A Birthday Party

October sixteenth is my birthday. Since Jim’s death, he died the day after my birthday, this has become an interesting time of year. Sometimes I want to be alone and find peace, other times it feels better to be with other people and friends.

This year, on my birthday, I was visiting with very long-time friends in southern Utah. I have known Sharon since I was a girl. We have remained friends over the years. Friends are marvelous to have. Long-time friends are to be cherished and celebrated.

When Sharon found out that I was celebrating my seventieth birthday while I was visiting, she insisted on making me a cake and a birthday dinner. Not only did she make me a cake but she made my favorite, a Red Velvet Cake with Buttercream Icing. We, her son Michael, Sharon, and I had a wonderful birthday dinner followed by the yummiest cake.

I felt like a kid. I know it was not a birthday party but it felt like it was. Joy bubbled up inside me. I felt young and happy and oh did I feel loved. As I went about my day I giggled to know someone was making me a birthday cake. I kept saying to myself that we were having a party.

It has been many years since someone made me a cake and made me feel important on my birthday. I used to make a chocolate birthday cake for Jim’s birthday each year. He was a Chocoholic. Because his birthday was seven days prior to mine often we were still eating his cake when my day rolled around. He always did special things for me throughout the year and we always acknowledged each other birthdays. Prior to our lives together it had been many years since I had celebrated my birthday.

It takes so little to bring joy into another person’s life. We don’t always know what will trigger that joy. It can be the smallest or grandest of things. Big or small it really doesn’t matter. What does matter, is the recognition by others that you are important enough to be noticed and remembered. Each little thing can make a world of difference in someone’s life. A Birthday Cake made a difference in my life this year.

Today I am thankful for joyfulness. Today I am thankful for Sharon, such a good and dear friend. Today I am thankful for a Red Velvet Birthday Cake.

On the Move

On Monday I said a fond farewell to my doggy duo and with a bit of melancholy, I climbed in my rig and departed Whidbey Island, Washington for another year. When I travel frequently it is not too hard to say goodbye. After an extended stay and making friends it becomes a bit harder for me to get behind the wheel and leave.

But, leave I must. The daylight hours are shortening here and the smell of fall is in the air. Last week it was cloudy for most of the week and it reminds me that the weather will be changing. And…I have plans.

I am heading south and east. There are plans, good plans ahead for me and three other strong women. In a week, we will meet in Kanab, Utah. I will be leaving my rig behind in safe keeping with friends. The four of us will be heading in high clearance vehicles to camp remote on the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. And then we will be going to some other unique places in northern Arizona.

I love my rig and I will miss sleeping in it. I also like to camp and get into places that others often don’t choose to reach. It makes it special for those of us who push forward and do the unique and different.

Mary is the leader of the group. She has been to most of these places before. I have been to one of the places that we are going to explore. The country in southern Utah and Arizona is amazing and I love exploring it.

After leaving my friend, Lela’s home and saying a fond farewell to Ellie and Ace the dogs, I drove south to the Clinton/Mukilteo ferry for one last ride for the year. I love ferry travel. I traveled about three hours east and am staying at The Patch, thanks to my membership in Harvest Hosts. Although many know this organization for the wineries where we can camp, tonight I am camping at a Pumpkin farm near Ellensburg, Washington. It is quiet, well except for a few cows and a Great Horned Owl calling nearby.

The Patch is getting ready for their you-pick season this coming Saturday. They are busy and come the weekend the pumpkins will find good homes. I took a moment to walk around the Patch and look at the Pumpkins. I love pumpkins. They have a petting zoo and different games. Tomorrow morning they will open early for me so I can have coffee before I leave. I love finding these places.

Today I will get on the road early-ish and head to Boise where I will meet up with Linda a good friend and fellow adventurer. We will caravan south to meet up with the others in Southern Utah.

I am so grateful for all the opportunities that are offered to me. I am glad to have friends to share them with. I am ready for my next adventure.

