Looking down from North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment, Washington, I feel your presence Lord. The waves are crashing around and over a jetty of large rocks near the shore. Let your Word wash over me like the rocks below smoothing my rough edges, changing me for your propose and service. Cleanse me, Lord.
On the road again. The first two days are a repeat of the schedule two years ago, experience and familiarity leaving their mark – more relaxed attitude and a quiet confidence instead of awe and wonder.
However, in that state of confidence, I repeat the error of neglecting to be plugged into the power source. The power cord runs from the trailer to the power box, but once again, I forget to flip the switch on. Lord, I am so sorry my retention level is so low. How easy it is to become over confident and neglect you, the most important life source. Forgive my arrogance. I need your power in my life today and every day. Continue revealing your wonders as I travel and I will stay plugged in. Amen!
The bright red maple leaves are giving way to the rich red dirt of Oklahoma and Texas, the rolling hills to flatten plains, the tall pines to scrubby trees bent by the wind. Just two months ago, due north in Manitoba I was commenting on the endless vista of wheat fields, now it is cotton and sorghum. Oklahoma harvesting and Texas slightly behind with some ripening fields and some white ready for harvest. I am slowly moving out of the beautiful, living autumn calendar back into more browns and arid country.
Spent a full day in Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City National Memorial topping my list of places to visit. Parked in the Bass Pro Shop parking lot and hopped the free trolley around the city. The driver was extremely friendly and informative even after I revealed I am from Las Vegas. There are still some hard feelings about Las Vegas acquiring the National Final Rodeo from OKC.
Outside the wall of the memorial is a fence with remembrance objects attached.Many children’s items. As I rounded the end of the wall to enter the grounds, a tearful sadness came over me. Fighting tears, I asked the guide if I may join the outside tour, to which she agreed. The tour is less than half an hour and covers only 3 minutes in time on that fateful dat, April 19, 1995. Spent a couple of hours at the outside memorial before hopping back on the trolley.
Had lunch in the Bricktown District. This area is reclaiming the old brick warehouses and filling them with restaurants, shops, museums, a riverwalk and of course a brewery and a few adult beverage rooms. Ate outside over looking the Bricktown Canal and strolled the walking path. A lovely, slow paced day. Lots of time for reflection and renewal.
Stopped by the Farmers Market on my way back to the campground.
Just when I figure out life, it gives me a bump on the head. Driving across the bridge linking Tennessee and Arkansas, I was listening to some good old Nashville sounds, when I looked up midway and saw the huge “Welcome to Arkansas” sign. Truly an ambush moment as the tears started to flow. Arkansas is my husband’s home state and this is my first visit since he passed. Memories of our many trips to Little Rock and all points south to Eldorado swarmed around me. These tears of loss mixed with all the earlier tears of gratitude, mergeing into one stream as wide as the river I was crossing.
Flashbacks to all his amusing stories of growing up in the oil patch; learning to drive a car and his mother lying down in the back seat, refusing to look out; high school pranks, working two jobs to earn school money, hitch hiking to California to work at Safeway for the summer because the wages were better. I thought about his fraternity days stories and how the last several years he joined his brothers on a designated weekend to tell stories and drink beer.Then there’s his family relations and fishing trips with our kids, fish fries and eating crawdads. Gradually my tears were more of thankfulness for his life and experiences, but still laced with loss. I realize when I do return to his hometown, there will be more tears.Now, I can prepare.
Growing up I always thought tears a sign of weakness.Our family had the old pioneer spirit acknowledging an event and keeping your feelings out of sight.Even when my father died, mom’s response was, “We’re not going too sit around here with long faces”, and we went out for lunch.
Until last year, my tears were stuffed. Rarely seen in public, only the by my pillow. It changed with the sudden death of my husband. I learned shedding tears is okay. It’s healing.Giving myself permission to cry has enriched my life. It’s opened emotional doors and a deeper understanding of grace.
Today my adventurous traveling companions and I hugged and wished each other happy trails as we parted, each taking a different route home. To my surprise, tears formed over my morning coffee. Feeble attempts to hold them back failed as soon as my friends appeared. However, these are tears of joy and gratitude. How fond I’ve grown of the six people who shared my life the last two months. The lessons I’ve learned about living life in the moment and with authenticity. They expanded my views of acceptance without judgement, patience and traveling with Bambi.
Driving out of the campground with bleary eyes, I couldn’t help but ponder how my tears have changed. A year ago, they were tears of loss and grief, today they are grateful tears. Thank you, Lord.
Arrived early afternoon at the national park campground, fall post card perfect. A carpet of fallen leaves covers the paved, level sight. Little Bambi doesn’t require any additional leveling. This is a good thing, especially since I am dry camping (no electric or water service). Sweeping the area clean with my playhouse size broom, then off to the Visitor’s Center to check out park activities and the gift shop.
After devouring a dinner in the park lodge, I return to camp attending to a few chores requiring daylight. Darkness arrives earlier now. Too warm and early to go to bed, so I walk around the campground. Finally around eight thirty I go to bed.
Just as I’m dozing off, thud on Babmi’s roof followed rather quickly by another sharper thud. Wide awake, I wait. Silence. Sleep again calls. Thud! And in the distance several muffled thuds. What’s happening? I’m being boombed! Seems like this post card perfect sight is directly under a stand of oak trees and small acorns are shelling Bambi and adjacent campers. Did I mention the truck is also a target? Who knew small flying acorns capable of making such noises?
So here I am at midnight under attack trying to devise a counter attack or at least a plan to sleep. No internet or ax, so don’t know when I can post this recent dilemma. Until then, I’ll be grateful it’s not windy and I have a roof to protect my head.
Note to self: Ask insurance agent if acorn dents are covered under my insurance policy.
3:28 am. New sound, plink and roll!
September 21, 2016
Crossed over the 13 mile bridge to Prince Edward Island (PEI). It may not be the longest bridge, but it was long enough for me, rather narrow with only two lanes.Very interesting, it is free to get to PEI island but the toll is about $60 to come back over the bridge or a ferry. My campsite is right on a small bay with an awesome view. The biggest surprise is all the red soil. Potatoes are being harvested now as well as large fields of cabbage and of course fall vegetables including pumpkins. Many roadside stands are unattended and you pay on the honor system, leaving the money in metal recepticals.
Construction of houses and barns are cedar shingles. Don’t know what company insures them, definitely not State Farm!
Explored the land of Anne of Green Gables, the setting for the books and the area where the author spent her childhood with her grandparents. The end of the day the three merry widows meet up with our travel companions for lobster dinner.
One morning, a man was harvesting oysters in front of camp.