Oh darn! I seriously thought finding the images for today’s post would be easy. I scoured through photographs downloaded on my laptop. I racked my brain for possible photos in one of my external hard drives. I seriously have thousands of pictures, but do the images depict the color purple?
We enjoyed a glorious spring here in Phoenix, Arizona. We had above average precipitation and near perfect temperatures. The desert heat is upon us now, but I can still revel in the beautiful wildflower season we had. I tried getting out and about with the camera as much as possible.
Did I capture purple wildflowers or do they appear more blue?
My neighbor has the most beautiful tree adorned with an abundance of purple blooms. I’m not sure what kind of tree it is though. I really should download one of those apps on my iPhone that identifies a plant or flower.
As I sit in my comfy chair writing this post and occasionally glancing out the window to admire this beautiful tree, I struggle to think of other purple objects. Well, that is until my attention is drawn to the kitchen. The sweet aroma of baked goods still wafts in the air from the freshly baked coffee cake removed from the oven just a short time ago.
Blueberries or Purple-berries?
In my opinion, no Sunday brunch is complete without a tasty coffee cake. And I make one heck of a yummy Blueberry Coffee Cake, or so I’ve been told.
Blueberries definitely look blue when whole, but once we cut into them the color appears more purple. Am I right? Plus, after working with blueberries, my hands are definitely stained purple. Thus, let’s call them blueberries when they are whole and purple-berries once we start working with them … that is cutting them or pureeing them. #purple 😁
My hands can attest to the purple hue every time I make this coffee cake. I usually use frozen blueberries and after dipping my hands into the bag to retrieve the blueberries to add to the batter, I have to wash my hands immediately or else risk spreading the purple hue onto other surfaces.
Mother’s Day Brunch
Today is Mother’s Day and my favorite meal to celebrate the day is breakfast. My daughter is making brunch for me today and we’ll toast with mimosa’s. Nothing like a little mother-daughter time to bring a smile to my face. Of course, we’ll indulge in a slice (or two) of this delicious blueberry coffee cake.
And it would be just plain rude of me if I didn’t share the recipe for this scrumptious coffee cake, especially after showing you the pictures. Be sure and let me know if you give this recipe a try.
2 cups all-purpose 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt
Wet Ingredients for cake 1 large egg 3/4 cup milk (or water) 1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (if using frozen, do not thaw, use frozen)
CRUMB TOPPING 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup butter, slightly softened and cubed
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup, whisk together egg and milk then add to dry ingredients. With a spatula or wooden spoon start mixing then add the melted butter. Once all ingredients are incorporated, fold in the blueberries.
Transfer to a greased baking pan (9×9 square non-stick or 10″ cast-iron skillet). Set aside.
For the topping: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with a fork forming small pea-size crumbles. When all the butter is combined forming a crumbly mixture, top the cake evenly with the crumble, then place the cake into a preheated 375-degree oven for 30-35 minutes. (Do not overbake). Serve warm or at room temperature.
Religion is a fascinating subject. The rich and varied traditions people have developed throughout history in their search for spiritual truths can be a divisive and contentious matter.
I’m comfortable with my personal faith yet intrigued by what others believe. I’d like to think I’m open-minded to the understanding of other religions or spiritual beliefs and thus enjoy visiting various sacred sites.
“Seek truth and you will find more questions than answers.”
We’re asked to showcase photographs of churches and spiritual centers for this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge. I immediately knew which places I wanted to share.
French Gothic Architecture
When our daughter was still living in Colorado, we’d enjoy visiting. One year we were able to spend the summer a mere twenty-minute drive from downtown Denver. Sundays turned into our city hiking days. We discovered so many interesting places by walking up and down various streets.
One of my favorite discoveries was the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The architecture is reminiscent of cathedrals found in Europe, and I was thrilled to explore this one in Denver, Colorado.
Spanish Colonial Architecture
No visit to Tucson, Arizona, would be complete without stopping by Mission San Xavier del Bac. Although my taste tends to lean toward the European cathedral type of architecture, I’m in love with this Spanish Colonial structure.
