It was a lovely reprieve to take part in Luther Hughes’s workshop, Reaching for Joy last week. Writing memoir has already proven to be hard, rewarding, triggering, and necessary. Luther’s workshop felt like playtime in comparison. I am not a poet, but it’s fun to try it.
The assignment guidelines: start with “it”, a time you made a choice to basically have faith and also include a food. Some of you may recall this “story” from a blog post in the very beginning of this blog as I drove from Montana to the southern tip of Baja.
Somewhere In Mexico
It was noon Driving slow, low shoulder, two lane highway Potholes in the middle Didn’t see it coming but heard the pop, felt the bump Damn only sand It was the only way to go All alone as far as the eye could see. A man came along as we tried to understand Resigned to not panic, only to trust He tried with his truck and chain to get me unstuck But fuck As if from the sky, a bus fell into sight Angels who looked like farm workers descended and lifted my car I witnessed a miracle Then was on my way to the next town to get a taco
It has warmed up to 16 degrees from 4 degrees today here in Missoula, MT. But the sun is shining and it’s actually quite beautiful after a day and night of steady snowfall. It will warm up to the 50’s by the end of the week. I’ll head to Eugene starting this Thursday.
A couple of talented friend’s work appeared this week. I hope you watch and listen. I found them both entertaining and enlightening. It’s worth your time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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