The Blessings: A Post in Four Parts

DSCN9126August 3rd-12th

Part 1: Transported

As we got ready to go on our trip, the one we take up the coast every summer, retracing our honeymoon, we started with Bus worries. As I mentioned in the last post, we were having problems in idle and had been warned the king pin (whatever that is) needed replacing, and we were looking for a new mechanic as the one we were seeing kept charging us more and more money while the Bus was getting worse every time we took it there, so we headed out to see Eric at Beisser Motorwerks. I was hopeful when we saw Eric’s lot: wall-to-wall old VW busses, and Erik did not disappoint. First, he talked to Robert for a long, long time, answering his questions and even listening to Robert’s theories about the source of the problems. Second, after he had the Bus for a day, he fixed it, and it ran better than any time after we left Larry. It turns out that the reason the Bus couldn’t idle is he has “racing cams.” Now if you are like me this means nothing to you; I only vaguely know the concept of a cam from my days selling sewing machines, but it does seem like something a mechanic should be able to identify. Apparently this gives our engine more power but also requires different settings for the timing. Or something like that. Anyway, it is the kind of thing a mechanic would hopefully know, and unlike our previous shop, Eric did know what he was looking at. Oh, and the king pins (whatever they are) need to be watched, but the steering was bad because we needed a new drag link (whatever that is). Robert said he was afraid to tell me how loose it had been, how hard to control in the wind, but apparently Eric fixed all of that and sent us on our way. Thanks, Eric!http://www.beissermotorwerks.com/

With the stress of the Bus not running right gone, it was time to focus on our trip. When we got married in 2006, Robert and I camped down the coast from Oregon, much as we did last summer in the Bus. This year, however, Robert spent his vacation time dealing with the deaths of Jim and Buddy, so we had to scale back. Instead of going all the way to Oregon or even Mendocino, we settled for nine days on the Central Coast, staying at Wheeler Gorge, San Simeon, Montana de Oro, and back to San Simeon. This area has long been a sanctuary for us ever since we got blown out of the desert in a Great Basin Windstorm and discovered it by accident, and we always relive part of our honeymoon by taking this trip in the summer. My therapist once told me she thought it was a lovely idea, calling it the Hajj of our Marriage, a pilgrimage to visit a place with meaning for us. San Simeon in particular has been a place of meaning for us, and we were excited to head back there again.

Usually when we travel, it takes me some time to leave life behind, but it turns out that the Bus really is a Magic Bus. I was thinking about this on the trip and I realized that I should have realized this all along. When we were first thinking about buying the Bus, a decision we came to in campsite 202 at San Simeon State Park in the summer of 2017, I spent time on the internet when we returned trying to show Robert a picture of what the Bus actually looked like inside. I quickly learned that VW busses are generally classed in an arcane set of numbers and names, and that my father’s Bus was a T2. To quote Wikipedia (which is totally reliable about this as I have confirmed it on many other VW sites and all folks who are suspicious of Wikipedia should chill—most of the information needed for English majors and VW enthusiasts there is perfectly valid—)“The Volkswagen Type 2, known officially (depending on body type) as the TransporterKombi or Microbus, or, informally, as the Bus (US) or Camper (UK)” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Type_2).

So, we have a T-2. But then I started thinking about the name itself, Transporter. Obviously, the VW people weren’t thinking about transport the way I am; they meant a vehicle that transports as in moves people, a people and goods mover, if you will. But on this trip the name made more sense to me as a way of thinking about the Bus and his magical qualities, for he is actually a transporter in the sense that when I travel in him I am transported from one life to another, not just moved in physical space, but moved spiritually and emotionally, too. I would chalk all of this up to my history with the Bus, of his ability to make me recall my childhood by seeing the foot scuffs inscribed in the way way back from my little feet in Salt Water sandals and my sense that when he is near my father can’t be far, but it seems he is the same for Robert. Checking in with Robert at the first campfire, he agreed. He said he felt like the trip started the minute he hit the freeway, while for me it was breaking through to Malibu.

