Van envy and other highlights

There were many highlights from my weekend stay at my writing coach’s house. It started with Ingrid, my coach, and I walking a couple of blocks from her house for an excellent meal (seafood for this landlocked Montanan) and visit. Then a hot tub before bed.
She really wanted me to meet one of her other writing clients from another group. Saturday we meet Ruth for coffee. Yep, it was immediate sisterhood. Ruth is maybe a couple of years older than me. Shares her time between Seattle and Taos, traveling in her van. The layout of her van is pretty much like mine. She has it all set up complete with twinkle lights and hand sewn curtains that attach with velco. That’s exactly what I want to do. It was such an inspiration. I hope to use some of my winter, making curtains and a platform for my bed.
I hope some of my friends get a chance to meet Ruth. She’d like to come visit in Missoula. For now, I’d like to recommend her online game that is very soothing. I downloaded it onto my ipad and gave it a whirl. CanCan, a game of color and creation, where everyone is an artist.
The rest of Saturday afternoon, I got to cook jambalaya for our memoir writing group that evening. Ingrid and her husband had granted me their downstairs apartment for the weekend where I made myself right at home. Late afternoon, Ingrid, her husband, John, and I got a walk to the Pudget Sound in. John is just as personable and laid back as Ingrid. I loved being with them. John joined us for the jambalaya then left us five women writers to our giggles and stories.
Sunday a quick stop at the Ballard goodwill where I scored. Made it to Olympia just in time for dinner at Taj’s. Wow, does she have a nice set up right on the Sound. I felt like I was at summer camp. She and her roommate cooked a meal to die for, salmon and all fresh veggies and salad. Lovely young women and good conversation.
The past two nights, I stayed at The Tradewinds in Rockaway Beach. I’d recommend it, right on the ocean, with a kitchen and quiet. Just ask for Neil at the front desk. Really I rested, took a walk on the beach, not much else, a little writing. I’ve got a low energy thing happening, tired when I wake up.
Before I make my way to Eugene for a few night stay today, I’m meeting some friends from Missoula, former co-workers from the Good Food Store, who are just up the road. We’ll get a walk on the beach in. I’m excited to see them.
Thanks for reading.

Nice curtains!
Ruth calls this her sunken living room! Oh I like the carpet too.

I am safe in my little home with water and electricity.
I am crying because some are not.
I was going to drive along the McKenzie Hwy, maybe take some flowers to a friend who lost her mom last week Now, she may have lost her home and the McKenzie Hwy is closed as fires move swiftly through the area razing homes and small towns.

My back is killing me, with moments of relief. I call a recommended chiropractor. He is concerned for my back pain, concerned that he is unable to see me. He was evacuated from his home last night at midnight. “Screw my back” I want to say, we need to be concerned for you. He is on the other line looking up the number of someone he recommends.

The windshield repairman came to my home to replace my car’s windshield that was busted out due to a break in. There was a rash of break ins and theft in the neighborhood. People gotta fund their meth habit somehow. The repairman was cheerful as he masked up, replacing the glass as a shower of ash fell from the sky. Have a nice day, he said handing me the bill. I gave him a tip.

I see online, another friend’s home was spared (near Ashland), while all the homes around her are black rubble.

I am comfortable in my little home, but I am crying.

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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The more things change the more they stay the same.

Took my friend, Amy, away from her work for a bit with an afternoon stroll through Eugene Holiday Market. Settled in at Amy’s house for the week. It’s amazing to be a witness to Amy working her magic with her real estate business, Amy Thompson Homes Real Estate. Truly her clients are lucky to have her expertise and it’s no surprise that she is in the top 1% of residential real estate brokers in Lane County.

I’ll be cooking the elk meat I brought from Montana tonight. (Thanks Joe) Amy’s going to pass, but her husband, Jamie is willing.