Not all those who wander are lost.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Everybody has dreams – a good job, plenty of money, a great family, a world that works together. This list goes on and on however you choose it to. The fact is though, you should never let go of your dreams no matter how little or big they are. They give you the motivation to keep going forward and hopefully, success as you define it. Dreams may change over time and others take their place but each little achievement towards the goal makes you better and stronger.

In my younger years, all I wanted to do was be a farmer on my family’s farm. I loved the land, truly loved the land. For years I mentioned it but thought it fell on deaf ears. So I started college, found a job, quit school and starting working full-time. And so it goes. However, I still mentioned my want of being a farmer. “You’re doing good,” was the answer I received. So I kept working, changing jobs a few times as opportunities arose, lucky enough to have a few jobs that I thoroughly enjoyed.

However, I still mentioned my want to be a farmer. Finally, finally, after all these years, I was told how sorry it was that I had not been included in the family farm because it was realized that it was what I dreamed of and there was no doubt I needed the land I loved. I found out then about the legal agreement which forbid it and was told that should never have been put in place to begin with. Too little, too late as I needed to learn the finer points of farming decades ago. Even though the dream itself was not achieved, the want, need, desire for it was what kept the dream alive. The dream is gone now because of time and death but it’s still nice to know I could have made it if things had been different.

Nineteen years ago, I lived in the mountainous area far from the Eastern Shore. I walked up and down hills, enjoying the moments, getting in good shape by climbing up and down those grades. Plus, kiddo and I walked a lot of places instead of driving (actually, he either biked it or roller-bladed it… another story in itself). Unknown to me, I was really getting into shape from all the up/down walking. Then, for some unknown reason, I decided I wanted to run. Yes, another dream. Since the internet was not really available and useless anyway since we didn’t have a computer, I wore a watch and counted steps. (Come to find out, that’s exactly what some of the running websites tell you how to start). Walk X amount of steps then run X amount of steps. Should do it only three or four times a week but I didn’t do that. Sore! So the only thing to make it better was to go back out and do it again. Stretched all those hurting muscles and the pain was almost gone after the second run.

Kiddo would bike or roller-blade with me as I found the highest hills to climb. The first time I made it to the top of the road by the courthouse, I was Woo Hooing as loudly as I could. Two deputies outside was wondering if something was wrong and I yelled, “I made it to the top without having to stop!”

I felt strong. I felt good. I looked forward to late afternoon each day to do it all over again….. from one end of town to the other using only my two legs. Dream fulfilled and still, I kept on running, loving the endorphins.

I walked and hiked all over the place before moving away from the Eastern Shore but the real test was climbing up and down mountain trails. Up and down; up and down we went, strenthening the legs and lungs even more. We’ve climbed to summits only to get there and see an even taller mountain in the distance. Sometimes we had a friend along and we’d hike all day. Made it to the actual Trail of Tears and the Appalachian Trail, something truly special to me. That’s where another dream came to be.

I made a choice to move back to the Eastern Shore to help out a loved one that needed me but never forgot my friends, living the slow-paced mountain life and the Appalachian Trail. Twenty years ago I read the book, “Walk Across America,” by Peter Jenkins. That started it all. I could do that. I wanted to do that. I needed to do that. Except it had to be the Appalachian Trail. However, all the good things I worked towards while living in the mountains left when we returned to the Eastern Shore and entered into the fast-paced lifestyle and being once again with the people who just ‘did not have time’ or ‘did not like to hike.’ So different than what I had been used to and quite an adjustment, with the thought of how I managed to live in this part of the world for so much of my life?

But the Appalachian Trail had hit the dream bucket, no way around it. The only way to do it is to just do it. It will take a lot of training to get my body in shape to do a dream this big but I will do the best I can even if it kills me. I know I won’t ever be able to thru-hike like I wanted to so I’ll settle for section hiking. It might take a while but I’ll eventually make it from place to place, knowing I’m working to achieve another dream… in the woods. My church.

The training has already started with many miles of serious hiking here recently. The next thing is a trip to the mountains with a tent and the doggie. I have to relearn how to walk up and down hills at the same steady place because it’s easier going uphill than going downhill, get my lungs in shape and figure out exactly what it needed for these section trips.

There are other dreams out there I’ve achieved….. and lost, but at least I succeeded at some regardless of how they ended.

I know there are people that have no desire to experience anything outside of their own life and that quite all right. That’s their dream and nothing is wrong with that. However, there are others that have dreams that are a little different than some and that’s quite all right, too.

