Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Catching Up

If you read the last post, you know that I am returning to posting on The Back Porch View.  I missed the blog, I missed you and to be honest I missed me.
Writing helps me to process and chronicle experiences while the process often reveals insights, hopes and dreams. Looking back, I realize there were many things contributing to my long absence writing the blog.  I am unwilling to leave this gigantic hole in time and within this blog.  It is my hope to find a way to weave some past highlights and reflections with present life and travels.  First you need a recap to capture the changes in our lives.
More than five years ago I made a commitment to raising my granddaughter.  She was then 13 and she needed me and consistency during her teenage years.  I had just sold my home, a barnyard of animals and began to living my dream of four months of full-time travel.  She and I struck a bargain.  We lived in a sticks and bricks house during the school year which allowed her teenage normalcy.  When the summer vacation bell rang....we escaped to a summer of travel and adventure.  This blog was a chronological history of many of those times.

I felt like I came alive during those travels.  Returning home each fall was challenging.  I felt as if we were living in two worlds but not fully part of either.  To some degree, I recognize my resistance to belonging in the non-travel world was partly of my own making.  I continued to long for the adventures and feared new relationships would keep me from returning to the life of travel of my dreams.
Prior to beginning full-time time travel and my granddaughter coming to live with me, I had a spinal injury that caused three vertebrae to be permanently damaged.  MRI evidence showed the damage would continue to progress over time, with escalating pain and loss off function.  Hearing the prognosis, verified by the physical changes as time progressed, weighed heavily on me.  I had no idea if I would be able to physically return to full-time travel when my Granddaughter was grown. 
The first summer of travel in 2014 was seven weeks of travel around the Washington State exploring places I had never been even while living here most of my life.
The summer of 2015, we traveled across the country from Spokane to Connecticut, Maine, Washington DC, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and back home on a 10 week fabulous journey.
The summer of 2016 led us a summer of travel in Montana, the location of my last blog posts.  Travelers to Montana know, cell service is great in towns and cities but nearly nonexistent in the vast expanse of Montana real estate.  That, of course is where I tend to stay.  When I was in towns, it was all about business, groceries, laundry, gas, propane etc. and then getting to a hideaway spot near our next destination.  It did not include time near a WiFi spot composing a blog.  Procrastination became my enemy.  Without intending to....blogging ceased.
Armed with beautiful pictures and wonderful memories I added a few more blogs when I returned home.  I named one blog of an experience of gigantic proportion, but it remained a memory, without becoming a blog.   (It is still rolling around waiting to be released to print).
2017 Oregon was our destination.  Epic moments included  several once in a lifetime photographs including the solar eclipse and the Sisters Oregon Forest Fire.

2018 was a mixed up year in which I faced losing three long time friends and the launching my little "bird" from the nest.   Between senior year events and caring for my friend, I didn't travel as much in 2018 as in the past.  However I was able to travel to the Ocean for renewal.  Loss brings about time for reflection.  While at the ocean, I did do a nature art piece.  In fact, it may have been pointing me back to writing again.

Yes, the DREAM is still alive!


Graduation was a huge moment of celebration.  Hailey is on to the next phase of her life.  She is currently working as a care provider, going to college and living in an apartment.  Learning all the life lessons of young adulthood.

Me                  Hailey             Auntie

One more painful update.  I have lost 2 of my beloved Kitty travelers.
Kitty Flu hit our household and we lost Emmit in the winter of 2017 and Socks six months later from complications last August.  Spook had it also but is still with me and sill traveling with me.
There is never a good time to let them go...  Best Kitties Ever!! Thanks for the kitty memories!

                      Socks     Emmit (above)    Spook     

I do not regret the decisions of the past 5 years.
I believe it was the right path for us.
I do know every moment I am able to travel is a gift.
And I am grateful to still be able to travel.