You Are Every Move You Make

You know how sometimes you hear a song and love it immediately?  That’s what happened the first time I heard Owner of a Lonely Heart back in the early 80’s. You can’t help but love the beat but, like so many songs, I never could understand all the words.

When I finally looked up the lyrics recently, I must say I was impressed.  Whether it happened by accident or not, there is a real message here!  You are every move you make I find to be especially profound.

It’s funny how you get on a theme and then start finding things that match it.  I think it’s a lot like being pregnant and then noticing everyone else who is too! 😊

I read a mystery last week called Still Life by Louise Penny and found this conversation between the detective and a villager a variation on this theme.

“We choose our thoughts.  We choose our perceptions.  We choose our attitudes.  We may not think so.  We may not believe it, but we do.  I absolutely know we do.  I’ve seen enough evidence, time after time, tragedy after tragedy.  Triumph after triumph.  It’s about choice.”

“Like choice of schools?  Or dinner?”

“Clothes, hairstyle, friends.  Yes.  It starts there.  Life is choice.  All day, every day.  Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it.  And our lives become defined by our choices.  It’s as simple and as complex as that.  And as powerful.  So when I’m observing, that’s what I’m watching for.  The choices people make.”   P. 80-81

Do you see how this all dovetails nicely with one of my key words for this year…being intentional?  I know, I was shocked too at how well the puzzle pieces fit!

Very early on in my blog I had this fight with myself (I won!) between doing (this comes very naturally to me) and being (this is like pulling teeth). I think it’s because I have this erroneous thought that being is wasting time but doing is usually accomplishing something important. But…as I think about it, the being precedes the doing so if I don’t get that right I’m not going to make good choices.

A little heavy for a Monday, I know, but it’s fascinating to me.  I will just give you one example.  The doing was the choice to buy an RV and travel the country but what was the being behind it?

More on this as I figure it out…unless, of course, I come up with something very dark about myself that led me here! 😊

Owner of a Lonely Heart  by Yes

Move yourself, you always live your life
Never thinking of the future
Prove yourself
You are the move you make
Take your chances win or loser

See yourself, you are the steps you take
You and you and that’s the only way
Shake, shake yourself
You are every move you make
So the story goes

Owner of a lonely heart
Owner of a lonely heart
(Much better than a)
Owner of a broken heart
Owner of a lonely heart

Say, you don’t want to chance it
You’ve been hassled before
Watch it now, eagle in the sky
How he dancin’ one and only

You, lose yourself , no not for pity’s sake
There’s no real reason to be lonely
Be yourself, give your free will a chance
You’ve got to work to succeed

Owner of a lonely heart
Owner of a lonely heart
(Much better than a)
Owner of a broken heart
Owner of…

 

January in Florida

We continue to hang out here on the beach in Destin.  It’s so nice to know that we don’t have to move again until the end of the month.  Yesterday it stormed all day and the waves were awesome, but it was too cold to swim.  I thought of my sister Jane, who loves playing in the waves more than anybody I know.

I have found a new “tribe” of fellow tennis players and played twice last week.  I would love to play every day, but my heel is still quite painful so I’m learning to be content with what I can do. Most of my fellow players are ten years older than me and many of them have braces or at least war stories of past injuries so, again, I’m just thankful that I’m able to play.

I’ve been hard at work setting up OrganizedKamper.com and it’s fun to begin a new project.  I should get my business cards today.  Next week, I’m planning to go to Tampa to the largest RV show in the country and not only check out new RVs but hopefully talk to people who might be able to help me figure out what to do next.  The few Rvers I’ve talked to would love help getting organized, but I don’t know how to make that happen.  Anyway, it’s exciting because there are a lot of possibilities.

Saturday night we met a family who parked next to us on the beach.  They just came for one night, but we hit it off right away.  They didn’t tow their car since it was such a short trip and, remembering what that’s like, I went and picked up pizza for us all.  I’m grateful for those times of meeting new people and hearing their stories.

Brent sat on the beach in front of Fred the other day and several people came up and started conversations.  I’m hoping for more real connections this year.

Guess that’s it for now.  I hope 2018 is treating you well!  I’m really working on being intentional and am seeing good results so far.