Where Oh Where is Birdy Boy

Birdy Boy Visiting in a nearby bush.

When I returned to Whidbey Island, the land of amazing sunsets from my holiday on the Oregon Coast,there was no lovely little brown bird to greet me. Where was my friend of more than a year, the charming and enchanting Song Sparrow, Birdy Boy?

Around this time last year, a lot of the small birds disappeared from the feeders. They were gone, into the bushes and trees to complete their molt. I knew this would happen again, yet I felt sad. I missed my little bird friend.

About twenty-four hours after I returned, there he was. And….he was not alone. He and another sparrow, I am assuming the female, were in the bushes by the feeders and they were feeding other sparrows. OMG, he has a family. There were two or three young ones all pleading to be provided for. He greeted me with a short song and then the whole family disappeared into the shrubbery on the hillside.

I did not see them again for a week. Again, I worried, what if he is not coming back? What if our friendship is over? What if? What if? What if? Oh, the turmoil I put myself through. It is hard to see things leave, that one holds dear.

Sunday the family arrived at the house early. They fed at the feeders and on the ground. Birdy Boy took some time out to sing and talk to me in a nearby bush. As it was last year, he is now more distant. There is no more sitting on my legs or arms yet he comes close and chats and sings to me. Once again my heart is glad.

I know house sitting is a temporary affair. I am not sure where I will be next summer, but when I am here in Greenbank, WA I hope that my little friend will return and we will once again chat and visit like good friends do and I will feel joy.

Going on a Holiday From My Holiday

Canon Beach on the Oregon Coast

A week ago I returned To Washington from a week on the Oregon Coast. I took a holiday from my holiday.

Last summer a group of us who own Roadtreks decided it would be fun to meet up on the Oregon coast. It started with the three of us, Mary, Linda and me. We have been friends for years. We rented a group campsite at a state park near Florence, Oregon. As we began to plan, we started to think of others. Campskunk and Sharon spend their summer on the Oregon coast so let’s ask them. What about Pat, who lives on San Juan Island? She was invited. Oh, let’s ask Dorothy, and she came.

Six Roadtreks came and seven people. We had such a good time we decided to do it again this summer. This year we met at Cape Perpetua, another group campsite. Some of the original group could not make it this year so we invited others. Those who could not make it were missed.

Pat and I left three days early so we could meander our way to Oregon. Both of us are less inclined to drive for hours on end. We had shorter driving days and more time to explore. And our campgrounds were good, some were really good.

Our View Willapa Bay
  • Bruceport County Park is located on the south side of Willapa Bay. There always seems to be a spot to camp. This time we got the best site. It had an unlimited view of Willapa Bay.
  • The Blue Heron Creamery in Tillamook, Oregon is a free Harvest Hosts site. It is surrounded by farmland and open to many RVs that come for the night. For those who can indulge, shopping for the wonderful cheeses in the store is a plus.
  • Beverley Beach State Park is further down the coast and is one of the many State Parks on the coast. A short walk will end at the beach. The Oregon Coast is so pretty.

I would like to say that it is easy to get ready to travel, yet it takes a bit of planning to get my RT ready. That means getting EmmyLou, my rig ready for the trip. Two days before departure the refrigerator is turned on. She got a bath and I did some minor detailing. And just as I think everything is ready to go my engine battery died. Thank goodness for Roadside assistance. She now has a new battery, the DEF fluid was added and she was purring and ready to roll.

It was a delight to meet up with my friends again. This year there were three dogs and one kitty that joined the menagerie. We camped, and talked and caught up on each other’s lives. I got some precious kitty time with Phoebe the Cat. On our one full day, a subgroup of us hiked to Thor’s Well, a natural phenomenon on the coast. We shared stories, food, and more, and then, just like that it was over and we all departed for separate destinations.

All friendships are special. I like how friends can meet once a year and it is like we have seen each other yesterday. The company is good. The stories are great. And especially in the past few years, it is wonderful to physically meet up with others, see their precious faces, and hear their tales.

