me took too much effort.

Later in the week, while walking Gypsy through the Ross Prairie Trailhead, I met a nice man who was walking his dog. Well, he was kind of running with his dog. The look on his face told me that he was not out for a recreational run with his canine companion. It seems that he was in full retreat. Yep, another bear, but this one was ahead of me.

Thank goodness we managed to get that service work done, and I can FINALLY take a nice, hot shower in my own RV. No more smelling like bear bait for me.

To set the record straight, I DID shower. Thankfully we were in Southwest Florida for the few weeks without heat or hot water. A nice, warm bathhouse was close by, and although the mornings and evenings were chilly, the temperature was tolerable.

Yes, we had to confront cold water and a couple of bear, but all was not lost. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with old friends from our Baltimore boating days and sharing a bucket (or two) of cold beer! How wonderful to find some friendly faces. It makes us feel a little more connected to home during this crazy voyage.

The Ross Prairie Trailhead is a beautiful spot, near Ocala. We had planned to be here a bit longer, to explore the parks and eat some gator bites, but it was not to be. There is a cold front sweeping across the Gulf, and torrential rains and high winds are in the forecast. We hightailed it to Grayton Beach State Park (on the Redneck Riviera) a day early to avoid traveling in adverse conditions.

We have just settled in for a night of stormy weather and some NFL action on TV…

Stay tuned…

CAVORTING WITH CRITTERS AND CHUMMING WITH CHUMS

See Ya’ Later Alligator

There are an estimated 1.25 million alligators in Florida and I met three of them on our walk through the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. They were long, lazy and luckily lackadaisical. These remarkable reptiles were more than content to ignore us while they bathed in the warmth of the sun. The marsh trail was overflowing with feathered friends. Egret, heron, stork, ibis, snail kite and cormorant were abundant. There were lizard and snakes and all kinds of creepy-crawly things hiding in the sawgrass and Cyprus. Gypsy was with us, and I was overly concerned that she might look tasty to some of these creatures, but apparently Labrador is not high on the list of Everglade edibles.

Does anyone else find it amusing that Nudity is prohibited at Ten Thousand Islands? I mean, this had to have been a problem if it was necessary to post this restriction, right? I am easily amused, and keep thinking, what would inspire someone to run through a mosquito filled marsh, with their “dangly bits” swinging around like bait???  It does take all kinds to make a world, I suppose. As for me, I will do my marsh meandering clothed.

If you manage to evade the reptiles, there are also mammals that could pose a potential threat. Our recent campsites have all posted information about the elevated activity of black bear. Although Big Bertha has given us multiple headaches, I am thankful for the protective armor of an RV. I don’t think I could comfortably sleep in a tent with bear, gators, rattlers, and panthers roaming about.

We are blessed to have friends that reside in Bonita Springs. They were kind (and brave) enough to take us offshore, into the Gulf of Mexico, for a fishing excursion. Although I had done some fishing with my dad in my early years, this was NOTHING like fishing on the muddy banks of the Conestoga Creek. This fishing was done on open water that sparkled like sea glass. Our friends are experienced at deep sea fishing and they gave clear and concise instruction. In no time, we were participating, and actually reeling-in fish. There is a WHOLE LOT I do not know about fish, like which are edible, and which are not; which have toxins in their pectoral spines, and which do not. Left to our own devices, my husband and I would be eating bait and pulling venomous dorsal barbs out of our hands. We did catch some “keepers”, a few blue fish, a snapper and a permit. Our knowledgeable and patient host taught me how to filet the fish. The fresh catch was then prepared by our gracious friends. We enjoyed an outstanding dinner of blackened fish and a delicious, lemony fish piccata.  What a thoroughly enjoyable day.

A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty ~ Unknown

I am loving the warm air and all the outdoor activities. It’s January. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s winter. Although I love my shorts and tank tops, there are Maryland moments that I am missing. I would love to build a snowman with my grandchildren. I would love to make them hot chocolate and snuggle with them in front of the fireplace.

At least, for the time being, I can call them regularly, and hear tales of their icy adventures.

Ahhh….. <sigh>

But back to sun and fun…

Stay tuned….

