Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finding Joy on the Road...in Bend, Oregon - Part I


Hi Friends and Family!

Thought it was time for an update...it has been a month since leaving Austin?!? Oh my!

Well, after leaving Austin/moving out of Baxter, my life could have been titled - Food, Shelter...and DIESEL! This was the core of my existence - what was I going to eat, where were we going to park 'er and how much further can we go before we needed DIESEL....

Driving through Texas left LOTS of time to observe and wonder (it is a GI-normous state)...I just gotta say that SOMETHING fishy is going on in Texas...you can drive for miles - nothing-nothing-nothing and then BAMMM a HUGE factory - then nothing, nothing, nothing - then BAMMMM - another huge factory - and they ALL look soooo suspicious - suspicious in what way?!? I have no idea - JUST suspicious!! I guess I became schooled in suspicion when I used to watch the TV show '24' years ago. I learned to 'smoke 'em out' like Jack...anyway, these are not oil shops - they are something...something strange. ;-) That much time to wonder - I came up with a number of possibilities - I will save you from hearing them as you might all institutionalize me - no, no, some of you will get it -haha!

However, the PEOPLE in Texas -ooooh, the people in Texas...what I would give to hear someone call me 'Mammmmm' - or say 'Howdeeeee' or can you imagine, 'Howdeeeee, Mammmmmm'??? Music to my ears! ;-) Haha...there is something super friendly about Texas...every park I rolled into I was offered help from every angle - advice, support, suggestions and then a lot of 'Maaammmm...are you all by YOURSELF?!?!?' So funny!

New Mexico and Arizona greeted me with crazy bumpy, pot holed roads - but it was a good obstacle course for a newbie...learning how the truck handles. The winds, the glorious winds...I never knew the importance of the WIND forecast - I mean, how many of you put any thought into whether the winds are 5 or 30 mph? Let me tell you, it MATTERS when you are hauling 25 feet!

It was soo nice to finally arrive in Bend - to be here with my folks - and to be able to finally take the time and get settled and organized after my move. You see, I packed the RV so nicely after the move (well, okay, threw everything in)...I had no idea what a travel trailer goes through on a drive...EVERYTHING was EVERYWHERE in my cabinets...it is quite the feat to organize them in such a way that they no longer shake and stir. Eugene will be the true test...I have a feeling keeping my cabinets organized might be a year long challenge...errr...opportunity. Stay tuned.

Harley has been amazing - he is a total trooper - the first day I kept him up in the truck with me - but then realized it was a lot of work for both of us - so, he stayed in the trailer...in the bed...deep under the covers - it was pretty cute. He is getting a lot more time outside so he is a super happy camper...he has all of his nooks and crannies scouted out - hiding places, safe holes, etc..he is doing great!

My parents are doing good - thanks for the love and support (to them AND all of you!) My mom is making progress - she is in good hands and her spirits are ever improving...just one day at a time. I guess that is the big lesson in it all - she is always such a go-go-go-er - her body is telling her, 'no, Judy, slow down, one step at a time'. The biggest challenge she has is with eating and swallowing - she is doing a treatment now that should help with that - probably will take a few months to see results. Anyway, it is really nice to be here with them - they have been so helpful with my vagabond life despite everything they have going on.

In a few weeks I will be landing at my first farm (April 8th-ish)...it is a berry farm - I chose them because a.) berries are the only fruit ready in Oregon in May, b.) I liked their vibe - they are doing a lot of cool things - having music festivals, a farm stand, farmer's markets, provide u-pick and sell to grocers - I thought I would see a nice array of farm to market activities, and c.) they are in Eugene - a college, funky, hippie town that I have never lived in but always been curious about. http://www.stillpointfarms.com/

Once I get on the farm, I will be taking more pictures and sending more updates! My plans are forming rapidly for the rest of the summer (still need to use up my free flight voucher from my Panama trip!) After Stillpoint (the first part of June), I will be at a farm in Estacada that makes and markets their own pesto... as well, they are forming an Intentional Community - should be a great adventure (plus, I will have more time to see my Portland Peeps!) I am going to a BIG raw food festival in Southern Oregon towards the end of June...My sis and family also arrive from Germany around the same time...and, of course, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah in September - other than that, everything is still open and up in the air! Will keep you posted on what I learn and where Waldo is!!!

Lots of love to you all!!
Joy