Frozen

Date: January 8

Location: West of Austin, TX

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As I write this, we are prepping for another 16 degree night at a park, “glamping” again. Why? Well, I’ll tell ya – we chose not to winterize our RV because here in Texas it can be in the high 70’s and then tumble down to the 30’s or 20’s in one day.

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Run, Rabbit, Run!

I live in Austin, right smack-dab in the middle of the the state. The Heart of Texas. On a road trip it takes a whole day of driving to get outside of state lines, and when you’re driving westward, as we were on our way to Santa Fe for Thanksgiving, it can get flat-out boring after a while.

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Photo from GuerrillaGraphix.com

If you are squeamish, you may want to STOP reading now. There is no delicate way to put this, since there is no synonym in Webster’s Thesaurus for roadkill.

In my boredom, I began doing something I’d never done before; I whipped out my phone and kept a Roadkill Tally in the Notes.

I’m sure this isn’t a new car-game, but I think HASBRO could make money off of this. As I began adding things to my ever-increasing list, three things stood out to me:

1) There is a really wide variety of critters here in Texas.
2) The deer and rabbits disproportionately outnumbered everything else.
3) While there was a ridiculous amount of roadkill in Texas, there was a definite deficit of dead things in New Mexico. 

This came up, of course, over cocktails with our friends when we finally arrived in Madrid. Randy had noticed that too, “Why do you think that is that when you cross into New Mexico there’s no roadkill?” Truth is, it’s not something you want to ponder too much, so we dropped the subject, but not before I dropped the bomb – I saw a dead Mountain Lion!

I had wanted to turn around and go back when I saw it, not out of morbid curiosity, but because I couldn’t believe my eyes! I’d never want to run into such an amazing, yet deadly, creature if he were alive. In the end, we didn’t go back because it’s not easy to turn around a motor-home towing a truck.

My Roadkill Tally:
30+ Deer, 7 Coyotes, 8 Opossum, 9 Skunk, 10 Raccoon, 2 Cats, 40+ Rabbits, 1 Mountain Lion, 2 Roadrunners, 2 Fox, 1 Giant Toad, 1 Owl, 3 Ring-tail Cats, 1 Armadillo, 1 Turkey Vulture. (Mind you, this is not counting “the indistinguishable.” Remember, I’m not morbid.)

I hope that Mountain Lion now has  an endless desert with lots of prey, and no highways in his heavenly hunting ground.

XO Donna

 

 

*Note – Article title is respectfully filched from John Updike’s brilliant book.

 

 

My Three “Rs”

imageRun-down, Run-up, Run away!

As we prepare for our maiden voyage in the RV, these have become my new “three Rs.” How is it that something meant to give you the freedom to run away at a the drop of a hat, needs so many check-lists?

These lists are our version of “Zen and the Art of Motorhome Maintenance.” They will mean not having to worry as we head down the road, because all systems will be go! They mean when I’m hungry, there will be food in the fridge. When we offer our hospitality to friends old, or new, we will have something in the bar to serve them. And at the end of a long, exciting day we will be able to sleep well because we have pillows, sheets, and fresh towels. (and T.P. of course!)

When I was younger, I was always the most-prepared in my group, but I always up for an adventure, and always a good sport about whatever went wrong. All of the screw-ups provided great stories to tell, and retell.

Now, I prefer a bit more luxury and comfort. A tad more predictability…like knowing where I will sleep and that I’ll have coffee and cream when I wake up. I’ve gotten spoiled, I guess. I’ve also learned that we can’t plan for everything.  Life, on it’s own terms, is one hell of an adventure!

I will run-down my checklists. And like a good pilot, my partner will do his run-up on the RV and it’s systems. You can simultaneously be prepared, and still be open to synchronicity and serendipity. Running-away is so much nicer that way.

XO Donna

Independence Day

We are moving next week, in order to make our nomadic dream into a dream-come-true.  As a result, we found ourselves up to our asses in boxes, bubble-wrap, and packing tape with no plans for the 4th of July.

In the past we have been out of town with friends. Usually we have taken our motorcycles and headed northwest for a respite from the Texas heat. As we packed boxes, we reminisced about all of the “cool” times we have spent elsewhere, and the great fireworks we had seen. Or not seen.

Last year we rode to Telluride with our group, looking forward to a  small local parade and fireworks show like in the past. Unfortunately, Telluride had been “discovered” and the crowds were unexpected and unbelievable. Unwilling to stand in line for hours (seriously, hours!) we didn’t get to see the fireworks.

austinfireworksWe felt a little disappointed to be missing the fireworks again, when we heard the first cannon boom. We crawled off the sofa, and walked to our patio door – lo and behold, the country club across the road was having a fireworks display! There were hundreds of boats on the water below. What a sight!

We sat out on our third-floor balcony watching the fireworks as if they were our own private show, laughing over our good fortune! I hate to admit it, but sometimes everything you need is right in your own backyard.

XO Donna

Human, being

If my mother were still here, she’d be pleased. She always complained that I was never at home, and never alone. When I was young I never saw the attraction of either. . .of course I was busy, there were so many places to go, things to see, and people to meet.

I was a human, doing.

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I have since learned the pleasure of my own company, time spent with a few close  friends, and that of staying at home. And I must admit, I like this slower pace.

Part of it is the pleasure of being on my own schedule and getting to do things at My leisure. The other part is since there’s so much traffic here, I must seriously consider whether I want to go somewhere, or do something if I don’t have to.

After all, there’s always mañana.

I’ve become a human, being.

XO Donna

Love Muffin

I can’t tell you how many beautiful things I have let go of, passing them on to young friends hoping they will enjoy them for as many years as I did.  I often need to remind myself that I am doing this – downsizing – in order to follow my wanderlust.

Occasionally there are items I miss, but mostly it’s been great. I saved the things I use that are right-sized for a gypsy life. Especially those that have a story, like this old Crown Ware muffin tin.

imageYears ago, I went to stay with a dear friend outside of Santa Fe as I sorted out my life. We took long walks in the arroyo. We took that delightful trip to Ojo Caliente.  And one morning I awoke to a blanket of snow enveloping everything. It seemed to be a sign to make a fresh start. I came home renewed.

While I was there, I found this tin in a thrift store and it reminded me of a cast-iron cornbread pan my maternal-grandmother had. Now this tin reminds me of my friend, and how much more enduring our friendships and memories are, than things.

XO Donna