As always, it required supreme effort to break free of the gravitational pull of home. It doesn’t matter how much planning we do, or how far ahead we start the preparations for a trip. We never, ever leave when we think we’re going to leave.
This time, we were three days behind schedule. Sounds ridiculous, right? But there were extenuating circumstances. (There always are, haha!)
Leaving Home Is Never Easy
This leave-taking was especially fraught, even though we started well in advance to prepare for our trip. I made all of our reservations (41 of them!) months ago. We cleaned and prepped the trailer and truck, set up yard maintenance, installed a new security system.
For two months, UPS came roaring down the driveway weekly. A new grill. A stash of Magnolia’s favorite food. A smaller impossible pet pen. (Remember the saga of the giant one?) It’s no easier to fold up than the extreme version, but at least it doesn’t take up so danged much space.
We realized last year that Magnolia doesn’t care what size her pen is. She just sits in one corner, observing whatever wildlife happens to pass by and enjoying the outdoor sights and smells. She loves her pet pen and begs to go out to sit in it.
Other purchases delivered courtesy of UPS: New hiking gear. New stainless steel lunchboxes. A new backpack for me. And six separate deliveries of underwear, because there is apparently no longer quality control in sizing. I ordered the exact same French cut underwear I’ve been ordering for years from Bali, and received some that were two sizes too small and some that came up to my armpits. What the heck? I finally got it sorted out, but it required boxing up five of the shipments and sending them back. That was annoying and time consuming.
Ready To Go? Not.
We thought we were in pretty good shape to leave on Thursday. But there were a couple of big things that came up. First, our windows. We’ve been waiting for them since last July. Of course, they arrived right before we were leaving, and needed to be installed instead of sitting around in the warehouse.
Two painfully noisy and extremely messy days later, we had new windows throughout the house. Instead of leaving on Thursday, we spent two days scraping stupid stickers off of the windows and re-cleaning the house.
I was so tired that I forgot to take photos of the new windows.
In the last week, we also finalized our plans for the environmentally friendly rock breakwater that will be installed to protect our shoreline. It’s going to take place while we’re away, which is a little unsettling. But we trust the contractor who is overseeing the work, and he has assured us that it will be pretty as well as functional (that was my request, LOL).
It’s a huge project, and involves removing the decrepit old seawall and placing two-ton boulders in the water along the shore. We’re not waiting until we return, because hurricane season will happen while we’re away and we need to get it done.
Friends And Family
Meanwhile, during the last couple of months we’ve enjoyed wonderful visits from family and friends, along with spending time regularly with our friends in the ‘hood. How lucky we are to have such incredible family and friends. They’re the best part of life.
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Volunteering For The Birds
We’re continuing to enjoy participating in volunteer projects with local organizations. When I feel despair for our world, as I did when I wrote my last post after the shootings in Uvalde, I replenish my hope by spending time with friends and spending time doing something positive, even in a small way. I think it’s normal to feel distressed about the state of our world. But I also don’t want to give up on humanity. We’ve come through desperately dark times before on this earth, and I have to trust that we can do so again.
We’ve continued chipping away at our seemingly never-ending list of home projects. Some that we’ve been working on or avoiding (cabinet painting, lanai restoration, and studio/shop renovation) are waiting for our return. But we’ve made a lot of progress with landscaping and a million other things that I cannot even recall at this point. We need a vacation.
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Three Rivers State Park
Because we left three days later than intended, we had to rearrange several reservations, cutting a couple of them short. Our first stop was only 89 miles from home, the perfect distance to get us back on the road.
Three Rivers State Park is a lovely little park, with electric and water hookups, good Verizon, and spacious sites. We loved our site (#8) with excellent views of the lake. The park is worthy of a return visit, preferably in the fall, when the weather cools down. (Thanks to our friends Shannon and Ken, who recommended the park to us.)
We left home right as a wicked heat dome moved across the country. The farther north we move, the more the temps are heating up. We were cooler at home in Eastpoint! Still, we’re excited about the journey ahead and the adventures that await. Thanks for coming along with us!