But imagine what that feels like: like the old “Calgon, take me away” commercials for bubble bath, whisking a housewife to a perfectly laid bath, or “beam me up, Scotty,” removing the good old folk of the Starship Enterprise back to the safety of their ship or even the various magical conveyances of the Harry Potter series. Who doesn’t want to be sucked out of their life and transported to another? And for us, what better place to land than in a campground? Perhaps I am the only one who longs to be zapped out of my life and transported to a magical place, but I doubt it, and I do know that I am so very lucky to have the Bus to make this transformation happen. From the moment I strap myself in and hear the rumble of his now more even idle, and when I see the particular golden light that infuses the cabin and body, I feel like I am well and truly on a journey.

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This year we took it easy the first day, just returning to our old campsite 18 at Wheeler Gorge. I set up the lights and the hammock and then we went wading with Harold in the creek. It was a magical time, the slow approach of evening, my favorite golden hour, and I delighted in watching the water skippers and looking at the fish and feeling the blessed cool of the water running over my feet. There were to be many perfect moments on this trip, but I didn’t know that yet. What I knew instead was that I was away, on the road, with the person I love most of all in the world, and with the puppy, Harold. We weren’t worried about what was to come because the Bus was running well, and we had all that glorious vacation stretching out ahead, like summer when you are a kid, so much time that you think it will never end, and we were as out of our regular lives as we could be. I put on my shortest shorts and didn’t care about how I looked. I swung in the hammock and read. I made a lovely salad for dinner with the next to last of our garden tomatoes, and as the evening settled down, I found I was in that state I always want to be in, away and in perfect comfort, but I was not yet in bliss. Oh, well, the beauty of a vacation is that tomorrow really is another day.

 

Part 2: Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

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Whilome in Albion’s isle there dwelt a youth,  

Who ne in virtue’s ways did take delight;  

But spent his days in riot most uncouth,

And vexed with mirth the drowsy ear of Night.

George Gordon, Lord Byron

I knew Harold was likely to really become our forever dog when he started accumulating nicknames on the trip. He went from his usual Harold or Little H to Puppers and Pup-a-lup and even acquired new names like Puppy Monster (for a complete list of Harold’s names, please see the last section). That is how you know you are going to keep a dog; I knew this with Harold as surely as I did when I started calling Joey Joe Bean. It’s just something that happens with us. But Harold started the trip poorly. The first day his reactivity towards other dogs was beyond annoying. For those not in the know of dog behavior lingo, reactivity is when your dog starts barking like crazy at any other dog encountered. Harold was doing that, and worse, including lunging at Robert, grabbing his leash, and even biting Robert’s forearms. When I think back on that part of the trip, I see Robert standing by the Bus, patiently dabbing iodine on his wounds. At the start, Robert was determined to work Harold through this terrible new behavior, but of course it wasn’t new to me. Robert was simply seeing the puppy I knew, the one I called Terrold. Robert tried yelling at him and training through with treats, but then I shared the secret that had reformed Harold with me: ignore him.

Our former trainer had told me that puppies like Harold are terrible attention whores, and that they hate nothing more than being ignored. Big Mama Diamond confirmed this when she stayed to us. In the worst of Harold’s “Bark bark Bark Play with ME!” tantrums, I noticed that Diamond turned her face away, unwilling to even meet his gaze. I decided to take a page from Diamond and stand still when he attacked my feet. It worked. And slowly, on this trip, it worked for Robert, too. Setting out on our morning or evening walk, Robert would calmly intone, “I’ll wait,” as Harold began biting at the leash and lunging at Robert. We looked at the sky, at each other, but not at Harold, and by the end of the trip, we waited less than we walked.

