Sunday, December 20, 2020
I did it again. Some days my mind is just not in the moment and somehow I lose track of important stuff.
I was looking forward to this trip. I was traveling just two or three hours to the coast east of Orlando, FL. I was excited because I would be spending my holiday with some up-beat and active friends. We were to be camping in an area where there is water for kayaking, lots of nature for birding, and a trail for biking.
But this morning as I was packing I was in a foul mood. My neighbor, Mari, commented, "Sue, you are frowning! You should be smiling, aren't you excited?"
I hadn't even been aware I was in a foul mood, but then I realized that the thrill of going just wasn't in me. I felt frayed... is that a feeling? I felt like my brain was a bit scattered. It wasn't working as sharp as normal and I was having to work extra hard to concentrate and make sure I didn't forget anything. Mari reminded me I had a packing list for trips. But I had not used it.
Instead I had spent some of my morning signing up for another camping trip. This one is in January with the Sisters on the Fly Sister Corp. The trip will be a working trip, helping someone on the coast of Louisiana rebuild or clean up after the area was hit by two hurricanes this summer and fall.
And as I ran upstairs to turn the thermostat down to save on energy while I am gone, I remembered that in a week or two Carolyn will be arriving to rent a room from me and share my home with me. Wow! Time is moving so fast.
Maybe I was scattered because I was watching the neighbors' Labrador. I walked it before I started packing up.
I finished packing and I hooked the trailer up to the van. I did my walk around to check that everything was ok.
Now that I had the trailer packed gave Ellie the dog one last walk around the block. It started to rain.
In the van I began the drive east in the rain. After a picnic stop, the rain stopped and the temperature rose to the high 70's.
It was 2:30 when I checked into Manatee Hammock campground and backed into my site. It is a roomy site with trees, I can walk to the inter-coastal, it's all good.
I go to unhitch and I reach in my pocket for the trailer keys.
No keys. I pat myself down, no keys. I search all the jackets, the back pack, the purse, the console, under the seats, the floor, between the seats.
I paused and tried to calm myself and think.
Can I do this week of camping without my trailer keys?
1) I can't unhitch the trailer because the hitch is locked.
2) I can't plug in my fridge/trailer because I don't have access to my cord which is in the toolbox that is locked. My water hose is there too.
3) I can't get in the trailer because the trailer door is locked.
I walk back to the campground office to see if I dropped the keys there. Nope.
I told the campground host I would have to drive all the way back home to get the other set of keys. He said call "Pop-a-lock".
I walked back to my car and trailer and I called my insurance because I have road-side assistance. But I couldn't get through. They were busy, the recording said, and short-staffed due to COVID-19.
Then I called Pop-a-lock nearby. The woman that answered said the locksmith was working on a job right now and would call me after he was done. "It will be about an hour," she said.
I waited two hours.
As I was waiting I remembered that the back of the trailer has a padlock on the door. I could enter in the back! I started working to get the trailer set up to use
My friends came over and visited a while. They said they heard the no-see-ums are bad here. They helped me set up my CLAM screen tent.
They left and I called my sister to chat. While I was on the phone, my friend Regis returned with his keys to see if any of them would work on my hitch or tool box. None did.
I then told him if I couldn't get into my tool box I would need to hitch a ride from him to a store to get an extension cord and a hose. That is the stuff I need from my tool box.
Regis left and returned again with an extension cord and a hose!
I called Pop-a-lock after waiting two hours. This time the person that answered the phone said the locksmith in my area doesn't work on Sunday's and he will call me the next day. Sigh.
Cindy has plans to ride the trail tomorrow and maybe visit the nature preserve to look for birds. I would love to join them but that means I would have to haul my trailer.
Traveling with the trailer means I would have to strap stuff down again and move everything back to the floor so it won't fall and cause damage. Another adventure, another lesson.
Regis gave me these words of wisdom: "Keep a spare set of keys hidden somewhere."
That means not at home (which is where my spare set of keys is sitting).
It is raining again. It is dark. I have shelter, I have light, I have my computer, I have my bed, my fridge is plugged in and I can make coffee in the morning. I am having a mini celebration.
We will see what tomorrow brings.
I am listening to Untamed. My sister had mentioned she was reading the book and was really pulled into it. I love it. It is real, it is poetry, it is inspiration and motivation.
It makes my own simple writing style look... simple. I shouldn't compare myself, but you know how we humans can be.
She said today as I was listening on the drive here that grieving is a kind of metamorphosis. You snuggle down, feel the pain, get through it, and on the other side you are transformed. Your old life doesn't fit anymore because you have changed.
I thought, oh! I am searching for what fits now. I am no longer George and Sue, I am just... Sue... and seeking a life that fits the new me, the changed me.
I want a life with lots of moments when I know that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to be doing. Those are moments of content. The pants fit.
One thing I know that fits is this writing I do. Because I just can't stop. I think about just giving up and going a different direction, and I just don't want to do that.
The good news is that I am selling more audio books! A friend let me know they were listening to both books just this week. I told him others had told me the books made them laugh.
When he finished listening to them he contacted me again and said he didn't laugh so much as cringe. Ha ha. Yes, there was some of that too, mostly in The Journey Continues, the second book with the tandem trike on the cover.
Speaking of The George tandem trikes. They are sold and shipped to a man in Huntsville, Texas who is caring for his wife who has... drum roll please... Alzheimer's Disease.
May you both get miles and miles of smiles from the rides on The George tandem.
Many families are still getting together for this holiday. The numbers of Covid cases continue to rise and hospitals in California are running out of ICU beds. The first vaccines have been given. It is expected that it will take a year or longer to reach all those who will take it. Can we then gather again in groups, put our heads together as we whisper, shout at each other over the loud music in a bar?
What do you miss most?
Hope your holidays are enjoyable even with the safety precautions for COVID. May your 2021 be full of peace and hugs.