The Roadtreking friends’ adventure was not quite over for me. I returned to Washington, stopping before I left Oregon, for a morning kayak north of Waldport, and then returned to Tillamook for another free camping night. After one more night of camping, I joined my friends, Jean and Jim (they own a Roadtrek too) at their lovely home on the Salish Sea, in Washington. I slept in the driveway and enjoyed the view from their home above the water. This part of the Sound faces east and south. In the far distance, one can see the skyline of Seattle. I arrived in time to witness Jean giving Jim a haircut. It bought back memories of Jim, my husband. I used to cut his hair as well. Jean and I talked our way through the afternoon and evening.

And then, just like that my adventure was over and I returned to Whidbey Island and the land of the amazing sunsets.

Buying my Roadtrek RV has been a game changer in my life. I bought it on a whim. It has seen me through so much. It helped me drive through the initial grief of the loss of my husband. I have seen some marvelous places and met good and kind people. Mostly though, it has been a friend magnet. I continue to meet such wonderful people. We become more than people passing on the road. We become friends. How wonderful is that?

Today I am thankful for my Roadtrek, EmmyLou, and the amazing people that are now my circle of friends.

Ah Yes, Today I am Thankful.

My Ongoing Friendship With Birdy Boy

Birdy Boy at his Best

If you have read my blog since the spring of 2021 you may recall the unique friendship I developed with a male song sparrow in the spring. Unique friendships are to be treasured.

Here is a link to the posts from last year. The Magic of Friendship and The Continuuing Saga of the Little Brown Bird.

Upon my arrival on Whidbey Island in June of 2022, Birdy Boy was there to greet me. At first, he was distant and curious. He would hop all around me and keep his distance. By the end of the second day, there he was, sitting on my legs, arms, and shoulders singing away. This year he has only progressed to my head once.

Since breeding season is over he has shown up with a female song sparrow. She is quiet (they don’t sing) and sits a distance away. I wonder if she is trying to figure out about this odd friendship Birdy Boy and I have developed.

You can click on the photo to enlarge it.

Our close friendship continued until this month. When mating season is over things change. Until yesterday the feeders were quiet. Many of the small birds were gone or infrequently visiting the yard. Last year when this happened I grieved for the loss of my birdy friend. I thought he had migrated. After five days he and many of the other small birds reappeared. They had gone to the bushes to molt. All these little birds lose all or most of their feathers one to two times per year.

I believe that Birdy Boy is once again preparing to molt. He is looking a bit disheveled. His feathers are out of sorts. He has a small bald spot on the top of his head. He spends more time in the shrubs. The little birds go there to molt. It creates a safe place for the birds while they are in a more vulnerable state.

Some days he does not show up. At times he comes but keeps his distance. The closeness of spring is gone. This happened last August as well. With the end of the spring and early summer, his habits change.

I reminded myself that this would happen again this year. Even knowing this I miss his presence. He is a central part of my Whidbey Island Experience. I think often about what brings me joy. This little song sparrow brings me joy right to the core of my heart.

Yesterday he appeared early in the day. I was excited to see him. He came to the deck and stood on the chair back and sang away. During the day when I would be outside, he returned. One time he came to my knee and settled in. I love when he quiets down and just hangs out with me. There is no singing, no chitting, we just sit there like long-time friends enjoying the silence and the view out over Puget Sound. After about twenty minutes he flew off into the bushes and that was it for the day. I was pleased he stayed as long as he did. He brings me comfort.

Friendships come in all sizes, shapes and species. I value this friendship as I do all of my friendships. I continue to learn a lot from this little bird. In the quiet of the moments with him, my heart opens up. It is OK to be patient and soft and quiet. It is also OK to be joyous and sing my song and it is fun to share that song with others. Friendships require trust and commitment. I am glad to have shared this with this sweet little brown bird.

Today I am thankful for friendships, trust, quiet, and my friendship with Birdy Boy.