Learning to Live with Less

After leaving Savannah and Christmas Day behind, we headed to Faver-Dykes State Park, near St. Augustine, Florida. Despite my resolution to look forward with optimism, I was still feeling a bit sad and nostalgic about holidays past. I subscribe to convention, and nothing could have been further from long-established traditions this year.

No home, leaving my loved ones, and the reality that all of my belongings were in storage kind of hit me between the eyes as were were rolling Southward. Yet, my mood seemed to improve as the temperature crept upwards. I prefer flip-flops to snow boots.

Faver-Dykes is a gem of a State Park. The campground is small but the individual sites are well laid out and very private. The trails are wide, and well-marked. The atmosphere is subtropical, with large, live oak, and an abundance of both Spanish Moss and Saw Palmetto providing ambiance. The ground was covered in fine sand. Gypsy likes to roll in fine sand. Fine sand likes to find its way into every tread on the bottom of our shoes. Sweeping the RV became an hourly task, and even that was no match for the relentless dirt.

Our kids gave us multiple board games for Christmas this year. We chose to test-drive them at Faver-Dykes. Although it is perfectly acceptable to play 365 games of Scrabble per year without needing intervention, the kids were obviously concerned about our apparent addiction to the game. Introducing new games is their attempt to keep us from requiring a Scrabble-12-step-program. Although we have not tossed Scrabble aside, we thoroughly enjoy playing A Little Wordy, Sequence, Blokus and Word on The Street.

Saint Augustine Beach was wildly crowded when we ventured into town. With Covid still looming large, we opted to skip some of the congested areas. This meant we would have to cross a busy street to escape the throngs of beachgoers. The crosswalks are equipped with orange flags, intended to alert motorists to pedestrians. We noted that, even with orange flags flapping, not all motorists are conscientious. Still, we managed to cross and enjoy a cold beer and a tasty lunch at the dog-friendly Café 11 before returning to our house on wheels.

Next stop:  Collier-Seminole State Park near Naples, Florida. Immediately after setting up, we discovered that our neighbors were old acquaintances from our marina days in Baltimore. Small world! We took advantage of their campfire and caught up a bit. We were enjoying our social time, but it was my husband’s birthday, so we retreated to our site, grilled a couple of steaks and enjoyed a quiet birthday dinner.

The campsites at Collier Seminole are “tight” but there was adequate room at the rear of the motorhome to erect a screen room, which is necessary. The bugs are brutal at dawn and dusk. The park offers trails, boat ramps, and bike paths. The rangers are extremely knowledgeable and kind. We took advantage of a guided hike on New Years morning. Henry, our guide, did an amazing job of introducing us to the flora and fauna in the area. It was somewhat unsettling to be hiking through areas that are inhabited by bear, bobcats, panthers, alligators and rattle snakes but Henry assured us, that (aside from rattle snakes) we were unlikely to encounter these creatures.

Cousin Eddie??

What’s worse than snakes and panthers and bears? Learning how to use the portable, sewage tote tank, that’s what!

Marco Island is a hop, skip and a jump down the road. It is a beautiful place. We were fortunate to be able to meet up with friends to enjoy an afternoon of fun and frivolity, 1st at Stan’s Idle Hour for lunch, then to 2-Shea’s Salty Dog to watch the Raven’s go down in defeat. It was an ugly season. Hoping for a great pick in the draft and a healthy team in 2022.

Plenty more to do near Naples since this is a 2-week stop, and a fishing trip is in the planning stages. Not much opportunity to blog, since WiFi is virtually non-existent in the area….

BUT, Stay tuned…

A Campground Christmas

Santa finds Savannah

I am almost done moaning about missing my traditional Christmas celebration. Due to silly circumstances, I could not drink eggnog and carve ‘roast beast’ with my loved ones, and I just need to get over it, make lemonade from lemons, and be joyful for the blessings I have.

Blessed, we are. We are spending Christmas at Fort McAllister State Park near Savannah, GA. The park is gorgeous and the campground is modern, with spacious sites and lots of Christmas lights. The night skies are star-filled. The sunrises and sunsets are awash in vibrant colors.

After calling friends and family on Christmas morning, we decided to see what the “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks” were all about in Savannah. We headed to Forsyth Park, and were surprised to see such a large number of people, out and about on Christmas Day. It should not have been surprising, however. It was a sunny, warm day; feeling much more like late May than late December.

