Friday, May 10, 2013

From San Francisco to Knoxville: A Tale of Three Weeks On the Road

The following is a compilation of my Facebook "status updates" during my move across country. As usual, I expected to update my blog regularly during my drive, but found myself overwhelmed and my time more limited than I could have expected. I hope you enjoy the stories and photos from my experience! Note: Due to my personal style—a lack of capitalization I somehow aquired on Facebook (and is limited to Facebook)—my entries below are all in lowercase. Also note: You can make the photos larger by clicking on them.

**april 17, 2013** 

i'm currently laying on my RV bed, on my laptop, staring out the window at my empty house. the movers just left, and i just shut the door one last time. i said bye to my garden, which i should be crying about, but i'm kind of numb. i'm about to hit some heavy traffic leaving the bay area. later tonight i will be meeting up with my friend amy near the border of cali & nevada, assuming the rest of the day goes smoothly. goodbye, house. hello, road trip.

the inside of my house-on-wheels

**april 19, 2013 no. one** 

i've just spent two days near the nevada/cali border... it's a beautiful morning in truckee, with snow capped mountains around us! i'm so sad to be leaving Amy and Mark who have become some of my best friends from the bay area...hasn't quite hit me that i'm leaving for good. well today i officially leave cali and cross the border into nevada!! since i was parked in amy & mark's cabin's driveway without hookups the last two nights, tonight will be my first experience at an RV park with hookups!! so excited to REALLY get this show on the road, baby!! 

me, mark and amy

**april 19, 2013 no. two**

i'm taking a pit stop in the middle of the desert (a.k.a nowhere), nevada (feels like AZ), at this really awesome gas station. it's got parking spaces for normal cars AND extra long spaces for motorhomes!! when you walk in, it's like a mall inside a gas station, with a mini wendy's, DQ, and a casino built right in. they also have shower stalls in the gas station (?!) and a loud speaker saying "shower no. 6 is now ready", lol. crazy, right? i also wanted to say that the 10 miles or so between truckee and the CA/NV border is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway i've ever seen. it's right up there with tuscany, no joke. steep mountain hillside with snow atop and pine trees everywhere, a crystal blue river bubbling alongside the road!! i recommend you all ride that stretch (I-80) in your lifetime. anyway just wanted to say hi! — at Pilot Fernley, NV.

**april 19, 2013 no. three**

so the manager of this RV park is this totally cute 23-hr-old guy who, first, chased me down on a cart since i parked my RV without first paying (i didn't know better!) and, then, scolded me for turning on my generator instead of just plugging into the power (i didn't know better!!!!), and then, gave me a free water hose (i didn't have my own!!!!!!), and then, came into my RV and hung out with me and told me about his pet hedgehog and rat, and then proceeded to tell me his whole life story about how he was raised by his grandparents in some RV park where he had no electricity, and how he recently totaled his car after getting drunk, and how he hates this town and wants to go back to oregon, and how lonely he is. and we shared all sorts of personal things before i bid him adieu because i'm just not LIKE. THAT.   — at Hi-Desert RV Park.

**april 20, 2013**

i made some good progress today and have reached salt lake city, utah. boy was that a lot of driving! but gosh i love this RV life so much!! i am now in the mountain time zone. salt lake city is a one of a kind incredible beauty. crazy how the densely populated city just pops up after hours of nothing, and is surrounded by majestic snow capped mountains. i had some drama tonight in finding an RV park. the first RV park i went to (KOA) was not there. umm, the GPS was like "you have arrived at your destination" but i was at some apartment complex and it wasn't anywhere to be seen. so i found another RV park "resort" but i got there after 9 pm and their office was shut and a giant gate had me locked out. i was like, seriously? all i wanted was to stop driving already! then a fellow RVer pulled up and told me the code to open the gate. i am so happy to be securely parked and laying in my bed. no more driving tonight, please! i just hope they let me pay in the morning and i don't get in trouble?? i don't need to be woken up by cops!! gah. anyone have any advice on what to do? i don't know TV park "rules of decorum". tomorrow i'm meeting up with my friend ann and hopefully (if i'm feeling well rested) i will make it to wyoming tomorrow night!!   — at Pony Express RV Resort.