Before I knew that “grateful” was going to be one of my three buzz words for 2018, I bought this pillow in Waco at Magnolia Farms.  It’s funny how these little reminders can be so helpful…

2018 in 3 Words or Less

Samantha, a friend from my organizing world, just emailed me and as she is trying to take her business to the next level  in 2018 she is concentrating on three words. They are consistency, seen and lion.

I decided this is a good exercise for me.  Twice in the last 24 hours I’ve received emails with the word “intentional” in them and both times it struck me as an important word for the coming year.  I need to MAKE things happen, not just wait and hope for the best.

My second word is “grateful” because, as I joked several months ago in my blog, not only do I often see the glass as half empty, it might be dirty and have a crack in it as well. 🙂

My third word could probably be “lion” but since my friend used that I will say “fearless.”  I worry ALL THE TIME and it’s such an emotional drain and so pointless.  So, with RVing I want to be fearless, with starting a new business I want to be fearless, and with thinking about my family I want to be fearless…although “at peace” kind of works better in that instance.

Anyway, I don’t want to become obsessed with all this new year’s resolution, goal making, word choosing stuff, (Has that ship already sailed?) but do think it’s smart to occasionally sit quietly, think things through and maybe even make a plan!

I know the next step in all this is accountability, but that’s so scary, isn’t it?  Or am I the only one that gets hung up with that part?

Until next time…

me

I’m just going to keep sending obnoxious beach pictures until somebody makes me stop! 🙂

 

 

Happy 2018!!!

We made it to Florida and I can honestly say I’ve never been so happy to get somewhere.  I joked with the kids though that I should not be allowed to live across the street from an outlet mall, complete with a Carrabas and a Chick-Fil-A!

We have spent several spring breaks in Destin when the kids were younger, so this already feels familiar. We don’t get to move to our final spot until Jan. 2 but I’m willing to wait a few days for this view.

This is not our RV but is how close we will be to the water!

 

There is so much I want to accomplish in 2018.  And, yes, I’m obviously still fighting the battle between being and doing and probably should be asking myself what I’m supposed to accomplish in 2018.

I sent out holiday emails the other day with a picture of our kids taken a few days before Christmas. I will include it here for those of you whose email addresses I don’t have or who I inadvertently missed.  The blessing of family is still the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the good things in my life.  God has been amazingly gracious, and I love them more than they will ever know, or could ever express, even with a million emojis!

Left to Right: Joel, Molly, Marta, Ben, Grahm, Kaitlyn, Zoe, Jordan, Jon

 

I feel like there has been a lot of focus lately about living in the moment and it’s beginning to sink in that the present is all I have.  So I’m praying for wisdom in 2018 and to be a blessing to everyone I meet.

New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve never been a big resolution maker because I know myself well enough to know that I would break them all in the first two weeks anyway.

Still…if I did make some general ones, this is what they would be.

  • Worry less, enjoy things and people more
  • Continue looking for opportunities to bless people. Sometimes my best conversation of the day is with someone in the drive-through line at Chik-Fil-A. (Not sure if this is terribly sad or terribly profound but it’s true.)
  • Whine less. This is a continual challenge for me.  Every time I go on a rant about something (I’ve been sick for almost 3 weeks…woe is me) I hear about someone whose child is dying of cancer or whose friend was injured in a car wreck.
  • Worry less about what people think of me. Why is it so dang important that everyone think I’m awesome anyway?  This might be one of my most annoying traits.
  • Get outside my comfort zone more often to help people. For some reason, the homeless have been on my mind a lot.  Last summer, I bought a bunch of gift cards to fast food restaurants and started passing them out.  I know, it doesn’t solve the problem but at least I’m doing something.  I want to expand my horizons this year in this regard.
  • Be more grateful for what I have. My youngest son, Jordan, comes by this naturally.  From babyhood on, he always sees the best in things and people and his grateful heart continues to inspire and challenge me.

Now you know why I don’t make resolutions as all these things sound wonderful but are WAY harder to do than to write.  Still…if I’m conscious of them, maybe I will be more aware and hit the mark a little more often.