From an architectural point of view, I’m intrigued by how different Mission San Xavier del Bac is in comparison to the Cathedral Basilica. Both serve Catholic parishioners both are rich in history, but that’s where the similarities appear to end.
Stunning structures that amaze me!
Spiritual Enlightenment and a Vortex
Sedona, Arizona, is well known for its breathtaking landscape, but that’s not all. Among the beautiful red rock are vortexes. A vortex is thought to be a swirling center of energy that is conducive to healing, meditation, and self-exploration. There are several such sites located throughout the Sedona area, one of which is located at the Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park.
The stupa is one of the oldest forms of sacred architecture on earth, dating back to the time of the Buddha, 2600 years ago. A stupa is considered to be the living presence of the Buddha and as such represents the Mind of Enlightenment. Stupas have been built to avert war, end famine, and promote prosperity and well-being. Their sole purpose is to bring benefit to all living beings.
Whenever my daughter and I visit Sedona, we always set aside time to visit the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. We make sure to walk the trails around the property and stop by the ‘vortex’. I’m not sure what it is, but we always walk away feeling a bit more peaceful inside.
“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, man cannot live without a spiritual life.” – Buddha
I knew at a very young age that I enjoyed travel and wanted to travel regularly once I became an adult. When I was seven years old, our family of five returned to Germany for a three-week visit with relatives. It was during that eight-hour Lufthansa flight from Chicago to Frankfurt that I informed my parents that I was going to be a Stewardess when I grew up.
While serenading an airplane barf bag, my folks asked me, “Are you sure you want to be a Stewardess when you grow up”? In between episodes, I’d nod my head up and down while trying to utter a yes.
Fifteen years later, I found myself rushing down the aisle of a DC-9 aircraft to the rear lavatory. A few minutes later, before exiting the lav, I rinse my mouth, straighten the silk scarf tied around my neck, and make sure my hair isn’t out of place. Without missing a beat and smile on my face, I continue up and down the aisle along with another Flight Attendant preparing the aircraft for landing … all drinks and trash collected and seats and tray tables in an upright position.
Needless to say, just because my dream of becoming a Flight Attendant had come true didn’t mean my motion sickness went away. During those first few weeks on the job, I became well acquainted with the meaning of dry heaves. The quarterly weigh-ins were a breeze for me. Yes, in the 1980s, Flight Attendants had to maintain a certain weight, and every quarter we were required to meet with our supervisor to be weighed and have our uniform, nails, makeup, hair, and overall appearance inspected.
For this week’s Sunday Stills photo challenge, Terri asks us to share images of roads, paths, and streets. The paths we choose in life are many and can take us on adventures beyond our dreams.
Eventually, the rush to a restroom subsided and I eased into my dream job. This new job would open opportunities to travel the world but I needed to be free which meant breaking off an engagement. I hadn’t been happy in that relationship for quite some time but what needed to be done had been put on the back burner until I had regained my strength from all the motion sickness.
I wanted to be footloose and fancy-free. I wanted to enjoy my new travel career and this path in life appeared perfect, I was in the process of unraveling an unhappy relationship and the last thing I wanted was to jump right back into ANY relationship. Ah, sometimes the universe has other plans.
There’s something about a tall man in a navy blue uniform!
There was no denying the immediate chemistry felt when our eyes locked. Our paths had crossed at the perfect timing. Little did we realize back then the many roads and adventures that lay ahead.
We had chosen a path in life together. That doesn’t mean we never pulled in opposite directions. Lord knows, there were plenty of times we disagreed on which road to take …. figuratively and literally. But when all is said and done, it has been one heck of a ride.
Who knew, a former Pilot and Flight Attendant would eventually move into an RV full-time and refuse to set foot on an airplane ever again. Well, one should never say never, but there’s nothing like RV travel to really experience a landscape as well as life.
