jubilee – the year that was 2017…

i had heard the word jubilee before many times, but never really gave it any thought. 

a few years back, it was my friend d****e’s birthday. it piqued my interest when she posted that she was celebrating her jubilee. i wished her a happy birthday and asked her what she meant and she told me that she was celebrating her fiftieth year.

i found jubilee to be an awesome and fitting word for embracing and celebrating fifty years of experiences, memories, friends, family, love, and life. i knew that i was turning fifty this year and that’s how i wanted to handle it…as an all out celebration of me. 

i didn’t want to be sad or depressed or caught up in self-pity. i wanted to fly high and push the envelope as far as i could. i wanted to go to new places, meet new people, and try new things. 

i wanted to tear myself out of my comfort zone and throw myself into exciting explorations and thrilling adventures. i embarked on a yearlong journey that i never saw myself capable of doing solitarily a year or two ago.

but as 2017 ends, i can see it all very clearly. and, I did it. I did it all solitarily, save for the two precious souls that were always with me 24/7…my twelve pound dynamo and co-pilot buggs and my invisible friend and co-co-pilot j**s. 

i give these two beloved and precious souls kudos and all of the credit for keeping me safe and on course. when i think about it, without either one of them on board, i could have been lost forever to sleep sickness and never heard from again.

but, here i am and they are still here too…and i still have six more months of jubilee left in me!! so, i welcome 2018. i am antsy and bored and ready to get out of this comfort zone and into some exciting explorations and thrilling adventures.

dear friends and loved ones, i appreciate and value each and every one of you!! i wish you all the very best that life and love have to offer. i wish you all to have good health and strength of body and mind and soul. i love you. happy new year 2018!!

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december 28, 2017…

today, i am grateful for… 

…my dog buggs who is my best friend, co-pilot, constant companion, snuggle bug, and source of constant entertainment. he provides me with love, comfort, and protection twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. i am so grateful and happy to have him in my life… 

…new socks…all of my other socks had holes in them and i just kept on wearing them, because i was too busy to stop and buy new ones. these socks are nice and keep my feet warm… 

…a nice hot shower after being outside with the temperature being 18°. it helped to soothe all of my tires and aching muscles. the hot steam made me cough and cough helping me to get rid of a lot of the congestion… 

…a good talk with my co-co-pilot j**s last night. although we have never met, she understands me and listens to me. we are planning on meeting soon… 

…my new friend a****a. my friend l***a introduced us to one another, when i was visiting her in bartlesville. she is very positive and always has something good to say… 

my body may be infirm, but my heart, mind, and spirit are strong. i may be in a strange place in the middle of the country, but l***a is three and a half hours away from me. i may feel lonely and alone from time to time, but i am surrounded by wonderful and caring friends. 

i am capable. i am independent. i am open to possibilities. 

namaste. 

december 25, 2017…

today, i am grateful for… 

…great friends who support and encourage me, and who love and accept me as i am…

…exciting adventures and explorations across the country… 

…my co-pilot and constant companion,  buggs and my co-co-pilot, j**s… 

…stories, memories, photos, and videos that i’ve been able to compile of our travels… 

…a place to stay and rest… 

…my car and the independence it gives me… 

…clean laundry… 

…food to eat… 

…my phone… 

…waking up to a good dream and being happy to get out of bed… 

i am not feeling my best right now, but my health has flourished over the last year. i am a little weary, but i am also antsy to begin another adventure. i am a little hesitant about where i am, but i am ready to be a true road warrior and make it my own for now. 

i am truly fierce and independent. i am full of curiosity and wonder. i am worthy of love and companionship. 

namaste. 

