Greensboro KOA

We arrived around 4:00 p.m. at the KOA in Greensboro, NC. Nice, clean campground, site 81 will be our home for the evening. My husband has already started calling us Gypsies. We have landed in the midst of some gorgeous Class A’s. Hoping to meet our neighbor to the right who is from Colorado for any pointers they may have for us. Met an interesting gentleman in the Campground store while getting change for laundry. He’s 86 years old, been to all 48 states and through Canada. Worn out 6 cars along the way. He was recruited for the Army in 1952 during the Korean War. His wife has passed away, so he’s traveling alone. He still wore his wedding ring, which tugged at my heart, she mus have been an amazing woman. He gave me the key to a healthy, long life: Keep Active. He said too many guys retire and then don’t do anything, you got to keep moving. Words to live by. Settling in for a quiet evening at the campground.

As a side note, while eavesdropping on the conversation with the 86 year old man and Herb, the gentleman who checked us in today, I learned Herb was drafted in 1969 by the Navy. He served 27 years, mostly in the Baltic Seas area. He is 69 years old and agrees the key to staying healthy is staying active. Tall, skinny, German fellow. Extremely nice and accommodating, showed us to our site and helped us get set up.

And I found some ways to spread kindness in Greensboro. Money for a load of laundry, and treats for our furry friends.

Heading to Greensboro

This weekend proved to be incredibly relaxing. Yesterday we attended Nags Head Church, one we love to visit every time we’re in the area. Pastor Rick Lawrenson started a great series on prayer called Deeper that I’m anxious to listen to via podcast during the weeks ahead. A link to their podcast can be found here. Afterwards, I had to at least dip my toes in the water since I hadn’t been to the beach at all.

We grabbed a quick breakfast before hitting the Pointe Golf Club for a round of 18. Early for our 12:39 tee time, we enjoyed a good pace, with very little back up. Matt won the day with an 82, Ron shot an 86 (only the second time he’s broken 90) , and I was happy with my 100. Good day for all of us!

We had a family dinner at Dune’s Restaurant, before heading home for an early night. We were up at the crack of dawn to play 18 holes at Holly Ridge, a classic old school golf course, that must be played. Think Tin Cup and you’ll understand Holly Ridge. Matt won the day with an 86, we tied in our team effort, Ron and I also scoring an 86. Ron and I take whoever’s score is best on each hole and play against Matt, makes the game more fun. Separately, I had one of my best scores, a 95 and Ron shot a 98. Good way to end a restful weekend before heading on the next part of our journey.

At 11:19 a.m. we pulled out of site 17 of the OBX Campground, heading west. Hurricane Dorian is bearing down on the east coast. We’re praying for our friends and family as the storm decides what it is going to do. Praying fervently it will go back out to sea.

Taking Time to Grieve

I worked for Nautica for 16 years. The slow roll to Christmas would start around September, by the time Christmas Day arrived I had worked countless hours, driven even more miles and was always exhausted. The rhythm of life never failed, the minute Christmas Day hit all of that stopped. I would have a week off, making up for all of the six day work weeks. The day after Christmas was always a huge let down, everything that could be done to make sales had been done, it was what it was. Now we just waited with bated breath to see if we had jobs come January. In the meantime, I was always exhausted, typically ended up sick and in massive need of a reboot. That is exactly how I feel now.

Life has changed in the past five years, the rhythm of my life has changed drastically. Now summer is my busy work season, teaching tennis outdoors, you have to teach when you have the weather. This summer in particular was extremely hard. I taught tennis camps for five weeks for York County, as well as our own classes for Hampton Roads Tennis Academy (HRTA). I maintained my dog walking business, and took two classes for my Masters. All of that is over now, and I feel deflated and exhausted. As a result, I spent yesterday hibernating from the world, resting. And grieving.