The roads and paths are many. Some are more enjoyable than others but all are worth exploring.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine
Did you know I became a grandmother last year? Yep, I know, I know, I don’t look nearly old enough 🤣🤪🤣 Ok, we can stop laughing now. Alas, the passing of several decades puts me in the category of being plenty old to bear the new title, “Mimi”. and I wear it proudly.
Every Monday I’m caregiver to little Lillian, my yummy little Cupcake. She was born the day before my birthday last August and has been the light of my life ever since. But, I’ll tell you, she’s exhausting and I’m convinced that’s the reason women go into menopause in their 40s LOL. There’s a certain age when we aren’t designed to raise children full-time anymore. I admire the older mom’s out there or the grandparents raising their grandchildren. I don’t know how they do it without dropping from sheer exhaustion.
Yep, spending one day a week with my special little Cupcake is perfect and I look forward to it every Monday. Right now she’s almost 8 months old and crawling everywhere. Each week I see a steady progression in her development, and she’s now pulling herself up, trying to walk and climb, not to mention, learning to eat. That’s always a fun time with pureed food ending up in places it doesn’t belong.
Lillian is merely one of several reasons why I’ve come to embrace our stationary lifestyle. We were in town for her birth and the moment she was placed in my arms, only hours old, I was smitten. The love I feel for this tiny human is hard to describe but those of you who are already grandparents understand.
And as much as I adore spending Mondays with my special Cupcake, come 4:00 in the afternoon, I count down the minutes to the five o’clock hour when her dad (my son) comes to pick her up. By 5:00 I’m beat and spend the rest of my evening in front of the television in a somewhat vegetated haze watching baking competition shows (The Great British Baking Show) or some sort of reality TV. Do I dare admit that I watch ridiculous shows like The Bachelor and Bachelorette? 🥴 Sure I will. That little human keeps me busy all day exhausting me more than any long hike on the trails ever does and by the end of the day, there’s not much left in me. But I love every minute!
So, now you know how I spend my Mondays. What do your Mondays look like?
The weather across the U.S. this past winter has been absolutely crazy and unusual. We have seen just about every extreme play out across the country. Here in Arizona, we experienced a cooler and wetter than normal winter. and I am extremely grateful I wasn’t living in our RV. Inclement weather can really zap the fun out of the RV adventure.
With all that additional moisture, our normally parched desert was doing a happy dance, and as soon as the weather warmed, she produced a stunning show of colorful wildflowers … wildflowers just waiting to be photographed.
Sunday Stills Photo Challenge
With my new camera in hand, I couldn’t wait to get back out on the trails and see these desert blooms up close and personal. I did find myself battling with wind and camera settings but did my best to capture the beauty surrounding me.
So, of course, I need to share some of the images as the desert shows us her colors. For this week’s Sunday Stills Photo Challenge, Terri asks us to share photographs depicting pastel colors. I’m not sure just how pastel-y the flowers are but it’s an excuse to share these lovely wildflowers regardless.
It has been a gorgeous spring thus far, and I’m trying to enjoy every moment. The extreme desert heat will be upon us soon enough, but not before the cacti show us their beauty.
Hope you enjoyed seeing our beautiful desert at her finest. Till next time …
I’ve often told my daughter that life is like a rollercoaster. It’s filled with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns, plus plenty of thrills, fears, and unknowns. Since moving into a house and selling the RV, an RV that we called home for eight years, my life has definitely felt like a rollercoaster. Although we chose the change of lifestyle, I found the change challenging at times.
However, if I’m being truly honest, I think like so many others, the challenges started during the pandemic but personally were exacerbated by our move.
This blog has always been about lighthearted fun, photos, travel, and adventures. I’m not one to write about anything too serious especially anything that might come across as being a Debbie Downer. That’s just not me, but life happens, and we all go through difficult times so I’ll leave it at that for now. Nonetheless …
When I realized I hadn’t picked up my camera in over a year and hadn’t written a blog post in almost that long, I noticed the things I loved turning to for enjoyment and using as an escape from the-every-day had been ignored. I had allowed my mental and physical health to get the better of me. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable talking about the subject of depression other than knowing it firsthand. There are far more articulate and knowledgeable people out there on that subject.