***this was from yesterday. i have the flu and fell asleep before publishing. tomorrow, i will be back and try to finish my gig harbor story and try to pick up the pace a little, as i am still on our second journey. in case anyone wonders, on our way back to nevada…after niagara falls, after the ocean that is lake erie, after columbus, after the gateway arch, and a three am harold and kumar-like white castle experience…we decided to get our kicks on route 66…and landed in oklahoma on thanksgiving day…spent some time with my friend l***a…and although no longer visiting l***a, we are still in oklahoma.***

a wild and crazy ride…

i know that i am still working on our second journey, both in writing and photography. there is so much left to show and to tell you all. i can’t wait!! but here i sit, in the middle of america on my way back to nevada from journey three and i am just full of emotion.

i feel a multitude of things right now…gratitude for a safe trip thus far, for myself, buggs, and passengers (lex a white german shepherd, log an orange cat, and bo a black and white attack cat)…gratitude to ryan, bill, and nathan at tuffy’s automotive in fort wayne, indiana for spending all day from 0930 until 1630 replacing my burnt out alternator and scraping my melted serpentine belt off of the pulleys and engine and in the meantime allowing myself and buggs and lex to occupy their waiting room, bringing the dogs water and providing buggs with a coat to lie down on…gratitude for r*****d, who kept insisting that i buy the extended warranty on my car, when i made that purchase…gratitude for m***n and c***s being so kind and understanding about my car breaking down and being patient when their pets arrival was delayed by a day…gratitude for my waze app always showing me the speed limit and keeping my speeding more in line…gratitude for my co-pilot buggs, who is a real trooper and is completely adaptive to every new situation and new person or pet that he meets…gratitude for my co-co-pilot j**s, who can text me through anything and almost any situation. she has been a real blessing to me and i wouldn’t want to imagine a life without her texts in it… gratitude for all that i have in life: a place to live, a car to drive, clothes to wear, a bathroom to get clean in, food to eat, improved health, improved strength and stamina, adventures to go on, friends that love and care about me, stories to tell, and photos to share.

i feel blessed and fortunate and lucky. i feel incredibly cared about and important and special. i feel exhilarated and curious and scared. i feel most days lately, like my heart just may explode because i feel so much, all at the same time…and it nearly paralyzes me and keeps me from moving…forward, backward, or from side to side.

lately, my life has been filled with so much beauty and excitement and adventure. my curiosity and sense of wonder are nourished and fed each and everyday. the photos begin to capture all that is there in that moment, but they don’t even begin to scratch the surface of seeing the golden gate bridge lit up at night…of a blood red, smokey sunset in the mountains with the lights of bakersfield flickering down below…the stark white, salt flats of utah…the all enveloping, very fluid and saturated, watercolor clouded landscape outside of wendover…the stark bleakness of sidney…the warmth and appeal of the barns and silos and my heart pangs over the bridges of madison county sign again outside of winterset, oh how i love iowa…losing my breath as i crossed the mississippi and entered into illinois…seeing the chicago skyline lit up at night and reflected in the water…realizing how dirty, gritty, and grimey fort wayne was…the beauty of the old downtown and buildings driving into cleveland (drew carrey was right…cleveland does rock!!)…my first stop in pennsylvania made me never want to leave and upstate new york be still my beating heart…jamestown the city that gave me my redheaded, idea filled, role model lucille ball…the tiny little towns unchanged for a hundred years like warsaw and portland…the strange turnpikes and toll roads of albany, somehow fees are accumulated, but no money ever changes hands…nothing could ever prepare for the niagara river, the niagara falls, or the maid of the mist – buggs and i walked for two miles soaking it all in, being penguins gathering the perfect stones to offer someone someday – it was deeply emotional the scene of jim and pam’s wedding from “the office”…the scene of a great ocean with sandy beaches and tall, crashing waves in the middle of pennsylvania, but how could that be – lake erie – enormous, majestic, breathtaking…driving in the pitch black night, with blizzard conditions, snow and ice to get from albany to niagara falls…seeing and staying in the place of my father’s birth – columbus…driving into st. louis as the sun had just set, crossing the beautifully lit suspension bridge and seeing the arch as i drove by…all things that will be forever in my head and heart. they’re in photos too, but the photos do these things no justice!!

it’s been one wild and crazy ride…

september 14, 2017…

today, i am grateful for…

…sleep, when and how it comes. any rest for this exhausted, run down body is a good thing. i’ll take it however i can get it…

…the plumber coming out to fix p**l’s sink. it was beginning to get stinky. he has been without a functioning kitchen sink for about two weeks now and has been eating off of paper plates, using plastic utensils, and drinking out of the paper cups that i took from my hotel stays…

…having enough energy to: do the dishes that had been putrefying in the sink full of swamp water, take the trash out, and straighten up after p**l’s little girls were here…

…being physically able to take buggs out and go for a walk…

…a nice and welcome change in the weather. cooler temperatures 50° – 60° and some grey clouds and precipitation…

…for getting to talk to a wonderful advice/triage nurse. she advised me on exactly how to proceed…

…p**l’s friendly face and human companionship that i can talk to and relate with. i appreciate his hospitality and willingness to share. plus, he understands what it’s like to be: a black sheep, left behind, disowned, the butt of jokes, incredibly sensitive to others, and full of emotion…

…buggs, my sweet boy and co-pilot…

i am capable of whatever, i set my mind to doing. i am a very good listener. i am worthy of love.

namaste.