Tomorrow will be five years since we lost Cody boy from the Minick family. He died as a result of his juvenile diabetes. When we pull out of here tomorrow it will be at the approximate time we learned of his passing on that fateful day. My heart hurts thinking about it, it doesn’t seem right I get to go on this huge adventure that Cody would of loved. Or maybe not, I don’t know. Cody and I used to love having adventures together, when he was growing up. To say I miss him is the understatement of the year. Our journey begins here in OBX because Cody loved it here. We’re all gathered here to remember him, to celebrate the life he lived and the lives he touched.

C.S. Lewis explains how I feel well:

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.” 

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.” 
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

I’m feeling the weight of the amputation that occurred when Cody died. We all feel it, we all miss him, we all know there is nothing we can do to bring him back. But we can live our lives well for him. Thank God, we will see him again one day. But until then, every now and then, we take time to grieve our loss before we get back on the road of life.

To you Cody, I will always miss you. You will be with me everywhere we go, every mile we drive, every step we take. I’m grieving you, I’m grieving the loss of life, the loss of summer. In grief, we find life. Some days, it’s harder than others to get the motor running again, to start back on the journey. But that is what we have to do. I’m feeling your hug from heaven. I’m working on getting my motor running again, but for now, I’m going to sit here with you, just for another moment. I love you.

Beautiful Morning

We arrived somewhere around 5:00 p.m. last night. Immediately after set up I took a nap that turned into a restful evening. The U.S. Open is happening in New York right now, spending an evening watching tennis in bed was just what the doctor ordered after a long work week. The anxiety of the trip and the emotions of finally hitting the road caught up with me and I needed rest. This morning I woke up to light fog, the sound of the birds chirping and a crispness to the air. I’m writing from a picnic table that overlooks the marsh, the feature picture for this post. Parked in site 17 at the OBX Campground in Kitty Hawk, it is a beautiful way to start the day.

Ron and Matt are golfing this morning. I haven’t completely decided what I want to do. Part of me just wants to hang out at the campground and do some writing and studying. But for now, I’m going to enjoy my coffee and the sounds of the morning around me.

And we’re off…

I’m learning from my Mom. Her trip taught me the importance of writing it down. We are officially launching into the Colorado Adventure. We pulled out of Kiln Creek at 2:27 p.m. on Aug. 30, 2019. And the Lord sent me off in the most beautiful way. I’ve been anxious and apprehensive all week about going on this trip. So much is going on in our lives, is it the right time to go or not? Here’s the truth, if you wait for the right time, you’ll never go anywhere. We can always come back if we have too, I’m hoping and praying it won’t be necessary. Only God knows that. But for right now, at this moment in time, we’re off and it feels glorious! And God started this trip off in the most amazing way.

I had three dog walks to do before we left. I love my dog walking clients, such wonderful people. I find it very hard to leave them for three weeks, I don’t want to lose any of them while I’m gone. My favorite part about being a dog walker, clients are ALWAYS happy to see me:-). Miss Daisy was one of them, and she gave me, what I think may be the sweetest and most thoughtful gift I have ever received. A bag full of things I’ll need on the trip, all of them are with me at this moment. And a card, with a list of what each item meant. The last was a road atlas, “a map to lead you back to me!” That was the moment tears came to my eyes and I caught my breath. Just touched these heartstrings like nothing else. Grateful for the people God puts in our paths, so much.

Thank God for a good start though!

The First Big Adventure

On Sept. 14, 1957 my mother, Roberta and one of her best friends, Helen set out on a road trip to the New England States. Mom was 25 years old, Helen a few years younger. Their chariot was a 1950-something Bel Air 2 door, seen below. Helen is pictured standing in front of their cabin at Perkins Motel in Farmington, ME. A quaint motel owned by Lillian and Lew Perkins that sat 600 ft. from the highway.

They left Tidal, PA at 4:10 a.m. as documented by Helen, their first stop, the Corning Plant in Corning, NY.

From there they headed to Watkins Glen Gorge, the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks. The stream descends 400 ft. past 200 ft. cliffs with 19 waterfalls. Mom titled this picture of herself, “Hopeless in Watkins Glen.”

Hopeless in Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen afforded them some beautiful pictures.

