Approach life gently. Treat life kindly. Live life fully and with enthusiasm.
Respect life--always.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Change Is In The Air

75420023I have been rather restless as of late. All these stressors have gotten to me, true, but as I peel away the layers, I discover something different at the core. It is scary yet oddly comforting at the same time.

This newly discovered core is really not so new. I have a habit of putting my wants, needs, desires, dreams on the back burner while in pursuit of another’s goals and desires. I do the typical mother thing by putting others before myself. This is all well and good, normally, but it must be monitored. It must not take over one’s entire life.

When in an airplane, we are instructed to put our oxygen mask on first, before helping anyone else. I have forgotten my own oxygen altogether.

Lately I have been very restless. My goals and needs are not being met.

I thought at first maybe it was all the turmoil with Ken and Trevor both needing surgery, and me being caught in the middle as caregiver. I thought it might have to do with our travel plans being postponed, again and again. I thought many things--

--Before I came to a realization. There are things I must do for me. There are things I must do to fulfill a promise I made years ago, to God. His calling calls me again.

So it isn’t really about clutter or space or surgery or finances even. (Though finances are a worry in any situation.) It is about me working toward my life’s goals. It is about me going back to school and serving and caring for others.

And herein lies the problem: I need to talk to Ken about this and I do not know if he will hear me or poo-poo me. I don’t know how he might feel about traveling less than full time. Still travel, but not constantly. Vacations and snow-birding.

Pray for us, please, that I can make him understand how important my mission is to me and please also pray that I might find a way to carry out my mission.

Thank you for listening, and bless you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Skinny Dipping

P4130365I thought that might get your attention, and now that I have it . . .

No, it wasn’t  me. Or Ken.

I woke up before five on our last morning in Victoria, and I peeked out to see if the sun was up yet or not. I did not know that I would see an extra moon or two upon looking out. There were two young people enjoying the hot tub in what appeared to be their birthday suits.

Now, I did not want to be a voyeur or a peeper or a perv, so I quickly closed the blinds before I saw too much. But I had to chuckle. I thought, maybe I should call the front desk. Then again, I remember being young, once upon a time. I chuckled again. No, they are not in the picture above. I’m not a perv.

I remember skinny dipping. I remember making out in the back seat of the car. In the back of the truck. In a field of flowers. I remember being young and daring. I remember drive-in movies.

I remember being young. And in love. And daring.

I remember being old and in love. After all, Ken has been telling me that this trip was our second honeymoon. We are only a few weeks away from our 13th anniversary.

Back to reality now, our trip home was very interesting. Life is always interesting when one is directionally challenged. Gotta look at things with humor, otherwise you will drive yourself crazy.

It has been said about me, if you blindfold me and spin me around in my own neighborhood, then take the blindfold off, I won’t know which way is up. That’s not the makings of a great navigator, but we do have some interesting times because of my lack of directional sense.

And as luck would have it, when we finally made it back into the United States, I got us headed in the wrong direction on 101. We ended up on the coast, wending our way around Crescent Lake, Storm King Mountain, and then we found the most beautiful of beaches, Ruby Beach.





Ruby Beach seems to be the fertility and virility center for the Pacific Coast. Just check out these pictures of a sea stack monolith (phallic symbol) and the tree of fertility. It looks like one of those early womanly figures from prehistoric times.



Oh, and we found Forks, too, where they were selling Twilight firewood. Every other business had a Twilight reference, and it took me a while to get it. If you haven’t gotten it yet, you will, if anyone in your sphere has seen the movies, anyway.

It was too late too turn back by the time we figured out we were headed in the wrong direction, so we decided to continue on, and on, and on. It was also too late by the time I thought about using the GPS on my phone. We were without signal. Such a predicament. When I finally did get a signal we had already been on the road for several hours, and I discovered that we still had over three hours to go. We should have been home in a total of four, had we went left instead of right way back in Port Angeles.

Oh well, such is life. Live it to the fullest while you can.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Caddy Sighting

DSC01010Since yesterday was such an exhausting day, with all that walking about, we decided to do our sightseeing mostly by car today. That is, after we walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf first. Had to stretch our legs, don’t ya know. It was an absolutely beautiful day, blue skies and just a slight chill on the breeze, just enough to keep a person humble, I’d say, (not to mention fully clothed).





If you cannot quite make out the sign above the opening in the fencing, it says, “Paddler’s pick up window.” What will they think of next?


Three harbor seals came right up to the dock, looking for handouts. This one even twirled around in the water for a tasty fish.

After leaving Fisherman’s Wharf, we walked back to our hotel and jumped in the car to drive the scenic beach route.



There was tons of interesting driftwood, large and small—and a few driftwood shelters, too.


And then we finally found Gyro Park and the infamous sea creatures.



My silly hubby was goofing around and got stuck in the octopus. Too funny watching him try to get out, as the bottom was rounded and covered in sand.



What’s that off in the distance? Why, it’s Caddy!

Caddy is purported to be the Canadian cousin of the Loch Ness Monster, formally known as cadborosaurus.




Our day ended with a soak in the hot tub, a beautiful sunset, and a bowl of corn flakes, because neither of us had enough energy to cook, nor did we want to get dressed and venture out again. All in all, it was another fabulous day.




