Plugged in & Getting Ready-Time to Head West

This morning after  a run to the post office, I returned to my sister’s, backed into my parking space and plugged EmmyLou the Roadtrek into shore power. Today was different though. Today I turned on the refrigerator. Today I did the wash. Today I began the prep for departure. Yes it is May and the west is calling.

Three generations. My two sisters Ruth & Ginny, Adrienne my niece and her daughter Quinn-just turned 2.

It is also good not to overstay my welcome. My sister, Ginny would never turn me away, but I also know it is time to go and give her and her husband and Kitty Lepore their home back. It has been a marvelous stay. On this trip east I have gotten to see all of my birth family. That is unique unto itself, especially when one lives in Florida, another in Ohio, and more in northern New Jersey. Oh and even though I sold my home in San Diego, I know the west will always be home. Like many in this large country we are scattered throughout and this is no small country.

I have no plans except to head west. Elsie and I will take it one day at a time. I am looking forward to meandering west rather than driving those long hours like I did to arrive in Ohio. I came across the south part of the country coming east. Going west, I will drive across the north part of the country as I head for Boise, Idaho.

Why Boise?, one may ask. I have been offered a wonderful opportunity. In early June I am going to Alaska for 2 weeks on a small cruiseship,  in the Inside Passage, southeast AK. The ship holds up to 75 people. I will be traveling with a friend of mine, Leslie. These ships get into places big cruise ships cannot. It is an active tour so there will be hiking and kayaking involved. I have always wanted to explore this part of Alaska more intimately, and now I have the opportunity to do just this.

Elsie cannot cruise with me. She is going on holiday in Boise with friends of mine, Linda & Steve. We seem to exchange animal sitting duties. El will be hanging out with Poncho the pup, Misty the, usually, invisible cat and Ophir who spends most of his cat time outside on gopher and mole duty. Although she may not be fond of the mix, she knows all of them so she will adjust for a few weeks while I am gone. And my heart is warm and glad that I can turn to this wonderful couple, my friends.

For the next few days I will be packing and putting everything into it’s proper place. Each time I stay somewhere for a while I find the need to nest again. There is usually a transition period, too. I get used to being around people and I find there is a period of adjustment that I need to make, when I return to my solo and nomadic life. This is an interesting phase of travel. When I was younger I consciously planned to be single my whole life. There was no need for a period of adjustment. I was happy and content. Then I met Jim. Since his death, over five years ago, being solo and single is different. I need to explore this period of adjustment, embrace it and allow it to be. Sometimes I get frustrated. I have been known to delay a trip by a few days, because I don’t feel well. I associate this with stress and needless worry and fear. I think it has gotten better. The first trip in 2013 I delayed by a week. Once I am in and on board I turn to enjoying myself as I explore new places. I really do enjoy my little home on wheels. Buying my Roadtrek was the best decision I ever made. I explore in comfort and at my leisure.

Time to pack.



Packing & Memories

I am busy. I am really busy. I am really, really, really busy. My house closes in less than two weeks and I am cleaning and packing and throwing away. Every day I get out of bed and before I even move toward the kitchen I stop and organize one thing in my bedroom. After hot tea and a quick bite to eat, I start packing in earnest.

It has been interesting to discover items long forgotten among the stash.

letters-stack-tiedYesterday I found a stack of letters Jim wrote to me when we first became an “item”. I was living in Albuquerque at the time and he was in San Diego. His letters were so revealing of the deep passion he had for life and for me. Whoa, I have never felt so cared for by someone in my life. No wonder I felt so special and loved around him. As we were together longer the passion became quieter, yet was still there in our every day interactions. It also was noted in the fact that he listened to me and if I mentioned something I was interested in or wanted, sure enough, at some point it would appear. I went horseback riding. I received new ski racks for my car. I flew in a glider plane. I wore diamond earrings. He was responsible for getting me involved in watercolor art, buying me my first 10 lessons and all the supplies to get started. Interested in Photography?, a new camera appeared. Pretty early on in our relationship I realized I had to be careful about voicing what I wished for, I knew it would eventually show up. He was a good man, a good match for me and a delightful human being.


How Jim Felt About Me

As I pack up the house, I miss him very much. I am not shutting the door but I am closing a chapter in my life. I feel it needs to be done so I can venture outward to more new experiences.

I taught English Country Dancing (ECD) for 7 years in San Diego. This dancing is what you see in all the Jane Austen films (Pride & Prejudice, Emma….). I love this dancing. I loved to teach and call. After seven years I gave it up for many personal reasons. The most prevalent reason; I did not feel I was a good fit for this growing community. Personalities flared, not always in a positive way, and I decided to quit. I had hopes for a while I would start my own dance community. I missed the dancing and I missed the calling/teaching. As you may be able to tell, there were a lot of issues around this that I have had to take years to resolved. Yesterday I took all my English dance CD’s, books, teaching notes and more and gave them to the San Diego ECD Community Library.











I met up with Ellen, the woman who was instrumental in creating the resurgence of this dance in San Diego, for lunch. After our 2 hour catch up lunch, we met at her car and I moved the 3 boxes of ECD paraphernalia, 3 ball gowns and 2 slips into Ellen’s car. We spoke for a few minutes and then we were both on our way home.


So Light, I am walking on air.

Sometimes simple acts can be very symbolic. When I moved the last box into her car, I felt light. I felt like I could walk on a cloud. With one simple act I released years of dis-settlement. At one point Ellen asked me if I really wanted to give this personal and loved collection up. I simply said yes and I knew in my soul I meant it. Giving away, selling, throwing away is a release. With release comes growth. And it becomes a positive event.

This morning I woke up continuing to feel much lighter and content with this whole interaction. I am so glad I did this. Look how far I have come. And I still have so far to go. Maybe one day I will return to ECD as a dancer. I am still not in that place with the local community. As I travel though I will be paying attention to all the dance communities in the area where I am. I love to dance and I don’t plan to stop. I need another way to approach it and traveling is giving me that opportunity.

I always thought that as I matured, I would have to confront less and less personal growth issues. They still keep popping up. As a good friend of mine, Sharon, once said to me “Janet, dear when you are 80 you will still be growing and changing”. Not a bad life sentence.

Off to the next drawer and more revelations.