Returning Home, Next trip on the Horizon.

IMG_6409It has been just over two weeks since Elsie and I came back to San Diego. I am home, I think. Living in and near my RT for the past four months makes me have to consider what is home. Elsie, on the other hand had no second thoughts about where she was. She is glad to have no leash attached to her halter.

Returning home for me is always a bit hard. I seem to feel a bit in limbo for a while after a trip. I am not home and I am not away. Where am I? I am not always sure. That is OK. And then there is the yard work…well I just won’t go there.

Miss Elsie, Rolling

Miss Elsie, Rolling

I have been asked if I had a great trip this summer. I am not always sure how to answer this question. Some of it was absolutely delightful and fun. Other times were different. When everything was running as smooth as a well oiled machine the traveling was fun. Most of my days were filled with interest yet there were times that I felt lonely and sad. I missed Jim and his companionship. And…maybe he was traveling with me but it is not the same as having him there in person.  Miss Elsie the Cat helped a lot with the lonely part.

Someone recently called me a road warrior. In some ways that can really describe any of us who take to the road for adventure. I see a warrior is someone who is always ready for whatever the circumstance. This is good and maybe, some times, a bit hard. I see it as vigilance, where I can never let my guard down. Does being vigilant not allow me to relax? I am not sure.

I do believe that I handled myself well in most situations. Stress since Jim has died has been a constant companion. I did’t invite it to be my companion yet for right now it seems to be. I have decided since the end of this trip that I want to handled unexpected situations a bit better. It is just hard sometimes.

There were so many wonderful places I saw. I am glad I traveled the distance I did to tour such wonderful unknown places. There were so many highlights it is hard to list them. Here are a few that stand out:

  • IMG_0423Hells A’Roaring Horse Round-up. This was so much fun. I love horses. I love the west. I love cowboys and cowgirls. For a weekend I got to be a cowgirl and it was fun, REALLY FUN.
  • Traveling through the Nebraska Sand Hill Country.
  • Discovering all kinds of campgrounds, Fairgrounds, Town Parks and parking behind the visitor center.
  • Visiting with my friend, Helen and her husband, Norb in Fish Lake, Indiana.
  • Zoe’s and Kay’s wedding.
  • Traveling to the Roadtrek RV mothership. I was treated so well.
  • Making new friends in Michigan and Penetanguishene, thanks to the Roadtrek Facebook Group.
  • Fourth of July at the lake in NJ. Visiting my family and long time friends.
  • My niece’s wedding. I am not always a fan of weddings. This one was truly fun.

    Loons-can you see the baby?

    Loons-can you see the baby?

  • Hot air ballooning and kayaking in Queechee, VT with more long time friends, Diane and Tom.
  • Chasing loons. It was a major photo shoot for loons. I love them.
  • Visiting with Missy and Dan at Moxie Lake in Maine. I got my very first Zumba lesson. Cool.
  • I really, really liked New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

 

Mary, a meeting on the Cabot Trail

Mary, a meeting on the Cabot Trail

  • Meeting a long time friend unexpectedly  on the Cabot Trail.
  • Exploring the Cabot Trail and camping on the ocean was a delight. The National Park on Cape Breton was beyond delightful.
  • Anything on the Cape Breton end of Nova Scotia was fun.
  • Biking, kayaking, walking, hiking…well you get the idea.
  • Driving west on the Trans-Canada Highway. Beautiful ride.
  • Meeting so many interesting people along the way. I hope that some of us really do stay in touch. Barbara, hopefully you are reading this.
  • Finally feeling brave enough to go to southwestern Colorado and camping for two nights on my land.

    Colorado Land

    Colorado Land

  • The last week I traveled through southern Colorado from friends to friends to friends. There is nothing better than being able to get hugs and good conversation. I really love all my friends.

Now I am home. I have finally culled the photographs. If you want to view them, click on the link below.

Roadtreking Photos, 2015

Travel is healing for me. I love getting out in nature and I really like exploring places I have always wanted to see. I enjoy meeting new people and learning.

Now I am home. I was hoping that this summer might clarify life for me a little. I am not sure it did. That is OK. Sometimes I get impatient so I am learning patience and enjoying the journey.

I am grateful today for traveling there and back again, safely and mostly happily. I am grateful for everyone who continues to support me. Thank you.

My adventures will continue and you are always welcome to come along. This blog will continue.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Miss Elsie and Janet.

Elsie At Home

Me & My Sheepskin

Me & My Sheepskin

Hi everyone. It took a few days to get to the computer when Janet wasn’t looking. It helps when she works 12 hour days. I am not sure what work is but she tells me that it keeps me in the lifestyle I am used to. OK, I accept that.

I now know what home is.