The Continuing Saga of the Little Brown Bird

I left Whidbey Island in the middle of June shortly after Sandy and Jim arrived home. The night before I left I introduced them to my little song sparrow. By the end of daylight, it was sitting on Jim’s head and singing. I felt I left this bird in good hands.

Throughout the month that Sandy and Jim were home the relationship with this song sparrow continued. Sandy told me that as the time came closer to them leaving for their next campground hosting job they began to dissociate from him as they were concerned about how he would get along when the house was empty.

Robyn and Tom, the next-door neighbors, said they saw this charmer once about a week after the owners had left for their next hosting job in Yellowstone National Park. Then the bird was on his own.

I returned to Whidbey the first week of August. I arrived late in the afternoon, put my things down, and went out to the deck to see if a little brown sparrow was still about. Sure enough, just like that, there he was, singing and chitting just I like I had never left. I was so happy to see my bird. I felt like I was greeting a good friend.

Things were different between me and this sweet little bird. He no longer sat on my head and was often more comfortable sitting on the post near me and chitting rather than singing. One day I noticed he had only one tail feather. The next day both were gone. I was worried. I researched song sparrows and molting online. Sure enough, he was molting. It took very little time before the new tail feathers appeared and grew. Sparrows and most birds molt twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall.

His colors are more muted now and not the orangey-brown of springtime. He sings less often. Some days I see him once early in the day and not again. Other days, if I had been out and about I might not see him at all. Two Saturdays ago, my friend Melissa was visiting. He came into the bushes near where we were sitting and chatted to us for quite some time. When I tried to approach him he flew away. Sigh

No Tail Feathers

The next morning I went out on the deck to find him and welcome him for a visit. He was not there. It felt different. He had left. Then I noticed there were no sparrows around at all. The White-Crowned sparrows had disappeared. All the sparrows were gone. The Chickadees, Nut Hatches, Finches, and other birds were there and plentiful but not a sparrow in sight. What had happened?

Do sparrows migrate and where do they go? I put a post on Facebook to the Birders in the Northwest region and discovered sparrows migrate to Texas and southern climates for the winter. I assumed my bird friend was on his way south to stay warm and find plenty of food and maybe a mate.

Five days later he returned along with three other song sparrows. I was still in bed when I heard a familiar song out in the back and there he was along with his buddies. My heart was glad. I was immediately up and down the stairs to welcome him back. He remains a bit more distant. His singing has returned and it was a delight to welcome my sweet little birdy friend back to my Whidbey Island life. I am told that when they molt they disappear into the bushes.

The seasons are beginning to hint at change. I know he must go. I am glad that I have let him be a bird. I have not hand-fed him or encouraged him to be anything else other than a little wild bird who has welcomed me into his circle. One time I found a large dead moth and presented it to him as a gift. I have never seen him so excited. He looked down onto the bench where I had laid it. He snatched it up and disappeared into the brush to enjoy a meal.

I don’t know how long he will be here. I see less and less of him now. Often I will hear him early in the morning. I am immediately up and outside to say hello. Some days he is not here at all. When he does come it is usually early in the day.

I am glad I have had some practice at his not being here. It is a bit hard to admit that I grieved for this little bird when he disappeared for those five days. Next time I hope I will buck it up and wish him well and send him on his way. However, I have to remember if this little bird was human I would feel the grief of loss just like when a friend moves away or stops communicating.

By allowing me into the circle of his life he has become more than just another little brown bird. He has become my friend. I feel blessed to have been chosen by this little bird. I have learned a lot about myself and life through this unique and special friendship. There is an unspoken yet very recognizable responsibility when one becomes friends with another. It is important to nurture these friendships, no matter how long they may be in one’s life. The value of friendship is what makes a being unique and special in my heart.

