|Me in my office last year.|
I haven’t been posting because we are not yet on the road. Then a friend suggested that I share my delays and frustrations with my readers, because they, too, are likely experiencing frustrations and delays.
Our planned October departure has been delayed by nearly six months now. It has been the longest Iowa winter I’ve ever experienced. The house is nearly empty and our voices echo through the derelict rooms. Furniture is either sold or stored. We have no appliances. I am working on my laptop on a card table, surrounded by pre-packed items ready to go the RV, items that I have to periodically rummage through because we aren’t actually living in the RV and life goes on. (Where is that file? Honey, do you have the battery charger?)
|My office now.|
It has been an enormous test of my patience, which runs on the thin side to start with. I have been like a caged tiger, pacing, waiting to pounce on something, anything.
The causes of the delays are myriad. There is no running water in the RV because it’s too cold outside. We can’t cook in the house because there are no appliances. I can sleep on the couch inside and be warm, but my husband is sleeping in the RV. If I sleep in the RV and have to go to the bathroom, I have to get up, cross the yard in the snow or the rain or the freezing wind to use the facilities indoors. The RV is sunk in frozen mud under her back wheels. We must wait for the ground to thaw. We must wait for the vehicle(s) to be sold. We must wait for the next check on the first. Longest winter of my life.
Despite the constant frustration, I really am trying to make the best of it. I remind myself several times a day that the Universe has its own timing, its own reasons for any delay. The hard part is not knowing what those reasons might be. Accepting that I may never know.
Instead, I have been reading, writing sporadically. I have rediscovered the power of meditation—meditation on my own terms. I learned about the Solfeggio frequencies, and utilize the free meditations on YouTube. There are lots of them, here is only one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yldeSTA1nto.
I have been reading and re-reading the works of Florence Scovel Shinn. Learning acupressure techniques for pain relief. Playing games on Facebook (lots of playing games on Facebook!)
I finally broke down and joined Twitter. I am working on making Psycards an eBook, as well as my novel, Bartleby: A Scrivener’s Tale. This morning I spent several hours searching images for woodcuts from the 1800s that I can include in the novel (public domain images). Learning what pixels and sizes they have to be to be compatible with Kindle and other electronic reading devices.
We are so close to being able to leave here. There is one more small load to go to storage. There is a pile of stuff to be moved into the RV, which will take me less than 48 hours to hump out there, sort and put away (some of it, I suspect, will actually end up in storage). We have re-arranged our original travel plan and now expect to spend the summer in the center part of the U.S. (Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas, etc.)
I have moved beyond my grief about leaving. I have shed my tears, although I’m not sure I want to be here when the crocuses begin blooming and reminding me of the garden I’m leaving behind.
|Crocuses in the spring.|
One of our seven cats had to be put down—aged 13 and nervously chewing the end of her tail off in chunks! We waited several weeks for the behavior to pass, but it didn’t and she also began to get unpredictable, suddenly sinking her claws into the flesh of someone trying to be loving. She became increasingly erratic and I was finally convinced that senility had set in. Poor Ewok. Paul and I buried her in the back yard one afternoon and had a good cry in a freezing, drizzling rain.
Another cat, Jasmine, our 20-year-old calico went to live with my oldest daughter. But then daughter had to move in a hurry and left the cat behind, who was—as far as we could tell—lost in a trailer park in the snow. One day, we went looking for her, and found her. She had been adopted by a nice older couple—the man had named her “Spot”—and when I attempted to take Jazzy from the porch, the woman nearly begged me to let them keep her. So, with great sobs of sorrow and gratitude, I gave Jasmine to them. I miss her.
|Fluffers with an offering.|
Fluffers, the kitten we brought with us from Arizona in 1999, had taken to pooping everywhere and anywhere I disturbed the environment. If I moved a piece of furniture, she pooped on it. If I removed a piece of furniture, she pooped in the spot where it used to be. When I set up the moving sale, she tried to poop on every table I set up. Finally a friend agreed to adopt her—they had compatible personalities. She was better in her new home for a little while, but recently ran off to live beneath the trailer two doors away. I feel so guilty. She must feel betrayed and abandoned. But I can’t have her here pooping away on everything! And there is no taking this kitty on the road—she is fiercely independent and refuses any sign of a leash or other containment. She was our biggest hunter and the mother of many of our other cats, the last in a long line of felines I have had since the 1980s. Losing her marks the end of an era, the end of a bloodline. She was also the smallest bundle of fierce I’ve ever seen—long haired orange tabby who couldn’t have weighed more than 4 or 5 pounds. Picking her up was like holding a little bird. She used to bring me birds, in fact, offerings from her hunting prowess.
Sophia (aka Bill Cat), and Mrs. Beardsley (better known as Chin-Chin) will be moving with our roommate Paul to his new home with our friend Cindy—another psychic who has a house full of cats. They will be in good hands. Paul has helped care for our animals for years now, and they all love him.
The remaining two—Rocky, the great gray green-eyed grimalkin king of the house, and Sassy, the little bossy Siamese princess—will be traveling with us in the RV. These are the cats that are most truly bonded to us. Sassy is Rick’s cat through and through, sleeping in his lap, or behind his back in his office chair, eating Cheetos from a miniature toy dog bowl. Rocky is glued to me—except when I want him to be—following me from room to room. If I’m working, he has to be on the desk (he prefers to lay across my right arm so I can’t use the mouse), if I’m sleeping he has to lay above my head and fights me for the pillow. So we each have our spirit-guardian cat in tow.
|My husband Rick and our roommate Paul.|
Perhaps I needed this time to adjust. Time to get used to doing with less, time to re-learn how to be quiet, how to meditate, how to listen to my own innermost thoughts and feelings, time to grieve.
I think I’m ready now. Ready to go. But I must wait on the Will of Heaven. Perhaps there is still some little lesson waiting to be learned before we are given the green light.
As my friend, Whitney, reminded me, “People plan and the Universe laughs.”