October 15, 2020. I’m almost back from a month’s retreat from home base. I’ve been physically and energetically disconnected from computers and routines. In the next week or so I’ll be catching up on blog posts from others – another sort of cushion comfort! Come end-of-October, I’ll be traveling again …
This haiku was written in response to the visual impact of sky-gazing from the mountain over Cloudcroft NM (a place we return to at least once a year). In typing it up today, I realize it speaks also to my “destination” of adjusting to losing my son. Life seems a continual journey toward an ultimate destination difficult to envision. I savor interim pauses.
May 27, 2019. We are gearing up for another summer of travels … to places we’ve never been before, to places we’ve been yearning to get back to … in both cases, places that might present the next Native American wooden flute (or two) for Gary’s collection. He is selective! He trusts my skills and selectivity to yield the right custom bag for each flute.
Bags pictured were made last September, for flutes acquired last summer.
September 4, 2018. We drove Saturday to Odessa TX, to spend Labor Day weekend with good friends. Not a new drive – a couple of known paths from our house to San Angelo, one obvious path from there to Odessa. Only … somehow we missed a turn and by the time we noticed the road no longer looked familiar, we were waaaay past that turn. Unwilling to forfeit time retracing, we proceeded to the next town (Goldthwaite TX). Studying Google Maps on my phone, strange changes kept occurring. Our printed maps were all in the truck that tows our Airstream – not with us in the Prius.
Goldthwaite further frustrated with no indication where its roads out of town would lead. But Lady Luck presented herself in a Welcome Center. (Who’d expect such in the middle of nowhere? And open on Saturday!) She sent me back to the car with a county map stating on left edge: “To San Angelo”. We were not yet aware at the county line our road dead-ended into a T … with zero indication what lay ahead in either direction.
Oddly, I have an urge to drive that way again (intentionally) for photographs. I’m relying here on images from maps and a photo of a similar pasture. Maybe next Spring when the wild flowers are blooming … to San Angelo for lunch and back again, with a map and Garmin along for the ride …
June 12, 2018. Summer travels are underway – currently enjoying Arkansas near the Coleman Crystal Mine. People here are genuinely friendly (unlike the mocking birds!) Digging in red dirt, relaxing under forest shade – a place we return to whenever we go eastward. Tennessee by weekend.
This image is poor photography pieced together to illustrate a memorable encounter … iPhone on zoom yields blurs, but: “The best camera for any shot is the one you have with you” (Dewitt Jones savvy wisdom).
May 29, 2018. The school year wraps up this week, setting my teacher partner free to travel. He has been prepping our Airstream, and I have been busily tweaking reservations along the path we’re targeting this summer. Some returns, some new locations. All of it flexible should we change our minds! Our minds are crammed full … no question we are overlooking something (to be further tweaked down the line).
In our yard, every day something new blooms … bringing regrets that we must miss this to venture toward the other. This collage blends purple coneflowers with datura, both prolific bloomers frequented by bees.
July 23, 2017. Traveling still, now in cooler temperatures and higher elevations. This afternoon’s rain kept us campsite-bound – an agreeable pace! I’ve encountered several times lately promotions for “forest bathing” – Japanese Shinrinyoku – preventive healthcare practice of getting oneself out among trees. Research proves its value. My experience here bears witness.
July 19, 2017. Traveling, taking in (our first time!) the 20th annual Woody Fest in Okemah, Oklahoma; WONDERFUL music experience for anyone considering what to do in future Julys!
Research led us to Pine Trees RV about 2 miles out of town – w,here we were under pines, overlooking a beautiful pond, at the end of a gravel road. Blissful! Those trees were most welcome in Oklahoma July heat.
We discovered a female kildeer thought so too – her “nest” barely out of traffic’s path. Speaking gently, approaching slowly, it was easy to get close. But the moment I crossed her perceived boundary, she tripled in size and fierceness. And I apologized! (Right after snapping this image …)
July 8, 2017. Travelling again – had a wonderful evening in Hannibal Missouri under the influence of a local band in an outdoor setting … full moon rising … a time to ponder and savor. A time well worth a poem. If you ever stumble upon Bummer The Drummer and The Kansas City Street Band – by all means sit down awhile!
June 16, 2017. Big changes often involve multiple facets fitting together. Such was our decision to go from a small travel trailer to a larger one. Not just the trailer changes. The tow vehicle must also change. And after months of planning, selecting, and financing our dream – one last essential piece about did me in: something called a weight distribution hitch that serves to help Blackie (truck) and Silvie (trailer) move smoothly together. Using friction to control sway – fascinating. A variety to choose from, but a strong preference for the kind we had with the small trailer (only bigger). Precise measurements of the trailer still sitting on the dealer’s lot an hour’s drive South proved elusive, highly frustrating in ordering the new hitch. A few cross words flew between the two of us piecing together our bits of understanding (and not!) of hitches and measurements … but ultimately all came together. And in the process, the weight distribution hitch emerged as symbol. Notice those chains. Ties that bind.
We’ll be rolling through Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico shortly. Trusting our hitch!