The Omnicron variant of the Covid-19 pandemic is particularly Grinch-like; trying to keep Christmas from coming. We would not be deterred from enjoying a beautiful day, but for safety’s sake, left the downtown area, and headed to an unlikely Christmas destination: Bonaventure Cemetery. It is an historic acreage, and is well worth a visit. The statuary is amazing, and there are some interesting stories about the souls who are permanent inhabitants.

All things considered, it has not been a bad Christmas at all. Many campers have elaborate light displays surrounding their rigs; some making it appear as if snow is falling. Santa and Mrs. Claus have been running around on a golf cart. It’s not Rockefeller Center, but it’s making an attempt.

A camping Christmas may not be what I am accustomed to, but it is far better than I feared. We had a warm, sunny day filled with history and exercise, and enjoyed a candlelight dinner and a game of Scrabble, which I won. Merry Christmas to me.

I know, I know…. you are all wondering where the naked Barbies and warranty woes are…

I won’t disappoint. We just received a recall notice on the RV. It seems the propane line was threaded through a spring of some sort, which causes wear on the gas line. Good thing we didn’t know that when we lit those candles last night. KABOOM!

We will be turning off the propane as we head to the St. Augustine are tomorrow….

Stay tuned….

“Dogmations” and the Pavilion of Misfit Toys

Dogmation

When my precious granddaughter was a wee, little thing, she thought that those cute, spotted dogs who rode on the back of firetrucks, or hung out with Cruella Deville, were called “dogmations”. When Gypsy emerged from her rampage through a particularly muddy creek, it struck me that she looked much more like a dogmation than the yellow lab that she is.

It all started out so innocently, with a 10+ mile hike in Poinsett State Park. It was a sunny, albeit chilly day, and the trails were wide and well marked. In my mind, we were wandering through Poinsettia State Park, I mean, it’s Christmas time, right? All was beautiful and picture perfect, then SPLASH. Gypsy apparently does not seem to care how cold the water is. I thought she had more sense. She doesn’t. In fact, it invigorated her. It was a catalyst for a severe case of the hyper-zoomies. She ran like a dog possessed, up and down the stream, splashing mud everywhere. There would certainly be a bath in her future.

Undeterred, we continued our holiday hike, looking for natural reds and greens along the way. With no real Christmas tree this year, nature would have to provide reasonable facsimiles.

Poinsett State Park has been around for a while and it has seen better days. The road in and out is, shall we say, challenging for large motorhomes. The buildings, which were erected by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in the 1930’s have not had much updating. The acreage is beautiful, but the park could use some infrastructure work.

There was an old, screened pavilion in the campground area. There was a hole in the roof, covered by a tarp, and moss was growing on the chimney. It appeared abandoned, and perhaps a bit spooky. Naturally, I wanted to explore. Curiosity often leads to strange discovery.

Inside the dilapidated structure , I encountered THE PAVILION OF MISFIT TOYS. Headless dolls and crumpled stuffed animals hung from the rafters. Cabbage Patch creatures were covered in cobwebs. A Christmas reindeer was cavorting in the fireplace with a naked Barbie. I was flabbergasted, and fearfully waited for Chucky to creep out of a dark corner. Rudolf’s Island of misfit toys, with it’s Charlie-in-a-box and ostrich-riding cowboy, could not compare to this oddity.

Creepy. I’m ready to move on to our Christmas in Coastal Georgia.

Stay tuned…

Ozurie

Feeling torn between the life you want and the life you have

My sister, Beth gifted me a book entitled THE DICTIONARY OF OBSCURE SORROWS. Yes, it’s an odd title for something intended to bring Christmas joy, but it is a book about new words that attempt to define emotions, moments in the human condition for which there are not already adequate, descriptive phrases. This is how I stumbled upon Ozurie: It is the story of my life. I am torn between what I want and what I already have.

