a short story written on the road in August 07......
When that blast of thunder woke me, I found myself licking my lips. More jolting than the thunder was what was making my lips taste so good? Then I remembered ..... the peanut butter & jelly sandwich I'd had just before I dozed off. The peanut butter was Skippy (no nuts.) The jelly was raspberry & rhubarb. I bought it from the Amish woman in Harmony, Minnesota weeks before (just after I had passed over the Mississippi River and the bridge that just fell in the Twin Cities.) I also bought bread and butter pickles from the Amish woman. They lasted 2 days. They tasted just like my grannies. I used to help her make them.
Where am I? I looked out the window of Phoebe McGee and saw a gas station. They had diesel. Phoebe drinks diesel. I also saw that three quarters of the sky was so black I couldn't see the mountains. More thunder! Then I remembered why and where I was ..... I had to sleep!
That morning I had a date at RV America at 8. My TV had fallen off the arm that held it and it no longer worked. I was about an hour from the RV place staying at a KOA Park. The park was right on the highway and on a train route. Sleep wasn't in my near future. I remembered a hypnotic tape about sleeping I'd once been given at an upscale hotel. That had to be before I began full-timing in my beautiful Phoebe McGee, my RV. By the time I found the tape I was wide awake. Just about the time I had fallen into a sleep, my dog, TaZzi was snoring louder than ever! The tape really worked on her!
I may have slept 2 hours and I did make it to the RV place in plenty of time. Time enough to find out that I drove from western Colorado (Telluride) missing a jazz festival, to eastern Colorado (Denver) I'd already been there, only to find out the entire arm had to be replaced and it would take 2 weeks to get it to Denver from Canada.
My heart had already moved further west and "my wheels were itchin".....for Jackson Hole, Glacier National Park, then Canada. Surprisingly, I haven't missed watching TV. I'm catching up on my reading and am writing more. Now I have to go to North Dakota to get the TV fixed. That's where the next authorized dealer is and fortunately it's still under warranty. I've never been to North Dakota .... something new!
So....life on the road is kind of like.....life at the home.....something breaks, it gets fixed...or not....and so on. I can hardly remember what having a real home was like. It's only been 8 months since I've been Rving full-time; after selling my home and giving everything away and experiencing the kind of freedom I never thought possible.
Now, my home is on wheels and its backyard changes all the time.....it is often near water....a lake, a river, a stream, a forest in a state or national park, a Wal-Mart parking lot. I have all I need with me all the time. I never have to worry that I've forgotten something and never have to dress in layers.
In my very first blog, I quoted one of John Steinbeck's many quotes: "A Journey is Like a Marriage.....the certain way to be wrong is to think you control it." And So It Is! This adventure is about the journey, not the destination, and all about "allowing it to happen!".
From Desert Hot Springs in California, to Sedona in Arizona, Santa Fe & Albuquerque, music festivals in Austin, running from tornadoes from Texas to Oklahoma, visiting friends in Oklahoma, New Orleans Jazz Festival, being amist post-Katrina sadness, Biloxi, to Alabama .... it's all been an adventure!
Memphis is where I was when my air conditioning went out.... 99 degrees outside. The thermostat inside said 99 also but it only goes to 99. I was parked in the Elvis Presley RV Park
right behind the Heartbreak Hotel, getting ready to walk over to see the mansion. I was leaving for a 10 am tour, TaZzi was staying in the RV...when I noticed at 9:45 it was already 92 degrees. TaZzi is very fortunate I didn't continue with my plans. So am I. RV service people laughed at me when I said I need it fixed now....they could put me on a wait list for cancellations for 2-3 weeks down the road.
It didn't get fixed til I got to Michigan (not even on my itinerary). That's where I lived before moving to California 37 years ago. From Memphis to Nashville to Louisville, no one could fix it....so I just kept on driving...too hot to stop. The cab's a/c worked just fine. Stayed in Michigan about 6 weeks, visiting lots of friends and relatives.....then traveled on to Wisconsin home of the Dells, Apostle Islands, (not just beer and cheese & the Packers), Minnesota (where I met the Amish people), loved Mount Rushmore and other South Dakota treats. Colorado is where I met friends from Oklahoma at an ATV ranch and got crazy. What a blast those 4-wheelers are!.
At this writing (August 07), I'm in Montana with the fires, heading to Glacier National Park, then to North Dakota to get my TV fixed, then Canada. Just left Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. I'm suddenly feeling like Johnny Cash, singing, posthumously, about all those places he's been in that hotel commercial......"I've been everywhere......"
I've never gotten lonely or afraid (thanks to my wonderful black pug, named TaZzi). She's my partner, my heartbeat, my companion...this is not puppy love! I also keep in touch with my friends not only from Santa Cruz but friends from grade school, junior and high school, and college. We communicate via email, of course. They are interspersed throughout the US...so much of my traveling is about seeing old friends.
RVers are very friendly people and very social. I can be alone or with others on a whim. My journey has been crammed with growth, learning, adventure, knocking out stereotypes, celebrations, conversations, observations, music festivals, looking for wi-if & diesel for under 3 bucks, eating, cooking, and ........ praying that the Social Security office will deposit my check in my bank .... while I still have a dollar.
I close with this from Helen Keller...."Life is either a daring adventure......or nothing."
Loving my life.....the daring adventure it is!