Perhaps, in future posts, I’ll share some of the physical issues I’ve been dealing with … nothing overly serious, more annoying than anything. Ah, the art of aging! 🤪
Suffice it to say, I am in a much better place these days. Instead of mourning the years of yesterday, I’m embracing the todays and the tomorrows. Hey, when you’re in the fourth quarter of life, every tomorrow is a gift and should be celebrated. Am I right?
In an attempt to snap out of it and pull myself out of that dark hole, I joined the local camera club. I started attending meetings, and classes, and last week went on my first camera club outing.
AND I bought a new camera!!! Well, new to me anyway. A Panasonic Lumix GX8 with a couple of lenses. My beloved Lumix FZ300 had been used and abused and developed some glitches. So, this new camera has ignited a spark.
With a newfound passion for photography, I’ve been out and about in search of subjects. I find myself struggling with photographic compositions, but I’m working on it. After traveling full-time for so many years and encountering in-your-face photo ops, it’s going to take some practice to focus in new directions. I’m feeling up to the challenge and enjoying the new camera more with each outing.
At the end of the month, the photography club is going on an architectural tour in downtown Phoenix. I’ll let you know how that goes.
A couple of months ago, WordPress congratulated me on 11 years of blogging. Eleven years? Really? The best thing that has come out of starting this blog is the friendships forged over the years. The first blogger I met in person was MonaLiza and that encounter was right here in Phoenix, Arizona, at Cave Creek Regional Park back in December of 2012. Mona and Steve were in their first year of living in their RV full-time and Al and I were getting ready to sell the house in Colorado and join the community of full-time RVers.
Over the years, ML and I shared numerous RV adventures together including bird photography along the Texas Gulf Coast, and just a couple of weeks ago, we got together for a wildflower photography hike. Who knew back in 2012 that both of us would end up settling down in Arizona, selling our RVs, and remaining friends all because of a thing called a BLOG.
ML was just the first of many friendships formed from blogging. Last week I was included in a gathering of bloggers, and even though I’d taken a hiatus from blogging, I’m grateful this lovely group of gals reached out. This luncheon reminded me of why I enjoy blogging and perhaps it’s time for me to jump back in and reconnect with all of you.
It’s hot. I mean really hot, as in 116 degrees F hot (46 C). But we expected this when we decided to spend the summer in Phoenix, Arizona. Thank goodness for air conditioning. I literally look forward to those cold fronts rolling in when it’s only 96 degrees Fahrenheit, haha. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this, but I do know, we’ll start feeling a slight reprieve in another month or so, and that can’t come soon enough.
In reality, I’m not complaining. Travel burnout is a real thing, and although a part of me wishes we were spending our summer back in northern Wisconsin, I find the mere thought of traveling between Arizona and Wisconsin to be exhausting let alone actually having to do the drive. Yep, I’ve totally embraced sitting on my a*s in one location and allowing dust to gather on the truck … for now, anyway.
This fall we will have lived in our house for exactly one year. Even though life has slowed down quite a bit, the time has still gone by quickly. We’ve accomplished some remodeling on the house but kept it simple with minor repairs, painting, and a little decorating here and there. We kept our promise to each other to push any major renovations down the road, and I am so grateful for that decision. Supply chain issues and a shortage of labor are just a couple of factors that were considered, but allowing ourselves time to decompress and start feeling bored was the main goal.
Without the everyday decision-making and stress surrounding RV travel, Al and I have been able to focus on our health. He and I are both dealing with some issues, fortunately very manageable and nothing life-threatening just things to be mindful of, seek treatment, focus on eating healthy, exercise regularly, and get a good night’s sleep … all easier said than done … sigh.
AND we are becoming first-time grandparents sometime in August. Our son and daughter-in-law live nearby and are expecting their first child. That alone was worth settling down in the Phoenix valley and enduring the summer heat.
Blog to Book
So being housebound in air conditioning, I found myself with a little extra time on my hands, thus I finally got around to printing Book One of some of my early blog posts. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out, but it did take a fair amount of trial and error. I had four platforms on my radar that specialize in turning blog posts into books.
