I’m Sorry-Revisited

Sunset Cle Elum

After spending four really good days catching up on over 20 years of conversation, my visit with my friend Lori in Cle Elum, WA came to an end today. We hiked, toured and lord did we talk. I got to explore the Cle Elum area with a long time resident. Lori was a great tour guide and I am thankful for her giving me the time to visit and tour

 

Elsie the Cat and I are “on the road” in Washington state. We are slowly heading west.

Today I drove back into the hot somewhat barren country of the Columbia River Plateau. It is really not barren. There are major crops that grow out here. The land, however is yellow and treeless and hot. I kept thinking about trees. When I saw this campground it is on a river and there were trees. That was inviting enough for me.

I am camped along the Methow River. I am in an RV park for the night. My first night back on the road is often easier when I still have amenities, laundry, shower, electric and water. What more can one ask for in life.

It is busy in the campground. This weekend is the Winthrop R & B festival. People are pulling in. I was lucky to get a site for one night. I am always thankful for small miracles. Tomorrow I will head for the National Forest and higher, cooler climes.

I tend to say “I’m sorry” often. I apologize for things that are not even close to being my fault. If something happens in the world well I may as well just apologize for it. For goodness sakes it is so past time to get over this behavior. It is hard to break old habits.

Tonight I received a lesson. The man in the RV next to mine must have apologized to me several times since my arrival.

  • I am sorry that my air-conditioning is so loud.
  • I am sorry but I have to empty my black and gray water tank. I apologize ahead of time for the smell.
  • I am really really sorry about the smell. (there wasn’t any)
  • I fixed the air-conditioning but I am sorry that you can hear it.
  • I live in western Washington and it so hot here that I have to run the air-conditioning. I am sorry.
  • I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry.

I kept telling him, it is OK. Then he would apologize again. I thought to myself, is that what I sound like when I apologize for everything under the sun? It didn’t sound good. I kind of felt sorry for him. What if he had just come out and said hi, I am your neighbor, welcome to the park. I think we all get it, when we live in close quarters there is going to  be sounds and noise. For me it is one night.

I am going to try to catch myself when I get in an apologizing mode. Maybe, just maybe with practice I can stop before I apologize and ask myself, silently, is this really something I need to apologize for? Practice can change habits. I also promise not to be hard on myself when I slip. It is life and these habits are slow to change. They are very long and ingrained habits.

Tomorrow I ascend into the northern Cascades for the weekend. Up I go and down goes the temperature. Elsie and I will be looking for solitude and quiet for the rest of the weekend. I am excited I have never been here before so everything is magical and new. I am ready to get on my hiking shoes.

Next Wednesday El and I are going international and heading to Canada, Vancouver Island. I am anticipating a month, maybe more exploring the island from the south to the north and back again. Any suggestions besides Victoria and Buchart Gardens?

Off I go on another adventure. It has taken me since early May to reach the west coast. I am looking forward to seeing the ocean, saying hello to Jim (his ashes went to sea) and exploring a new place. And I get to take at least one ferry ride. I love ferries.

Anyone want to come along? Company is always welcome.

How I Took a Vacation to Aruba

Janet at Eagle Beach

Janet at Eagle Beach

It is good to have friends. It is really good to have friends when they invite you to be part of their vacation.  My friend Diane who I have known for years, lives in northern Vermont with her husband Tom. They have had a wicked winter. Like many New Englanders they abandoned ship and went to Aruba for a month. No snow there. Tom could only stay for two weeks so Diane invited me to join her for the last two weeks.

Shortly after Jim died I was told that after about three months all the concerning friends and acquaintances would slowly disappear. I have discovered, for me, this is not true. Many of my friendships have strengthened both with long time friends as well as newer friends. And, I am glad for it. Married or single my friends are willing to include me in their adventures. So, here I am in Aruba.

I like going places I have never been before. So far, this has been a very easy adventure. I don’t think I have ever made it through customs so fast. It was a very easy entrance into a very pretty island.

Cactus & Carribbean Sea

Cactus & Carribbean Sea

Aruba reminds me a bit, ecology wise, of San Diego, my home town, except it is more humid, the wind never stops blowing (tradewinds) and the ocean is warm enough to swim and snorkel in. How then, you may ask does it remind me of San Diego? Well the island is semi-arid. There are cactus and lizards and snakes. Oh my!!!

Here is what I’ve been up to since I have been here.

  • Walking early in the mornings. The trade winds make it very comfortable to exercise despite the heat and humidity.
  • Snorkeling. There are so many pretty fish here. My personal highlights, as of now, are seeing an octopus and a flounder. Cool.
  • Visiting Arikok National Park. This park gives you a very good ecological perspective on the geological history of the island.We hiked, explored caves and watched the body boarders surf at Dos Playas Beach.
  • Snorkeling
  • Eating both at Sunset Beach Studios, where we are staying and eating out at delicious restaurants.
  • Snorkeling
  • Bird watching. A new fun past time for me.
  • Snorkeling.
  • Spending time talking with Diane and catching up since her last trip to San Diego. One thing I love about my friends is that we never seem to run out of things to discuss.
  • Snorkeling.
  • Reading good summer fiction. If you are into light science fiction about magic and such try Lev Grossman’s triology The Magician. It is a very captivating read and I am almost sorry that I just finished the third book of the Trilogy. I hope he writes more.
  • Oh, Have I mentioned snorkeling?
Body Boarder at Dos Playas

Body Boarder at Dos Playas

Terns

Terns

In one of the caves at Arikok National Park

Janet & Diane in one of the caves at Arikok National Park

I am here for another week and despite the fact that everyone asks me why I am here, since I live in San Diego, I am having a wonderful and relaxing time. I am so glad Diane thought to invite me on her vacation. Would I come back? I don’t know. There are a lot of other islands here to explore. If Diane invited me back to Aruba again, would I come? In an instant.