Friday, November 25, 2022

Going On 70 and Feeling 30

When I returned from the Everglades I parked my trailer at an angle so that the distance from the electric box to my trailer would be shorter and not require an extension cord.   An extension cord provides too much resistance and my air conditioner doesn't cool.

Those of you reading this from the snowy north will have a hard time imagining that sometimes we are still turning on our airconditioners here in Inverness, Florida.

I like the angle of my trailer, the screen tent can set further from the road.  It is still is in danger in this 55 and older Mobile Home and RV Park.  The flower pot I set by a tent stake to mark it, got smashed last week. I have added some reflectors on tall sticks to try to prevent others from driving into my stuff.  



I thought replacing the dust cap (Hub Cap?) on my Weeroll would be easy once I set my mind to it.  So I took measurements and pictures and went to a trailer place.  Nope!  They directed me to NAPA.  I went to NAPA.  Nope!  They told me to call the factory where I got my trailer.

I called Weeroll and I got a person right away!  She was nice and took down the information and I sent pictures.  She said she would investigate and get back to me.

It has been a week.  I will have to call again.



The Couple Status


Steve jokes that he has to check my blog to find out the status of our relationship.  First, "We are not a couple!" then "We are a couple."

Since Steve and I realized we are a "couple" after all.  We discussed our age difference.  He just turned 64, and in July I will hit the big BIG 70 bench mark!  "You gotta take care of yourself," he said to me.

After that discussion I went online to look at the actuarial statistics.  Since women live longer than men (statistically) what are the odds I will die before him.

I found a neat website where I could put in my birth date and female and his birth date and male and I got this cool chart.  Looks like the chances are good we depart this life at about the same time.  

Now our task is to fit as much living into those next 18 to 20 years as we can!


New Us

There are studies out there in the Universe about the euphoria and chemical changes that occur during the early stages of romantic love.  I believe I have read some articles about that.  

Reading about it and the experience of it are two different things.  I am giggling and giddy, I am one dang sexy old woman.  I am 30 years old until I look in the mirror.

I thought I was happy before, but this new experience with Steve has me over-the-top with excitement for future adventures and just sharing the beauty of today.  

And the best part (besides all the things I admire, enjoy, am grateful for, am amazed about, in Steve) is that I now have a play mate.  

Now get your mind out of the gutter!  That isn't what I mean... well, not what I mean here.  

What I mean  here is that he says, "You wanna go kayaking?" and I am there because I love sharing nature with him and I love kayaking the lakes and rivers around here.  

In the Everglades I waded through a puddle and Steve joined me.  And later we were aiming our bikes to ride through puddles.  Playing like kids.

I say, "Would you like to join me on this camping trip?" and he becomes just as excited as I am to go explore a place together.

Did I tell you that he wants to do the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) Trail?  We are planning on doing that the second half of September 2023.  We will carry out tents and all that crap.  I just replaced my back rack with one that is rated for 85 lbs.

We were at lunch on a Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders' ride and the couple across from us were telling us about their trip to Bonaire in the Western Carrabean.  They said the snorkling was amazing.  Steve nudged me.  

Oh my! Yes!  That too is a distinct possibility when you have a bold and venturous play mate. 

I am keeping my eyes open for when Sister Corp (a branch of the Sister's on the Fly that goes in to help months after a disaster) will be going to Fort Myers to help with the rebuild after Hurricane Ian.  Steve is very interested in doing that also.

So much of the things that I wanted to do but didn't do because I didn't want to do them alone, well now I just might do them! 

Today I canceled my commitment to volunteer to camphost again at South Trout Lake in Wisconsin.  I just don't want to tie myself down to one place for a whole month.  Even if Steve decides not to come out to Wisconsin to do a shake-down bike tour with me, I have places and people to see while I am there. 

I am making my camping plans for spring now, when I will return traveling into the northern states.  I shared with Steve a couple of the places I will be going.   (I was silently hoping that he will be interested and join me for them).  