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It also helped that Childe Harold had many adventures on the trip. There was the adventure of camping itself and sleeping in the Bus, but there were also walks around the campground, beach trips, and a memorable short hike to the deep pools of Salmon Creek in Big Sur. I watched the water flowing through the creek and captured Harold crossing the rocks, inhaling the scent of the bay trees that perfume that canyon, and I knew we had done a good thing bringing Harold. I saw Harold running on the beach at Hearst State beach and knew he was experiencing something I could never give him at home. And at the dog beach outside of Morro Bay he hit his stride, first barking at every dog we passed, then meeting a few dogs, then finding a dog who wanted to play with him. After every one of these adventures Harold was so tired he collapsed in puppy joy, and when he started getting in the van at night before bedtime to crash, I knew we had a camping dog.

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And what of Harold’s other joys? There was the ball he found creek side the first night, then lost in San Simeon, then had returned by his father and brought home. That’s to say nothing of the pinecones and sticks he enjoyed carrying on his nightly walks, nor to mention the lamb treats we discovered in the dog store in Cambria. Harold was socializing, working with people and strange dogs, every single day. I think there may be nothing better for a dog with socialization issues. And by the end of the trip I had come to hope and even realize that Harold was becoming a better dog. No, he is not perfect (and today he ripped up a great many useless things), but no dog is perfect, not even our beloved Buddy.

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But one of the funny things that started happening on this trip was Punk Rock Puppy. As my earlier post “Raising a Demon” makes clear, Harold already had some punk rock cred as we regularly refer to him as Henry Rollins Puppy, but on this trip we started to flesh out his punk rock persona. I can’t remember who started it, but gradually we started singing “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies in his falsetto puppy voice. First, a note on that: all of our dogs and stuffed animals, except for Squishy the Sea Turtle who is telepathic, have voices. Some of these voices are suspiciously similar, so one might need to ask, “Was that Ingram or Ollie?” but all pit bulls have the same voice, a dropped D tuning on the guitar, and a deep rumble of a voice. Buddy came to know his voice so well that he would look at us when we used it, generally with a bemused and interested expression. Harold being a puppy, he has a high-pitched puppy voice (and for those who care, Joey has a creepy drawl, as in “Heeey Lay-dee….”If you aren’t familiar with the song “Institutionalized” here’s a link to the lyrics: https://genius.com/Suicidal-tendencies-institutionalized-lyrics

But here’s the part we kept returning to on the trip, imagining it as Harold’s response to all our training:

 

How do you know what my best interest is?

How can you say what my best interest is?

What are you trying to say, I’m crazy?

When I went to your play-dates

I went to your puppy pre-K

I went to your puppy socializations

So how can you say I’m crazy?

 

I’m not sure why adding the punk rock persona to Harold seems to help me understand him, but I think it is that I have always maintained a connection to my teenaged punk rock self. I remember what it was like to be filled with all that frustration, and I swear I see it in Harold, too. Robert says that Harold is karma for all he put his parents through in his teen years, and in that case the punk rock connection is equally valid. Still, the trip seemed to chill Harold out, and he spent more time sleeping in camp than barking at passing folks. He also spent a great deal of time hiding and re-hiding his bone in the bushes, but I figure that’s a dog thing. I tried to look to the future, to imagine other trips with Harold once he is a grown dog, and I found it was impossible for me to imagine it, and yet I know it is so likely what is coming next. For of course Harold will grow and eventually he will be a dog and not a puppy, and of course we will take other trips.

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Part 3: Perfect Moments

If you haven’t watched Spaulding Gray’s film Swimming to Cambodia in years, you might not remember what he says about perfect moments on a trip. However, if you are me, then you watched and re-watched this film sometime in the 90’s, you remember that he claims that having a perfect moment is the testament to a trip, and that if he wasn’t going to have one on his trip then he was going to manufacture one by means of magic mushrooms. We did not need to turn to magic mushrooms on this trip for it turned out to be replete with perfect moments, and here is the list I inscribed in Campsite 212, San Simeon State Park, on August 11th:

Wading with the puppy at Wheeler Gorge

I already talked about this in the section about Harold, but I keep returning to it as a perfect moment.

