I Am On The Move

When I look back to my last post, I am amazed it has been almost a month since I posted. What? How could that be? I have been on the move.

 

I left San Diego in mid-April. Once taxes were completed and the dental work finished it was time to figure out what to do with my summer. In classic Janet fashion, sometimes I find it hard to decide what direction to go. Sometimes when everything is planned a better option shows up and there I am, my typical Libra self, once again, contemplating and making plans and changing my mind.

Friends, near and far are a life line for me. I treasure my friends. This part of my journey has been about travel and friends, and new experiences.

A View of Zion Canyon

First stop on my rambling life, Zion National Park. I have a very good long time friend that lives just outside the park.  Sharon and I have known each other since I was young and I babysat her children. When I was in my early twenties I reconnected with this family and it turns out, it was the best thing I could have chosen to do. Sharon and her husband David always unconditionally loved and supported me. Unfortunately David died a little over two years ago. Now after a 60 year marriage Sharon is on her own. She and I have joined the same club, like it or not.

I spent my week in and around the park doing challenging hikes and helping Sharon around the house. One day of hiking was followed by a day of errands and yard work. It was a great combination.

Central Nevada

From Zion I drove across central Nevada heading to Monterey, CA. I have never spent much time in this state. The byways I took makes me want to go back and explore more. Another state goes on my ever-growing list of places I want to visit. I like the solitude of the area. When a badger crossed in front of my RV, I could stop in the middle of the road to watch it. There was no traffic. Nope, not one vehicle.

Roadtreks all in a row

After all the solitude I arrived at a Roadtrek Rally located at the Fairgrounds in Monterey. The rally had forty Roadtreks and about sixty people. For three and a half days we gathered for meals and other events. We explored each other’s rigs and new ones as well. It was three days of camaraderie and learning. I discovered that larger groups of people can be fun when I have a place to retreat to for quality alone time.  Another very good use for my Roadtrek. Meeting friends can be fun. I met several people who I have met on-the-road. It helped that there were a few friends at the rally. Charlotte, a good friend and the woman who married Jim and me lives in Monterey. We were able to slip a breakfast in and catch up on new and long time experiences. She is a magical, delightful person.

Oh so good friends-Gary on the left and Ron on the right as you look at the photo.

Now I am heading north. I will get to my summer plans in a few minutes. Two nights ago, at the last minute, I called friends in Santa Rosa who I have always threatened to visit and this time I did. First you have to know, I love Ron and Gary. They have always held a special place in my heart. They are both Scottish dance teachers as well as amazing musicians and delightful friends. Not only did I get to spend a wonderful evening with them, dancing and catching up…I got to dance. Oh it has been long. My ankle is not 100% yet but it is close. Being back on the dance floor was delight. Coming back to their house afterwards was even better. I love these two men and I am glad we are friends. I have known Ron for close to thirty years. He is special.

Where to next. Well here it is, in a nutshell. I am heading north to Lassen and then to Medford. It is time to meet up with my friend Mary again. She is the one I spent some time with in the Arizona desert this winter. I am looking forward to catching up and getting some wine tasting in.

Idaho is my destination for a part of the summer. Linda and Steve, more Roadtreking friends,  have offered me and Miss Elsie their cabin in Donnelly Idaho. I am taking them up on the offer. I am looking forward to being a bit stationary for a few months. Other events on the horizon? A river trip, the solar eclipse (oh Jim would be so proud) and later in the summer, Colorado. It is time to spend time on my property there. Late summer and early fall is a delightful time to be in the mountains.

I am grateful for the western United States. I always thought I would end up in New England. I often tell people I got to the Rocky Mountains and never looked east again. There is something about this part of the country, from the mountains to the Pacific that touches my soul. I am looking forward to my mountain summer. And….you know….if any of you are in the area please be in touch. I would love to visit and explore with you.

All my friends are treasures and I look forward to spending time with each and everyone of you, time and time again.

Today I am grateful for Friends and Friendship.

 

Getting Ready to Roll

I feel like I have been in San Diego for a long time. It is not true, I have been here for a month. My RT went into the shop today to have a few things checked. She is ready to go. Oil changed, tires rotated, DEF fluid topped off, leaky gray water tank fixed today. It looks like everything is a go.

Once again I am un-nesting. I find I get anxious before I get ready to “get on-the-road”. I have delayed trips by a day or two or by a week or more because of anxiety, mostly presented by my not feeling well. I am now recognizing the symptoms earlier so I can attempt to stop the anxiety from getting the upper hand. Well, most of the time.

A wash outside of Zion National Park

Where am I heading? I am leaving in the morning, tomorrow for southern Utah. I have a dear friend who lives just outside the entrance to Zion National Park. I am anxious to see her and catch up. It also helps that I can walk from her house to the washes and take off hiking and exploring. And then, there is the park within a short drive. This is an amazing part of our country.

I would like to say that this anxiousness has occurred since Jim’s death but that would not be true. When I was working as a Tour Manager, I would feel that anxiety build before a trip. It amazes me that I have to tackle this issue when I love to travel so much. I believe that some of this anxiety is my desire to be perfect, which I will never be. Then there is also the unknown. When Jim was around he would help defer it by keeping me busy. Now it is up to me to discover tools to help with this. Reminding myself that once I get behind the wheel, the anxiety disappears. Breathing and meditating is also another useful tool. If any of you have tricks that work for you, please oh please share.

Life is a continual learning and growing experience. I am looking forward to the beginning of the next part of my continuing life adventure. I am not sure where I will land but I am certainly going to make it an adventure getting there.

Get ready Miss Elsie, we are getting ready to move out.

 

 

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.