Whether farming, running, hiking or anything else that can be dreamed up, all I can say is keep your dreams close. Change what you need to because life is always about change but make sure you do your best to achieve your dream, even part of it. You’ll love the feeling of achievement.











Camping Etiquette

A while back I posted a question on an RV site about what was considered proper camping etiquette when dealing with fellow campers while staying in a campground. What was originally going to start out as the “Five Pet Peeves of Camping” has me wondering if some of these campers actually enjoy the camping experience.

Maybe boondocking would be more their style, but then again I wonder if they would be able to be someplace where there’s nobody to complain to.

Campgrounds usually have general rules and occasionally, more specific ones. None, however, are designed to keep a camper from having fun and enjoying the outdoor experience, enjoying family and making new friends.

Without further ado, I give to you a brief rundown of other people’s comments and they are in no particular order. Please note that I totally agree with #1 and it should be enforced; however, you would think an adult would be responsible enough to follow the rule. Children are special.

1. Speeding through the campground – a definite no-no.

2. Loud music – what about your outdoor television

3. Yappy dogs – a direct quote

4. Walking through the site of another camper

5. Cigarette butts in the firepit – throw in some wood and light

6. Not knowing how to dump

7. Loud children – really

8. Late parties

9. Not leashing your pets

10. Packing up and starting your engines before daylight

11. Not scooping your pets poop

12. Perfume and dryer sheets – and fresh air

Most campers I’ve met have a smile on their faces and time to chat. After all, we’re all (?) in it for enjoyment. Some, however, couldn’t crack a smile or say anything even if you were a comedian.

Simple fix. Follow the rules. The rest? If it bothers you that much, say something ‘politely’ or grin and bear it. Lighten the attitude. Most are not out to ruin whatever fun you might have; some just want to have a good time.





Daily Prompt ~ Sanctuary

Daily Prompt ~ Sanctuary

The lad took off running. To nowhere, anywhere, somewhere that wasn’t here, footsteps landing silent on the wet grass.

Run. That’s all there was to do. The top of the ridge was so close even though it was shrouded by a heavy, gray midst the little mind and body so desperately sought. “Just a little bit farther,” was the thought, as the uphill running and adrenaline were beginning to wear off.

“Just three… two… one… ,” steps left as the summit of the ridge was reached, draped in a mist as gentle and fine as a lady’s wedding dress.

No time to stop. Hurry!

“For certain this is a dream.” Or is it? There’s no beginning. “Why.” Don’t know but just keep running. What you’re after is down there somewhere.

Heading down a path seen only with those eyes, easing gently over rocks to avert any sound, onward the little lad goes. He ponders the dream as he runs, wondering why is this happening? Why does this keep happening? He wonders what it is about the dream he is so desperately after. Then is has a staggering thought; “Is this really a dream?” What if… all this in his mind as he keeps running, jumping over logs that are settling back into the earth, swatting away limbs and leaves from his face, always enveloped in the dense and eerily beautiful mist that seems to guide his way to nowhere, anywhere, somewhere.

At that moment, the veil lifts and the lad floats through, the veil closing behind him, leaving him in a space of ethereal beautiful. A flowing stream, a gentle waterfall, a rocky beach and, most precious of all, the natural bed made of vines that have intertwined over the years to make a safe haven to rest.

The little lad knew what he was supposed to do. He crawled up into the little bed made of vines like he had done a thousand times before and felt the peace and safety of his sanctuary before quickly drifting off into a dreamless sleep.

He awoke. At home. In his own bed. And cried.

“Come back, dream. Come back.”




A Day in the Life of a Full-Time RVer

There is never a dull moment when living full-time in Gypsy.

If you miss taking the trash off by one bag  (to the local campground dumpster), you then have two bags, three bags….. and/or the list goes on until you finally decide it’s too much to do the convenient thing and head to the campground dumpster so you do the nice thing instead and head to the dump. Good. Very good.

Except ‘dump’ day ends up being on a holiday, as you so conveniently have forgotten. Drats!

But that’s not all. As stated before in some other post, making a house a home requires some things that are just plain useless but happens to give a sense of happiness and fulfillment when looked at or touched. Oh dear! That does include the ‘greenhouse’ that lives out in the front yard, the rainforest full of tropical foliage, overseen by Matilda, the pink flamingo, who’s beauty is probably seen only by me. Oh well. Still, it’s good. Very good.