I have spent a lot of time outside and have had time to observe and breathe nature. Many birds come to the feeders, each one is unique. I have witnessed the change of seasons from early spring into fall. The circle of seasons in the yard is special to be a part of. The birds have gone from their spring glory of color to more muted colors. They sing less now. The hummingbirds disappeared for about two weeks while nurturing their young before they returned to the feeders again. My sparrow has grown from a young bird into full maturity. Often he sings for the joy of it, but it is also a way to get the girls to notice. As these little birds come to the feeders I have allowed them to recognize and trust a safe environment. None of them except one little brown song sparrow allowed me to become more intimately involved in their natural life.

I will treasure this moment of time in my life. This wee little bird crept into my heart and opened it to experience the joy of friendship in this somewhat lonesome time. (Covid) It has been a joyous and welcome respite.

Oh yes, truly, today and every day I am so grateful for moments in time that awaken my heart. Today and all days to come I am thankful and so grateful for this sweet little Song Sparrow who happens to be my friend.

Open Arms

My friend, Sharon’s birthday was a success. It was rather warm when I arrived in Rockville, Utah, 105 degrees F. Whoa, that is more than hot. I know, I know, it’s a dry heat—yet I believe anything over 90 degrees is hot.

I am always delighted to connect with this family. Tori, Sharon’s daughter, and I have not seen each other in many years. It was fun to reconnect with her. It was almost like we had never been apart. This is family. Everyone goes their own way as they grow into adulthood yet when they have reunited once again, everyone picks up where they left off. I am honored to be even a distant part of this family.

The day of the party started out hot, yet as the time for the party drew close the clouds came in, there was rain and then it was cool and lovely to be outside under a pavilion to celebrate this 90-year event. There was music and food and greetings of friends who, due to Covid, may have not seen each other in a while. A chair was set at the entrance for Sharon to sit in and greet and be greeted by the revelers. My favorite photos are of Sharon reaching out with open arms to greet each guest as they arrived.

There is delight and warmth and welcome in those open arms. These arms are not just to greet those with like minds and like ideals. These are truly the open arms of embracing community. Not all the people at Sharon’s birthday party believe like her. Not all of them voted one way. Not all of them are intimate in friendship with each other. Yet, in this small town, population of approximately 245, there is a sense of community that is often lost in larger urban settings. They know that they have to get along to some degree to make their small town work. During Covid, they knew they had to rely on each other to make their sheltering in place work. Smaller towns recognize the need for a sense of community. It is a survival mechanism.

Over the past several years I believe that we as a nation have withdrawn into our familiars. We have forgotten how to reach out to each other and embrace despite differences in religion, political beliefs, the color of one’s skin, and more. Embracing differences may be more work but the rewards are, well, more rewarding. Community can only work if we embrace everyone.

Covid, or “The Great Pause”, I believe has offered an opportunity for people to function as a richer community. People have been reaching out, helping others. I have been the recipient of others’ embraces. I was welcomed by friends to stay with them for the greater part of last year. Our friendship has strengthened and we have become family. Others have opened their homes for me. Strangers have left supplies at my door. People have phoned or emailed to make sure this solo person was doing fine.

If I take the time to reach out to those that believe or do things differently, my life will be richer and fuller. I will learn new things and expand the world that I live in. I want to know that I don’t have to be stuck. I want to know that my arms can always reach out and embrace the new, the unknown. I also want to recognize when other arms are reaching towards me. Part of healing the divide of this nation, at the moment, may be remembering to open our arms and embrace everyone.

I am slowly returning to the Northwest. I am keeping my arms wide open to embrace people and experiences and remember this valuable lesson.

Finally!! The Desert!!

Tonight I was texting my sister and I realized I have not blogged in a while. I also realized that very few people know where I am or what I am up to.

After a month at the RV facelift hospital-my rig is minus some major dents and bumps and is back where she belongs, with me. It was a good time to get some of this work done as I had a place to stay (thank you Cynthia and Ward). EmmyLou is home and looking spiffy.

I usually spend every winter wandering the desert southwest. If it is too cold in one spot I move to the next. It is a good way to spend the winter. I usually find interesting and unique places to visit and meet interesting people.

