August 2022

I am planning to take another trip the beginning of September and travel through the southeastern states to go visit friends. I’m in the process of having my camper van readied for the trip. I just had two new auxiliary batteries installed and this coming week I am getting new tires. Even thought the current tires only have about 10,000 miles on them they are five years old and I would feel safer having new tires. It will be nice to take another trip, it’s been several years since I’ve traveled due to the pandemic that started in early 2020.

March of 2020 I had the camper packed except for food and medical supplies and was ready to take a trip and go north and was planning on going to see friends in states including Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Illinois, Vermont, and a few others. Then the pandemic happened and I thought it would pass in a month or so. We all know that didn’t happen. I didn’t unpack my camper until sometime in October. I was hopeful I would be able to travel but it didn’t happen.

So, now hopefully I will be able to travel. My health has been a bit rocky the past month but I feel confident that another trip is going to work out the way it’s supposed to just like other years. Since it’s late in the year and will be getting cold in the northern states, even ones I am planning to visit like Tennessee, NW South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and a few others I will head that way first and work my way back south into the Carolinas and Georgia as I travel towards home in south Florida. I love going to Native Rhythms Flute Festival the 2nd weekend in November in Melbourne, Florida so that is my target date to be back in Florida. However, my plans are flexible and written in sand so perhaps I will find other places to visit and have more time with my friends I will be visiting.

Deciding what to bring on my trip will be a bit more challenging this time because since I have been home for several years and not traveling I have been making almost everything I eat from scratch and that will not be as convenient because I don’t have room to take many things I use like my KitchenAid mixer and some attachments. I will take my Ninja container which will allow me to make my smoothies and a small amount of dough for bread or crackers. And I guess a rolling pin so I can hopefully still make some pasta and roll it out with a rolling pin instead of the roller attachment for my mixer or the hand cranked pasta machine. I have a small induction cooktop, and will take my small Instapot and a toaster oven so that hopefully will allow me to make meals and snacks. It will also take up a bit of my limited space and it will be a challenge to see how I can secure these items so they don’t break. I don’t have much cabinet space and they are small and not able to store these items. My medical supplies, clothes, and some food take up alot of the cabinet space. I bring some canned items since I am not always near grocery stores.

My intent is to visit a lot of friends in the southeast so I may not be in campgrounds as much as I usually am because in previous trips I didn’t have so many people I knew around the country. In the past 2 1/2 years I have made friends all over the world and I am looking forward to meeting many of them in the southeast. So, it’s well worth missing the conveniences I have been used to having while at home full time.

My friend Pam who set up this website updated it from a www to an https site a few years ago and it changed the way I add stories and pictures. I have not experimented with adding photos since she did that but I need to try soon so I will be able to add the ones from the past several months and hopefully some from this trip. I am also a few stories behind. Last fall I was able to go up in the Goodyear Zeppelin which is a lot different from the Goodyear Blimp I went up in during 2013. I have lots of photos I took during that flight and someday I hope to get them written and posted on my website. I also went to Arnolds Wildlife Rehabilitation Center last fall. My friend Sue Arnold has a horse and donkey rescue in Vermont and she closed the wildlife center in Okeechobee, Florida. She found good homes for all of the animals. I also went to Native Rhythms Festival last November. There are stories on these places on my website from previous visits to them, you can do a search and find the stories and pictures of these three trips.

I also have lots of interesting stories and places I visited on my website along with inspirational poems and stories, stories about my mentor Lois, pictures of jigsaw puzzles, National Parks, Reidsville, Georgia and a story I wrote about a talk with God I had when I thought it was the end of my life due to health issues, you can see that didn’t happen. God has plans different than what my doctor thought about my condition. I also wrote a story in October 2013, called Seriously, Really, You Would Rather be an Ostrich? It’s about the importance of having legal documents prepared and telling your loved ones what your wishes are. Life happens and so do unexpected events.

The beginning of August I unexpectedly ended up in the emergency room because I blocked my intestines by accident. I have had that happen a few times in the 30 years I have had my Illeostomy, it’s not fun. This time, even after 12 hours, then 15 hours it did not open up and the pain was too intense to handle anymore. After 6 hours in the ER they admitted me, gave me lots of IV fluids and thankfully it opened the blockage. They kept me for 4 days, 3 of which I had a tube down my nose into my stomach. Not fun!. On the 4th day they let me go home. No food for 4 days was not easy, when I got home it took about a week to get my body to feel like it was back to whatever normal is. I have so much to be grateful for.

When I was laying in the hospital bed in so much pain, I laid on my side and visualized God holding me and comforting me and wrapped around me like a cocoon and a blanket. It helped to ease the pain and allow me to relax a bit. I learned a lot during those 4 days in the hospital about tolerance, patience, self will, wanting my way, acceptance, etc. I also saw God working in the situation and the last day late afternoon when a nurse was taking the IV needle out of my arm and I suggested using an adhesive remover to take off the sticky bandage holding the needle in place, she was gentle and caring and we started talking and I was able to give her some tips to help patients with an ostomy like I have and I was able to give her some of my products to use to help others. We had a talk about God too. I would have missed that experience. My thinking was telling them I wanted to leave early in the day and I was going to check my self out of the hospital by noon, they didn’t let me out until about 6 p.m. I found out if I checked myself out without the doctors approval then my insurance would not pay my hospital bill. So, I had to wait and try to be still and patient. I had to continue to use the prayer I have used for about 34 years… God if it be Your will can I please not do things to hurt myself anymore. It works in lots of ways. Also, God if it be Your will please put me in the place I can best use my talents and God given abilities according to Your purpose for my life. I have to remember whatever I am experiencing is a lesson and experience I am going to grow through and use to share with someone else someday. When I can get to that I am peaceful no matter what is happening in my life.

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