Then there’s the over-abundance of clothes which are in all different sizes so as to accommodate the big span of weight difference that varies, sometimes significantly from day to day. So we’re keeping the biggest clothes and the rest are being sorted in various boxes to be donated whenever. Dump day sounds good.

Then there’s the camper toilet. If there’s one thing that needs to be maintained in a camper, it’s the toilet (most especially the grey and black water tanks). Any questions or problems are answered by YouTube, complete with demonstrations. No problem. None at all – until you find out there’s something that you should or should not have done and it should have started a year ago when the Gypsy first started being a home. Oh, good grief! Talk about live and learn! Chalk up another notch in the belt.

Thank goodness for the knowledge of the electric cord and the breaker switch – otherwise, this last hook-up might have turned sweet Gypsy into cinders. There’s nothing quite like the sounds of ‘snap, crackle and pop’ when you plug in the cord, all before you even turn the breaker on! That’s what you call being on your toes. Easy fix though – plug the 30 amp electric plug into a 50 amp converter and it runs as smooth as flowing water. Chalk another one up for the belt.

One thing that’s not good but not strong enough to do anymore is lower the stabilizers. Four of them. Oh yea, they’re total manual, as in a lot of elbow grease. There is zero energy to turn the hand crank to get it done. It’s been mentioned to get a whatever it’s called and do it mechanically but it will void the warranty. However, with things the way they are, it might be useful to have that tool on board, just in case. Otherwise, everything is cool and we’ve been completely safe.

The smoke detector does not like cooking and proceeds to let everyone in the general vicinity know on a pretty regular basis by yelling – loudly. Repeatedly. Makes me wonder what’s wrong with Gypsy’s smoke detector because we don’t hear anyone else’s smoke detector going off. That’s just the cooking part. Wait until it tells you it’s time for a new battery. Peace and quiet then, all of a sudden, you’re about to make a new door through the roof! Battery changed. Mission accomplished.

Even the carbon monoxide detector has to put its two cents worth in every now and again. If that’s not a royal pain in the butt, I don’t know what is. Get on the floor with a lighter and see what happens. Good grief! Nothing happens. The flame doesn’t blow out and we’re not dead. There are candles and incense burned inside and no problems yet. Think it’s just testing itself for something to that effect but don’t know that for sure. Maybe it is something but so far, everything and everyone is alive and well.

Many, many things to learn while living and traveling in Gypsy but the one that takes the cake is the one that happened today.

The a/c. As in quit. Stopped. Kaput. Died. No juice. None. Oh NO! Not only is it hotter than hades here, the humidity is higher than the temperature a lot of the time. Here come the tears as the sweat begins to poor. Weird thing is I’d been reading about the RV a/c online today, about how to maintain it, what to do when there’s condensation, how the heat AND humidity affect the unit, among other things I found to add to the knowledge bank.

Then it died. Dead and not working and would not come on; the coming dread of being stuck inside a hot box with no a/c was quickly overpowering. Calm down, you can do this because you are no dummy. Okay. No Problem. Since the pep talk was working, I pulled up the instructions I already had, briefly read the Greek, then went and turned the whole unit off. Probably blew a fuse was the thought, at least that’s what the most hopeful thought was. Dead, as in graveyard dead, did not fit into this thought process. Grabbed the mag light (a.k.a. the lethal weapon) and hit the floor in front of the fridge. Why do you always have to get on the floor to fix something? Anyway, pulled away the fuse panel cover and looked around. Hmmm…. this was interesting. It wasn’t one of those little fuses you pull out and replace with one of the 20 extras you already have. No, it was like a regular fuse in a regular house, all neatly marked and organized, thank you very much. Flipped the switch for the a/c then flipped it back. That one didn’t blow. Good news. Then there was the Master switch. Flipped that one off and back on. Wasn’t that. Things weren’t looking too promising at that point. Then I noticed this ‘thing’ above the Master switch. Pushed it and it stayed in. So I pushed it again and it stayed out. Pushed it back in again and stood up. Have to try it and see if I’m even close to being on the right track. Either it’s going to work or it won’t. Turned the thermostat back on to low a/c and voila, a/c came on! It must have gone into overload mode and the safety switch popped it off. The ‘hot box’ was steamy within five minutes after the a/c quit but is now cooling the air nicely. First time there’s been a goose bump all day.

Another notch in the belt.

A lot of ladies I know would never do this, travel or live in a camper and go thousands of miles away because they don’t think they can do it.