the drive east as i approach salt lake city

**april 21, 2013** 

i'm a little bit grumpy today. tiggy has been having spurts of energy from 3 to 6 a.m. every night and i lost it last night. sleeping in two chunks while laying awake for hours in the middle is making me crazy. anyone want a fat tabby cat? seriously, he's all yours. i hate him right now. in addition, i'm supposed to drive to wyoming tonight, but apparently a snowstorm is on its way there and it's about to drop from beautiful 60s weather into the 20s. EFF. i know, everyone's like "told you so". ugh. so i'm staying in salt lake city an extra night. which helps nothing. because the snow storm is lasting through tuesday. so i need to decide by the end of the day if and how i can circumvent this weather. i want to keep moving, and i want to get to omaha as a destination, so my options around wyoming are: colorado, idaho, montana, south dakota. but i haven't checked the weather in these alternates yet. hopefully the snowstorm is limited to wyoming and not the whole region. wishful thinking. damn you, wyoming. what to do? #help — in North Salt Lake, UT.

**april 22, 2013** 

i decided to go for it and drive into the storm!! ahh! and i was starting to think all this snow hoopla was much ado about nothing, until i arrived in rawlings, wyoming. until then the roads were dry and there was a light dusting every so often. but here the ground is covered in snow, and it's coming down in little tornado swirls and sideways gusts. it's fun to watch the flurries swirl along the street ground. being that i've only everlived in saudi arabia, texas and california, this is my first time (other than one random day in a flagstaff snowstorm) anywhere this COLD. IT'S FRICKIN FREEZING y'all. lol. but i'm safely hunkered down at an RV park for the night and it's toasty in calamity jane, so no worries here  i'm having so much fun but i'm really tired and kind of lonely. i wish one of my adventure buddies was here. — at Western Hills Campground.

self-portrait during a gust of wind

**april 23, 2013** 

the patrons at this diner couldn't more starkly contrast to the patrons at a palo alto/stanford diner. back in palo alto, young, starched males with iphones would line the tables with their manicured girlfriends and then return to their fancy tech jobs. nobody would stop to talk to you or exchange banter. here at cappy's diner in rural wyoming, worn looking, camoflauge-wearing men ranging from middle aged to elderly have come to fill their bellies with warm food before returning to their agricultural jobs. their faces are marked with deep grooves. the women are homely and share the same worn, honest faces and wear practical attire. nobody wears a shred of makeup and they all smile, call you "hon" and make friendly chit chat. here at cappy's diner, i came to fill my belly with warm, wholesome food before i hit the road to nebraska. i wear mud-stained sneakers, jeans, a rain coat, and my hair is tied in a pony tail. i washed my face this morning and smeared moisturizer on it to heal the dryness. and yet, like a blend of two worlds, i sit in front of my laptop. i wonder the last time someone brought a laptop into this restaurant. but i receive no weird looks or glances. — at Cappy's Drive In Restaurant.

the drive north into wyoming

**april 23, 2013 no. two** 

i'm staying the night in ogallala, nebraska. SAY THAT OUT LOUD WITHOUT LAUGHING. OGALLALA. it sounds like a smurf morphed with shrek, doesn't it?? this RV park is divinely quaint. the "office" is a bona fide 1800s cottage and round wagon wheels mark each RV spot. a friendly resident kitty let me pet her on the front steps. across the street is a john deere equipment warehouse with about a thousand giant green tractors lined up for a quarter mile. well, the drive today did a number on me. the altitude made itself known in cheyenne.... 10K ft at the highest summit? i'd been doing so good! but that was the highest point - it's all downward from here, yay! i survived, lol. along the way i filled up at a hole in the wall gas station while a dude on a motorcycle filled up at the pump across from me (only two pumps total). we exchanged inquiries about each other's journeys. he was driving from ohio to california, ha! we are almost on the flip route! he's got a tent in his knapsack on the back of his motorcycle, but he admitted last night it was too cold to sleep in the tent so he got a motel room. he thought it was pretty darn cool that i'm sleeping in the RV every night, and i thought it was impressive that he's riding a motorcycle that far. and that was that, he's gone, we'll never see each other again, just blips on each other's life paths.— at Country View Campground.