 

september 6 – 9, 2017…

for these days, i am especially grateful for…

…my significant other, buggs!! without him, i would probably not be a fully-functioning and highly capable, independent individual. he is my better half, my way better half. he keeps me company, entertains me, judges other people’s characters or lack thereof for me, loves me, exercises me, alerts me to noises that i can no longer hear, co-pilots adventures with me, and protects me. he was the only dog for me. and, other than some embarrassing barks at our server, (which no other dog did, but now that i think about it…no other dog was sitting at the table either…in his own chair, while being given bites of pastrami…oh my dear god!! things are suddenly beginning to make some kind of sense!! what the fuck is wrong with me??? was i that fucking exhausted that i didn’t realize where i was or who i was with??? seriously, how embarrassed my friend must have been!!! i didn’t even realize until just this very moment. i feel like a complete idiot.) too ashamed to finish this one, not of buggs, because he’s a dog…but, of myself for putting him down there and making him an equal to all of the diners of that pricey restaurant…

…a safe trip up with someone else’s dog and an eventual reuniting of dog and owner…

…a place to sleep at 0230…

…a nice hot shower later that morning and clean clothes to wear…

…getting to see my motivational friend after quite a long while. the wonderful restaurant that she picked out, sitting right on gig harbor docks. the awesome brunch that she treated me to. and, just the plain fact that we got to visit was very nice for me. (however in hindsight, that wasn’t just a faux pas that i made it was a four paw, one tail, two bat ears, and one toothy grin “pas” and he sat directly across from her grinning the whole time. r*****d is right…i am a fucking moron!!!)…

…a nice place to stay in bremerton…

…j**s talking me through the emotions that come out when i get tired. for giving me a reprieve from workouts and full sixty minute cardio while i’ve been gone. she’s tough, but fair and kind…

…rest stops…lots of well-lit, flush toilet rest stops…thank you california, oregon, and washington…good use of taxpayer dollars!!! nevada, you just suck with your unlit, filthy, pit potties…

…p**l for his kindness and compassion…

…being in my home. it’s beauty thrills me and so does it’s people and culture. i felt alive the minute i crossed the border. within five minutes i was greeted by the smell of rain, rain, and a single beautiful bolt of lightning…

…getting to stop and put my feet up tonight. no car camping for us tonight!! woo-hoo…

…being able to drive for up to fourteen hours and keep my wits about me…even white knuckling it in the pitch black, through fires, and road construction…

…not hitting or running over any of the animals that ran in front of me…deer, coyotes, chipmunks, and something that looked like a pig…

i am confident. i am capable. i am worthy.

namaste.

september 2, 2017…

today, i am grateful for…

…waking up this morning and knowing where i was. for not waking up every two hours and thinking that i had forgotten to pick-up or deliver someone’s pet. for being able to see buggs asleep at my feet everytime i did wake up…

…a long walk with buggs this morning before things got really hot…

…a nice email from my friend. it was really good to hear from her and her words made me feel good about my writing again…

…being back in the apartment with buggs, safe and sound. i’m thankful that we had a safe trip and were able to deliver all of our charges, without incident…

…my journey…another learning experience is now behind me and i look forward to the next one…

…my improved health and strength that allowed me to drive by myself with my dog, another dog, and five cats…

…an opportunity for me to form a deeper bond with buggs…

…a car that gets good gas mileage and is very reliable…

…a busy morning running errands…

…a delicious meal prepared by the girls…

…workouts with j**s again via text, after being gone for several days, and being so exhausted and rundown…

…my next trip…south lake tahoe to south hill, wa…

i am capable. i am confident. i am worthy.

namaste.