Yes, they can. Yes, you can. It only takes one time and you can pep talk yourself into anything you think you can’t do.

You learn by the predicaments you get yourself into and by figuring how to get out of them. You store away every little bit of knowledge that YOU experience and rely on that in the future. You ask for help when you are really in a jam and someone will be right there to help you. (Believe me, I would have searched the world over (actually, the campground) for Ron if the a/c did not come back on and he would have helped)! Most fear failure – the only failure there is will be if you don’t try something outside of your boundaries and comfort zone, especially if you want to badly. It doesn’t have to be camping – it can be anything you want it to be.

Just believe in yourself. You’re smarter than you think you are and a lot smarter than most people think.

On a personal note, there are many legitimate fears in my life that will never be conquered before I leave this life, and I don’t want to waste any more precious time trying to beat those fears when I can do the one thing that doesn’t cause me fear. Gypsy. Towing Gypsy. Living in Gypsy. Traveling in Gypsy, Miss Ellie and Hershey, the Wonder Dog. She’s home, no matter where we are. It’s a great feeling to hook her up and set off to some far off place with no specific plan in sight. The feeling that brings trump any and all ‘real’ fears.




Monday – November 23, 2015

Had a wonderful time Saturday with daughter in law at the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. Her first concert and my first live TSO experience. Beyond awesome. It was a good day for both of us, thank you, God.

On Sunday, kiddo called me to come down because he was cooking Thanksgiving supper. He did such a great job and everything tasted so good.

Baby Girl is such a sweet and headstrong little girl that I love so much. Miss Priss is a tall, slender young lady who means the world to me. Auntie K is growing and has had all her long hair cut off; Daddy K is more slender than the last time I saw him. Uncle C was enjoying his last evening at home before the return trip back to base. It was truly a great evening with the family.

Looking forward to the road trip to Texas and Fort Hood. I look forward to the trip because it hurts to be around here, or ‘home.’ I miss dad, I miss my stuff, I miss stability. I miss privacy. Even though I’m generally happy even when health sucks, my soul doesn’t know where it belongs – live in the moment – one day at a time. Just what does that really mean?

I’m 52 and sometimes lonely. I feel it as I get older. I think I would like to be with someone sometimes but I’m not the ‘in control, take charge’ person like the previous me. Instead, I feel like some little kid that waits until somebody stronger tells me what to do. Nobody could, would or should handle that. I have a hard enough time with it all by myself.

I love my family so much but I’m scared I’m going to screw up with them again. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I couldn’t go through that again. The most important thing in my life is not me –it’s my family. Without them, there is not a lot of hope. God, please keep us together and civil and a loving, caring family or let me leave.

One day at a time….


I Am Not Your… Don’t Know What To Say

I am not your mother,

nor do I want to be.

Choices made you my daughter,

voices say you don’t want it to be me.

Death is a wound that will never completely heal,

But wishing the dead to rise,

Is not within the power you have,

God had a reason why.

I wish every day your mom was here with you,

So you could have her around,

But since that is not the case,

Maybe you could change your thinking around.

Standing right before you is a mother that is here.

Maybe not the one you want,

But one who’s fair and real.

She means what she says when she says it,

“I’ll help you” because you know this is true.

Yet you care not for this person,

No matter what reasons are construed.

Always a hindrance; that, without a doubt,

Has left a bad feeling that can’t be talked about.

There isn’t much that’s not been done for you,

To help your life be easier,

A life that’s much easier since before you came around.

So no, I’m not your mother, and that will never change,

But I chose you as my daughter, the day you changed your name.

Being married and making babies does not make you ‘grown.”

Empathy, sympathy and compassion are a part of that new road.

Until you decide to look at yourself differently

You’ll never learn a positive thing.

When you start to see people are people and love you regardless,

Then you get your chance to change and grow.

One other thing from those of us who care–

It’s never good to throw away those in your life who loves you and cares,

Because one day you’ll wake up and one of those somebody’s will be gone.

You want to make sure you’ve given to them,

All they’ve given to you and more.

So no, you’re not my daughter,

And no, I did not want you to be,

But yes, you are my daughter,

Because I choose you to be.

Love always,


The Lady You Don’t Want Me To Be


Making A Home

Making plans to come or go doesn’t seem to be working right now. So, with that said, I’ve decided to make the ‘house’ a ‘home’ where Hershey and I can have a settled feeling instead of being at the ready the first of each month to move on. Maybe I should have done that when I settled back in this familiar campground last September but … I was full of plans that didn’t work out or the timing was off. In a nutshell, planning doesn’t work or hasn’t most of the past eight or nine months but I’m good with it.

