On Leaving. On Staying.

On Leaving. On Staying.

The other night I was gone for awhile so John was in charge of looking after Kylie and Gidget – not that they need much looking after. When I walked through the front door a few hours later this is the sweet scene I was met with. John said they snuggled like this the whole time I was gone, which of course melted my heart.

As we get ready to head out Wednesday morning to Tennessee for a long overdue vacation in our van we’ve converted to a camper (well, phase one is done!) I’m glad that Kylie and Gidget can make the trip with us. While it has caused some extra effort getting everything packed for them (meds, food, leashes, blankets, beds, kennels, etc.) and then adjusting as we make the trip, I’m sure, it reminds me to be patient, and go with the flow.

While I love going on vacation, I am a homebody also. It is effort to go on vacation, let’s face it, but I know we will have a good time, and I really am excited about this trip. But then yesterday afternoon I had the urge to re-arrange our living room, which I wasn’t planning on doing until we returned.

After it was arranged in what I call our “winter” look with the sofa and over-sized chair centered around our wood stove, I sat down and a delicious warm, cozy feeling overcame me. It felt like my little house was wrapping its loving arms around me, whispering in my ear, “don’t go.”

And I was torn about leaving and staying. But alas, I can’t be in two places at once. And this is the beauty of leaving…coming home again and appreciating even more what home means to me. But also in leaving and seeing what is happening out in the world that inspires me and refills my creative well.

I won’t be blogging while we are gone but will likely post some photos on my Facebook and Instagram pages if you’d like to check it out.

As for me, back to my list and last minute preparations while John finishes up making a make shift bed for us and getting everything in order so come tomorrow we can begin (creatively) packing the van, making the beds, and taking care of any last minute details. 

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Have Van Will Travel Journal: Cutting it Close

Have Van Will Travel Journal: Cutting it Close

We leave in three days for Tennessee.  John is insulating the panels and the ceiling this weekend, which will consist of three layers. If you want to know more detail in terms of what he has used, just let me know and I’ll find out for you. That’s not my area of expertise, obviously, as to what materials are all used. What I do know is John  has researched this extensively, as he has every step of the process.

Last Friday we did a “test run” with the dogs traveling an hour to Cabela’s to check out their camping section. I was really concerned at that point as the empty box of the van was so loud. My ears rang for two days. I was worried how that would be on our trip.

Well, I’m thrilled to say that with just putting in the vinyl flooring, which also is insulated underneath, it has made a big difference in noise reduction. Once John has the three layers of insulation in, I’m confident that the noise level won’t be an issue at all.

But, whew, cutting it close here as our departure date of Wednesday is right around the corner!  So I try not to go outside and check on John too often to see the progress, because then I tend to worry. But, I do have complete faith in my Johnnie.

I packed the dogs food, meds, etc. today which required a whole suitcase of its own, but that is how it is when one has senior dogs.  I’m not complaining, just so happy they will be coming with us.

I’ve decided that while we are gone, I won’t be blogging. It was somewhat of a hard decision for me, as I love keeping in touch and writing to you. But I also remind myself that I need to take a break, to refill my well — even from something that I enjoy. I plan to take photos and a journal to make notes and will share with you some highlights when we return.

For something that was never on our bucket list, I just have to say we are pretty darn excited around here. And a friend on Facebook, Chops, said she thinks this may be my next book — about our adventures in Second Chance – the Vamper.  Hmmmm, who knows?  And if so, I mentioned to my mom yesterday that I thought this title would be good – “This Was Never on Our Bucket List.” What do you think?

Even though this was never in our plan, isn’t that how life goes?  Good or bad?  And sometimes you just have to ride the wave and see where it will take you.

Past posts for Have Van Will Travel Journal

The Adventure Has Begun. New Home on Wheels. Who’d of Thunk?

The Conversion Begins

Inspector Approves of Phase One Conversion

She Gets a Name

First a Name and Now Mascots

Cozy Comfort

Flooring is In (video)

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A Sacred Space Within.

A Sacred Space Within.

My writing cottage has become so much more to me than I would have ever anticipated when it was built in 2007. It began as a place for me to have quiet while I did my writing and away from distractions in the house that would beg my attention – like washing the dishes, throwing in laundry, answering the phone (when we had a landline) or suddenly feeling the need to tidy up.

As I’ve written before, there was some sacrifice involved. I sold a red, sporty car – a Mitsubishi 3000GT that I owned to pay for the lumber to build the ten by twelve room. While in some ways it was a difficult decision because I loved that car, in other ways it wasn’t. It felt like the right thing for me to do.

But I didn’t really feel then, or now, that it was a sacrifice. I was making a choice and one I was comfortable in doing.

Little did I realize at the time how this space would become sacred to me. Joseph Campbell said that your sacred space is where you go to find yourself over and over again.

It’s how I feel about this special place of my own now, separate from our home, away from distractions. I think because I am a deep thinker, it is imperative for me to have lots of quiet and alone time. I can’t hear myself think among the noise of the world – the news filled with sadness and much hate – and the technology that can consume us.

But even if one isn’t a deep thinker, being alone is essential to one’s well being. When I think about when I was young and newly married, I was so scared to be alone when John went out. I didn’t like to be by myself. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I crave it. I need it. It is truly part of my self-care.

This little olive green cottage has helped me heal in many ways in which I needed to do so and why at one point I started calling it my Zen writing cottage.

It has brought me to a place within myself that I can go to be in peace when I need to. And what’s so interesting, that after all these years of having this quiet place to come to, I can much more easily carry that same feeling with me wherever I go.

And this is the thing I want to share. You don’t need a space such as mine, or to travel a long distance. We each have to find that space where we feel safe and can be alone – to hear ourselves think – to be alone with our thoughts and sort them out – to acknowledge them. I’ve found, that is what helps ground me – keeps me centered – fills me up once again.

While I’m not ready to give up this space of mine that has become a spiritual and healing place for me, I know I will be okay should I have to leave it behind someday. Because it’s what it has done for me that I can never lose – how it has supported me and helped me evolve – that I take with me. I will always have that now.

And I can now take this knowing into new territory. Whether a walk in the woods, siting on the sofa, or a walk on the beach – it’s the conscious choice of being alone, with myself, to fill the well of who I am and how I want to continue to grow is what is vital.

Some of my most cherished and treasured times have been with me, myself, and I, and within the Self of my own temple that I call me.

Just a friendly reminder that I’m giving away a copy of my new book Wisdom Found in the Pause – Joie’s Gift. To enter, visit my post from yesterday and leave a comment by midnight cst, Thursday, Oct. 27th.

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