the RV park in nebraska

**april 24, 2013** 

not much to say really. nebraska-- the land of cattle farms, lots of construction, really big trucks, cars going slow in the left lane, fierce wind knocking jane and me around, ambiguous political billboards (are they dem or rep?) and tons of roadkill..... i'm not enthused about this state or its cultural/identity crisis (it's like it's trying to be the midwest, but isn't?) i'm kind of excited that tonight i will have made it as far as iowa. DAYUM. anyway, sorry for the boring status update. i wish i had more for y'all. — at Dennys Restaurant.

**april 25, 2013** 

since i started sharing my cross-country move in an RV with friends, many people have confessed that they too have always wanted to have an RV. my advice: go for it!! i was afraid it would be too complicated for my sole self to handle, but now that i'm a week+ into the groove, i'm finally totally secure with all the hookups. if *i* can learn to do it, anyone can!! i'm the girl who doesn't even know how to use a modem or cable box and i was able to learn this! truth is, it's not as complicated as it seems. you just plug a power cord into an outlet, a drainage cord into a sewage hole, and a water hose from a spigot into your RV. everything runs itself on electrical or propane automatically!! if affordability is your concern, RV dealers do financing just like car dealerships. what's stopping you?  it's been so incredible to hear that i'm influencing others to pursue their dreams. life is short, so carpe the diem. love and light to all xoxo — in Shelby, IA.

**april 25, 2013 no. two**

this afternoon i drove to minneapolis to surprise a close friend for his 30th bday!! whew, the cat can be let out of the bag...that was a tough secret to keep, hehe. but once i realized how close i was ON his bday (like, hello universe sending me messages), how could i not? tonight i'm kidnapping him to go RV camping (i.e. boondocking) in an open field for his bday! and it's a warm night by minnesota's standards...perfect for laying on the roof of calamity jane. #hellyeah

me and the birthday boy in MN

**april 26, 2013**

no matter how sleep deprived i may feel, there's nothing as emotionally fulfilling as waking up to a beautiful minnesota day after a special birthday night with a person you feel so good to be around, so yourself with, and so easily, naturally, no matter the space or time. seeing this person feels like really good food, like coming home again....and you share those deep conversations and moments that you know won't soon be last night—hiking (and slipping) through steep, muddy snow at midnight, under a full moon and eclipse, next to a lake, the only people for miles, noises crackling in the brush, just before a crazy thunderstorm rolls in, and laying in calamity jane with a view of the glowing, perfectly round moon shining down on a foot of snow, communicating so seamlessly, leaving nothing unsaid, and knowing this will be one of those nights you'll remember when you're old and nostalgic and wondering what you did with your life, how you lived. you want to take it all in, bathe in the essence, while you can, because soon you'll be on your way back to your old/new life again, and through the distance and space that will soon come between you, somehow you know the magic bond between your two souls won't need words or reminders to exist infinitely. and maybe you won't see each other again, maybe you will, but it doesn't matter. so, sleep deprived, weak as we both may feel today, no matter the paths and people we will cross and will love in our lives, we'll always have this place and time and a natural connection that comes alive the first of spring after periods of deep dormancy. — in Corcoran, MN.

**april 27, 2013** 

my last night in minneapolis. took a sunset walk with my friend and two boxer dogs into the woods and saw a white-tailed deer and a couple sand hill cranes. we were like explorers in a new land, scoping out an ancient building foundation, hollow trees, and making up stories of our past lives. fun fun fun fun fun!!! lots of sweet, tender moments too. it will be hard to leave tomorrow, but i must be on my way to seee my family in missouri....ahhh the good ol' show-me-state.

making memories that will last forever in minneapolis

**april 28, 2013 no. one** 

i'm back in iowa and not feeling well today. even though it's only somewhat warm outside, i can't stop sweating. my head feels like a tin drum. i guess this is what happens when you don't get a good night of sleep for a week straight. i wanted to make it to des moines, but i think i'll have to find an RV park sooner, because i'm driving swervy. — at Top of Iowa Welcome Center & Rest Area.