Home is:

  • where I don’t have to sleep under the sheepskin all day, although it remains close by in case of emergencies.
  • huge compared to the little home on wheels I have been in for the past almost 4 months.
  • where I can go outside during the day without a leash. Yes I do still have to wear my halter and yes I do have to come in before dark each night. I am not sure why I have to do this, but if it lets me go outside without a leash, I’m good.
    filled with windows I can look out anytime I want to.
  • stationary.
  • quiet. There are not as many visitors. A lot of people want to look inside my little mobile home. Then they stay around and talk. I don’t know why they all do this yet Janet seems to like talking to all those strangers.

I have had some grand adventures on this trip. Did you know I got away twice? It was after dark and there was big woods all around. I would have really liked exploring but the first time I heard fear in Janet’s voice. Since I kind of like her when she called and clapped three whole times I ran into the RT. The second time it was really foggy and I could have gone far but a big truck drove up the road and scared me and I ran into the RV. That little home on wheels is one of my safe places.

Here are some of the highlights of my trip.

  • I stayed in two houses, and two hotels.
  • I saw lots and lots of water. Big water and little water. Some tasted kind of salty. Some had waves (that is what Janet called it). Waves scared me.
  • At the very beginning of my trip I saw horses. And…they were right behind my little house. I stayed under the sheepskin for almost four whole days!!!
IMG_6487

Oh no, more horses

  • I met three other kitties on this trip and three dogs.
  • I went to Canada where I learned to speak French, “juste un pue”.
  • I met a lot of wild life, birds and animals. They were all interesting and I really liked the ones that moved fast. I would have really like to have met some of them quite a bit closer but Janet said no. What a spoil sport.
  • On "The Land"

    On “The Land”

    I liked going out on my leash. Every place we stayed was different. I really liked the quiet ones where it was just us. One of the last places we stayed was on “the land”. I am not sure what that means. We were the only ones there and the grasses were super tall and I got to explore in them with my leash. It was fun.

  • Watching the fish in the water at the Lake in NJ was very entertaining.
  • Chippies…Squirrels….Birds…….well you get the idea.
  • I finally got to see a coyote. Janet says I can’t go out after dark because of coyotes. This one did not look threatening. She says they are wiley. I am not sure what that means. They have big voice and yip a bunch. I guess I better stay away from that one.

IMG_6475

  • Janet and I spent quality time together. I liked talking to her and snuggling up next to her on cool nights.
  • I liked riding on the dashboard. I got to see a lot. I tried to not be a back-seat-driver.

IMG_1629

  • I was in 22 states and 4 provinces. That is a lot for a little six pound kitty like me. Just call me, Miss Elsie-Adventure Kitty.

I like both my houses but the big stationary one, is still my favorite. The little one on wheels is also kind of fun and I like being on an adventure. The more I travel in it the more fun it becomes. And I like seeing all the places and animals and “stuff”.

Janet tells me my adventures are not over yet. Hmm, I wonder what that means?

Elsie’s Animals & Birds

IMG_1743Hey everyone, Elsie the cat here. I took the computer from Janet when she was taking a shower. She says we are on our way home. I’ll believe it when I see it. She keeps finding interesting things to see and do. We keep stopping. Of course she goes off and does things and I sleep under my sheepskin. I like my idea of fun.

Janet says we are in Iowa. I am not sure what that is but when I ride on the dashboard I am now seeing lots of farms. Cows are interesting. They are big and colorful.

There is still a lot of water everywhere. The lakes have gotten smaller and the rivers are a bit bigger. I like that we try to camp in places where I can feel good about going outside. Too many people and a lot of noise does not make me happy and I have to go to the sheepskin to feel safe.

I have been seeing some animals and birds that are interesting. I wish they would get a little closer but they always seem to know where the end of the leash is. Sigh.

IMG_5920

I have seen a lot of these birds, everywhere we have been. Janet tells me they are seagulls. I would like to get to know them better but all they do is scream and fly away. they are kind of noisy. I bet if they got too close I would go to the sheepskin.

IMG_6050 And, speaking of getting to know someone better, several days ago I saw this little guy. I am told by the all knowing one that it is a red squirrel. I would have really like to get to know him and his buddies better. They moved fast and were often just out of my range. Why do they do that? They chirped and yelled at me and I thought they would be a lot of fun to play with. Hmmm, maybe even a snack.

IMG_5930Janet tells me this is a Kildeer. I don’t know the name and I guess I really don’t care. What I like is that they were just outside my little house on wheels. They ran up and down the beach really fast. I wanted to run with them but Janet said no. Sigh. She says they were fishing. What is that I wonder and would I like it?