I have always wanted to live on a lake. Be careful what you wish for. We have the lot, replete with beautiful views and a developing neighborhood. We do NOT have a house. Not yet. I’m not sure that I fully grasped that making this dream come true would entail selling our home, moving away from our family, and living in a truck for a year or more, while the architects and builders mess around with site maps and permits. Well, yes, I guess I knew it would have to be done, but actually doing it is a whole different ballgame. Ozurie. <sigh>

We have been living in Big Bertha (pet name for our often troublesome motorhome) for over a month, but we were cheating. We were cozily snuggled into an RV park that was close to our old home. We could still go to the gym, shop at our regular stores, see our friends, get the kids on the school bus each morning, and spend time with our extended family. We were thoroughly enjoying the luxury of having our cake and eating it, too.

The holidays were approaching and I was vehemently opposed to starting our RV voyage before Christmas. My husband, let’s just call him Ebeneezer, wanted to head south before the weather turned wintery. He claims that he never wins. He won.

Christmas would just have to come a bit early. I did not want to be the guy with garlic in my soul or termites in my smile. I needed carols, and candles, and twinkling lights. Fortunately, Cherry Hill RV Park also rented cabins, so we procured one, put up our cheesy, white, dollar-store, mini-Christmas tree, and prepared to ‘make merry’ in a very minimalistic way. We had no room for wrapping paper, large gift boxes, frozen turkeys or real trees. This year would be a Bah-Humbug year.

The cabin table boasted a maximum seating capacity of six. A sit-down, formal dinner was impractical. No roasted goose or figgy pudding for us. Instead, we opted for seafood snacking. It was a watered down version of the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. With only crab, salmon, shrimp and stuffed clams, it turned out to be the feast of the four fishes. Who’s counting? At least there were plenty of cookies.

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” – Burton Hillis

Perhaps this gathering will not be featured in any upcoming Hallmark, Christmas movies but we played lots of games, drank lots of wine, stuffed our faces full of food, and shared a great deal of laughter. I love this crowd. Family is everything, which is why it was so difficult to get into the motorhome and pull away the next morning.

I hope Santa fills my stocking with lots of Facetime.

It was a tearful departure, raining both inside and outside of the cab as we headed down I-95. I was staring ahead, feeling empty, when a car pulled up beside me, frantically waving in an overly emphatic pantomime, indicating that a door was wide open on the passenger side of the RV. It was the door that was just fixed under warranty. That’s right, folks, the Griswolds are back in full force, and Bertha continues to plague us with her menu of maladies. Thankfully, we were able to force it closed and get on our way.

After a rainy evening, we awoke to a clear, crisp, cloud-free dawn. It was good to enjoy a long hike, clear my head, and focus on the discoveries to be made on the journey ahead of us. They say there is a reason that the windshield is so much bigger than the rearview mirror. I will concentrate on looking forward. That is my resolution for the upcoming new year.

Did I mention that I always wanted to ramble endlessly in an RV? Be careful what you wish for.

STAY TUNED…..

Advent Adventure

“The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, of all the trees that are in the woods, the holly bears the crown.” – traditional English carol

Advent is about preparing for the arrival of something wonderful. It is about patiently awaiting renewal. It is about new beginnings. It is about finding joy and beauty in the process.

Crisp, morning walks give me time to reflect about what lies ahead. I wrap myself in warm, memories, and trudge onward. If the dog is with me, I am pulled onward (but her discipline issues can wait for a new blog post.) I am doing my best to put bygone moments in the past, where they belong. It is time to participate in my own, personal advent. It is time to prepare, with eager anticipation, for the coming of a new day… a whole new adventure, a whole new lifestyle.

What has been holding me back? Simple. I suffer from Christmas Syndrome. I am obsessed with stockings and wreaths and candles and fireplaces. I want to bake gingerbread with my grandkids, build a snowman, put marshmallows in my hot chocolate and chop down my own fir tree. I want to sing carols, sip eggnog and wrap gifts that I cannot really afford. I WANT TO LIVE IN A HALLMARK MOVIE, not in a truck.

I love Christmas. Fa-la-la, deck the halls, city sidewalks, etc. I may not have my mantle filled with greenery, or my shrubbery lined with symmetrical lights. I may not have a welcoming candle in every window, or a decorated tree in every room. (Come to think of it, I don’t even have rooms!) No wrapped piles of presents lie hidden under the beds, waiting for Santa to delivery them. Bah Humbug!

Because I’m a fan of the Grinch, however, I know that Christmas cannot be stolen. So, with my RV gently snuggled in its Whoville site, I began my search for a camping Christmas.