**april 28, 2013 no. two** 

i just had my first real calamity with jane. i dumped all my toilet sewage out onto the grass sted of into the sewage hole in the ground….. the most disgusting thing i've ever witnessed in my entire life. no joke. i think i'd rather get stung by a thousand bees than ever have to see and smell that again. OMG. i don't recommend dumping your sewage in the dark when the pipe end doesn't tightly fit into the drain due to a discrepancy in size, especially when you're about so exhausted that you have as many living brain cells left as honey boo boo child on shrooms. this just hasn't been my day. it's okay, you can click "like" if you want. i like the absurd. now hopefully the sleep fairies will come sprinkle me with amnesia dust so i can forget this day happened. and, like, how did i even get from point A to point B today? i'm so confused. — at Whispering Oaks Campground.

**april 29, 2013** 

i just got to the missouri state line, and upon seeing the sign, broke down crying. i don't know what's going on with me, but being back in missouri clearly makes a powerful impact. i'm finally where my heart feels its best. the drive through south-central iowa today was a spiritual one, as i took a one-lane highway (63) through rolling green hills and passed through a (mennonite?) community (which was unexpected--i thought the bearded men on buggies were just tour guides until i realized there's no market for tours in the middle of nowhere USA). head-scarf covered women were out in their gardens doing yard work with their husbands. i liked iowa a lot more than i expected. it's a vastly underrated naturescape. but now, oh now, missouri, be still my heart.

sunset in iowa

**april 29, 2013 no. two**

it's my first time in columbia, missouri, which is where my mom grew up, and where my parents met and fell in love in the 70s. tomorrow my aunt is taking me on a tour of where she and my mom went to school and church, and the house they grew up in, and all that stuff that takes you on a magic carpet ride. i'm super stoked! tonight i'm parked without hookups in front of my aunt's house in columbia. it's a perfect 70 degrees out, with a slight breeze, so i'm sleeping with my windows open. my, oh my, late april in the U.S. can range from a snowy blizzard to heatwaves, as i've seen (and survived! points for not succumbing to nature's forces. still not sure how i got through it, but i did! lol). even weirder is that trees and flowers all blossomed in cali back in late february, but in other states, the trees are yet to sprout a leaf.

the pond near my aunt's house in columbia, MO

**april 30, 2013**

[this day, i was super sick, and had no idea that my cats had turned on the gas stove, filling my RV with propane! i smelled a foul odor i thought was sewage, but it ended up being propane, which i had yet to learn for a couple more days. i was nauseous, irritable, and extremely exhausted.]

**may 1, 2013 no. one** 

i'm on my way to my favorite place on earth: Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park. last time i was there was 1991 or 1992. upon finding out i can camp my RV there overnight (i thought it was just a cool place to swim) AND that they open on may 1st (today!!!) i felt like i had scored a big prize!! i need the R&R. the last couple days have been brutal but i'm feeling better bit by bit. so, i left columbia a few hours ago and i'm pulled over in literally the most random little middle-of-nowhere town (does it even have a name?) b/c my GPS decided to lead me through central missouri using a one-lane rural road (hwy 47) which goes up and down hills and has all these sharp turns and was kind of psychotically impractical compared to taking hwy 70 through st.'s been quite an interesting experience. it seems like the people who live off hwy 47 between columbia and farmington all run their own businesses since yards have signs like "brown eggs for sale" and "quilts for sale" etc.....i got to cross over the missouri river at a town called washington, and later i almost ran over a big, black SNAKE. that was cool to see. it was hissing right there in the road, lol. very very green and beautiful area....anyway, going to continue my drive now, and hopefully will soon be swimming in freshwater! 