First up was intorealpages.com I’d heard good things about this site from another blogger and therefore decided to start with this one. I uploaded my site with the appropriate range of blog post dates and after several minutes, I had the beginning of a book. How cool is that? But upon close inspection, I realized page after page was designed in a column-type of format. Meaning all the verbiage was in a column on the left side of the page along with a column of medium-sized images stacked along the right side of the page.
I hated it. Thus, deleted the project and started over. The second time, it loaded just like the first and again in a layout that just wasn’t what I was looking for. I acknowledge user error may have been involved, but I feel I did my due diligence and gave the site well over an hour of my time before moving on.
Second on the list; blog2print.com I was super happy with the way this site loaded and the way my images were displayed along with the text. The game changer for me was the inability to delete the date when the post went live. Last year (January-March), I stepped back in time and rewrote some of my earlier blog posts in preparation to turn posts into a physical book. Thus, the date of the post had nothing to do with the dates of my stories making this a no go for me.
Third on the list; blookup.com I couldn’t even get this site to load up. Although it tried. I gave this site a couple of attempts to no avail.
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Pixxibook.com This site was easy to navigate and customize. It loaded quickly, and I was able to remove the posted date. The price seemed reasonable and less expensive than the other sites. I received my finished product less than two weeks after I placed the order. The book arrived in perfect condition. They did a great job packaging the book in such a manner to prevent any possible damage during shipping which was much appreciated.
The overall quality of the book and the paper used exceeded my expectations, so much so that I’m already planning on printing Book Two. If you too are considering a way to preserve your blog posts, I highly recommend trying Pixxibook.com (no affiliation or sponsorship, just a happy customer).
The only thing I’m not totally satisfied with is the quality of some of the images. I don’t blame Pixxibook for this though. I know some of the images weren’t great to begin with plus I also wonder if I should increase the resolution of the images uploaded to WordPress. I always shrink them to 800 pixels for quicker load times but feel that may be too low for printed images. I’m torn between image quality versus load times. Perhaps in a future blog post, I’ll upload some images with a higher resolution for comparison. 🤷♀️ I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
Stay tuned for more travel tales and turning a blog into a book!
Navigating through the twists and turns of life can feel like an interesting (or maybe not so interesting) mystery novel. Each chapter is filled with unexpected scenarios with some chapters more thrilling than others including an abundance of suspense, usually. I can honestly say, the past couple of years were filled with more suspense (more like stress) than I’d care to acknowledge. Thus, it was time to change the plot.
Time for a new chapter
Even before the pandemic struck, Al and I were feeling unsettled. We’d lost the passion for travel and exploring. Perhaps the law of diminishing return had set in. There were things we loved about the RV lifestyle and there were things we disliked. Our teeter-totter was no longer balancing between love and hate. The negative aspects of RVing had started weighing on us, dragging us down. So, we bought a house, a real house, one without wheels in hopes of regaining some balance in life.
After spending the summer in northern Wisconsin, we returned to Arizona in mid-September. And here we are at the start of a new year settling into life in a real house. The first two months passed in a blur after box upon box was unloaded with intermittent painting projects thrown in in-between. I’m still perplexed as to how much stuff we hauled around in our RV, not to mention all the stuff we had in storage. Some days I’d ask myself, “Whatever were you thinking holding onto to this?” On the other hand, opening some boxes brought a huge smile to my face … “I’m so glad I kept this.” There were times it felt like Christmas morning unpackaging treasures large and small.
When we returned to Phoenix, the focus on our new to us house was liveability and preparing for a festive holiday season. Al and I promised each other that any major remodeling would be pushed down the road. We wanted to relax and enjoy the process and the holidays. Mission accomplished!
Friends, Family, and Fun
Family and friends are the main reason we chose the Phoenix area for our home base and that decision has not disappointed. November and December were filled with social engagements along with continued house projects. One of Al’s sisters lives less than two miles away, making for easy last-minute get-togethers. Our son and daughter live a mere 20-30 minutes away, which we’re loving. We hosted a Christmas morning brunch with family and friends and had a wonderful day shared with loved ones.
