Walkabout: 69 Days | 20 States | 10,641 Miles

December 27, 2016 ~ Tuesday

5a Morning Pages ~ Avery Creek Camp, Brevard, North Carolina

My #walkabout #roadtrip is concluded. What’s left for today and tomorrow are the reflections.

Instead of taking the trip in two parts over two days, I decided to drive straight through. It was a tough ten hours, but not a bad drive overall. I wanted the extra day to tend to business here, and I wanted to see what the actual drive to Vero would feel like. It is not as convenient as I imagined. I will not be taking that drive every month. Maybe every other month would work, and at least once a quarter. I would want at least five days, if not a full week, as one full day is lost to travel, and too tight of a turnaround would be oh so exhausting. This is good to know, and I’m glad I took the drive in one stretch to find out.

I have some business to conduct today. The priority is to visit the college – if any staff are present. This is a long shot, as many college campuses close down the week between Christmas and New Year. But I will swing by to see. I want to find out if there are any programs for 40-something women who are homeless, unemployed and without a degree. Ginger got into such a program in WA. She was considered “unemployable” and enrolled for free.

My next step is to figure out how to register my car. Can I? I might need an address to do so. I may actually need to renew my WA tabs right now, until I get established in an apartment here.

Then I need to rent a post office box, so that I can send and receive mail. This will be important to getting established without an apartment right away.

And lastly, I need to see what is required to obtain a library card. I will probably be spending lots of time at the library, and a card gives me convenient access to all of their services, which may or may not be extensive. All of this should not take up too much time.

Then I need to tally my expenses and finalize my trip ledger. I am anxious to see how it all shook out, and where that leaves me. Then I need to run my bills and budget with the lease buyout and pay down my Amex. Considering another $600 for new brakes and rotors, how much time can I float? I need to get an oil change and rotate my tires too.

It feels good to be getting down to business. I have deeply enjoyed my walkabout, and I stayed out long enough to be ready for it to be over. I had a nice mix of relaxation and adventure, staying out on my own and staying in to see friends and family. I traveled 10,641 miles. I would note here how many states I traveled through, but internet service is too spotty to bring up a U.S. map. (20 states!)

I’m not anxious to get into an apartment. I really do love camping, the minimalist lifestyle, and being out in nature. If there was a way, I would just keep camping. I would need a shower and laundry facilities from time to time. I’m sure after a while this would wear on me, and I would be ready to go back to apartment/house living.

Besides, if I intend to share space with Edward, we will need a home. I am excited that he is actually considering the move here. He is starting to research career opportunities, cost of living, etc. He has always called himself the “blue sheep” of the family, as he favors the Carolina sports teams. He says, wouldn’t it be ironic if he actually ended up living here? This location opens up the entire eastern half of the United States for travel. It really is quite a remarkable opportunity for us as a couple.

And I think I am ready to be a couple again. He has shown himself trustworthy over these last several months, not over-drinking and getting stupid. (In fact, he has done a better job than I have.) He is also making an effort to be more dependable and to follow through on his word. We have talked about the lack of romance and how I want more love out of making love.

Instead of standing back, observing, and assessing our suitability, I am becoming more active in shaping what our relationship looks like. That is a funny statement. My non-activity has also been shaping our relationship, just in a different way.

Edward really is a good man. He is so willing to learn and grow. He gives generously and showers his attention on those he loves. He is honest and truthful and respectful. He has said it so many times, and I think I may believe him – we are not perfect people, but we are perfect for each other. I can hardly wait to start the rest of my life with him.

8a From You’ve got a book in you by Elizabeth Sims:

Quote from General George S. Patton – “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.”

Question: What is the Title of your book? A working title…

What would be the working title of my book? What is the promise? What is the main point I want to communicate? Do I know this now, or will I discover my message as I write? Is travel part of the title?

Messy Hair! Messy Hair! I love it. The title of my memoir will be Messy Hair. 🙂

Question: What would the first sentence of my book be?

I’m a lifetime failure at napping. As a child, I would lie quietly, counting the passing moments, trying to determine how long was long enough. If I came out of my room too soon, Mom would send me back, declaring that I had not napped. So I waited impatiently, and when it felt that eternity had passed, I would tip my head upside down on my pillow and twist it left and right. Messy hair meant I had a nap, right? I thought it made my ruse more convincible. My napping acumen has never improved.

5:30p I was debating whether to visit the Phoenix tonight to celebrate the completion of my walkabout, and I had all but decided to stay at camp. Then I caught up with my Edward, and he informed me that tonight is open mic night, and I thought, “Oh hell! Then I have to go!”

I’m here with coffee, and I’m so glad I am. I just found out it’s Carolyn’s birthday! It’s going to be a homemade celebration, and I will share my journey as my gift.

7p I’ve made it this far! The coffee helped. I also had the crab hushpuppies, which I really enjoyed last time. Well drinks are only $4 tonight, so I am having a vodka and soda, thinking of Auntie Kandee. I am trying to extend my wakefulness and my budget.

I was told that Carolyn wanted nothing store bought for her birthday – handmade gifts only. I thought of what I might have to gift her, and I thought of the wax art piece from Aunt Teresa. It reminds me of a phoenix bird. I…

It will be hard to part with it, but it is better to give than to receive. I hope it will mean as much to her as it has to me. I took a photo of it, so I can remember just what it looks like. I love it. There has to be a reason I feel inspired to give it away. I am going to trust my instincts and just do it.

I feel so happy and a sense of loss at the same time, like when I gave my baby Bible away. That gesture became a miracle. I can hope for a fraction of the same sentiment with this gift. No matter how it is received, even it if is just passed along, I choose to believe it will find its happy note.

But the more I look at it, the more I do not want to let it go. What if it means nothing to her? What if my cousin’s work ends up in the trash heap instead of being adored on my own wall? Why would I give something so precious to a practical stranger???

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