I’d been back in Branson for a little over a week only. . .& I miss the desert. How sad, or maybe weird. It’s just so populated here, I feel crowded. And although I LOVE trees (I think they have souls), I’m feeling claustrophobic without being able to see the horizon more frequently. And the humidity is just sucking my breath away. It takes no effort outside to cause profuse sweating, running down my face & into my eyes, even dripping off the end of my nose. Apparently I’ve become VERY spoiled (or soft) traveling out west. And poor, super-furry Kira comes back inside the AC some days within 10 minutes of being out. I imagine some of those holiday campers wondered why I stay inside all the time. Well, I’m NOT on vacation or just camping – I live in my trailer. At least I’ve made two trips to visit my parents & three visits to my girlfriend in Springfield (usually to leave Kira while I take care of other things). I’ve always been nervous leaving her alone in the trailer with the AC running for more than local trips in case of a power outage that won’t restart the AC even when power returns. Plus, 9 hours shut up is pushing the limit for her bladder.
I spent a day getting my 2010 Toyota Tundra pickup serviced in Springfield at the Toyota dealer. I’ve driven 6,000 miles since it’s last servicing last October. Not too bad for a full-time traveler. Jeff & I drove many, many more miles just to & from work living 25 miles in the country outside of Kansas City. There was a lot more income then, but a lot more expenses too. At 92,000 miles on the truck now, it was past time to have the transmission & 4-wheel drive systems checked too. Ugh – much bigger bill than I’d expected, but I’m dead in the water if that truck has a problem. At least I got a $67 discount with Toyota’s veteran’s discount. I’ve had the same service rep (David) helping me twice now, & he’s SOOOO good at answering my naïve questions & concerns, explaining things to me, & trying to be proactive in keeping the truck reliable. And I’m really getting impressed with this truck. It clings to all these curves & corners around Branson, & I like sitting up higher than cars so if I’m ever in an accident, I feel as safe as possible. It handles like a car, so I feel very comfortable driving it finally. It’s fast becoming MY pickup.
The campground hasn’t been horribly crowded, even over 4th of July holiday, & I’ve enjoyed catching up with past campers & staff. It’s good to talk with people who knew Jeff when he felt better. I really like having people parked around too, sitting outside to talk to when we walk by. And Kira knows where she is too, having tons of fun sniffing all the new doggie smells. Oh, and the campground has changed it’s name from Compton Ridge to Branson Ridge RV Resort.
While the truck was getting serviced, my girlfriend & I ate Chinese food. Springfield is the first place I ever ate Chinese food, & I’ve always preferred Springfield cashew chicken. It’s peculiar to this area where the chicken chunks are breaded instead of just cooked bare & is usually listed specifically as Springfield cashew chicken. There was even a little place near where I worked in Kansas City that had it. Yum, yum. I’ve scratched most of my eating-out itches too.
I’ve got VA appointments set up for late July, had my glasses adjusted, & got my gold Baht necklace I’ve worn for 32 years repaired after a link wore out. I want to find someone to reconfigure the two 12v batteries storage hanging off the back of the trailer. Still have things to find & clean out of the storage unit – but it may have to wait until cooler Fall weather. I’m excited about my upcoming Class Reunion – our 50th!! OMG, how’d we all get so old (apparently, very carefully). I’m collecting some simple, no-microwave-or-oven-needed recipes that are quick, easy to make & keep, boondocking-friendly, & healthy that I think I’ll make a blog post about. Considering I’ve lost 20# since Jeff’s death, that’s not saying too much good about my cooking, huh? Maybe it’s more about my state of mind – no appetite sometimes. I’m certainly not a foodie but I don’t trust my memory, so things need to be written down somewhere accessible. It’s SOOOO great having a Walmart & gas station within a few miles. Some of the solo women friends I made this winter are having a grand time hanging out in CO which just has me salivating about spending the summer somewhere more comfortable. Gotta get my life (routine) more organized first tho.
All this driving has given me lots of time (still again) to reflect on Jeff’s death, my future, & our past relationship. I can tell my memories of our life together are getting farther away from me, but his lasting affect on me is very strong. There’s a Celine Dion song that describes how our relationship started & why I was so dependent on him emotionally. He certainly wasn’t perfect nor the best looking, but he loved me unconditionally & was devoted to taking care of me.
For all those times you stood by me, for all the truth you made me see, for all the joy you brought to my life, for all the wrong that you made right. For every dream you made come true, for all the love I found in you, I’ll be forever thankful baby, you’re the one who held me up – never let me fall. You’re the one who saw me thru it all.
You were my strength when I was weak, my voice when I couldn’t speak. You were my eyes when I couldn’t see; you saw the best there was in me. You lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. You gave me faith cause you believed. I’m every thing I am because you loved me.
You gave me wings; you made me fly. You touched my hand – I could touch the sky. I lost my faith; you gave it back to me. You said no star was out of reach. You stood by me & I stood tall. I had your love – I had it all. I’m grateful for each day you gave me. Maybe I don’t know that much, but I know this much is true – I was blessed because I was loved by you.
You were always there for me, your tender wind carried me, a light in the dark, shining your love into my life. You’ve been my inspiration, thru the lies you were the truth; my world is a better place because of you.
I’m every thing I am because you loved me.
Ironically, this relationship actually prepared me to continue on without him. He taught me, showed me, made me stronger, & I hope I never stop feeling him still protecting & guiding me. I hope I never loose that connection nor forget the pain of lose too much. His spirit is still propping me up. I’ll be forever grateful he was such a great part of my life – & I’ll forever remember him in those quiet times alone. In the meantime, I’ll continue with the adventure we both wanted.
I’ve decided to spend a couple of weeks at an RV park near my parents, visiting with them & assorted childhood friends while waiting for my class reunion. Also planning a day trip to Kansas City for Jeff’s grandson’s 8th birthday party & visit with old friends. Then it’s back to Branson. There’s a solo Casita friend who’s planning on coming to Branson to hang out near me then. We may even decide to caravan to some cooler places & meet up with more solo Casita gals. That would put a special spin on my summer of heat!
So, I’ve taken nearly two weeks to get this posted as life has become more intense lately.