southeastern missouri

**may 1, 2013 no. two**

today/tonight didn't exactly go as planned. i got to johnson's shut-ins park (swimming area) at 6:05 p.m. and they had closed at 6 p.m. i was still able to go park my RV at the luxurious campground area—a spot right along a bubbling creek, with electricity, water, sewage, its own picnic table, and its own grill. i walked around taking photos of interesting things in the mark twain national forest until it got dark. at that point, i got antsy. i was the only one in this majestic campground! there was nobody to talk to. i couldn't get any channels on my TV, and i couldn't establish an internet connection. i had no phone signal either, so i couldn't call a friend! i didn't feel safe exploring the forest further at night, so i sat in my RV attempting to connect to the internet. my frustration led me to eventually leave the campground altogether. well, driving around mark twain national forest at night is a surefire way to get lost. long story short, after taking a number of little winding roads, i pulled onto the shoulder of a residential road to see if i could find some wireless internet to connect to. i accidentally leaned against my horn and honked my engine, and a minute later i looked up to find a young man standing at my window (spooky!)…he had been in his house and heard the honk and came out to inquire about it. i was apologetic and said i was lost and delirious. i knew i didn't have it in me to drive the 18 miles to get back to the campground. this young gentleman (sean) said i could just park in his giant gravel driveway for the night, so here i am, in some stranger's driveway, finally able to get online so i can come share my story. lol. people around here are just so darn friendly! but i'm still locking my doors and setting my car alarm to be safe  nite — in Lesterville, MO.

**may 2, 2013 no. one**

twenty-two years in waiting, and i just went swimming again at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park!! i did it i did it i did it i did it!!!!!! i am typing from atop a rock overlooking endless mini waterfalls at the coolest place on earth. this is peace. seriously, this needs to be on everyone's bucket list, it's THAT incredible. if you go anywhere before you die, come here!! it's about to start pouring, so i gotta get headed out. next stop: propane diagnostics to figure out why the heck i had a propane leak in c jane last night. woke up at 2:30 to the beeping propane detector and had to turn off my propane tank. generator isn't providing power either, so i'm running power off my motor battery (not a good idea) so this needs fixing right now. — at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park.

johnson's shut-ins state park

**may 2, 2013 no. two**

riddle time! how does a two-handed person walk from the state park's public shower stall back to her RV in pouring rain in pitch black darkness holding an umbrella above her head, a flashlight straight ahead, a pepper spray gun with her index finger on the trigger (because you never know when a psycho will attack you in a state park at night in the rain, and yes, i can be hyper-vigilant about my safety sometimes), and lastly, her car keys? yeah. that was fun. a mathematical equation requiring ingenuity for sure. — at St. Joe State Park.

**may 3, 2013** 

this is crazy! some of you might recall that a few days ago, i was really sick and having a hard time sleeping. then, a couple nights ago, after shutting my windows when it got cold, my propane detector/alarm detected a dangerous concentration of propane and started beeping, so i had to turn off my propane. well, i just went to gelbach's petroleum in leadington, MO, to have my propane "leak" diagnosed. and two of the nicest men i've ever met started walking around my RV with a propane wand to try to find the source of the "leak". well it turns out one of my freakin' STOVETOP KNOBS was set to "light" this whole time, and that's ALL it was!!! my damn cats have been jumping all over the stove ever since we moved into this tight space, and dummy me didn't ever check to see if the knobs were in "off' position!! ahhh!! i'm so relieved that's all it was. and these guys didn't charge me a cent. i offered to pay them but they refused!! and then they wished me well on my move and told me if i'm ever back in the area, to come back and visit them. i mean, what kind of a business works that way?? i am just beside myself with gratitude. life keeps throwing me lesson after lesson. — in Leadington, MO.