He is interested!  He has made his reservations.  So we will be pulling our trailers north and enjoying some really great places on the way.  

A couple of the places we are going, I had really wanted to share with him.  

Hunting Beach State Park in South Carolina is the place I stayed during the Sisters on the Fly/Pledge the Pink event I attended in October on the way down to Florida.  The beach is flat and when I was there lights were not allowed on the beach because of turtle nesting season.  I don't know if it will be a good star-gazing beach in the spring, but I hope so.  I also want to visit the Gulla/Geechee museum in the area and stop at the Gulla/Geechee Artists Gallery.

Hocking Hills State Park is in Ohio. I hosted my first Sister on the Fly event there on my way down and I was impressed with the hiking trails.  It has many hiking trails, gorges, and is next to the John Glen Observatory.

We are also going to Hungry Mother State Park  This park was recommended by a Sister on the Fly, Susan J.  I emailed her and Dee to see if they wanted to join me there for some kayaking and hiking.  Dee responded with a resounding "YES!".  I haven't heard from Susan yet.  I may have to break down and call her.   It is funny how making a call is the last way I try to contact someone.

If you have been reading these letters all year, you may recall that on my way North I met up with Susan and Dee to do the Virginia Creeper Trail in Virginia.  We really enjoy each other and they like to hike and eat pizza like me.

In Delaware, Steve will branch off and head for his home in New York.  He has a house and family there that will need his attention.  I am still un-encumbered by house maintenance.  I am liking that a bunch, really.  

I will visit trails in Pensylvania and then the Finger Lakes Region of New York. In my plans are Vermont and across the border into Canada where I will spend the week of the 4th of July with my good friends, Louise and Richard.  

My next travel season is really taking great shape and I have anticipating another awsome summer.

What's Been Going On

A couple villas have come up for sale in Windermere (my former neighborhood).  The prices are still high, and I have time to wait, so I will wait and continue to be house-free.

Or will I?  Read on.

I visited my storage area and was bummed by all the stuff I have there.  I am now thinking maybe I should just buy a cheap mobile home to store the stuff and at least enjoy some of it sometimes.  It is frustrating to not have a home base to invite friends for dinners and gatherings.

I am paying $168/mo to store artwork and furniture and paperwork and tools in airconditioning.  

Is that foolish?  To buy a trailer to stay in and store my stuff?  Investigating some more, running some numbers.  Second guessing my impluses.  This afternoon I looked at a small one bedroom old mobile home for under $21,000.  Hmmmm. 

Other than that, I have been going on the Withlacoochee Tuesday and Thursday rides.  Steve races down to our starting point (about seven miles) to get his vigorous workout before riding with the group.

The other day there was a special ride.  Steve drove us and our bikes down to Townsen park about 16 miles south of Inverness.  The ride was well attended.  Below is Jean, Dave and Steve.  

Jean is my friend that I did work for last year.  She has hired me again to do billing for her therapy practice!  Thank you, Jean!  I look forward to helping her serve her clients.

Good things just seem to fall in my path all the time!


Linda and Linda (below) also live in my RV park.  They are fun and on the ride we ended up trying to sing songs and howl like wolves while we were riding.  John had his video recorder going a  lot and put together a neat video of the ride and some of our childish antics on Facebook.



We rode into Brooksville and after a great lunch at the Bistro we went exploring and found this tree fountain.


And in front of the courthouse, this twisted oak.  I thought someone had trained it when it was a sapling, but Steve pointed out the  branches also showed some twist and it was probably something genetic.  Pretty cool.


Steve and I dropped in too late on the last day of the Art Festival in downtown Inverness.  The artists were packing up and it was raining.   We did get to see some of the bicycle-artworks that are scattered about town.  This one was done by my friend Linda Reiland.


This one by fellow Cyclopath (triker) Camille.


