Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful for you, friends and fans and fun folks. Life is much much easier when surrounded by support, love and laughter.
I have been telling myself to write to you, I knew it had been awhile. I just looked at my last blog, it was short and was dated September 23, 2023!
I said I was going to write you again in November, and it is the day before Thanksgiving. Yay, I made it!
My excuse for the long delay is traveling south and then reconnecting and having fun in Inverness, FL. I also have been using writing time to dabble at writing book three. Don't hold your breath, it appears that doing fun things with friends has a higher priority.
You'd want to shoot me if I tried to tell you all that happened between then and now.
Last I wrote I was still at Steve's New York home. Remember, we had decided not to do the GAP and C&O Trail ride because it just seemed to be too much for the time we had available. His mom was in rehab after having a small stroke and we wanted to be close for a while. (She is back home and in good spirits.)
Steve had lots of work to do to get ready to leave for Florida and prepare his house for six months of travel next summer. I helped him where I could. He cleared out plants and put in stone gardens. I told him it made the place look sterile. He said, "exactly!". He is going for a lawn that requires less care. We will only be there two weeks in late May next year because we will be driving with his truck and trailer out west.
I gotta tell you I am nervous about that, we get along very well, and traveled well in his trailer together this summer. But on travel days, I got into my own truck, and sometimes I went off camping on my own. In 2024 it will be six months.
I have talked with Steve about my worries and he has told me that anytime I need to get away I can take the truck or my bicycle and go. I am wondering if I should just plan in a couple of times when I go off someplace else for a couple days.
What am I worried about? I really don't know. Maybe I am worried about losing the magic that comes with falling in love. Maybe I am worried about feeling trapped like I felt sometimes while married to George.
Most of my feelings come from within me and are not the fault of George or anyone else. But I know myself enough to know that I need days totally on my own. I will think on it some more, I will come up with a plan. I will let you know what it is when it comes to me. If I don't plan for it, I won't do it, and then I won't be happy. Happy is good.
What else did we do while at Steve's New York Home?
While at Steve's house we did a two-day bike tour on the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail. It was a blast. We stopped at the Ichabod Crane School House. Just past that we came upon President Van Buren's New York Farm. It is surprising how excited I got when a kiosk explained that we were overlooking the location of the barn where the first Elsie the Cow used to live. I loved downtown Hudson which was built in the late 1700's, which is older than any town I have visited in Wisconsin.
We saw this sign outside of a main street diner where we stopped for lunch on our bicycle tour.
Steve took me hiking one day up a mountain overlooking Lake George, NY.
While staying at Steve's I began to feel antsy. I missed my active social life. We got together with Steve's brother and his wife for dinner. That was fun, I like them. I arranged to meet up with Margaret's brother and his wife Bobbie (who was very supportive of Steve and I getting together. ) That was great!
Then I got online and I found a Sister's on the Fly camping event happening in Western Pennsylvania. Hey! The perfect solution. I left Steve's nine days before he did with plans to meet back up with him in Southern PA and we would journey to Florida together.
The next day I met up again with Steve in the RV parking lot at Gettysburg. I arrived first and discovered a bicycle rental booth with electric assist bicycles. They had two left. When Steve arrived I tried to contain my excitement when I asked if he would like to see the battlefield on electric bikes.
"Sure! That's be great!" he said with a smile.
The battlefield is huge and quite hilly. I was glad we had the e-assist bicycles. The battlefield, like Antitiem is filled with memorials from the different states that lost soldiers in the battles. The battles happened over a three-day period. We read the kiosks and some of the memorials. To get a tour guide you have to arrange it weeks in advance. I had not done that, we will have to return some day.
So now we are back in Florida. I spend a few days in my trailer at Oasis RV campground in Inverness, and when we have plans together, I spend a few days at Steve's.
It is so good to reconnect with the trail and the Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders.
Old Couple Reaches One-Year Anniversary
November 10, 2022 was when Steve and I realized we were a couple. So we celebrated our one year anniversary with plans to kayak in the Gulf and dine at Pecks in Ozello, FL. November 10, our anniversary, was cloudy, we had a good time, but I can't remember what we did.
But this week we had a night of clear skies, we went to the Gulf, it was lovely.
Shortly after we put in we were surrounded by about four or six manatee. Then later we saw a whole long stream of birds heading west as far as we could see, and when we looked east, flock after flock was coming in that same line. We guessed they were starlings or grackle or black birds of some kind. They made no sound, but thousands and thousands passed overhead in a narrow band.
We heard splaces and saw dophin fishing off in the distance.
We stayed out as the sun set and watched the stars appear. The moon was about half phase and high, lighting our way in the dark. We pulled our kayaks together and called Steve's mom. Last year when he called Steve's mom while kayaking in the dark, she was worried about him. But this year it didn't even phase her. Maybe it was because I was with him, or maybe it was because she is a year older and a year wiser. Ha ha. Who knows.
When we were done with the call, we realized the tide had carried us, and we could no longer see the launch place. We headed in the direction we assumed it was and it turned out we were right. But on the way, in the dark, I felt my kayak run into what felt like a sand bar. But it rose up under me! I screamed, it was a manatee. Wow, wow, wow. We laughed and were thrilled. I was grateful not to be dumped into the dark shallow waters.
What are you up to this Thanksgiving?
I didn't start wondering about our own plans until we were back in Inverness a week or two. A lot of our friends already had their plans. But, we happened to be talking to our friends from Canada and they didn't have plans, they didn't even know about our Thanksgiving! So Steve and I are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner without Turkey or Pumpkin Pie and with four Canadians. We will make up stories about Thanksgiving to entertain ourselves, and I will be giving lots of thanks.
I am so grateful for:
- good health;
- good friends;
- for friends to connect with when I am traveling;
- beautiful places;
- interesting things to learn and fun ways to learn them like Duolingo and Podcasts and kiosks on trails;
- for the ability and ambition to exercise;
- food to prepare and eat;
- for a gut that tolerates food abuse;
- rain and sunny days;
- for LILAC and Big Blue and Serenity Sam;
- interesting, safe, and smooth bicycle trails and bicycle communities;
- the rise of the working or middle class (congratulations Auto Workers!);
- a fun and talented life partner who knows how to give great hugs, is a good cook, doesn't criticize me, likes most people, and wants to travel many places with me, and excites this old lady (blush);
- for a fun and loving sister who is such a great friend;
- for a son full of heart and ambition and persistance;
- for Steve's family's acceptance.
I could go on and on, and I just might do that on Thanksgiving.
How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year? Are you going to be listening to (or as my friend Regis does, singing) Alice's Restaurant on Thankgiving? What are you super grateful for?
I look forward to learning what you are doing. Comment or contact me. I would love to hear from you, isn't the holidays the time to connect and reconnect?