adventure, Camping, fun, Just do it, leap of faith, old dogs new tricks, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends, travel, weather

Sticking with it…

Well, I did it, got myself packed up and out of the campground and back to my girlfriend’s house.  My cousin said that I was over-thinking the process as I spent the entire day Saturday worrying about fitting the chairs, table, outdoor rug, and cooler into the van since it was pretty much full before I bought all that stuff.  Plus the physical act of taking down the pop up, which turned out to be easy. Well, not hard exactly.  I almost did it by myself, almost.  Next time I will.  But I arrived here exhausted.  I have that pleasant tired muscle thing going, where you know you worked hard physically.  And mentally too, just tired of thinking. This putting your money where your mouth is thing isn’t for sissies.  But camping was fun, and there are so many places that I want to go in Florida when I get back also.  It’s a start.

The photo is of a tiny teardrop camper that pulled into the campground just recently.  The campers were sitting outside with their campfire and looking like the proverbial happy campers.  And I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be to just pull up and be done with it.  No set up or take down.  And then it rained, and rained some more, and maybe I’ll stick with my little pop up, and my couch…

 

blessings, childhood, connections, coping, courage, faith, family, friends, healing, honor, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

Lisa…

I only met her once.  She had long ago married into the family that I loved in my childhood, and had recently fallen in love with again despite the 60+ year absence.  On Sunday I attended her memorial, her celebration of life.  And with four generations of family present it truly was a celebration.  Hearing everyone from her granddaughter to her sister speak of her love of reading and love of family, I saw that I would have enjoyed knowing her. But she was gone too soon.  She was a special part of this special family, and I saw that she will be missed.  And remembered.  It was a privilege to have been included in this day.

This celebration was held at her brother’s house, and when I arrived I was concentrating on seeing/meeting this large group of people that I had never met.  It was after I’d been there a few minutes that I began to notice the house itself. The low plaster and beamed ceiling as you walk in, and the seven (I think) fireplaces, one in every room. Turns out it was built in 1724, and as much of the original as possible is still present.  When necessary improvements had to be made, such as in the kitchen with it’s loft overlook, the original wood that had been taken out was used to build any new cabinets, etc.  It’s completely obvious that this house has been loved.  And it may not be an exaggeration to say that George Washington slept there.  His 2nd in command married the daughter of the home owner back in those old days, so it’s entirely possible.  Though someone mentioned that considering all the area houses making the claim that George Washington slept there it would seem George may have slept around a bit.  As we left we were talking about what a nice memorial it had been, which may be why I forgot to take the outside shots I had intended to take.

beams

cornercupboardcornerwithphotosfireplacefireplace2fireplace3kitchen wallkitchen wall2kitchenislandkitchenwall2loftviewsoapstonesinkspinningwheelstaircasetwowindowswelcome

 

'scene' along the way, finding my way, flowers, friends, Heros, live and learn, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, strangers become friends

On the road…

Wednesday was my first real travel day, and I employed my new rule for myself right from go.  I didn’t leave in the wee small hours of the morning, a decision made easy since there were people there to say good morning and good-bye to.  And to thank also!  Plus my drive from Charleston, SC to York, PA was going to put me in the DC area at a horrible time from the point of view of traffic no matter when I left.  So the goal was to avoid the fog and drive in the daylight, and when I looked at the GPS there was an alternative route that avoided the DC/Baltimore area all together, so I took it!  And yes, it was scenic, but there were only two lanes, and trucks with issues going up and down the hills.  So the drive was pretty but more work than cruising along on 95.  By the time I’d been on the road for 9 hours and still had three more to go I wondered if the whole thing had been that great of an idea.  But all in all I think it was.

And stopping at the rest stops has proved to be a brilliant idea, I wish I could remember who to thank for that heads up.  As I crossed into NC in the Charlotte area and stopped at the rest stop there I found a kindred spirit, a wanna-be camper.  Except her history involves driving trailers loaded with horses or cows, so she is way ahead of me in the towing department.  She told me that since working at the rest stop she has noticed a big increase in women who are camping on their own.  So maybe I’m not nuts, or else I have a lot of company.  She said that she met the most interesting woman ever through her job.  This woman came into the rest stop and was distressed that she had come through a tunnel in her travels and damaged the satellite on the roof of her vehicle.  She was a German lady and had had her vehicle made for her there.  My new friend said that it was a Mercedes camper, but looked like a taller version of a Hummer.  She had the thought that no one would ever bother her in this vehicle because it looked like an assault vehicle, LOL.  My friend told her that she knew someone, who knew someone, who might be able to help her, and she sent her over to see him.  She promised to check on her after work, and if she had to leave the vehicle overnight she wanted this woman to stay with her, a thought that upset her son no end.  “Mom,” he said, “you don’t know this woman.”  She thought that was funny.  At any rate this lady had camped in that vehicle in Europe, in Iran in the desert, and all through South America.  I guess she was on her North American leg of her journey at that point.  When my new friend checked after work the woman and the repairman and family were all having dinner together.  He had ordered the part for her and she’d be on her way the next day, plus he had the camper all hooked up for her to spend the night in it.  A very unique camper for sure, and far more adventurous than I will ever be.

And now I have met the most interesting woman ever, and I don’t mean the German lady, but the woman I met by chance by stopping at that particular welcome center on that particular day.  She is a two-time breast cancer survivor who followed her beloved doctor to Boston, to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she was treated after he had moved his practice there. After beating cancer twice she was invited to participate in a bike ride to raise money for the cancer center, a ride from Boston to Provincetown on Cape Cod.  To participate you had to raise money by having sponsors, and she told her friends who sponsored her that if she didn’t finish she would reimburse them their money, but once she had raised $20,000 she decided that she’d damned well better finish the ride.  So she rented a cottage on Cape Cod, hired a trainer, and got serious about getting herself ready.  She connected with a bike shop owner who ordered her a lightweight  bike frame that you could lift with one finger.  He told her she’d never make it on the bike she had brought with her.  The upshot of all this is that yes, she finished the ride, and so did her doctor.  They were the only two from their entire group who did finish.  A news crew followed her for 4 weeks as she trained, which was a condition of her participation also, so that her story might inspire other women as they deal with their own challenges with this horrible disease.  A most interesting and inspiring woman indeed.

And it was uplifting to hear the praises of the treatment available at Dana-Farber on the very day that my favorite old friend from my favorite old neighborhood was receiving treatment there even as we were talking.  I never know what my day will bring, and most are good days, but some are better than others.05-08-19azaleafeature