Monday, May 16, 2022

I can't believe it..May 16

We did make it to Lake Okeechobee but neither were as happy as we might look.  No pictures going back.

We have been on the road for 3 years!  This was something we had both dreamed of doing for many years.  May 16, 2019 we closed on our house and went full-in!  Pat said 5 years, I said I'd commit to 3.  The kids took what they wanted, I kept what I could cram into a 5x10 storage unit, and the rest went to Goodwill, Red Racks Thrift Store (supports Veterans), and Habitat for Humanity.  A small amount went to trash and hazardous waste.  It wasn't that hard.  First I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on it once the ball was rolling, and second it was amazingly (even to me) liberating.

Sunday Emma, 15, had her first performance with the Deer Park Symphonic Winds Community Concert Band.  It was all about "Marches".  Thanks to Toni we were able to watch the entire program.  It was fantastic!

I never can manage to stay up or remember to go out, if I am awake, to see amazing things in the night sky.  In a moment of panic I couldn't find my keys at 11 p.m. last night. I never carry them in my pocket because they fall out, but yesterday I did.  We had walked around the pond behind us and up on the levee, which I now know is the Herbert Hoover Dike.  

Oh wait, that's why I have "Tile" (a tacking system) just for such occasions.  I lose, or at least misplace, my keys, phone and most everything else a lot.  I can use my tablet or phone to find keys, the phone or my tablet with "Tile."  The app wasn't working and it said the batteries were dead.  One set of keys was last seen in Seatle, one was no where, and the ones I had been carrying might be near where I crawled under a fence to go on the Dike.  We both get reclothed, grabbed  flashlights and searched in vain.  When we got back to the RV, I of course found them. 

What this leads to is I didn't even look at the blood moon.  By the time I got new batteries in my Tile chips it was well after midnight, but I ran out and caught the end of the total lunar eclipse.

We started our 16 mile bike ride Monday morning on the Herbert Hoover Dike early, 7 a.m., to beat the heat.  Highs in the 80's by mid morning, with a high of 90° for the day.  Our goal:  get past the canal and marshland to see Lake Okeechobee.  

Pat had a plan, go against the wind, which was minimal, TO  BEGIN WITH on this level path, half paved.  A big ride for us might be 5 miles by the way.  I've biked across Iowa 3 times, easy right? I should mention I get heat stroke easy (it's not a pretty site), I have bad knees, and at least "I" admit I am out of shape. Like the desert, the sun here is intense, we had a portion of the path that was rock, coming back the wind had picked up and maybe switched directions (at least it felt like it), and we both thought some of it seemed slightly up hill.  16 miles later we were back, barely.  Personally, I was up for leaving the bikes on the path for someone who would appreciate them more than us. 

On the dike you would occasionally see a pile of large rocks.  The birds, vultures of some kind I guess, looked like they were just waiting for me to give up and lie down and I thought about it. 

No lake yet, just the canal.

Not gravel!

The canal beside me led into Lake Okeechobee in the background.

First let me say, even in my most down moments, I am very grateful that we are able to make this journey.  I love seeing new and old places (places we went with the boys look a lot different with just us) and spending more time with Pat.  I haven't found it easy at times though, you can just ask Pat!  We're always on the go, so at times I feel no permanence; I miss friends and family that I now see maybe once a year, if I'm lucky; Pat and I are in close quarters all of the time; medical care on the go is very hard; I have to squeeze everything into our small space; dealing with everything that goes wrong with a small home on wheels, while we live in it; we have to pack and unpack our home everytime we move, sometimes daily.  For every con there is a positive, I think, I just can't always find it. Many times Pat has said we can quit any time and I've come close to doing it.

The hardest thing for me is looking for places.  When we had the kids I would spend an entire year planning a two week vacation.  Since covid there are a LOT more people camping so we have to make reservations ahead, and in the summer or in busy areas, far ahead.  I do not enjoy the planning at all.   It's stressful and unending. 

We have made 52 reservations in 2022. We have only 3 or 4 left to decide on for Sept.  But it doesn't end there, we will now have to start working on 2023, sigh.

I still have down days although I think they are fewer and farther between.   But I think we'll make it 2 more years, and who knows, maybe longer.  After all, we have yet to find that place where we want to put down roots,

Where are the Piepers now?  South Bay, FL

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