The breakfast dinner of champions tired travellers.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring In Victoria

P4110231My eyes are itchy and dry. My nose is red and running. I’ve sneezed so much I fear the longevity of my tongue may have been shortened, having bit it and bashed it against my teeth so many times. 

Springtime allergies, oh how they plague me.
But oh, how I love Spring. It is my favorite time of the year. New growth. New life. New and ever-changing possibilities in a fresh and brightly colored world.
Today my allergies weren’t so terrible, thanks to the misty weather. Being true Northwesterners (with webbed feet☺), we ventured out despite the drizzle, walking far too far for this old body. I ached terribly when we returned to our hotel, and I definitely earned the soak in the hot tub, which we immediately took upon our return.

It seems nobody else cared to soak outside whilst it rained. Why, I simply joked we were macaques, and I turned my face to the cooling mist as my aching muscles relaxed in the hot water. It was gloriously refreshing.

DSC00960 Victoria was beautiful, but I won’t trouble you with too many more words, when pictures can tell the story much better. This is the Gatsby House, a restaurant and hotel behind.

The Peace Tulip Garden across from the Empress Hotel provided an opportunity for a multi-sensual experience. Not only did we see the beautiful flowers, but breathing in deeply, we could smell their sweetness, and coincidentally, bells chimed in the background, rounding out the experience. I stood there with my eyes closed for several minutes, just breathing in the beauty.
We enjoyed a leisurely rest in a quaint little cafĂ© on Douglas. They make a great latte and an equally great gluten-free “survival bar” (the top treat). Actually, we enjoyed many leisurely rests, wherever we found a dry seat!
The “back entrance” of our hotel which leads directly to the waterfront walk. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
Back in our unit, Ken prepared an awesome halibut and bok choy dinner. We were definitely famished after our long day.
It has been spectacular here in Victoria. I may never want to go home. Tomorrow we will venture toward Fisherman’s Wharf. See you then.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Busman’s Holiday

P4100143Have you ever wondered about that phrase—busman’s holiday? I always imagined that when a bus driver (or any other person employed full time as a driver, for that matter) went on vacation, he would naturally prefer NOT to drive at all. Funny thing is, my busman, my dear sweet hubby who is recently retired from being a city bus driver, actually likes to drive.

That is part of the reason behind getting the Raven and planning to live five years on the road. He doesn’t mind all that extra driving one bit. And I am more than happy to let him do most of the driving, while I sit back and navigate our many adventures.

That’s the talent I bring to our chosen lifestyle—navigating and planning interesting and unique adventures. I love planning, mapping out our routes, and watching eagerly, anticipating each new vista. In fact, I have usually done enough research while planning our trips that I recite tidbits of history and trivia as we go. This is me checking my notes at a stop today.


In this way, my busman and I make a great pair. Opposites perfectly matched. Not two peas in a pod, but maybe peas and carrots, if I may stretch the metaphor a bit.

Yesterday we had to head north to Seattle to see my Lyme specialist. We make this trip often during the year, and we usually spend one night in Seattle and then head home, or worse, if we are strapped for cash, we turn around and head home the same day. That makes for a grueling trip, which puts me out of commission for several days following our return.

This time, since I have been so stressed because both of my guys needing shoulder surgeries, we decided to finesse our way into a few extra days away. Why not, I say. My son can watch the dogs, and there aren’t any pressing matters keeping us in Portland right now, until next week anyway.

We would have taken the Raven, but she is needing a little more work. That’s the pitfall of buying a used rig. There’s always something popping up. This time, though, I think the issue arose because of the roof replacement. Maybe a crimped wire or something, because there hasn’t been any power in the bedroom since the repair. We’ve just been procrastinating again, otherwise it would have been fixed by now. Silly us.




As luck would have it, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. It even reached 71 yesterday afternoon in Seattle. Why, we haven’t even reached 70 in Portland yet this year. God is definitely shining His love on us this week. As luck would also have it, we managed to secure a beautiful suite in Victoria—for four nights!

And so, drum roll please, after spending one night south of the Canadian border in Blaine, Washington, we crossed over into Canada this morning.

As Ken sees it, it isn’t such a big deal, crossing an international border. He’s been to Canada and Mexico many times, not to mention he lived in Germany for a while when he was in the Army. But to me, I have never been out of the United States, ever. Never in my 44 years on this earth have I left my birth country. Until today.

So I had to get a picture of me on Canadian soil as we waited at the ferry terminal.


By the time we boarded the ferry, I was awfully excited, positively bubbling over. We made our way to the top deck, for a better view as we departed.


The vibrations from the ferry engines, as it chugged backwards and out of port, reverberated through my  heels. The vibrations then mingled in my abdomen with the energy from my excitement, and climbed until it glittered brightly in my eyes and electrified my tongue, causing me to chatter away about the beauty of the surrounding waters and all the possibilities this trip would bring.



After sightseeing topside awhile and having a bite of lunch, we wandered back to the car for the tiniest of siestas.



I am so exhausted and in pain from two days in the car, but I am too excited to rest. I tried to nap once we checked in to our hotel, but it is no use. As soon as Ken is rested a bit, we will be off again, searching out Chinatown for dinner and a little sightseeing before the sun sets.

More on Victoria tomorrow, but for now, enjoy the view from our balcony. I know I do. ♥♥♥




There’s a large pool and two hot tubs one floor down from us. This one must be the “party spa.”