And then there’s the RV community; a community that has been part of our lives for the past ten years. There’s a bunch of former full-time RVers who have now settled in Arizona. With Phoenix being RV friendly and a host to numerous county parks, state parks, and private RV parks, there’s always an RV friend or two passing through this part of Arizona…. not to mention blog friends. Phoenix is a popular travel destination offering a variety of accommodations making it a great place for meeting fellow bloggers in person.
Friend-iversary! It’s hard to imagine that later this month, it’ll be ten years since I started this blog. I’ve made so many amazing friends via this platform as well as RVing. When both worlds meet, there’s a common interest that makes for a long and (hopefully) lasting friendship. MonaLiza and I met via our blogs back in early 2012 as she and her husband were starting their full-time RV journey. Comments flowed back and forth regularly on each other’s blogs and when an opportunity to meet in person presented itself …. well, let’s just say, we haven’t stopped talking or getting together since.
Over the years, we’ve met up in various states and even shared holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas together. MonaLiza and Steve came off the road about a year before we did and now have a home base a mere one-hour drive away from our home base. As soon as Al and I were no longer tripping over boxes, we invited the couple over to our place and as usual, had a wonderful time catching up. MonaLiza reminded us that we met for the first time exactly nine years ago right here in the Phoenix valley. Wow! Where did the time go?
MonaLiza and Steve had a goal of visiting all 50 states which they accomplished during their full-time RV journey. On the other hand, Al and I had no such goal. Quite frankly, we never had a travel goal and traveled hither and yon based on whims. That just goes to prove that there’s no right or wrong way to RV. It’s all about freedom … and what a ride it has been.
Ah, the memories!
Not only have we had amazing adventures and experienced incredible scenery via our RVing journey, but the folks we met along the way also added a richness to the overall experience. MonaLiza and Steve just happened to be the first of many friendships to have been made via blogging and RVing. I’m fortunate to have met so many more wonderful people over the years (too many to list) and made long-lasting friendships for which I’m grateful.
As I continue to sort through our stuff and fine-tune our decor, I’m reminded of our journey over the past ten years. It wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns but it was most definitely memorable. An adventure I don’t regret, but as with all things in life, there’s a beginning and an end. Al and I reached that point where we were ready for that change.
Although it has only been four months of living stationery in a real house, we have absolutely no regrets about our decision. When we first purchased this house, we weren’t excited. It didn’t check all our boxes (it quite frankly, checked very few). It wasn’t anything that we thought we wanted other than we knew it was time to end our nomadic lifestyle and this house would work for now.
Much to our surprise, we’re liking our house more and more. Granted, the house isn’t new and we don’t have those picturesque vista views that spoiled us during our RVing years, but we do have a nice yard and a location that’s convenient. We’re back to city living and as much as we thought we didn’t want to return to this kind of lifestyle, it’s working perfectly.
So what’s next?
Our plans are a little blurry at this point but we do know we don’t have any major plans to travel anywhere in 2022. We may take the occasional 1-2 hour drive in any given direction for a change of scenery from time to time, but that’s it. This means we do plan on staying in Phoenix all summer. Considering we lived in Las Vegas, Nevada in the 90s, we know exactly what a summer in the desert feels like …. HOT!
We have house projects that we look forward to working on slowly and then there’s the wedding. Our daughter will be getting married later this year and wedding planning is in full swing. I love the fact that I have a great relationship with my daughter and she wants to include me in all aspects of the big event. We’ve already been dress shopping and attended a wedding event at the Phoenix convention center, but lots more to come.
As to my plans for this blog? Hmm, I’m still not sure. Since we won’t be RVing this year, I’m not sure what to write about or what photographs to share. I’m not sure what YOU, my readers, would be interested in. Should I join more photo challenges and share images from our past travels? Are stories from previous travels of interest to you? Does blogging still bring me joy? Does reading blogs still bring you joy? Has the blogosphere changed? These are all questions I need to ponder, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject in the comments below.