 

IMG_6373These little birds were covering the bushes outside our RT yesterday morning. They were everywhere. they fly really fast and even soar. I would like to try that soaring thing, it looked fun. I am told by Janet that I don’t have the equipment to do that. I would love to have been right there with them. I bet I could have jumped off the ground and caught at least one of these little buggers. Janet says no and there is the leash issue as well.

IMG_6215I have seen a lot of these. They seem to be at every lake I have been to from New Jersey to Minnesota. They are ducks. They seem like they would be fun to play with too. But when the squawk I get scared and run away. They are loud. I wonder if ducks could be my friends.

IMG_6271A few days ago we were camped on one of the really big lakes. There were trees all around my campsite. these little birds were yelling at me. Why do they yell? Janet says that they must have babies close by. Mmmm, interesting. Would I like babies? I bet I would. A snack maybe? These are chickadees, I am told.

Last night we camped near the Upper Iowa River. In the middle of the night right next to the Roadtrek I heard a loud noise. A big hoot. Janet says it was an owl. It was really close and it was kind of eerie. It was followed by a howl which Janet says was a coyote. It is wild out there at night. I am glad I am safe and snuggled up next to Janet.

We are off for new adventures today. It is raining. Janet has the awning out and it makes it nice for me. I can sit outside and not get wet. The best of all worlds.

I gotta go. She is back and I must pretend I have not been on the computer. Oh look breakfast.

 

Marking Year Two-Off on an Adventure

005October seventeenth  marked the second anniversary of Jim’s death. Sigh.

The first year was hard yet I kept myself busy and that year seemed to move quickly. All of a sudden he was gone a year. Now I don’t mean to imply that it was easy because it wasn’t. I missed him in a large all encompassing way.

This second year has gone by slower. I have had a much tougher time finding the energy to stay positive and delightful. This year I have missed him in the small ways.

  • A touch.
  • His voice.
  • His kisses.
  • His help around the house, for sure.
  • Kayaking solo because my buddy isn’t here.
  • Bicycling solo because….
  • Conversation. I think I miss this most of all. He was a very intelligent person and we had conversations in depth. Now I find that when I meet someone, like Silver Hooligan (Kat), and we have that kind of conversation I pull it in to my brain, my heart, my soul, through the pores of my skin.
  • Where is my waltz and polka partner?
  • Goofing around the house and being silly.
  • Laughing at the Simpsons.
  • Getting Ready to Raft the Grand Canyon

    Getting Ready to Raft the Grand Canyon

    Planning marvelous adventure trips together.

This gives you an idea of the small things. The list could go on and on.

This past year I struggled. I met new people to help me out, my acupuncturist, Gayle, a new therapist, Heidi (my other one retired, sigh). I chose to meet this grief and sadness head on this year and you know, I feel better. I am not done yet but I feel better. I feel better, about me, about life, about others, about my house and more. It feels good to feel better. There are times that I still curl up in my house and that is OK, as long as I come out again.

I have found that work helps. I work part time locally as a tour guide. I love my job and I truly enjoy the other guides I work with. I go to some mundane places (the airport) and some lovely places (La Jolla Shores). Mostly I enjoy being out and catching up with others. It is fun to see people have a wonderful time. I meet interesting people in this job.

I worry that others will forget Jim and yet when I speak with his close friends I realize they will always remember him in their hearts. I find I am now starting to tell Jim stories and others share theirs with me. This is a new development and I find I enjoy it and it feels light.

Kat and her pups. Bicycling to the east coast

Kat and her pups. Bicycling to the east coast

Travel also helps. Tomorrow I am going to head out in my RV, the cute little Roadtrek. I am traveling through the deserts of southern California and Arizona, where I will meet up with Kat (Silver Hooligan-see my last post) for a night. Next will be Flagstaff where I hopefully, will be seeing a much different Sharon than I did a year ago in July. For those of you who have been following my blog, she was the one who ended up in the hospital while I was there.

On Friday I am going to a private ranch, Kane Ranch, on the north rim of the Grand Canyon to take a water color workshop. This is a big step for me. I have tried a few times since Jim left to paint. It has never worked out. I decided to go where I might get some inspiration. The Kane Ranch is owned by the Grand Canyon Trust. I support their cause and they are the organization that is sponsoring this workshop. If I can’t paint I can always pick up my camera and just enjoy being there.

full moon over Zion National Park

full moon over Zion National Park

Lastly I will be on my way to Zion National Park and a visit with my dear friend Sharon. You can scroll back to September of 2013 to read about this very special family. Since that time David has gone on to join Jim. We have a lot to talk about.

Adventuring off on my own takes a bit of courage for me. I have at times been anxious and stressed in preparation for this trip. Yet I persevere. I know that once I get behind that wheel I will be happy and ready to explore where I am going. I take all my friends with me. I feel everyone’s love and support and encouragement. Thank you for getting me through year two.

On to year three.