Driving through Idaho (a different kind of place)

My last stop in Idaho was at the Cenex in Salmon, ID. Guns and ammo stores with large signs lined the streets. Huge Trump flags flew outside homes and from backs of oversized pickup trucks.
I ran into the Cenex, which had a True Value hardware store in it, to use the restroom. I was one of the only mask wearers in there. As I waited for the restroom, I peeked in the camping section. A young male employee approached me, not wearing a mask. I backed away as he asked if I needed any help. “I thought you might be looking for your husband, since you are in the fishing and camping section,” he said. “No, no husband, I’m a camper,” I replied. “Oh you are one of the lucky ones, there aren’t many of you,” he smirked.
After a quick visit to the bathroom, I couldn’t walk fast enough out of there.
It is beautiful country, with a sense of fear in the air. As a liberal woman traveling alone, it wasn’t the safest I’ve ever felt. In fact, I felt 100% safer traveling through Baja, Mexico alone.
When my map app announced, welcome to Montana, my tension relaxed, I took a deep breath of relief.
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my favorite chiropractor here in Missoula, Dr. Van Eerden, at Hickory Street Chiropractic Clinic, http://www.hschiro.com/
He really is good, gentle and uses the activator. Our visit was mainly me on the table with him doing visceral manipulation. We talked of Idaho, shared stories that only confirmed my sense of fear driving through there. His son played soccer, thus they found themselves traveling there for games. Ivan’s gentle touch gave my hips some relief. By evening, I was feeling the pain again and exhausted. I have a doctor’s appointment next week to continue the search into what is causing this discomfort.
Meantime, Aranda Bowman LMT, https://www.massagebook.com/Springfield~Massage~Aranda?src=external (highly recommend her) who I saw in Oregon a week ago sent out this Youtube with some self myofascial bodywork. Check it out and take good care of yourself.

Thanks for reading and coming along on the journey.

Need some community tonight? Join in for live storytelling at Tell Us Something, https://www.tellussomething.org/ $10 per ticket. Support the arts, support storytelling.

Pink barn in Idaho with smoke filled skies

Out of the smoke and into the hot springs

I had planned to drive back to Montana to get a few more items, leaving earlier this week. However, I had to wait and have the van windshield repaired, plus get some bodywork for my back.
Luckily, a friend told me about Crystal Crane Hot springs, https://www.cranehotsprings.com/ in eastern Oregon. Yesterday, I got all camping gear situated and made my way east. It was just the ticket. A new route for me to drive to Montana, seeing new sites. The hot springs helped my back and made for a great night’s sleep. The first overnight in my new, used Toyota Sienna van. Figuring out how to arrange things, so it’s convenient and comfortable. I’ve got some ideas, nothing elaborate, keep it simple. A platform for my inflatable sleeping pad, with space for drawers underneath will be the first project.
I’ll be in Montana until the first week in October. I’ve got no obligations until then. It’s beautiful this time of year in Montana.
Sienna van and I will get in some camping. 🏕
Also, I love my physical therapist in Missoula. Thinking she might work one of her miracles on this back issue.
Next stop will be somewhere in the Sawtooth Mountains, going through Sun Valley, (I’ve never been in this area) all the while watching the fire maps and possible road closures.
See you soon Montana.
Prayers for fire evacuees.

Goodbye Dolphin, Hello Sienna Van

Bye, bye Dolphin, hello Toyota Sienna. I kept loving the Dolphin and wishing it to be what I wanted it to be. But alas, a cylinder went and it needs an entire new engine. That’s when I faced reality! It’s been sold to a Toyota mechanic. In it’s place, I have a Toyota Sienna van.
The Sienna will be perfect for weekend camping trips. I’ll remove back seats, set up a bed, pack camping stove, all camping supplies (bear spray) and off we’ll go. The ability to be in solitude in nature is my saving grace.
Just so happens, I have a friend looking at Siennas for camping purposes. She has sent me links to some great companies that do conversions. ie:  Contravans
I probably won’t get all fancy, start small, put in a roof vent for sure. It’s always fun to look at websites and Youtube to see what can be done.

The Sienna was perfect for bringing a load of my stuff from Montana to Oregon. Will have to go back for one more load.

Happy Camper
Thanks for reading!

No Rush

Well of course the Dolphin is in the shop, getting the oil pan replaced due to an oil leak. It’s old, I love it. Should get it this afternoon and then be good to go. Since this weekend is 4th of July (another holiday I don’t care for, many dogs and war veterans don’t love it either)  I’ll wait to start my journey back to Oregon next week. I plan to stock up on food, etc so the only stops I need to make are for gas and camping. It feels really important right now to social distance as much as possible. There are so many more people in Montana I’d love to see but socializing is just not a good idea.