This winter was a bit different with the RV in the hospital getting a makeover. I had to stay a bit more stationary, sheltering in place during this Covid time. My annual medical and dental appointments seemed to stretch out more than usual.

Peggy Hiking Into a Slot

I really wanted to get to the desert, even if the time was limited. A week ago I departed for the closest desert I could find. Here I am in the California Desert. I started in Anza Borrego State Park near Borrego Springs. Most of my friends did not come to the desert this year due to Covid. Two of them did. I met up with Peggy and Roger who have been safely distanced camping in the parking lot of a church. It was fun to see them. Masks up and all. Peggy came and joined me for a few nights. Two little rigs parked together at a boondocking campground. We had some girl time and did pretty cool hikes. It is exciting to see people.

Now I have left the State Park and have moved on to the Salton Sea. It is rather a unique and unusual place. I come here because of birds. I love birds. I love to take photos of them and watch them. The Salton Sea is a major migratory stop and wintering ground for over 400 species of shorebirds and other birds. Today the Snow Geese were the stars of the birding experience. At one point there were so many coming in for a landing on the water, you could hear their wings. It was so cool.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am here for a few days and then will move on to the Squaw Lake, part of the Colorado River, to get a little bit of Kayaking in before I have to return to San Diego.

I will be returning to San Diego on February eighth to get my second vaccine. After a few recovery days, I am off to Santa Barbara to get some interior work done on my rig.

Dan Neeley the owner of Dan Neeley RV Service specializes in Roadtreks. He travels from San Francisco to Los Angeles. He is really good at what he does and I am thankful he comes far enough south that I can reach him. Now that EmmyLou has had an outside job, it is time for the RV part of her to be checked. Once that is done I bet you think I will be hitting the road.

Not so. I have to return to San Diego for a little over a week so that the final part of my post thyroid cancer screening can be completed. So far everything looks good and I expect that these tests will look good as well. I still get nervous and wait anxiously for the results. After these results come back I can take a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling, and be ready for another year of adventure.

I think that covers it. I have been learning to rest and relax. I am thankful each day for wonderful friends who continue to love and support me in whatever way they can. I am thankful each day that I can venture off for a hike, see delightful and awesome birds, and catch a good sunrise or sunset along the way.

 

Did you know that if you click on any picture it will enlarge?

Did you know that if you click on the different colored words that are underlined, it will take you to the web site?

Going Solo, Well Not Really

An Idaho Summer

Just before I arrived in Idaho this summer I had a text conversation with Linda, who has opened her and her husband’s second home to me. She was concerned about me coming to Idaho. Covid-19 was on  upsurge in the state and she was concerned. Linda’s statement to me was she wasn’t sure I would have allies up here. I told her as a single or solo person I can’t rely on having any allies.

Guess who was wrong? Me. A week after I arrived in Idaho I got sick. I had a sore throat, it was really sore. After spending a weekend self-treating I decided a visit to the clinic associated with St Lukes Hospital was in hand. I was apprehensive. I worried that I had Covid-19. I was worried that I could have infected others. I was worried that things could get worse. I was disappointed in myself that I had exposed myself to this ugly virus. I was feeling alone.

I had a car appointment. I wore a mask and never got out of my car. The NP who saw me was gowned, gloved, and masked. My whole visit was conducted without moving from the driver’s seat. My heart rate was a little high and I received the lecture about drinking enough water at elevation. My throat was red and sore.

I was tested for strep which was negative and then for Covid-19. I was told I should self isolate until the results came back. Three days later the results were in and I was negative for the coronavirus. Yes!!! I am happy to report I am back in full working order and what was a scary moment in time is now in the past.

My friends came to the rescue. I notified Linda that this was happening. She immediately texted me and told me to hang tight. Over the next few days until the results came in we texted back and forth. Her support was a comfort to me and made me realize I am not alone. My sister, Ginny, was in touch and anxiously waiting for the results with me. Friends in Oregon, Mary, and Wanda, awaited the news and supported me via social media. Hmmm, I was not alone. I have allies.