They stayed at the Lamp Lighter Motel the first night, just 10 miles from Syracuse, NY. Eating supper on the road.

Supper on the road

The next morning, being Sunday, they attended church at First Presbyterian in Watertown, NY before going to Lake Placid. They visited the House of a 1000 Animals, and then headed to Ausable Chasm, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.

House of a 1000 Animals, Lake Placid, NY

From Lake Placid, they took the Port Kent Ferry across Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT. The ferry left at 8:00 p.m. according to Helen’s notes and was an hour long. They arrived at the Cupola Motel, a 150 year old farm house that had been converted into a motel, at 10:00 p.m. They took off the next morning, visiting the State Capital building and Vermont Historical Museum. Although it’s not mentioned in the notes, they stopped at some point in Barre, VT at the Rock of Ages Corporation.

Next stop was Santa’s Village in New Hampshire. They arrived at 4:30 p.m. I still have the souvenir snowman Mom brought back from there, one arm now missing, it sits on my desk as I write.

From Santa’s Village they headed to Perkins Motel in Farmington, ME for the night.

They traveled to Bangor the next morning, eating at Gene’s Restaurant in Skowhegan, ME to gain nourishment for their adventures. Mom made sure to commemorate the moment with a picture. They crossed the Bangor River Bridge in their journey which was worth a mention in Helen’s notes.

They arrived at Portland Head Lighthouse at 2:00 p.m. on the 17th of September, 1957. One of my favorite pictures of Mom was taken there.

I think this may have been their favorite spot, since I found the most pictures of them here.

Their day at the lighthouse ended at Stefs Cabins in Portsmouth, NH where they laid their heads to rest that night.

They left the cabin the next morning, Wednesday the 18th, and had breakfast at the Victory SPA before heading to Peace Air Force Base. At 10:30 they were in Gloucester, MA where they went to the fish docks, passing a Catholic church along the way. They stopped by the Fisherman’s Monument before heading to the Lexington Battlefield. Tired from their morning travels, they ate lunch at a coffee shop before heading to Plymouth rock, and the Indian Monument. They got a motel around 6:00 that night, called home and then ate supper at Audie Grille.

They spent the next day traveling southward, shopping along the way. They stopped at the Chatham Lighthouse before finding a motel and grabbing dinner at Joe’s Place.

Friday they headed to New London to visit the Submarine Base there. They did some shopping in New Haven, visited the Little Red House in Danbury, before heading to their hotel at 4:00 p.m.

Submarine Base New London

The next morning, Saturday, the 21st of September, they ate breakfast at Bolton’s before heading to West Point. Turning the Bel Air towards home, they stopped in Hershey for the night, attending church there the next morning. They visited Mom’s nephew, Jimmy. He joined them as they went to the Hershey Museum, ate at Dutch Diner in Palmyra then explored the Rose Garden. They took Jimmy home and toured his house. Stopped at Bills Place in the Blue Ridge Mountains and arrived home at 11:15 p.m. Sunday night, the 22nd of September.

A courageous trip for two young women to do alone in the late 50’s. One I’m glad they took, one that gives me courage as I head out west with Ron for our next big adventure. May ours be as wonderful as theirs was.

The Adventure Begins

On August 30, 2019 my husband and I are embarking on a three week RV adventure to Colorado for my 50th birthday. We’re spending the weekend in Nags Head, NC with family, we will head west on Sept. 3rd. On our way out west we plan on spending a night in Asheville, NC, then head to Nashville, TN for a couple of days. We’ll stop in Memphis, TN to visit Graceland as we head to Branson, MO for a couple of days to visit friends. From there we will spend a night in Oklahoma on our way to New Mexico. We plan on visiting the Ghost Ranch and the Four Corners before heading to the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs for five days. We haven’t planned much for the trip home other than stopping by the St. Louis Arch, and possibly the Ark in Tennessee.

Proverbs 16:3, one of my favorite verses, says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” This is His trip, He has provided for us the means to go, and He will lead us on our journey. One thing for sure, life with God is always an adventure. Let the adventure begin!