I just looked up the difference between a goal and a resolution and it’s this… a goal is something you keep in front of you every day.  A resolution is something you wish could happen to you.  I think I will stick with calling these resolutions and maybe next year I can make my way up to goals!!

The other day I wrote a New Years’ letter and it was a good reminder of the best things that happened in 2017.  So here they are in no particular order!

  • Jordan got married to Zoe, who is as sweet as they come.
  • Kaitlyn finished her internship and passed the test to become a registered dietitian.
  • Molly and Joel had their third child and first boy in June.
  • Ben got engaged to Rachel Hardt, so the family keeps expanding! They will get married in April.
  • Marta moved back to the Midwest (although probably not for long!) as she wants to study to become a Sommelier and move to Seattle.
  • Jon moved from Franklin to Fort Wayne and got a good job at Costco.
  • Brent and I started a whole new phase of life with our RV adventure, and although we’ve had some bumps along the way, it’s forcing us to reboot which I think is healthy and probably needed.

So….in keeping with number six in my first list I’m very grateful for all the blessings during this past year and want to wish you all a TOTALLY AWESOME 2018!  Thanks so much for coming along on this ride with us!

 

Tis the Season to Be… Sick and Tired

Hey Everyone!

It’s good to be back, kind of.  I got on the plane Saturday in Honolulu and felt fine and by the time we landed in Dallas seven hours later, had a horrible sore throat and was well on my way to losing my voice.  Now it’s Thursday and I’ve just spend some of the most miserable nights of my life this past week.  No over the counter drugs are working  and although I guess it’s just a bad sinus infection and cough, I also had chills and a slight fever for several nights so maybe it’s some evil mixture of the cold and flu.  Anyway, haven’t felt this awful in forever, which is the good news and the bad news all in one.

Brent has been amazing.  I’m sure he has been tempted to go to a hotel so he can get some well deserved rest but instead he has been getting me drugs and making me soup.  I’m sure there isn’t an inch of Fred that is germ free, but I’m hoping that he won’t get sick.  Actually, Brent did get the flu before I left for Hawaii so basically Fred is the poster RV for germ warfare right now.

And speaking of Fred, you know how some pets will rebel if left alone too long?  Well, think of Fred as one very big, very expensive pet.  When we were both gone last week, the temperature in Indiana dropped to 17 (windchill 4) and he promptly burst a pipe.  Then somehow our kitchen faucet also blew out.  So when I got back to Nashville, I was sick and miserable and Fred was totally without water… no toilet, shower or sink.  I know this is an exaggeration, but I couldn’t help but think of the Eagles song, Hotel California.  I had gone from heaven to hell in a matter of hours. 🙂

Yes, Hawaii was amazing and I learned how to kayak, to paddle board and rode in my first helicopter so I can knock several items off my bucket list.  After doing a cruise, I don’t know that I would necessarily recommend it in this instance, but it was an easy way to get to four different islands.  If I went back, I think I would spend my whole vacation on Maui, although Kauai was beautiful too.

View out of the helicopter in Kauai.

Waikiki beach was something of a disappointment.  Even in December it was super crowded and I thought Florida’s panhandle has prettier beaches.  But I did manage to snap this picture which I thought was pretty cool.

Notice the gigantic fish hanging off this guy’s backside.

I wanted to try surfing but the only day the waves were right (as in small enough!) was our last day and I didn’t want to be dragging wet stuff on the plane with me.  In hindsight, I maybe should have tried it.

Anyway, we are back and our next destination in Destin, Florida where we hope to spend the month of January.  Brent was kind enough to hook up Riley (our Jeep) and bring them both from Fort Wayne to Goodlettsville so now we have the freedom to zip to the grocery store or wherever without bringing Fred along.  I’m sure that will be a game changer for us.  It’s nice to be back in Nashville and to see friends and family again.

Oh, do you remember me whining a while back about the unholy alliance between RV parks and trains?  This is the view out of our door right now and these trains go by at least 12 times a day.  I swear, if there’s a train on the beach in Destin, I’m giving this whole thing up!