Arriving in San Simeon State Park/Going to Cambria

Arriving in San Simeon will always mean sanctuary to us. I remember taking Buddy there and as we pulled in and he smelled the smell of the place, he let out a sound that seems like it might qualify as a “barbaric yawp,” but that was so infused with joy. Cambria, however, is a delightful seaside village that equally attracts me and repels me. It is so very quaint. But arriving that first night, a Sunday, and finding the hardware store closed on Sunday (something I cannot imagine here), we had a lovely time at our favorite hippie grocery store picking out dinner. http://trueearthmarket.com/

Dinners! Arugula salad with pears, berries, goat cheese, turkey bacon and nuts

We ate amazingly well on the trip, and we took pleasure in every bite. Everything was simple and fresh and easy, and there is something about camping that makes all food delicious. The arugula salad was especially satisfying.

Free Tomato/Hippie blessing

One of the first nights we were camped in site 202, near sunset, a man drove up. Of course, he wanted to talk about the Bus. He had never seen one like it and thus ensued the endless explanation: no, it is not a conversion kit; it’s a Dormobile top from England and my Dad ordered it that way. Yes, the inside is all original. No, we didn’t paint it ourselves. But this guy was so pleased to see us there, and he even made a comment so similar to our pre-Bus blessing from a Chumash guy in the same site: “You are really doing the right thing.” We learned that he made chairs and structures from driftwood in Cambria, and he gave us a homegrown garden tomato that we ate for two days. Thank you, man!

The Incredible Invisible Sandwich

Robert and Harold were tasked with going to the True Earth market to get supplies and a wrap for lunch, which we planned to have at Hearst State Beach. However, when I opened the bag, all I found were cookies. Robert had left the sandwich in the store. We were sad at first, but then the Bus provided: we had nuts and crackers stored in the pantry, and we had cheese from the cooler, and soda, so we had a lovely lunch at the beach despite the lack of a sandwich.

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Free Berries/Kayaker blessing

While we were enjoying our non-sandwich lunch, I watched a car from Vermont pull in. A very fit woman got out and proceeded to begin working on unhooking her boat, but the beauty of the Bus sideswiped her. “Wow,” she said and peeked her head in. She was impressed and yet reticent, but then she offered us a basket of fresh blackberries (or they could have been Ollalieberries). We accepted and thanked her. It felt like another blessing.

The Kiwi umbrella

I still have a post it note on my computer that reads “A Gift From The People of New Zealand” owing to a conversation I had with my dad some time ago about what message he’d like to see inscribed on the bus. We hope to have some Maori folks Robert has worked for help us with the language and the design and then incorporate this message into the woodwork when we refinish the interior. We always spend a great deal of time discussing all the things we want to do for the Bus on these trips, Robert waxing mechanical while I think of decorating, so I knew it was a good omen when we found the Kiwi umbrella. There is a funny motel in Cambria, the Cambria Pines Lodge, and I once stayed at the sister lodge in Oregon with my stepmother. Somehow we have never managed to stay in the one in Cambria, although I would love to, for the place in Cottage Grove had some of the most beautiful and whimsical gardens I have ever roamed. For many years I have noticed this lodge in Cambria and that they have a nursery, but this was the first time we stopped. It was a gray morning in the ongoing battle of the sun and the fog, and Harold was welcome there, so we started to walk around. I could write an entire blog post about the place, but if you live near there and you love gardens, you should go. What made this a perfect moment was finding the Kiwi fruit umbrella on clearance and the dog girl. We needed an umbrella for the beach and for our picnic table, and I was resigned to picking up a nautical stripe generic one in Morro Bay, but this place had watermelon and kiwi umbrellas, and they were on clearance. I might have liked the watermelon for myself, but for the bus, the gift from New Zealand, only the kiwi would do, and it did serve us well on the trip. The young woman who checked me out and met Harold was also a great validation. She had recently raised two puppies and assured us that we were doing the right thing by getting him out in front of people and dogs. “Don’t be embarrassed if he acts up—you just have to do it,” she said. http://www.cambriapineslodge.com/gardens