I’m a snob. I admit it. I prefer highbrow holidays, with real garland, and tasteful white lights, tartan prints, and silky red ribbon. I want canapes, Crosby crooning, champagne, pate de foie gras, and solo piano music.

Looks like that may not be in the cards this year. So, I have chosen to embrace the colored lights, the inflatable lawn ornaments, a can of Bud, and the strains of Grandma being run over by a reindeer. I vow to shed my pomposity and to be more like George Bailey, running around the campground, yelling “Merry Christmas, inflatable flamingo! Merry Christmas, inflatable Grinch! Merry Christmas, you wonderful old, problematic RV!”

It serves us well to remember that Christmas is also about some other weary travelers, whose accommodations were far more meager than those that we are currently enjoying. I guess it helps to keep it all in perspective. We have warm beds, soft sheets, plenty of food, and there are no cattle lowing inside.

We will miss our traditional Christmas gatherings this year, but our blessings are many, and, if the fates allow, we will make up for it next year.

Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can’t beat home, sweet home.

Grasping at Gratitude

November is supposed to be all about Thanksgiving, and being filled with appreciation, and counting your blessings. Looks like this pilgrim missed the Mayflower. I have not exactly been brimming with gratitude. I miss my house. I dislike cold weather. Most notably, however, I am totally fed up with RV warranty repairs, dealerships, and motorhome service in general. Waking to a leaky bedroom ceiling started this specific tirade. Cold is bad enough. I draw the line at wet. I am quickly becoming a cantankerous, crotchety crab.

“In the time of test, family is best.” – Burmese Proverb.

My (dour) general outlook was not improved when I learned of a death in my husband’s family. I was already playing hide-and-seek with thankfulness, and did not need more sorrow introduced to the stew. Begin with a base of homelessness. Simmer. Add November wind chills, then gently fold in a funeral. It’s the perfect recipe for a self-pity party.

It was during the solemnity of the funeral service that I opened my eyes and discovered a genuine reason to be grateful: family. There were tears but there were so many shared memories of happier times. The supportive love of family members was apparent and abundant. Like the Grinch, my heart began to grow as I acknowledged how truly grateful I am for strong family ties. RIP, Aunt Ras.

It is said that home is where the heart is. My beloved, brick and mortar house may be gone, but I realized that to grow in gratitude, I would have to make new memories in my existing home, the one with the wheels. Because grumpiness and grandchildren cannot coexist, I grabbed my grandkids and introduced them to our new, albeit temporary, neighborhood. They seemed perfectly content to explore the park acreage and to cozy up in our confined space. There is much to learn from the adaptability of children. I am truly grateful to be able to share special moments with these prodigious progeny of mine.

Author, JK Rowling said, “Family is a lifejacket in the stormy sea of life.” She is so right. My very capable niece generously hosted this year’s feast. It was not easy to pass the baton, but I conceded. I could not bake a turkey and all of the trimmings in my toaster oven, and the RV dinette only seats four comfortably. We’d have been a tad squished. After a few days with family, a perfectly browned turkey, a few pounds of butter and plentiful pie, my attitude shifted towards bona fide gratitude. I was no longer looking for reasons to be thankful, I was surrounded by substantiation.

The furry family member…

Lest I neglect to mention the obvious, I am also grateful for my four-legged child, Gypsy.

She’s not only lovable, she’s smart.

She has decided to get her degree in advanced dog obedience at the University of Maryland. She had better take the accelerated course, as our time here is soon coming to a close.

In closing, I am deeply and genuinely thankful for family and friends, near and far. Thanks for “having my back” as I continue this crazy lifestyle. I am warm, and fed, and comfortable. I whine too much at times, but I do know how blessed I have been and how lucky I am to have a year of adventure ahead.

Next: Ho, ho, ho…. Christmas travels.

Stay tuned….

Vagabond Vicissitudes

I sobbed out loud when I closed the front door for the final time. I loved my home and will always treasure the memories that reverberate within its walls.

It’s real. Our beloved home has been sold and we have taken up residence in a truck. It’s a nice truck, with plumbing and refrigeration, and heat. Okay, to be fair, it is really a class C Recreational Vehicle named Big Bertha (which is nothing more than a truck with a fancy semi-trailer attached.)