So, now you know! We’re enjoying life in a sticks and bricks house … no regrets, no mistakes, and embracing this new chapter in life with hope and enthusiasm.
“It’s not an ending, it’s just the point in the story where you turn the page.”
I can’t believe it’s August already. Summer is winding down and 2021 is more than halfway over. Personally, it has been an interesting year filled with challenges and questions about our future. Thanks to a virus, life, in general, isn’t what it used to be and changes have definitely permeated into all aspects of life including travel and RVing.
But if I’m being honest, my restlessness started months before the pandemic hit. I’m a person who has always embraced change, and if life becomes too routine, I get bored. Thus, jumping into the full-time RV lifestyle over eight years ago wasn’t all that surprising. After all, my wanderlust and sense of adventure were passed down to me from my parents.
Our Next Chapter
When that sense of restlessness, sense of discontentment set in a couple of years ago, I went on a quest, a quest to quench an unknown thirst. Al and I changed up how, where, and when we traveled. We even shopped for different RVs, but the more options we explored, the more confused we became. We knew it was time for a change, but we didn’t know what that change would look like.
And then the country, the world, was turned upside down by a virus. Life changed. Our ability to travel at will changed. All of a sudden, we were faced with our mortality. I know I certainly was when I started off the new year with a visit to the emergency room with an inconvenient GI issue. When my doctor insisted I visit the ER for an immediate CT scan, I went into full-on “Grey’s Anatomy” panic. I’ve probably watched way too many medical shows.
Visions of an ER overrun with COVID patients followed by a vision of me waiting hours for medical attention ran through my head. And then, I’d be forgotten. Eventually my intestines would rupture causing me to expire long before anyone notices me slumped in a corner in an overcrowded waiting room. Ok, perhaps that was a little melodramatic, but there’s nothing like an ER visit to get in touch with one’s priorities.
My dramatic concerns were unwarranted. The visit went great … well, as great as an ER visit goes. It was quick, efficient, with friendly and helpful care. Two hours after my arrival, I was skipping out of the hospital with a couple of prescriptions in hand. Ok, maybe I wasn’t exactly skipping, but I was relieved.
There were a few other negative things that transpired during the past year making it feel like we were punched between the eyes…. more than once. Perhaps, this was our wake-up call. Clarity set in for both Al and myself. We knew what we needed to do which was not initially what we wanted to do.
Life is interesting that way. Throughout our many years together, most of the big life changes Al and I made were due to extenuating circumstances. We moved into our RV full-time not because it was a lifelong dream, but rather, to serve as a break from life. The economy had negatively impacted our business, and we decided to take a break for a year or two until things turned around. Hah! The RV lifestyle was addictive and too much fun. Therefore, we never returned to that former life, and now, here we are more than eight years later still living in the RV.
But then life as we’ve known it has changed causing us to reflect. Without a doubt, it’s time for us to change things up again due to extenuating circumstances. If there’s one thing that RVing has taught me, it’s everything is temporary.
Selling the RV
This is our third summer parking the RV on family property in northern Wisconsin. We enjoy our time here and will continue to savor the views, hang with family, and live in the RV for the next several weeks before returning to Phoenix in September. Upon our Arizona arrival, we’ll be moving into a real sticks and bricks house and putting the 5th Wheel up for sale.
Our decision is bittersweet, and we’ve thought about it long and hard. We’ve hemmed and hawed, gone back and forth, but in the long run, we know it’s best to sell the RV. We are definitely NOT done RVing (it’s in my blood), but merely taking a break. We love our 5th Wheel. It has been very good to us, and we’ve seriously thought about keeping her, but RV’s are meant to be used and not left ignored in a storage lot. So, hopefully, we’ll find someone who’ll want to keep her wheels rolling and love her as much as we have.
The Best Part of RV Life
Over the years, we’ve experienced some stunning scenery, encountered wonderful wildlife, and had amazing adventures, but the best part about the RV lifestyle is meeting like-minded people and developing friendships.