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Not getting to Nepenthe

We decided early on to head to Big Sur. Last year the road was closed owing to the landslide, and so we hoped to revisit Nepenthe, a tourist trap/lovely place/destination we had once had a lovely lunch at. And so we set out, up the windy road, making jokes about the Bus and his ability to handle the trip. Ingram, the hand puppet tortoise who lives with us, took a particularly dim view of this trip as he hates Highway 1 and has long been lobbying for “GUARD RAILS!” We listened to him complain and exclaim in fear, and the fog was hugging the coast, so the terrifying cliffs were less evident. We were interested in seeing the landslide, and as a Geologist’s daughter, I wanted to get pictures for my dad, but we kept thinking it would be just around the bend and then finally we saw it. I took the obligatory pictures, but they don’t capture it at all—the sight of the big trucks coming down at such an angle, the sheer amount of earth that had moved, well, it is something that is harder to imagine even after you have seen it if that makes any sense.

Just as we were looking for the landslide, we were also looking for Nepenthe. “It’s just around this curve, “ I said, remembering when we stopped and saw the condors. But it wasn’t. In fact, Nepenthe was much farther than we thought it would be, and when we got there it was clogged with tourists. We tried to park but there was a considerable clusterfuck in the lot, and eventually we headed back the way we came. But I had to pee! It was urgent, and we headed back to the last known landmark, a place Robert knew from stopping for coffee but that I had never seen. It turned out to be a lovely gallery and café with exactly what I wanted for lunch (Greek Salad) and with a dog friendly patio. Robert even had soft serve vanilla ice cream flavored with bay laurel. It was in a way one of the minor and unrecorded until now lessons of the trip: sometimes what you are looking for is not what you are looking for.http://coastbigsur.com/

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Morro Bay: Shine and beads

We traveled from San Simeon to Montana de Oro and decided to have a Morro Bay Day. In contrast to the acute cuteness of Cambria, Morro Bay always feels a little more hard edged—maybe it is the nuclear plant and the warnings about sirens posted everywhere, or perhaps it is the lack of large, older, white folk and the inclusion of drifters and Latinos, but we always have a Morro Bay Day, and that day always includes Shine, a truly excellent vegan restaurant that catapults me back to my teenage years in Ashland working at North Light (I swear it smells the same and some of the people who work there look like the same people I worked with way back then). And then there is the bead store just down the way, and for Robert, the music store, where he bought Jack, our camping guitar and once, in a fit of financial abandon, our beautiful 12 string Martin guitar. Everything was just as it always is, and the black bean tostada was perfect (and Harold behaved until almost the end of the meal), and I got the best beads, and Robert did not purchase another guitar, which is good or bad depending on your perspective, but as a woman who dusts multiple guitars and basses, I think we have enough. Robert was even allowed to bring Harold in to look at guitars because when he asked the owner if he could bring his puppy in, the man replied” Sure, I let musicians in here, so a puppy should be fine.”