Second Level Moochdocking

I’m in Indiana this week hanging out with my sister, Jane, and her family — my daughter, Molly, and her family — and my son, Jon.  Ben and Marta came up from Indy for the weekend and that was awesome.  We were only missing the Nashville contingent.

We are staying at the family farm which Jane and Brian bought after my parents died. We are thankful that the farm is still in the family and that they have made such an effort to make us feel welcome.  We have our own slab in front of the barn (with newly poured concrete) and electricity (30 amps no less) so we are feeling spoiled.  And speaking of spoiled, this

 

is all I contributed to the Thanksgiving meal.  Either Jane really had things under control or she was terrified to have me in the kitchen! 🙂

Tomorrow Brent and I are watching our grand kids while Molly and Joel go to Indy for the day.  Joel turned 30 on Thanksgiving so we are giving them the gift of time together.  I’m a little nervous because Fynn is only five months old and isn’t really used to bottles, but he is a very happy little guy so we are hoping that trend continues.

My next stop is Hawaii (I leave on the 1st) and since that isn’t RV related I probably won’t be posting again until the middle of December.  I figure that will give everyone the chance to get caught up with previous blogs.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the Christmas holidays…

Everything about Nothing

Okay, there might seriously be something wrong with me.  I was surfing the internet last night, came across a title about toilette etiquette in an RV and thought, huh, this might be worth looking into.

It’s amazing the things you Google when you’re on the road all the time.  Here are some other tidbits of totally useless information that nobody will probably ever use.

In a pinch, you can turn on your RV and let it run with the heater on full blast if you are desperate to warm the place up and your house battery is dead.  (It’s probably 45 degrees in Fred right now.)

Eggs can be hard boiled on a GRILL!  I know… game changer, right?

Lyft and Uber aren’t offered in the only places you need them, the middle of nowhere.

The “middle of nowhere” seems to be a place we frequent a lot! 😊

There is an unholy alliance between campgrounds, trains and highways.  If we can’t see the interstate or railroad tracks from Fred, we feel like we have picked a winner.

If you are afraid of a mouse infestation you should put a dryer sheet in every drawer or cabinet.  (Hey, this one might even be useful if you live in a “sticks and bricks” home!)

I know, don’t get me started on my new RV lingo!  Of course, Brent put a little damper on this one because he doesn’t want his food or stuff smelling like lilacs, but he will change his tune when the hordes descend!

Walmart is no longer the scourge of the planet.  When we lived in Fairview, Walmart was the only inexpensive shopping option near us and I hated it.  Now that we have been on the road for three months I’m changing my story.  Not only are Walmarts usually located near highways, they have food and things for RV life.  This one stop shopping is very convenient and about once a week, on a travel day, we will stop at one.

Brent, who would rather be mauled by a bear than shop, goes to a nearby restaurant and gets us lunch while I’m cruising the aisles.  It’s a win-win, and since our options for eating out while in a campground are pretty much confined to whatever pizza place will deliver, we now look forward to our Walmart days.

As I have alluded to earlier, even though full-time RVing is gaining popularity among millennials, the average age of an RVer is still 76.2.  I’m thinking as we head west that average may fall, but, for now, we are enjoying our status as the young ‘uns!

Okay, I guess that’s enough meaningless talk for today.  But I’m sure I can come up with more in a later post!  For now, thanks for sticking with me on this adventure.

By the way, I’m doing a new Beth Moore study and her definition of an adventure is “an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.”  Hmm…sounds a lot like life in general but it was a good reminder to continue to expect the unexpected…and be thankful for the Walmarts in my life!

Welcome to our World

Well, as luck (or God!) would have it, I’m being tested on this willingness to go with the flow as far as our schedule is concerned.  We were supposed to head north this morning into Missouri, spend the night and then head into Illinois on Sunday.  The new plan (sound familiar?) is to stay here until Monday afternoon and then get to Indiana as fast as we can.  We are here the extra days waiting for a new converter.  It’s the right thing to do and I’m grateful it’s getting done, (Brandon you are an angel), but I’m not loving getting out of here two days late.  And the stupid part is that I’m only “late” in my own mind as if we get to Indiana by Thanksgiving, things are good.

