I have been feeling very closed in........ not personally - my husband has not only allowed me to transition in my own way -- but has done so with a sense of humor. No, physically. The shrubs around my house, that used to make me feel cozy, now make me feel closed in, like I am being strangled. I have gotten used to being exposed. The wide open spaces and the big sky. Yesterday, I pruned everything off our back porch down to the ground. Todd was funny, " glad that didn't happen on my watch". Feels wonderful, open. I stopped myself from cutting the Nandina all the way back, will wait until Oct/Nov so I can decorate with it --- then it too will have to start anew.
Need to go back to share my plane ride home. A young family was on the first plane, a small commuter from Burbank to Phoenix. They were trying to all sit together. They had a plan and had reserved their seats six months ago. However, their seats were in the very back, as was mine. One of the children was a baby and the mother planned to nurse on the flight. Everyone all settled in. Then, the flight attendant threw a wrench in the works. She couldn't sit in her particular seat because there were not enough air masks that pop down in that particular row. Who knew???? We re-arranged and as a result, I was blessed with sharing a 5 year old boy's first experience with flight. Pure joy for all of us. At lift -off, his eyes widen, his mouth drops open ---- WHOA!!!! Then look at that, look at that, can you see that........ I, of course, had tears in my eyes, as I smiled and laughed at his unbridled exuberance. I looked up and across at the gentleman sitting one row up. He had cocked his headphones, so he could hear. He too, was quietly sharing in the innocent joy of a young boy. While sharing in Lucas's experience, we were both remembering our own. Landing, while not the same level of excitement, was still fun....... more shock, than wonder.
I 'd like to share some numbers here.
Visited : 10 National Parks, 6 National Monuments, 12 National Forests, 3 National Rivers, 5 National Recreation Areas, 1 National Seashore, 1 National Battlefield, and 1 National Cemetery.
Total mileage : 5397.2 I am only 8.2 miles from clicking 10,000 on Stormy, since I bought her in Jan. of 2014.
Total fuel, oil, chain lube, coolant cost : $352.86
lowest price per gallon ( premium) -- $2.76 in Siloam Springs, AZ
highest price ---- $ 4.49 in Bakersfield, CA
Lodging : $4089.75 --- notes -- I camped much less than I had planned on. Too wet or too hot. Or I'm just getting old.
Some interesting taxes out there -- transient tax -- in Ashland, KY it was $1.29. In Petaluma.CA it was $14.40.
Restaurants ( includes tips) : $439.08
Groceries/Supplies : $228.84
Beer : $139.82
Water: $14.24 ---- I drank much more than this implies, I filled up for free where ever I could.
Ice : $20.05 -- Again, bought only when had too. Tried to fill up water bladder and little cooler via hotel ice machines. Not all of which worked.
Coffee : $20.82 -- made my own most of the time with my camping french press and little stove.
Shipping home, Stormy and Tom's Ducati : $900
Plane ride for me plus 2 bags: $260
My original estimates were pretty accurate. If I had kept to mostly camping.
I still have not even looked at all the photographs I took on my D90. Once I do, I will add some galleries to this website. Probably, a month.
Once again, Thanks is insufficient for the support I have gotten from family, friends and strangers during this incredible life experience. I have indeed found so much peace, not only within myself, but in everyone I have met, everything I have seen. I thank God, every morning.