Whew!! It’s finally over! I am now securely fastened in my GMC 2015 Sierra truck (with an 8’ bed!) and writing from my 2011 Cruise Lite Salem trailer from Forest River. Things are beginning to look a little different now. I think I was in a real slump for a couple of weeks prior to this transition. I loved Big Mama, wanted her to work out for Lympia and me. But, she was just too high maintenance. Too much money got poured into her and still things did not work.
On to the new! Last night I slept in a real bed, there’s a real fridge, an oven and a truck I can disconnect from the trailer, which I did with great satisfaction yesterday when I pulled into my favorite camp in Lincoln City, OR (Wapiti RV). In the morning, I went into Salem where the work of putting on sway bar, brake controller, etc., was done because I needed to learn how to do the hooking and unhooking. I had tried in vain, with so much physical effort that I again felt, omg, what have I gotten myself into now? (A repeated theme throughout this just about 7-week journey.) A very nice (and gorgeous – he should really be a model – very distracting! I really wanted to take a picture of him!) man patiently helped me figure out how I was to do this task – not how others might. It turns out my legs are the secret ingredient to this process. I used my thigh to snap into place the bars that get chained to the truck. I have NO upper body strength to do this!
I shopped for groceries which I put in the perfect-sized fridge with ice cream (Breyers natural vanilla) and corn tortillas! It’s so exciting to be in an environment that is pretty and comfortable and the vehicle is reliable. My truck is a lot of truck, parking is a little tricky, but I am so happy for the power to aid in bringing me up those mountain passes!
The man who helped with these purchases also will be helping me to sell Big Mama. (Maybe I should stop referring to IT in a familial way so as to not get too attached?!) This was a huge relief as I would have had to derail my trip by possibly weeks in order to offload It.
So, what have I and Lympia been doing all this time? Not much, actually. I spent some great time in Bend, with an in-law who was so nice to take me around and show me the town. I loved it – but not the winter snow.
Bend – the Deschutes river Lympia and I hugged as we walked. So beautiful!
And, I checked out Corvallis and Albany – loved Corvallis. Will probably look closely into moving there. Dog parks, fretting (major fretting – for those who know me, this was epic!), and enjoying some of Oregon’s beautiful green spaces.
Mary Young State Park. A major dog park near Oregon City, Or. This is just a small part of what was available for dogs- and not fenced in! Fantastic. There was also a place to bring her down to the river and let her go free. Wonderful.
I also got a chance to spend some time with my good friend, Renee in Portland. It was wonderful to connect with her and feel connected to my life in the Bay Area. We had a blast!
We especially enjoyed Powell’s Books – Renee is a major reader and I love books too!
Pigged out on great doughnuts, but did not get their specialties: it seemed a bit too much.
And, at the famous Rose Garden:
In addition to Renee visiting, my sister-in-law also came and visited her son, David. This was particularly fun because we went into parts of Portland I had not yet seen: Forest Park in northwest Portland. Beautiful; we picked some blackberries, David ran with Lympia a bit, and it was wonderful to reconnect with Cindy again. Got some good pics, but for some reason they did not get emailed to my computer. Next time!
What became clear to me when I knew I was settled in the new digs (what to call these two vehicles?), was how this whole ordeal has been a great distraction to my grieving. That’s not so terrible. But, it is interesting how it doesn’t just go away; it’s lurking somewhere in my heart and is so easily tapped into again. Or, so easily shows itself to be present. Still, I go on. I feel in my heart, that to live is to go on loving and enjoying what life has to offer. In whatever form that takes and however difficult that might be. I am being shown many forms – especially all kinds of people to appreciate. Even Trump supporters (!). That’s been very interesting – to speak with a different part of society I rarely come across. (Being from the Bay Area, not many of my friends were Republicans, but there were a couple!)
I love it! It’s been an education to learn about how people are scared and worried. But also about how some are so angry. I remember when Bush W was about to be president, me and some of my friends all thought we’d move to Canada, because how could we accept what was about to happen to our country? How mortified we were. Then we found out Canada wouldn’t take us in. And, here we are years later, and the country really hasn’t changed that much. At least not for me. The jobs report seems positive, unemployment is kinda low, yes there are real issues, but generally around the same ones that were here in 2000. So, I am not gonna worry! I am not gonna worry about Trump! (Really, you ask?) No, not really. He’s pretty scary. But, I am seeing this with the perspective of ‘we (I) are gonna be ok….’ No matter what. You can lose a husband, your love of your life, your best friend, and be ok.
Much love and blessings to you all, Elizabeth
Tried publishing this 5 days ago – no go. Hopefully, you can now read it!