"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Feb 27, 2013

Life...go figure

Mom's 80th
Does anything feel better than a sunny day after a gloomy winter?  At least here in Central Oregon.  I spent the past couple winters in Southern Oregon, and you wouldn’t think there would be so much of a difference, but au contraire.   Once again, you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it.

You‘ve heard the expression (Reader’s Digest, 1957) and John Lennon lyrics, “Life is what happens…while we’re making other plans.”  Well, I’m a perfect example.  Just when I began selling in my little shop space in Downtown Shabby, found a distributor for my dog treats and began getting politically active, I find I must return to the East Coast for family reasons.  Mom is increasingly frail and not quite the same since Hurricane Sandy.  Not the damage; the fright, I believe.  My Puerto Rican girlfriend’s Mother passed away following one particularly harrowing hurricane; her heart just gave out.

We all hear more and more cases of our friends and family having to make tough decisions regarding Parents, and like cancer, we pray we don’t become a target.  But it happens, and as pal Rita, taught me, if I can’t change something, deal with it.
 
While I do not particularly relish leaving my Wild West, truth be told it hasn’t been as wild as Bonanza promised.  At least not in populated areas, and horses make me nervous anyway.

After reflection, I realize the ‘forces’ are more with me than agin’, which is always comforting.  My current trailer park has new owners with new rules; the homeowner returns within a week to reclaim this house; and I haven’t started anything which I can’t continue on the road.  I’m opting to drive, slowly, for several reasons, primarily:

a.     My 1986 Ford F150.  Obtained from original, maintenance-disciplined owners, I sure hope they made ’em good-n-tuff back then.
b.     Market my dog treats, and hopefully pick up a bit of cash along the way.  Car magnets in place.
c.      Visit friends and relatives I haven’t seen in a decade or more.  If they'll invite me in.
d.     Turn my road trip craving into a real Travels with Buttercup.  THAT’s the brass ring.

Leaving the trailer behind was a tough emotional decision.  I’m almost finished with my third remodeling and it’s just right.  I feel like the pioneers, unloading their Conestogas before hitting the Rockies; but just like the rest of my life, it’s happening backwards.

Without a sponsor it is out of the question to travel with my turtle shell; besides, as previously reported, RV parks are increasingly implementing age restrictions, and many would refuse admittance of my 1992 home.   As it is, a friend pointed out the economic hardship of gasoline for the truck alone.
 
But what would it cost for one-way tickets for BC and me?  I don't like paying those prices if I'm not going to be fed.  Plus, I don’t know how long I’ll be gone; I’ll need a vehicle to get around in 'Jersey; and I’ve got my own belongings, in Mom’s attic, in need of sorting and distribution.  Boy, will there be a fire-sale on gourd art.  Whenever I cringe at having to get rid of something I’ve treasured, I just remind myself,

“How much can I fit in a coffin?”  You'd be amazed at how you can down-size.  And so when I look around my 112-square foot, Lilliputian home and weep for all I’ll be leaving behind (???), I remind myself that I carry my sense of home with me, since that, at least, can never be taken away.

It’ll be an adventure; no doubt about it, and I'm discovering once again that it is entirely possible to create your own dream, if you're willing to compromise a bit.  I've been hoping to recreate Steinbeck's Travels with Charley for a  couple of years now, and looks like I'll get my wish.

So stay tuned, and keep your fingers crossed!

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