My Bounce Around Month-The Challenges of Personal Growth

Sunset on Squaw Lake

After spending two weeks in the desert I once again have returned to San Diego. No, wait, I am in Santa Barbara. I call this month my bounce-around month. I am moving about the southern California area to finish this visit for the year.

Why am I bouncing around.

  • I really wanted some time in the desert and two weeks was all I could find this year to venture to the east.
  • I received my second Pfizer vaccine on March 1 in San Diego. I am doing well.
  • My rig, EmmyLou is getting things done. First, she had the outside fixed. Now we are working on the inside.  RV’s need check-ups. Today we are in Santa Barbara to meet up with Dan Neely. He is one of the Roadtrek Gurus, traveling up and down California to make it easier for his customers to meet up with him.
  • I have to return to San Diego as I have a few more tests to finish up my first post-year thyroid check-up. (I had thyroid cancer a little over a year ago) Oh and I am getting old, I have to have my left eye checked for a cataract. But I don’t feel old!

Rope Canyon & Peggy

Ladder Canyon & yours truly

My trip to the desert was grand. I camped and hiked and biked and kayaked. Although most of my friends were not in the desert this winter, a few were. Peggy and Roger have managed to figure out how to be in the desert and social distance this year. Peggy took a few nights to come and camp with me. It was good to meet up with her. We did some amazing hikes-ones that challenged me. The most rigorous one was when we took an early wrong turn in the Mecca Hills and ended in Rope Canyon instead of Ladder Canyon. After we tackled the first rope in this beautiful slot canyon we decided we were in the wrong canyon and hiked back out. Then we decided to tackle Ladder Canyon. It was a challenge but after Rope Canyon it was definitely easier. It is a beautiful place in the desert.

Squaw Lake Kayak

I met up with Cori another Roadtreker at Squaw Lake, a dammed lake on the lower Colorado River. There are several lakes just north of Yuma that is part of the Imperial Dam Water District. This is a great place for boaters, fishermen, and other watersports lovers. The lakes are gentle and easy to navigate. We also kayaked to the River and went up river first so we could float back down to the lake entrance. It was a fun adventure with Cori. We hiked and kayaked for two days before I needed to return to San Diego.

My adventures in the desert were not always fun. Friendships can be hard as well as rewarding. I sometimes wonder if I know how to communicate as well with others now that I have been on my own for so long. I tend towards introversion (yes, really) and since I have been staying away from people I wonder if I need to break into the world of others more carefully and slowly.

I have learned a valuable lesson on my desert trip this year. Being respected is important to me. I try hard to respect others and I have grown enough, now to count on others to appreciate me. When that doesn’t happen then it is time to leave and regroup. I also need time to remind myself that I am a good and worthy human being and worthy of being appreciated.

Argh! Growing is hard and challenging. I have a friend who turns 90 this year who told me once that I will still be growing when I reach 80. When growth is easy, it is fun and exciting. When growth is not so easy, it is challenging and hard. It is often the challenging steps that are the most rewarding.

A Santa Barbara Sunset

I will be in the lovely town of Santa Barbara for two more nights and then will head south. I am staying in an Airbnb in a quaint section of the city. I am one block from the beach and it is quite beautiful. This morning I dropped my rig off and then bicycled the 13 miles back to my residence. This afternoon I will repeat the process to pick her back up.

The adventure of life continues. I am grateful for the challenges that come my way. I am grateful for my friends who love and respect me. I sometimes grudgingly appreciate those who challenge me and help me grow. I am thankful for the mechanics and others who help my tiny home of wheels stay in tip-top shape. I am really thankful for my tiny home. Today I am thankful for a blue sky, classic sunny southern CA day.


And the Vaccine Race is On

We have been living in a Covid world for a year. Masks on. Keep your distance. Someone is coming too close to me on my walk, it is time to cross the street. Who is in my bubble? Uh-oh is this tickle in my throat Covid?

Toilet paper, I must stock up on toilet paper. What about disinfectant wipes? What about masks? I must get supplies. I must make sure that I have enough. Is there ever enough? Should I get more? And finally, the mayhem slows down. Everyone has enough and life returns to the Covid normal.

Restaurants are open. Restaurants are closed. Oh no, wait they are open again. I can eat outside or get take-out. That restaurant has dome bubbles. Are the tables distant enough from each other?. Maybe I will just order and take it home. Many have curbside pick-up so I don’t even need to go inside.

Click on this link ” Our New Normal in Pictures” for an interesting look at how we are adapting to this strange and yet relevant time in our lives.

I haven’t been inside many grocery stores in months. When I do venture into one, it is a treat. Yet I get in and get out as fast as I can. This crummy little virus can be hiding anywhere.

I bike alone. I hike alone, I walk alone (unless Cynthia comes along. She is in my bubble), and kayak alone.

I have become accustomed to this lifestyle and I am good with it. Since Jim’s death, I have been relearning to be solo again. I am glad I had practice before Covid arrived.

Now the next step has begun. The Vaccine is becoming available. Yet immediately we are back in the same messy situation that was featured in the early stages of this whole Covid year. There is not enough valid information available to the public. People are desperate to get the vaccine. In California, we were told that the 65-year-old and up group is now eligible. And once again it appears that people are scrambling to get that first shot. We hover over computers and try again and again to find any available appointment. If you know someone who has received their first dose, you may be envious or even jealous of the fact that they have received it and you have not. It is so hard sometimes to be human.

My first vaccine appointment is on February 8. Yep, I hit the jackpot, got on the computer at the right moment, and was able to secure an appointment. And remember the vaccine is not fully effective until you have had it in your system for 12 days.

I am trying to be patient. I am trying to remember to breathe. This will all work out, I know it will. How is this vaccine going to change my behavior? That is a question that we should all ask. In reality, it will not change what I am doing. I will still mask. I will still order to go. I will still socially distance. I will not hug anyone, well except my bubble buddies. Really, not much will change.

Having the vaccine will give me peace of mind. It will also help me be part of the solution to this pandemic. It is so important to be part of the solution.

It has been a roller coaster of a ride this past year. For those who have lost people to this horrible virus, it has been a hard and troubling year. As the numbers grow there are not many of us who are not affected by those we know who have succumbed. It has been a most difficult year. Although we can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, it is still a distance away and all of us must continue to cautiously move forward.

Through the next several months I will try to maintain an easier awareness stance and maintain the course. I will remember to breathe relax and be patient.

Today I am thankful for science, and the vaccine. Today I am even thankful for the crazy human experience.