at the family cemetery in doe run, MO

**may 3, 2013 no. two**

would you all believe it if i told you my 90-year-old great aunt is a regular FB user? she gets online every day! what a lady! today i got to visit with her as well as some deceased family members at the weiss (my mother's maiden name) cemetery. i know that sounds a bit creepy, but i considered my time at the family cemetery to be a visit with all of them. the grave sites go back 200 years or more. while i knew my grandparents while they were alive, i like the opportunity to be around the spirits of my other ancestors. my childhood friend, amanda, who lived next door to grandma and grandpa, came with me to the cemetery. we stood in freezing sleet/rain at the tombstones and recalled our time with them as young children. we were soaking wet when we got back into the RV. the temperature dropped thirty degrees between wednesday and today, and all the creeks are flooding from heavy rain. tonight i drove twelve miles down a country road to park at a campground, only to find the road closed off from access, probably from floods. there were no other campgrounds or RV parks in the area, so i did the next best thing: i'm boondocking at wal-mart. THIS is why you should always fill up your water storage tank! i was just able to take a nice, hot shower in my RV in the middle of a parking lot! LOL! no hookups! showering in front of wal-mart: that was a first. good thing there are some walls around me while i do it. — at Walmart De Soto.

me & my childhood friend amanda

**may 4, 2013** 

i am immersed in a bunny colony. i have never seen so many bunnies in one place. they flip, flop, bounce, and dash around in circles like pre-schoolers playing tag. they line dance like country westerners. i'm tempted to become one of them, to run among them in circles, but instead i shall watch them without unintentionally yet inevitably terrorizing them. i feel a bit like dorothy today, after finally leaving missouri and briefly passing through illinois to arrive at a fantasy-land campground somewhere in southern indiana, complete with gigantic sculptures of fish, giraffes, space ships, hamburgers, cows, and other carnival-esque decor, plus a miniature golf course and an empty swimming pool. oh, and one large, unleashed and uncollared labrador who seems to be in contest to break a speed record and may or may not belong to one of the many RVs in this park. this place is so dream-like that i can't find the campground's name on facebook's locator. maybe none of this is real and i will soon wake up. it's still raining, so everyone's staying in their RVs and there's nobody to talk to. i even had to self-register (honor code) by dropping payment into a mail slot. i feel particularly lonely tonight. it's almost too dark outside to watch the bunnies anymore. — in Haubstadt, IN.

**may 5, 2013** 

i spent much of my last two years in california being anti-social while focusing on recovery. now i couldn't be more ready to get out and meet people, and when i get to knoxville, that's what i plan to do. i also feel strongly in my heart and intuition that my future husband is waiting for me there. it's refreshing to feel so certain of coming goodness, after so much time was spent in dark places. still, human relationships are funny and deeply complex. it's purely theoretical and idealistic to assume that we can love and befriend everyone. realistically, human emotions involve jealousy, inadequacy, bitterness, rivalry and the such. likewise, it's painstakingly idealistic to preach peace in place of war. we may be pacifists until the point in which the offender murders our mothers and siblings, and then we're drawn into the fight. we are real. we bleed. we are not cotton candy and butterflies singing kumbaya. this is life, not a fantasy. it's all we can do to try to be the best we can be, stand tall, have honor, build character, be honest, do good. and perhaps most importantly, try to break the patterns we're all doomed to repeat when it comes to relationships. what exactly are those patterns and why haven't they worked for us? introspection breeds positive changes that we all seek to make in our private lives. — in Evansville, IN.

**may 5, 2013 no. two**

tonight i'm staying outside lexington, kentucky, at a campground with its own water dam and fishing lake. i'm less than five hours from my final destination of knoxville, TN, and it's kind of sad. many people (including myself) thought that, after nineteen days on the road, i'd be exhausted and over it…… but i want more; more than the 3,500 miles i've put on c jane from san francisco through nevada, utah, wyoming, nebraska, iowa, minnesota, iowa again, doing circles through missouri, then illinois, indiana, and kentucky. i want to drive c jane and the cats and myself north through michigan. into canada. back down through new england and all the way to georgia. i don't want this to end. but i have a car to pick up, and a bunch of possessions to claim, and a new life to start in knoxville. i still haven't the slightest idea which RV park i'm going to "move" into when i get there, or what i'll do once i get there. but i know for certain: c jane has a lot of miles yet to be put on her. she's got a lot more places to see, and she will. we're only just beginning. — at Shelby Lake.