The bed is cozy. The recliners are relaxing. The kitchen is compact, but functional. We are not starving or freezing but we have been known to step on each others toes; frequently. In some contexts being close to your spouse is a wonderful thing. This is not one of them. Because our four-legged friend is taking up more than her fair share of space, we are even more confined and constantly covered in fine, white, dog hair.

I do miss my home (the one without wheels) but cramped spaces and canine fur aside, the experience, thus far, has been surprisingly positive. Of course, we are only five days into this insanity, so time will tell.

Cherry Hill Park, near College Park, Maryland is one of the finest commercial RV parks that we have ever stayed in. The amenities include a well-stocked store, a cafe (that delivers to your site), a perimeter hiking trail, pools, hot tub, playgrounds, laundry room, dog park and a tour bus that regularly departs for our nation’s capital. The sites are level, the park is well maintained, clean and loaded with conveniences like multiple, large, warm, sanitized bathhouses. It is located near the junction of I-95 and the Washington Beltway, so it is impossible to completely escape the traffic noise, but it is far from unbearable and easy to forgive because Cherry Hill is truly a gem.

Gypsy, poor pup, has no idea, what on earth, is going on. She thinks we are crazy, and she may be right. One day she had an entire house and yard to zoom around in. The next she was living in a big rig. Thankfully, she has been working out her anxiety at the dog park, perfecting her agility skills. This mutt will do anything for food.

“Push up the score, keep on fighting for more,
For Maryland, GO TERPS!”

The Paint Branch Trail connects Cherry Hill Campground to the University of Maryland campus. Because there was a home football game, we knew our dear friends (die hard Terp fans, poor souls) would be tailgating. We jumped on our bikes and rode to the parking lot to surprise them, and to enjoy some great food, a beer or two, and the company of some of our favorite folks.

It was a chilly ride, but well worth it!

Thanksgiving is looming and it is the first time in decades that I will not be hosting the feast. I have always enjoyed the preparation and the large number of guests. It will certainly be different, but the success of the holiday is now in the hands of my eldest niece. She will do an excellent job and I am looking forward to my new role as a guest…

We have embarked upon a voyage in which everything is new. Virgin territory can be somewhat intimidating.

Travel along with us. Stay tuned…

Bittersweet Beginnings

I knew that the time would come, some day, to say goodbye to my home of fifteen years. It is through tears that I reminisce about the joyous days that I have had here. It is here that I became a grandmother. It is here that I took care of my ailing mother. It is here that I hosted Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners, and regular Wednesday night dinners for my grandkids and great-nieces and great-nephew. It is here that my dear, late Uncle Frank, as a tradition, helped us to decorate for Christmas; always on the day after Thanksgiving.

I will miss my yard, my gazebo, my neighbors, my neighborhood, and my pond full of fish. I will miss being a short drive away from my sons and their families. I have loved it here, and will miss it every day. I am unendingly grateful for the time spent here. Yet, a chapter is ending and a new one is beginning. Retirement is like that. Time to move on. I have reservations, but am compelled to move forward. Life is not static. To everything there is a season.

The Magical Room.

I cannot believe that his room is virtually empty. This basement room served as a family room, a guest room, an efficiency for my mom, a playroom (complete with trampoline), an office for my son as he launched his business, and a virtual school room as Covid chased kids from their classrooms.

When my mom was living here, we respected her privacy, and kept her room closed. When she went to an Assisted Living, we allowed my grandson to explore the basement. He was just a toddler, and because it was new to him, he declared that it was a “magical room”. It was. It is. It is so hard to part with these memories.

My life is neatly packed away in boxes. It is impossible to digest the magnitude of this undertaking. We do not have a home. We will be moving into Big Bertha for over a year, while our retirement home is being built. I will not see my “stuff” for at least fifteen months. It’s unnerving. I am a living, breathing, anxiety attack.

My sweet puppy, Gypsy is about to resume her vagabond lifestyle. Here we come RV parks, State Parks, and open road. The journey truly does continue.

I feel like I am getting ready to jump from a plane. I am unsure about my parachute. Adventure + Apprehension. I’m a mess.

Stay tuned…