The outdoors is undoubtably the best medicine for me. I do hope to take my time and enjoy it. There is no rush to get anywhere at this time.

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Good time to give blood, etc

Good time to donate blood.
Yesterday I donated blood. For a month, the Red Cross is testing for Covid-19 antibodies. It’s been a week, so for 3 more weeks they will do the test. I was told I should hear back in about 7-10 days. I also got a t-shirt and a $5 gift card to Amazon, woohoo. Of course, masks are required and sanitation is on going.
Montana is at it’s best in beauty right now. Perfect temperatures, wild flowers blooming and opportunities to be outside and not around people. With the Covid numbers on the rise, staying away from people and crowds will only serve us, along with mask wearing and washing hands.

Dolphin update: she has an oil leak. That will be taken care of next week. More money into her. Still determined to get her to Eugene and make decision on how far I will go on repairs. She will serve as my moving van. Of course, I have too much stuff. Several bins of old pictures and memorabilia. Not sure what I’m saving them for. Yesterday, I passed a fellow dolphinite. We waved as if we were long lost friends with a mutual love.

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Forgive

Sometimes, I fall asleep crying and wake up crying. I’ve come to accept that and move through it, knowing in another moment I won’t be.
I cry for missed opportunities, family gatherings, my grandchildren turning 6, hearing them call me Gaga, the comfort of family checking in on each other during a pandemic, sisters, nephews, daughter and grandchildren calling to wish me a happy 61st birthday, planning the next gathering, and laughing together.
For reasons, some of my own doing and some I’m not sure of, those opportunities have passed.
I do believe, if we all listened, really listened with the empathy to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, we could grow to understand and forgive. I believe there is a story to be told, one of love and redemption. Fear  is erased, holds on control and the need to be right are loosened, and hearts are opened.

But for today, I’m off to Black Lives Matter Rally in Missoula. Black Lives Matter Rally
Showing up to show support, listen and learn.

Side note: the dolphin is running good. I took it to have oil changed at Lube It. The guys there loved it. I love it when whoever is working on it, loves it. Taking it into RV shop on Wednesday to have a few things taken care of.  I love it and it needs so much work!

Quick check-in

Made it to Montana. Wendy picked me up at the airport. She and I picked up where we left off and then some.
Montana is so green right now. Can’t wait to get out and enjoy it.
Now to give the dolphin some attention and love. Just made an appointment to have her looked over at the RV place next Wednesday. Guess the receptionist thinks I’m a sweetheart, since she called me that numerous times.

Saw this event for Tuesday, June 16th with Stacey Abrams. I know I’d love to hear what she has to say.
Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America
Stacey Abrams, author event

Redemption

Wendy’s daughter was getting married. We were all invited, all three of us plus the new one. We had all touched her daughter’s life and she wanted us gathered around, outside in beautiful Montana, along with her fun loving friends.

Since we had all been married to her father at different times, he would witness our connection. Three good choices, that ended due to his soon to follow bad choices.

The ceremony was beautiful. We all got to hear her father go on too long about his beautiful, bright daughter, making it all about himself.

Guests dispersed to sitting tables, bathrooms, food and drink tables. The brides grandmother, my ex mother in-law spotted me, grabbed me and insisted I find the other two for a photo opp. Forget that she has once sided with her son (I was the first) during our divorce. The two who followed me  became similar characters in the story of the cheating husband. His mother, then saw her son for the playwright that he was.

Dedicated to my sisters, Wendy and Suzy.

Tetractys Poem

I have a couple of Southern women friends, up in Montana. We bonded over our Southernness and since have shared good times, giggles, floats on the river, food, grief and beauty. We call ourselves, the Hellgate  Junior League. Hellgate Canyon  runs through Missoula, MT and of course the junior league is an identifier for most upstanding Southern women.

Julie Rae has a style that don’t stop. Hardly ever have I seen her without the perfect hat, or lip color. For our Southern picnic in the park, she brought fine china, cloth napkins and peach pie. If it’s not done in style, it’s not worth doing.

Caroline Keys can strum a guitar, or banjo and sing a song that makes you feel dreamy.  I first heard her band, Stellarondo, named for an Eudora Welty character. Strawberry Cake is my most requested song. She is a prolific musician. In addition, Caroline teaches poetry to children on the Flathead Reservation.

She shared her class assignment with us. Write a tetractys: a 10 line poem, numbered 1,2,3,4, 10,10, 4,3,2,1. Each number is the number of syllables in each line.

Here’s my tetractys:

I
prefer
sunshine to
grey clouds above
go play outside today and tomorrow
flowers will bloom and people will heal soon
don’t be alone
you are loved
me too
y’all