Today is the day!

We spent the last 3 days getting ready to go, visiting friends and family, one more hike, wrapping things up, and it’s been a whirlwind.  But today is the day, and I am so excited!   I woke up at 5:30 am despite my body protesting the idea.  Thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive with good wishes, heartfelt and much appreciated gifts for the road.  I will be posting more down the road with info about our preparations, things we purchased for the trip that we love and recommendations.

We love you and and will see you again soon!

It’s a beautiful day for a drive!

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Gopher it

via Daily Prompt: Tenacious

Here’s how most of my walk related conversations with Steve, the wiener dog, usually go:

Me:  Let’s go for a walk in the field next door

Steve:  Gopher?

Me:  Let’s go this way

Steve: Gopher

Me: C’mon let’s take this trail

Steve:  Gopher

Me:  Okay, just for a minute

Steve:   Gopher!

Me:  Okay, I’m tired of standing here watching you dig for 15 minutes, let’s go home

Steve:  GOPHER!!

Me:  Sigh…

And so it goes, I get irritated and finally will use the tried and true ” Are you hungry” to break the gopher spell so we can go home.  But there is also a lesson in his tenacity.  It is a gift to me to be in the moment. To stand still while he digs, as I watch the little gopher sneak out the other side while Steve’s head is in the other hole.  I always try and make sure the gophers get away without him seeing.  It is his nature and in his DNA so I let him  look for gophers.  He is doing his job, and he is good at it.

The gift he gives me is being in the moment, to slow down and observe, look around, notice nature and how everything is how it should be in nature.  How it has been for a millennium.  To ponder, think, reflect, and observe.  To see how nature created these millions of gophers in this field as food for the larger creatures.  To see the winged hunters flying above, perched in trees, watching for food.  To see where coyotes have dug big holes to get at the little brown furry potatoes with legs to feed their new pups and to fill hungry winter bellies now that the snow has melted.  To see how Steve is shaped perfectly for this job, with his short coat, long nose, low to ground body, snaking and bounding through the dry grass, burrs and cheat grass do not stick to him like it would to a furry dog.  How he could do this for hours.  To think about how I am part of that, how we as humans are part of that, but we forget how we are a part of that.

The other gift he gives is the laser focus of his tenacity, that lets him live and relish right here, right now.  A great lesson for me.  It brings me back down to earth.  That tenacity to stick with that thing he loves, no matter what.  So sure of what he loves.  This is a large part of my journey,  to find what I love, who I am, now that the nest is empty.

And I am so glad Steve is going on this journey with me.  So, yes, Steve, gopher….


A shift in perspective

As part of my outer journey I am also starting a fresh inner journey as well.  Taking care of the inside as well as the outside.  Giving myself those gifts that for so long I put on the back burner in the rush of a busy daily life with work, kids, relationships, etc.  I have minimized my belongings along with freeing up my time for working on myself.  One thing I have started doing is guided meditation.  In keeping with my vow to keep costs low, I have found a wonderful resource in Tara Brach.  She has a site focused on practicing mindfulness in our daily lives at  Where she has many audio files of talks and guided meditations all offered for free.  It really helps to quiet my incessant monkey mind that is frankly exhausting.  Have a banana, go sit down under a tree and relax, for god’s sake!

Right now I squeeze them in when I can in the mornings while I am still working, but the plan is to do one every morning once I hit the road.  I am really curious to see how things may shift and feel after a bit.

And so it begins

A new leaf, a fork in the road, the next chapter… empty nest, the feeling that there is something more and time is speeding up.  This is a journey just for me.  To remember me, who I am when I am now on my own….oh and the wiener dog.  His name is Steve.  He knows who he is and what he likes, but he’s coming along for the ride anyway.  So here we go.. In 3.5 weeks we will be hitting the road with no real plan, only to begin and to see what we find.  Come with us on this great adventure.  We can’t wait to see what happens next….