Well, it’s official. We are ON THE ROAD! But, not without a lot of tears being shed! The last couple of weeks have been hard. Incredibly hard. Far harder than we had ever imagined. Even though we have left our lives before for long term travel, we had no concept how incredibly difficult it is to truly divest yourself of everything! Two weeks of nonstop donations and Craiglist nonesense, coupled with the goodbyes to beloved friends and family had us driving away in a trail of tears.
I held tight to her collar, repeating “drop it” over and over while every minute or two Porter chose to start barking, giving his opinion of Aspen’s hold on HIS squeaky toy. Channeling my inner dog whisperer I didn’t pull on the toy itself, instead merely holding her in place by her collar, all while striving for patience.
Lately we feel we have reached middle ground. With the house sold, we are no longer home owners, and yet we are also not yet on the road. We reside here in the middle, in a place in between roots and wings. Our situation reveals that for all of the things we miss, there is another set of things we appreciate in this interim time, even as we anticipate hitting the road soon. Perhaps the perfect analogy for how life will be on the road; a juxtaposition of the things we leave behind and the things we gain from the leaving.
Our little pack just returned from our first trip to the beach since May, a nearly unprecedented length of time away from our favorite place. This weekend brought us to Pacific City, a place we swore never again to camp at, but my little brothers wedding brought us back. My younger brother, Warren is six years younger than I, and we’ve always been close, so we were thrilled to still be in town for the big day!
Time is always surprising; It seems like just yesterday, not nearly 27 years ago, that I first locked eyes with Jim, in Ken’s living room. Jim, full-bearded and scruffy, just off the boat from Alaska. Myself, fully focused on going to school for international law and moving to Paris. An unlikely pair? Apparently not~ Six days after our first date Jim asked me to marry him, and the rest, as they say, is history. Astonishingly, June 2nd we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary. 25 years… it seems unreal, and presents a very literal example of how fast time moves by.
We have, quite simply, been really busy lately. Busy at work, busy at the house, busy with friends. Simply busy. While this keeps us, somewhat, out of trouble, it also means we have been able to indulge less often than we prefer in our favorite activity ~ camping and convening with nature.
Christmas is next week. It snuck up on me this year, and I was a bit startled to realize it is already upon us. Mentally, we are so removed from the idea of acquiring things, seemingly the sole purpose for the holiday these days, that my focus has been far, far away from shopping malls and Christmas shopping. Oh, I still love the holiday for the festivity of it all, and spent much of the last weekend simply sitting and admiring our lovely tree, adorned in dozens of ornaments, all with a story. Every single ornament on that tree was picked up by us at some random point around the world, or given to us at our annual Christmas parties by dear friends.
“Oh crap, she did it again!” Jim hastily rolled down the windows for a refreshing breath of fresh air, intent on dissipating the overwhelming scent of Aspens seemingly never ending gaseous emissions from the back seat. Our little family was heading to the beach for a fantastic three night getaway, taking advantage of a long Thanksgiving weekend. We’d started the day by enjoying a festive family dinner, leaving Aspen and Porter at his parents during dinner. We returned for them only to discover several pieces of drooled upon bits of something. Opps.
The drive west on Highway 26 appears paved in gold. Lined with thousands of trees displaying a dozen shades of red and gold, the wet road reflects the multi-hued colors, creating the appearance of a golden pathway leading to weekend bliss. The sun was setting as we pulled into camp, turning the calm bay as golden as the road ahead of us.