**may 6, 2013** 

i didn't get to tennessee today. instead, i explored the pristine green hills of central and southern kentucky, including a charming town called berea which houses a historical college i wish i'd known about when i was a teenager. a lightning and thunder show welcomed me into berea, complete with flickering, glowing bursts of light and heavy monsoon rain….more rain….rain from missouri to kentucky for the last five days…. but i'm not complaining. the residents would rather their creeks not overflow, but i enjoy the stormy weather and ominous-looking clouds. in frankfort, the capital of kentucky, all three starbucks employees—giddy college-aged girls—found themselves fascinated by my trek (from san francisco?!? really??), and like the young, sheltered, small-town girls they are, couldn't wipe their mesmerized smiles off their faces. i felt like a super star or a celebrity, donning my gray sweatpants, a mess of hair on top of my head, coffee in hand, in little ol' frankfort all the way from california. the people in kentucky have the thickest accents i've heard yet on my travels, and the scenery is really something out of a storybook. tonight i'm staying in levi jackson state park in the city of london, kentucky. not to be confused with levi johnson, sarah palin's daughter's deadbeat baby daddy. — at Levi Jackson State Park.

a prairie in kentucky

**may 7, 2013**

i made it to knoxville!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i've met quite the characters already, and i've been here for less than 24 hours. first there's lucy, the manager of this RV park, a little ol' thang reminiscent of the petite lady in the poltergeist movies. she calls me "baby" and "hon" and told me about her cat, "little bit", who likes to drink from her faucet and go riding in her RV with her. then i met jimbo, yes, JIMBO (perfect name for this man), a pot-bellied old man living full-time right across from my parking spot, whose second wife died of lyme disease!! TRUE! sad face. it took us a whole 90 seconds of introductions for me to find out his wife died from undiagnosed lyme disease, and that she had a big tick scar in her belly right next to her belly button, and that she was sick for about 5 years with ignorant doctors who didn't know how to treat her (shocker! maybe if she'd been given antibiotics she'd be alive today?) and ultimately her kidneys failed. poor jimbo and his poor wife. lastly, i stopped to get cash out of an ATM at a gas station in lenoir city and met the cashier, an unruly woman around my age with two hickeys on her neck who decided i was the appropriate person to hear her lamentations over money and the good-for-nothing father of her children who won't pay child support. (why do strangers always tell me this kind of stuff?). i'm currently waiting for the arrival of my toyota matrix, which is being delivered tonight by a befuddled trucker who demanded i pay cash upon arrival (he can't use a check to pay for his next leg of gas), which would have been perfectly fine if i hadn't just spent 1.5 hours driving from ATM to ATM continuously being declined in spite of having sufficient funds. after my third failed attempt and some panicky moments (what would the trucker do if i didn't have the cash?!), bank of america's fraud department called ME, verified my identity, and allowed me to withdraw my cash. PHEW. i wouldn't want to see the trucker's reaction if i didn't have his money, and thank god, now i don't have to. — at Lazy Acres RV Park.

the scenery near the border of kentucky and tennessee

**may 8, 2013**

well good morning everyone! (ok, it's afternoon here...damn east coast time will take getting used to, lol)...since my move was complete yesterday! woke up in my new residence...i guess i live here now...HA! i live in a trailer park! lol. until i get out and make some friends, i would love visitors, so come visit me! i'll roll out my awning and we can sit under it and drink lemonade. my back yard is a lush forest and my front yard is a goat farm with baby goats! i have no idea what i'm doing here, or how i got here, but it's kind of awesome  — at Lazy Acres RV Park.

a baby turtle i found at the RV park in TN


  1. Kudos Leila!Glad you made it there safely and best of luck with this new beginning-Hilary

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