There is a lot of talented artists along the Withlacoochee Trail.  After the quick stop at the Art Fest we met up with Debra and Glen at music event in my old neighborhood, Windermere.  A band, the Mudds, was playing.  We sat at a table with Debra and Glen and Jean and Keith.  Steve talked music with Keith and I danced and danced in circles and groups of women and men. Fun!  Thanks to Marilyn for arranging this event!

This past Tuesday was cool and cloudy.  It was great for biking.  I announced on the Impromptu Withlacoochee Cyclers Facebook Group that I wanted to go all the way to Dunnellon and dine at Swampy's.  It is a bar and grill right on the crystal clear Rainbow River.

I love it when I announce something and people show up!  We ended up with 11 people around a big table.  Steve and I sat together and did a new-to-us couples thing, we shared a salad.    




***

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving Day was really, really wonderful.  Steve drove down to my camper from his house and we started our ride here.  The group was starting their ride about three miles south of here in Floral City.  We had 22 riders for the tradtional Thanksgiving Day Ride!   Yay!  

We road some very low traffic roads (did we see more than one car?) past lots of horse pastures.  We enjoyed watching prancing young colts with their tails held high, bearded goats with big horns, and shaggy coated mules.





Steve and I had been invited to Debra's for Thanksgiving.  I was really looking forward to that.  The rest of the riders went on to see the Zebra while Steve and I headed to Debras for the holiday gathering at noon.

Of course we ate too much and wanted to just keep eating more because everything was SOOOOO GOOOD!  Thanks again, Debra and Glen.  Such good good friends!


I had written up a non-denominational prayer of thanksgiving and Debra had me read it as grace.

"Thankyou God, Thankyou Universe, Thankyou Gia, Thankyou Sun, Earth and Rain, Thankyou all the mysterious powers that created and grew this food.  Thank you farmers and laborers and truckers and grocers.  Thank you for our hands and minds that we are able to prepare and enjoy this food...."
Friends Beth and Jim were there.  They have a cute black and white pit bull.  In 2020 I went over for a visit and we were sitting out  by the pool, me facing Jim and Beth.  Bear, the pit bull was quiet at their feet.  Jim asked me if I carry a gun, or how do I defend myself.  I stood up quickly and punched the air toward Jim, like I do in fitness class.  Bam bam b... Quick as lightening, Bear was standing too with his big paws on my chest barking, his muzzle inches from my face.  I screamed.  Bear quickly obeyed when Jim called him off.  

So since then, I am nervous around Bear.  I have been to her house, but cautious.

Beth says to me, "He is such a sweet dog, you really need to give him another chance."  And she said she wanted to have me and Debra and some other gal friends over.  It will be my chance to make friends with Bear, Lol.

I will keep my fists down, and repeat to myself, "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

I was and am so grateful for my good friends, to be included, for the laughter, the smiles and the hugs.  

I am grateful to all of you who read and comment, who send me emails to let me know what is going on in your lives.  It is a way to stay connected with so many, so in that I am grateful.  And I am grateful for this creative outlet.  I sometimes find I sit down to write a few minutes and hours later...

An attitude of gratitude (the inspirational speakers will tell you) is the pathway to happiness.  I have found this to be so true in my life.  It turns my mind toward the good things happening and away from negativity like what is in the news or seeing the glass half empty.

After our gathering at Debra's, Steve and I went for a walk along the lake by his house.  It was out-of-this-world lovely.  The water smooth, the clouds taking on tints from the setting sun behind us.  Incredible.














2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful, thankful “good news” blog from you. Fred and I are so very happy for you. You have health, friends - and now a wonderful companion who shares your excitement with life. We’re looking forward to seeing you both, soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Sue. Happy you have found Steve. Fun to have someone to do stuff with. I dated two guys who were 9 years younger. We had good times and are still friends. Age is just a number Talk to Ann/Fred about Alegeny Passage. They gave us perfect advice. Loooforward to seeing you in December. Ruth

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