I will be heading back on the road tomorrow morning, probably back up to Oklahoma for a week and then moving further north.
A lot has happened this week:
On Tuesday the brakes on the van went out. I was backing up when all of a sudden the pedal went completely down and stopping was slow. As it turned out (many dollars later) the rear cylinder was “seeping” and something called the cruise control switch was leaking and I lost almost all the fluid. Well, now that is fixed and the eye doctor says it is ok for me to travel so back on the road I go. The one problem is hat my cataracts have gotten worse and I have to be back in August for surgery. So, I will just have to see how far I can get in 3 months.
One of my favorite quotes, which I have no idea where I first heard it, is:
“You can’t kill time without injurying eternity”
And yet, until that doctors appointment tomorrow that is just what I am doing…killing time!
Not having a very patient personality I am having difficulty adjusting to the fact that my eye surgery is healing so slowly. There is this “Death Star” planet floating in my vision and, although it seems to grow slightly smaller each day, it is a huge distraction when I am trying to see. Sight, I have learned the hard way, is something we really take for granted.
So I sit here waiting for this weeks doctors appointment (Wednesday) and wonder if he will give me the approval to continue my travels. I have a feeling I will be put on limited activity status but something is better than nothing.
In any case I need to revise my plans for the summer. My friend John will not be able to make it west for our planned gold prospecting adventure and so I need to figure out which way to go. I have invitations to visit Michigan and Virginia but I am also strongly leaning towards a return visit to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. I really like it there and my friends Mary and Charlie are hosting again this year.
Devil’s Tower and the Belle Fourche River
If you have any suggestions please feel free to let me know.
But, first things first and I will just have to wait for the instructions from the eye doctor.
Gonna spend some time really working on the BLOG so watch out for construction!
Here’s a couple of pics from the overnight trip with my daughter Jessica to Chickasaw Recreation Area in Oklahoma
Getting a tent up for the first time – pure joy!
I heard a great theory on the radio while driving the other day and it fits perfectly with events I am currently experiencing.
The gist of the story is that life should be handled the way your GPS handles your trip. If you make a wrong turn it (the GPS) doesn’t start screaming at you and blubbering about what a mess you made, or how your journey is totally ruined, etc… Nope, it simply, in a calm and unworried voice says, “ Recalculating.” Then, again without rancor or remorse, gives you new directions to get you where you want to go.
I was pretty much on plan: a few weeks at Fore Lake near Ocala ,FL, a few weeks at Ocean Pond near Lake City, FL and was in the middle of a brief respite at Big Biloxi near Gulfport, MS when it happened. I woke up one morning and could not see out of my right eye. There was a brief hint of light at the top corner but almost the entire eye was a black impenetrable curtain Since the eye looked ok I knew it had to be something inside and, I’m not sure how, but I knew it was a tear in the retina.
It took me a day to decide (these things always happen on week ends) that the best thing I could do, since I still had one good eye, would be to head up to Texas where I have friends and family who could assist me. So I packed up and did a “short” 10 hour drive from Gulfport to Dallas. I tell this as if I did all this so calmly but I was having panic attacks the like of which I haven’t experienced in ages! The fear of going blind was a big motivator to my thoughts.
Being as lucky as I always am I made the trip with no problem and got an appointment with a wonderful ophthalmologist who was able to get me scheduled with a retina specialist who got me scheduled for surgery…and all within 5 days from the time I left Mississippi. Now you can see (no pun intended) why I feel lucky.
I am sitting here at the computer exactly one week after it first happened with a repaired retina (post op exam showed it looked good and should heal in about 2 weeks) and so thankful for the help of family, friends and in a few cases complete strangers who helped me this past week. It was on the drive from Mississippi that I heard the story of the GPS and “Recalculating”. It will stay with me for a long time and will probably have more of an impact on my plans going forward than just changing where I go. I have a feeling it will play a part in the long term destinations in my future.
Thanks to all of you who I get a chance to communicate with on Facebook for your support and well wishes. And I will try to be a little less procrastinating about keeping up with this newsletter.
I will be in touch!!!
I am slowly working my way west along the gulf coast with stops in the Osceola National Forest at Ocean Pond and the DeSoto National Forest in Mississippi. Both areas are favorites of mine and are great campgrounds with nice locations and good facilities. The fact that I have stayed here before and know the campground hosts make it almost like a homecoming. Plans for the summer are to head west into the foothills of the rockies and do a little gold prospecting with my friend John. As always, my pans are subject to change as the mood strikes me but gold and ghost towns sound like fun!
Ocean Pond Tree at Dawn
It starts about sunrise ( that’s usually around 7 AM for those of you who wear watches) and the first item each day is making the morning coffee. After the coffee is made it is time for the morning “coffee walk”. That’s a slow trip around the campground, camera in hand, to see who arrived diring the night, take a few sunrise photos and just get things in gear before breakfast.
Cormorant waiting for breakfast
Breakfast this morning was bacon, eggs, juice and toast. There is something great about the smell of bacon frying mixed with the scent of the pines and the early morning dampness. One of life’s little pleasures.Breakfast is followed by either a trip to the library, a ride into town for groceries and supplies or a few hours of fishing at the lake.
Fore Lake, Ocala National Forest, Florida
Most afternoons are spent riding the bike, hiking the trails or transferring some of my photos to watercolor paintings. That is a new hobby I have started in the past few months. I always take my camera when walking or riding because you never know what you will see.
Baby Alligator (about a year old)