Kayaking the North Fork of the Payette River

This event has made me realize I am never alone, not really. I have friends and allies all over the country and world who continue to love and support me and encourage me when I feel the most vulnerable and worn down. I have friends who support and celebrate with me when life is on an upswing. I have friends who make me realize I am not alone. I may be solo and adventuring out on my own but I carry all these people with me, in my everyday life. They are only a phone call away.

This summer I am up in the mountains. I am safe. I am biking, kayaking, hiking and taking plenty of photos. I am social distancing and wearing a mask. I am taking care of myself as best I can. And I am not doing it alone. I have allies.

Today I am thankful for my immediate family and my family of friends who love and support me, no matter what.

How I Am Doing, Friendship & More

Last Wednesday I took the Radioactive Iodine pills and immediately went into isolation. Everyone said it was easy. I would have no problems and I would be fine.

Here is what I want you to know. This Has Not Been Easy!!!!! Here is what happens when I have no thyroid hormone in my body. I took the pill at 10:30 a.m. By 4 p.m. I developed a ringing in my ears. It was more like a high pitched squeal. And I bottomed out. I have been exhausted and lacking in energy. But the ears are a big deal.

Finally, on Friday my endocrinologist ordered me back on my meds a day early. Hypothyroidism can create tinnitus (ringing in the ears). My squealy friend is still with me and I am exhausted often.

Sunset Over Mission Bay

I am patiently waiting for the tinnitus to go away. I continue to drink lots and lots of fluids and I push myself to take a short walk every day. Tonight I got far enough to see a beautiful sunset over Mission Bay. That certainly picks up my spirits.

This too shall pass. I am not complaining, I just thought you might like to know how I am doing.

I really can’t complain. I am camped at the end of a culdesac or driveway. It is private and pretty when the afternoon sun shines through my rig. I am slowly getting my taxes together and I finished and mailed in my California ballot. I am getting things done.

My friends, Cynthia and Ward, have gone way beyond being good friends and hosts. They designated a downstairs bathroom to me so I did not have to worry about using my bathroom in the rig for the past 5 days. I often slip through the front door with my key and they don’t even know I am in the house. It has worked out well.

This is a sign of true friendship, really true friendship. I am overwhelmed and grateful for their graciousness and caring for me. They have let me slip into their lives without a second thought, as far as I can tell. I am grateful for friends such as these.

Ward & Cynthia the day we took Jim’s Ashes to Sea

I met Cynthia and Ward through Scottish Country Dancing. I have known Ward since I moved to San Diego in 1985. He is a teacher for the San Diego Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. I have known both of them for many, many years. Cynthia and I have become good friends since Jim, my husband, died from cancer seven years ago. I have enjoyed getting to know her. I have been grateful over the years for their ongoing support. She is a very talented crocheter and stitcher. I have renewed my crocheting skills with her encouragement and teaching. It is a fun and ongoing relationship.

I will remain here for another week so I can recover at a snail’s pace if need be. I am aiming to recover a bit faster than that but my body will decide that point not me.

Tomorrow I can go back out into the world. I have to attempt it because I need to take care of my rig and get more propane. Life continues. on.

What is next? On February 28th I get a full-body scan to set a baseline. I am a bit nervous about this. I can do this, though. Nerves are just a part of the whole game plan. I get nervous every year when I get my mammogram. Cancer has a way of doing this to a person.

My ultimate goal is to get through this moment in time and move forward with my life. I know I will be in the San Diego area for a while. I need to make sure I am on the right dose of Synthroid (a synthetic thyroid hormone). It takes time to build in the body. My next labs will be in five weeks. If it is OK then I am good to go. If not, they change the dose and I wait another five weeks to get my labs drawn again. I may not have to wait here but if I do, it is not too much of a hardship to be in San Diego and surrounding areas.

I can do so much more with all your support. Today I am grateful to see another sunset. Today I am grateful for all those who love and support me. Today I am grateful.