Shine: http://www.sunshinemorrobay.com/vegan-menu/

Bead store:https://www.morrobaybeads.com/index.html

Music shop: http://www.centralcoastmusic.com/Home.html

The house at Montana de Oro and BLUUMAX

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            We weren’t sure what to expect from Montana de Oro because we had seen the campground once and dubbed it a ring of hell (campsites in a ring, no space between them), and although I have heard folks wax poetic about the charms of the campground, those folks may be talking about all the great hiking in the area, but sadly all of that hiking is No Dogs Allowed. This is a theme in the park—even random trees seem to have the No Dogs sign attached. We made it there in late afternoon and were rewarded with the crappy site we had reserved facing the water source and the bathroom, but that’s the beauty of the Bus—even in a terrible campground or site, you have the Bus to hang out in, and I had a lovely time sitting at the table in the Bus and making mobiles of driftwood, shells, and my new beads. Around sunset we walked to the beach past an old farmhouse (now a store and visitor’s center that was sadly closed), and as I stood on the porch imagining a time when a family lived there, I felt that curious slippage between past and present that sometimes happens on these trips. I have felt it before at lighthouses and other historic sites, and it always makes me want to write a book about the people who settled these lands, both the native settlers and the folks who came after. I try to imagine what has changed (I’m thinking the nuclear power plant in Morro Bay) and what is the same (the creek leading to the ocean the beach itself). The beach was one of the few in that area that allows dogs, surprising for such a dog un-friendly park, and Harold had a good time walking on the steep and pebbly beach. I had several moments when the sun and sky and ocean seemed to enter me in a way that always brings me great peace, and I was happy to get back to camp to start dinner.

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Shortly after we arrived back, Bluumax showed up. Bluumax was another old bus, 70’s vintage, fairly similar to Red Edna, a bus we met earlier this year in Wheeler Gorge. Bluumax’s owners did not come to chat like Red Edna’s but we were thrilled to see another vintage VW out camping, and it felt like yet another blessing. It all sounds like such a fairytale, really—Bluumax and Red Edna and the adventures of the Bus! We drove out of that site early headed for showers at Morro Bay State Park, a previously unknown perk of camping at Montana de Oro.

I feel like I’m being hard on Montana de Oro, and I really think we will have to go back and get a better site, perhaps without a dog, because the place did feel otherworldly and beautiful. According to Robert, the best sites are 18, 19, 23, and 33.

Squishy at the beaches

**For those who aren’t familiar with Squishy, well, that’s a long story (see previous post, “Anthropomorphizing the Bus”). For those who know Squishy, well, he had a great trip.**

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Steinbeck at the picnic table and by the fire

            Last summer we bought a new copy of Travels With Charley to live in the Bus as I gave our camping box copy to the fellow traveler, Scoot, who we met in 2017 as we were formulating our plan to buy the Bus. However, the trip last summer was hectic, and we didn’t get to read very much. Even though I have read this book many, many times, and read parts of it aloud more than once, I never seem to get tired of it. This trip we tuned into Steinbeck the way we might tune into the news if we were still able to watch the news, something to tide us over before the campfire and while dinner was being prepared. As always, Steinbeck’s prose and humanity wove a spell around us, and we toyed with calling the Bus Rocinante, for surely he is our Rocinante, and we lamented that Harold was not Charley, but we hoped he might someday become more like Charley.

The Battle of the Sun and Fog/The Blob

San Simeon is always a place of contrasts, and on this trip one of the constant contrasts was watching the sun battle the fog. Sometimes the sun won and sometimes the fog. Also, in the evenings, I enjoyed watching the light on the hills much as it does at my Dad’s house where we speculate about a geological configuration we call Jabba the Hutt. I was pleased to find a similar feature from our new site, 212, and I wished my father was with us to discuss the geology.

Being with Robert

            I had so many perfect moments on this trip that were purely about Robert: his joy at driving the Bus “I love driving this BUS!” or coaxing the Bus up a hill, speaking in the same tone he uses to speak to dogs, “You’ve got this!” and sleeping in our new foam rubber topped bed. I can think of many moments on this trip when I felt blessed, but no blessing means more to me than having Robert along to experience these adventures. I am only sorry that we didn’t have more time to spend traveling and for the occasional bad moods that we both succumbed to, but the thing about the trip is, it is just like life and marriage: it isn’t ever going to be perfect.

