Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Does the sky look different?


That's what I want to know, does the sky look different when a hurricane is just a few hundred miles away?

Earlier this week it seemed strange, a fog, it was above us... maybe you would call that low-hanging clouds.

And now the glows seem to move fast and there is a wind, but that could be normal.

We are the fortunate ones.  Just out of the danger range.  One county over, the schools are closed so they can remain open as storm shelters for those escaping Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricanes are relatively new to me.  Born and raised in the Midwest, the tornadoes would come and go in a matter of minutes.  Here, we start watching the storms form over by Africa and talking about the chances of it coming our way. 

And then Hurricane Dorian lost the push of high-pressure behind it so we were expecting it to hit on Sunday, then Monday, then Tuesday.  In the meantime I have hauled plants into the house outdoor furniture to keep if from flying around and damaging someone's property. 

We (my friends and neighbors and Floridian's in the possible path) wait and we check in a couple times a day at least to see what the meteorologists are saying now.  Where is it going now?   Even if you aren't in the path, the cone of the Hurricane is hundreds of miles.  So even the outer edges can get sustained 40-50 mph winds.

The path is never sure, hurricanes can wobble and their projected path change entirely.  So many of us prepare and wait and worry.

September is the peak month for tropical storms and hurricanes.

If you have been elsewhere you might not even know that the Bahama's was devastated by Dorian.  Living on an island isn't so attractive anymore.  Puerto Rico hit twice and now the Bahama's flooded and flattened in parts.  They estimate 13,000 home were completely destroyed. 

People amaze me.  The Church without Walls in Citrus County is collecting supplies and will be personally delivering them.  Driving down to Miami later this week.  Better people than I am for sure.

Me, I am just wondering if the hurricane is going to make me change my plans for leaving on Thursday and camping along the way.  "Good thing I have a reservation," I think to myself.  Because the campgrounds will be full of evacuees. 

I look out the window and the clouds are racing, the next time I look they don't seem to be moving.  Is it my imagination?  Or does the sky look different?

Fear and Packing

As I reminder, I am leaving on a road trip to Wisconsin.  Heading there in a zig-zag way, visiting places and people along the way.  

I should be gone a whole month.   

I was chatting with Debra yesterday and I told her I wasn't excited about this trip yet.  

Maybe when the trip gets started the feelings will change, we say. 

I think this is my first big road trip since George passed.  And even though he wasn't fully with it or much help the last few times we went, he was comfort and companionship.  I was part of a couple.  

Now I am just a single person.  My new status in society is still so strange to me.  Forty years is a long time to think of yourself as part of a pair.  

I fear the trip will make me miss him.  And I fear the newness of camping on my own.

I went to visit a friend who was reading, The Journey Continues.  She said, "Don't you ever feel afraid?"

I said, "Sure I do.  But I try to feel the fear and do it anyway." 

This trip and the October trips are outside my comfort zone just a tiny amount.  Just enough to stretch myself, but not too much.  

The snorkel in the ocean?  That will stretch it even more.  I just had a friend step on the tail of a stingray and end up in the hospital!  Scared?  You bet cha!

Packing for this trip first.  I piled stuff into my living room but didn't want to start putting things in the van until I was sure the Hurricane was not going to harm this area. 

I was going to take along a folding mattress to sleep in the van, but the other night I tested out the tent-cot by Kamprite and I slept OK.  So I am going to use that.

The first day the high temperature is going to be 92 degrees.  Oh my!

Yesterday and today I am working to pack the van so that I can get my trike out without removing all the camping equipment.

The item on the left that is wrapped in a tan blanket is a large picture in a frame.  George loved that picture.  It was given to him by his employees when the company was growing and they moved into an office suite where George would have his own room.  George loved cats and it is a picture of a big panther walking toward the viewer. 

After George passed I called the employee that was with us the longest and offered the picture to him.  He stuck with us and contributed greatly through many years working in our basement and through several different locations.  He managed Rentapen the year we decided to semi retire.  He said he was honored to take the picture.  I will be delivering the it to him near Milwaukee.

I still have more stuff to pack into the van.   My computer and folders and clothes and cosmetics and food.  OH MY!  I hope I find a place for everything.

Warm Showers

I have gone a LONG time without a request.   Wouldn't you know I get a request to stay Wednesday night.  Two guys biking down from Montreal, Canada.   It took them only 23 days!   

But I have to have clean sheets and a clean shower for the house sitter!  

I can't say no.  Why say no.  I just tell them my dilemma and I ask them to wipe down the shower when they are done and we will hang their towels in the garage.   They are going to sleep on their bed rolls so I don't have dirty sheets to deal with.  

They will be glad to have air-conditioning and wifi.

Audio Books

As Robin Siegerman records Alzheimer's Trippin' with George, I keep thinking about the launch of The Journey Continues on December 4th.  Wouldn't it be great to have that book in audio form too?

Robin says she is buzy until January.  So I shopped for a different artist.  I found one who has a pleasant voice and I think will do a great job on the book.   Soon I will have a sample to share with you. 

For now, just know that soon both books will be available in Audio form.  Just in time for that road-trip or for Christmas!


  1. Good luck on your trip Susan. If you are near be sure to stop in to visit or stay on your way to your sisters. I will be here until Oct 5 when I leave for Florida. I sure can relate to your feelings about no longer being a part of a pair. After 61 years of marriage, 65 being together, it is the strangest feeling of all. I love your adventurous spirit!

  2. Overcoming fear and doubt before a solo bike tour is certainly more challenging when there is no one to "share" it with. You have to shoulder all the craziness of the adventure yourself instead of being only half-crazy. But it is true that the hardest mile is the first. After that the momentum tends to take over as you focus on the day-to-day travel goals. And I predict that, as a solo cyclist, you will encounter more "road angels" than ever before.

    Tailwinds my friend!


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