I’m just anxious to get to Fort Wayne, see my family, hug Riley (or is it hug my family and see Riley?) and then get settled for a while, first in Nashville, and then in Destin.  We have been through 26 states in less than three months and I’m just ready to slow down.  The funny thing is that we will add Missouri and Illinois on our way back to Indiana and then won’t add a new state until almost March.  Yes, you can see the handwriting on the wall, can’t you?  By then I will be itching to get going again.  There truly is no end to how difficult I can be! 😊

I think my other issue (well, of the ones I want to talk about today!) is that I’m not sure where this blog is going.  You know how you go to the grocery and suddenly there’s a new fruit out there that’s just a cross between two old fruits?  (The tangelo comes to mind.)  Well, my blog feels like that.  Like someone (um…that would be me) combined a travel blog and a personal journal and called it a new fruit and I must decide if that’s legal and/or okay.

I’ve read that when certain authors start writing a book the characters take over and the author feels like he or she is just along for the ride.  While I wouldn’t say anything that dramatic is happening here, I truly don’t know where it’s headed… probably because, like all of us, I don’t know where my life is headed! But somehow, I need to make peace with that and either live with the unknowing or figure it out.  Basically, what’s happening is that the fun, creative side of me is about to have a knock-down, drag out fight with my Type A personality.  It will be on pay-per-view in a few weeks followed by a rerun of the Mayweather/McGregor fight!

View from my walk today. Can you say fall in the Ozarks? Woke up this morning and it was 68 degrees and it’s supposed to be 40 by late afternoon!

 

Strangers in the Night

Do you remember last week I said there are certain things you don’t want in your camper and one of them is loud noises?  Well, we’ve found another one.  Open doors.  Specifically, wide open doors in the middle of the night!  This picture is a re-enactment as I don’t know why Brent didn’t have the presence of mind to stop and take a picture of our open door at 3:00 a.m.  😊

As usual, I must back up.  We have been having problems with our door not shutting or locking properly for more than a month, but have been dealing with it very maturely by slamming it harder and harder until it seems to be closed.  Well, one day about three weeks ago, we were having breakfast and our locked door just swung open.  And because our screen is magnetically attached to our main door, when one opens they both do.  I’ve secretly had this fear of cruising down the road at 75 mph and having our door fly open and be ripped off by the sheer force of the wind.

(Side note: Did you know that on one of the highways in Austin the speed limit is 80?  Really? In a city of about a million people? And, no, I’m still not over the trauma of driving there.  That would make a fun list, though, huh?  Things that terrify me.  Driving in Austin.  Bobcats.  Open doors.  Oh my!)

Anyway, no doors were ripped off but when Brent woke up in the middle of the night he noticed that it was wide open.  Now, thank goodness, I don’t think Arkansas is bobcat country or I would never sleep again, but I did lay perfectly still for the next 30 minutes listening for the scurrying noises of smaller animals. And this morning I made Brent look under the front seats for snakes.  You think I’m crazy but at our house in Fairview we had a back porch that was only accessible through our back door.  There were no outside stairs to it and it was about 20 feet off the ground, held up only by square posts.  I thought  no animal could ever get to it, but once found a pretty good-sized snake under our grill.  The ONLY way it could have made it up there was to shimmy up a SQUARE pole so now I’m suspicious of what snakes can do.  Yes, we can formally add snakes to the list.

So far, the only uninvited guests in our RV the last few days have been flies.  Tons of them.  I’m calling our campground Lord of the Flies, even though I know that isn’t what the book is about.

I digress, but I’m hoping to have an upbeat entry tomorrow because I have good news!  Fred is out of critical condition and can best be described as stable. The owner of the small campground here knows how to fix RVs and is coming by today to check things out.  (The RV version of a house call!) Yesterday he fixed our outlet issue and is moving on to the compressor.  (Eventually we also need the leveling jacks fixed and, of course, the door… but one battle at a time!)

P.S.  Googled it and there ARE bobcats in Arkansas!  In fact, they are in parts of 48 states.  Doesn’t that seem improbable?  I think I’m going to have to revive the shotgun conversation with my hubby.