Part 4: Lessons Learned (or at least recorded)

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When we set out on this trip my friend Nancy (watcher of dogs and turtles and tortoises, caretaker of mothers, extraordinary young person, and friend of Squishy) gave me a small ceramic bus emblazoned with sea turtles, designed as a tiny piggy bank. “It’s for your trip,” she said. I knew we always accumulate change on the trip, and I loved that it has sea turtles on it, but then Nancy explained. “I thought you could write down things you thought you should remember and put them in it,” she told me. I immediately saw what she meant and it was just the sort of thing I love. I used to make Fortune Boxes for friends that they could use to store fortunes and other divinatory notes in to remind themselves of when they needed guidance, and I saw the little bus in much the same way, so I packed Post It notes and a good pen to facilitate. By the end of the trip the little bus was stuffed full, and in a store in Cambria I came across some nifty little Blue Bus note cards (Bluumax!) to replace the humdrum Post Its. I can see from this trip alone that I will have to make trip books just for the notes and keep the little bus empty for further inspiration, but I am so thankful for Nancy’s insight, inspiration, and understanding. Also, huge thank you to Nancy for managing Joe Bean, Ferdinand, the water turtles, and all my gardens while I was gone, not to mention dealing with my mother. There are only a few times in my life when I have been in a state of grace and realized it, and this is one of them—I am so very lucky to be blessed with such wonderful friends and family, and despite all that seems to be wrong in the world, and that is an endless list these days, knowing that there are people like Nancy makes me think we should all still have hope.

Lessons Learned as recorded in the Tiny Bus:

**Expect some repetition here, as these are some of my sources for this post**

  • August 5, 2019 (San Simeon, 202)

There are very few things you long for and imagine that live up to your expectations, and they aren’t often big things, but the Bus, like my marriage, is one of the experiences that has not just met my wildest hopes/dreams but surpassed them.

  • August 7, 2019 (San Simeon, 202)

Maybe I’ve said this before…I know I’ve thought it before…but the trip is like life. At the halfway (or even more than the halfway) point I start to fret about it ending, worrying, but the trick is to keep enjoying the trip. It’s the same lesson for life.

  • August 8, 2019 (Montana de Oro, site 14) T2=our Bus. He’s a TRANSPORTER. The weird thing is he TRANSPORTS us from reality to camping or perhaps from wherever the fuck we live to REALITY. It comes on sudden for me, for R in the garage, for me at Malibu, but then we are gone—TRANSPORTED!
  • August 9, 2019 (San Simeon, 212) I’m watching this family, Mom, dad, truck that looks like Rocinante, the kids are arriving with their kid…generations, me trying to imagine their lives. Also, Laundromats are depressing.
  • August 9, 2019 (San Simeon, 212) Harold’s nicknames:DSCN9139

Wabbit

Mr. Wiggles

Mr. Wigglesworth

Inspector Wiggles

Terrold

Puppy Monster

Pup-a-lup

Puppers

Puppy Boy

Captain Asshat (**also used with Squishy**)

Little H/Big H

Bubba

Bub

  • August 10, 2019 (San Simeon, 212) So, while I was worrying about what everyone thought of me, all these strangers in town and the campground, worrying that I was offending someone or upsetting someone, I realized, “Oh my God! This is all some EGO TRIP. It’s not all about me! No one cares! After all, a woman at my age, not to mention with my hair is basically invisible. But then I started to think about my dad, who never appeared to give a shit what people thought, and I don’t know where I’m going with this…
  • August 11, 2019 (San Simeon, 212) (From Robert)
  1. Your fear is only your fear and not reality.
  2. Do one VW pop-out window at a time.

3rd lesson added by Jenny: The screw you are missing is NOT missing.

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Final Thoughts: I don’t know when we will go or where we will go this year, but if we take the Bus, and of course we will take the Bus, then I will post. I felt happy and sad at coming home—happy to see my refuge and all my plants and Joey, sad to leave the trip. Now I have to start work and turn towards that grind, and I can see the days getting shorter. Instead of being sad about the end of summer, I try to remember that summer always ends, and that we are coming to fall with the leaves and my birthday and the best holiday and then the actual holidays, and I hope that I will still be here posting pictures of Harold wearing the Antlers of Shame in the Christmas Bus, and then on into the spring with the gardening season, and then right back to summer and whatever awaits us.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. TamMy Stegall says:

    Jenny-
    I loved this post!!! I hope you bring the Bus back to the valley for a visit soon!

    Like

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