This summer, we’ve reconnected with Joodie and TBG from the blog, Chasing Dirt. They are spending the summer volunteering at the Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin, which is about a one-hour drive from our lakefront home near Hayward, Wisconsin, making it easy to arrange a few get-togethers.
Blueberry Picking, a Picnic and a Short Hike
July 26 — The smoke-filled skies from forest fires to the north didn’t stop this foursome of seasoned RVers from enjoying an outing. It was a beautiful Monday morning, despite the hazy skies, when Al and I picked up Joodie and TBG for a morning of blueberry picking at my favorite farm in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The bushes were loaded with plump ripe blueberries. We timed our visit perfectly and ended up picking over 5 pounds of blueberries – yum! (I’ve shared more adventures in this part of Wisconsin in years past. You can read those posts here and here.)
After picking blueberries and strolling around the Blue Vista Farm, it was time to find a picturesque place for a picnic lunch, and I knew just the spot located along the shores of Lake Superior.
After appetites were satiated, a little exercise was in order. I introduced everyone to my favorite little hike in Bayfield; the Iron Bridge Trail. Unfortunately, the drought conditions had the creek barely trickling and the water crossings which usually require a bit of a balancing act proved to be uneventful. It was still an enjoyable stroll through a ravine among lush vegetation despite the lackluster amount of water.
Before long, it was time for Al and me to drop off our friends and head home, but not before planning another adventure. Fingers crossed, Mother Nature cooperates for our next gettogether.
Blueberries and Imagine Dragons?
What do you do with 5 pounds of freshly picked blueberries? Well, there’s blueberry pancakes, blueberry coffee cake, blueberry muffins, blueberry banana bread, blueberries in cereal, blueberries in a salad, or how about just eating a handful of blueberries? Seriously, the choices are endless. With that said, while I’ve been spending a little extra time in the kitchen communing with blueberries, I’ve enjoyed music playing in the background.
One of my favorite CDs, yes I still play CDs, is by the band Imagine Dragons. I have a few favorite songs, but one song in particular recently resonated with me. Perhaps it has to do with my current mood as we prepare for the upcoming changes in our life, changes that I’m still processing, changes that I’m excited about yet slightly apprehensive about. I remind myself, everything is temporary!
Birds by Imagine Dragons
Seasons, they will change
Life will make you grow
Dreams will make you cry
Everything is temporary
Birds fly in different directions
I hope to see you again
Sunsets, sunrises, living the dream
Watching the leaves, changing the seasons
Wishing it'd last, wishing and dreaming
Everything is temporary!
Thank you, Terri for asking us to share images inspired by a Song or Poem for today’s Sunday Stills photo challenge. Although, the song “Birds” by Imagine Dragons isn’t necessarily a favorite, the song seems to fit my current mood along with these images. I don’t think I’ll be back to regular posting just yet. I’m still processing the upcoming changes. I guess part of me is excited and ready for a major change while another part of me is a bit sad and hesitant. Please know, although I’m a little quiet these days, I’m still reading and following YOUR posts. ❤
Thanks for stopping by and remember … everything is temporary!
With the emerging of a new day or even a new season, there is a sense of hope and the embracing of dreams. I love spring. It’s my favorite time of year. Watching the dormant winter landscape awaken with the budding of emerging vegetation and colorful blooms lends itself to a feeling of new life.
I think we can all agree, it has been a challenging year. A year filled with uncertainty. A year filled with a roller coaster of emotions. And just like the tiny plant that has the strength to break through rock crevices and thrive, we too shall emerge from the past years’ challenges stronger and maybe even wiser.
Perhaps our socially distanced year has enlightened us in new ways. Perhaps, we have discovered new hobbies or developed a better understanding of ourselves. As we emerge from the stressful year, it’s time to think about our dreams. For me, that means I’m knee-deep in travel planning and excited to get our RV wheels rolling again soon.
I’m emerging from my cocoon with a new spring in my step and can’t wait to frolic in the beauty of nature!