First, if you have good health, be thankful for it and take care of it the best you can because once it starts going downhill, it seems like it goes faster than a rollercoaster ride. Anything can happen to anybody but keeping your body in homeostasis is a blessing you’ll be grateful to have. Contrary to popular belief, there are some days (a lot of days) where the body will dictate the day. Go with the flow of the day. It’s your shoes. It would be a bad thing to go out when you shouldn’t and hurt either yourself, someone else or both. Not worth it. So….

Back to making the ‘house’ a ‘home’… and yes, it took a while.

Gypsy is a gem; a precious stone in our lives. Inside these four walls, all has been seen – the good, the bad and the ugly. Sometimes the bad and the ugly stay around a lot longer than it should but mostly that’s beyond control, and what can be controlled sometimes takes months on end to fix or complete. But the good – oh, the precious good makes it all worth it. Home. It sure feels like it and I like — no, love — my definition of home.


gypsy on the way to homey

Home acquires stuff. A fact of life, no matter what you live in. Stuff you need and stuff you don’t need. Sometimes, though, the stuff you really don’t need is the exact stuff that makes a house a home. We’re all human and we all have something that makes us feel good, feel better or just plain and simply makes us happy. When I go through and decide what are necessities, what are not, what can be donated or given to someone else, what can be trashed, I make a quick decision and go with it. The happy’s, though, I have to hold and think about. For a while. Maybe a day or two… or twenty. Maybe I will decide to keep it for the next declutter round-up or maybe longer, as long as it brings a smile, happiness and most especially a memory. Done!

Now it’s on to the good stuff. I love gardening although I’ve killed more than my fair share of plants. Maybe that’s why the first place I head in a nursery is the clearance rack to see if maybe, hopefully, I can rescue something that will live and thrive with a little dirt, a little water, a little positivity and a lot of wishful thinking.

Gypsy is just a camper in a campground, on a little lot you pay rent for each month. Yet while you are here, you can do ‘some’ things to make the space more homey. Picnic table and a firepit come with the lot. The rest? That’s where making it a home comes in.


for days you don’t want to end

Although reigned in a lot, this is where the eccentric part of the personality comes out. You look at the big doggie kennel for the short, little Hershey Chihuahua that a pit bull could live in. He loves his big kennel even though he makes a lot of racket when I close the door, thereby shutting him inside. Don’t let him fool you though — he has two mats, a couple of stuffed animals and a bowl of cold water and complete shade every time he gets ‘locked up.’ So even though he might state otherwise, he loves his little homey space in the grass and shade, perfectly content unless another doggie should walk by or the stray cat wanders into his line of vision. Needless to say, it’s on then. .

Then there’s the foliage. All the stuff off the sale racks that need rescuing, or at least an attempt to rescue, tropical foliage that love these hot, humid, sultry days and nights, cacti that you can’t kill, flowering plants that seem to grow two inches every day, beautiful flowering vines that spread their beauty out and dance in the wind, the infamous flamingo named Matilda that stands guard over her tropical garden, and the exotic plant I treated myself to for Mother’s Day and my birthday — a Bird in Paradise that I baby and hope blooms sometime in the next couple of years. .

When the awning is out, yellow Lantana hangs from each end. The place is coming alive. The picnic table holds a variety of succulents in a big container while another container holds two Japanese Maple trees that are growing by leaps and bounds. There are also several types of sage, tomato, squash and cucumber plants, all being used or will soon be big enough to pick.

The chair sits under the awning but close to the campfire pit. There is wood to burn for those days that you don’t want to end. Between the camper door, around the chair, the tree and a little distance away stand all the tropical foliage that gets rearranged frequently. The flowers and the flip flop flower pot are simply beautiful — and pink — and an expression of ‘outside the box.’ The big arrangement saying, ‘I Love Camping’ still hangs on the window and the most important of signs, “In Case Of Emergency, Save My Dog,” is stuck to the window right beside the door. Add the long, ground covering walkway straw mat, topped with the vibrantly colored flip flop mat, and we are there. Almost. The river is out back — the icing on the cake.  Home. A homey home.


home is homey with this view

The next de-clutter mission probably won’t be until the next pre-trip ritual. You can best believe, though, that the out-of-doors expression of art will be staying with me.