Look at those lights behind the trees; Don’t the Highway sound like the ocean

And yes, if you know the song, I do have someone in mind.

I know when I have hit my emotional and physical wall because all my daydreams are spent traveling, and all my night dreams are about being a nurse in a multi-bed hospital or some other somebody’s something and just trying to find enough time to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom.

And I long so hard for the sound of the ocean.

I pine for a road trip, tires on freeway, waking up in strange rooms in towns I can’t pronounce. Only responsibilities are gas in the tank, air in the tires, and deciding yeah or nay on the picnic and hike or the World’s Largest Ball of Contiguous Twine.

It is no coincidence that I fascinated by all things nomadic and drawn to all things deeply rooted.

The two biggest reason I have my 20 Wishes are first to face the big bad realities of life and death with aplomb instead of fear; the second is to counteract the constant dripping tedium of adulting.

Everyone gets when I am struggling with the former, the Big C has street cred, but the other gets no sympathy, not even from me, but sometimes its hardest.

Anyway, all philosophical deepness and poetic meanderings aside, even these meager ones brought on by repeat listening to Lake Street Dive’s immensely satisfying time and key changes (listen to them, you will thank me!), I really, really NEED this trip to the great AT.

I kind of hate that my timing coincides with people getting all excited by it, but I have been working up to it far too long to let trail hiking  popularity dissuade me.

So starting with a negative balance in the books. My staggering medical debt is down below $2000, there is also some personal debt to friends and family who helped me in the last two years, and my student loans,  and an ambulance bill.  Thankfully working hard and will have ALL of it gone by December (except student loan.)

And my physical state is the equivalent of my bank balance. Been just keeping track without changes. Currently back at almost sedentary with less than 5000 steps in a day. Weigh in at 220 lbs. Stand 5’5″ and walking/trotting a brisk mile definitely winds me.

But

Off all treatment meds for a couple months, always try and keep pain down with Tylenol, Ibuprofen and my roller, yoga, meditation, diet, etc.

So this is nowhere near impossible. In fact compared to other things I have done this should be a Breeze.

 

“On the Road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…

Two thousand. One hundred. Eighty-four miles. (Definitely read this in Captain Kirk’s voice)

I will start in Georgia. Am I crazy? Is this a dream I can manifest?

I don’t know.

That’s what makes it exciting.

That’s what makes it necessary.

To take 6 to 9 months completely off my work driven life to auto across the southern half of the United States, then hike  the AT, and motor back through the Northern United States.

This is the goal.

This is the dream.

This is my new commitment.

Why do I want to thru-hike?

I want an adventure.  I want to experience nature, wilderness. I want solitude.

Logistics I am currently nailing down are route and budget. As to route it looks like a leapfrog route is my best option if I do decide to include the northern end and any of the White Mountains or I may just stop in Vermont. I plan to leave later than the golden day, enough to not be part of the swarm while still avoiding the highest temps.

Budget right now is looking like $1300 a month, including storage of my stuff back home, sounds like a lot of money, but not really. I spend more than that now. On the other hand I am still earning while I am here working.

Need to go tend to those tasks at hand today.

Including my first route worksheet.

Not sure if I am more scared or excited.

Daily goal, replace my fitbit with another pedometer. It died. Start increasing my steps a day. Need to be used to 10 miles a day on flat land, so hiking 10 to 15 is a no brainer.

Your toy balloon has sailed in the sky, Love

Now it must fall to the ground….know when its time to descend there is no easy way down….

I know its been awhile since I have made a blog entry.  There are times in everyone’s life when silence is golden. So treasure this break in communication as the fine gift it was, but I am back, at least for now.

So a few quick updates, obviously still alive, making me recently officially older, and hopefully a wee bit wiser. There are no cures or fixes for what ails me, but that doesn’t mean I’m done yet.  I am a tough bird who has so many more smiles to share.

Still legally single although FB official(this centuries version of going steady, lol) with a slightly younger man. I am still working as a fragile pediatric nurse and once again am totally in love with my little charges. I miss the ones who no longer need me but being ladies, Mary Poppins and I always know when to leave. In fact my work gets much credit for my still being here fighting the good fight.

I measure the success of my days not so much by what I have or receive but in what I give or contribute.  I know I am greatly loved but its learning how to love without ego that keeps me coming back for more.

I also have this amazing bucket list, or what I call my 20 Wishes Book, to which I give romance writer Debbie Macomber full credit for inspiring.

There are five things I have wanted to do since I was a small, small child, they have been repeating themes in all my diaries and journals.

First was to be a nurse. Accomplished and loving it. Healer is my raison d’etre.

Second was to be a professional poet and author. This was accomplished long before the Nurse goal was met. I am afraid words and I have recently been in serious talks of divorce, but after a bit of remedial counseling we are ready to try one more time.

Third was to travel to “all the states in the union and all continents of the world.” This was my fourth grade wording for my nomad hearts desire and towards that end I have been to 49 of the 50 states and 5 of the 7 continents.

The fourth was to hike the AT. Which is where we begin again now.

Tomorrow I put on my FitBit and see where I am on daily steps. Gotta start where I am. My daily steps goal is 5 miles then 10 miles a day. I have been hiking both with and without my son. I still stick to Beginner trails but not for long….

Looking at the map on my wall makes me both excited and a little intimidated. Which is so much like what I felt facing swimming and biking the first time, and there is that triathlon medal right there on the other wall.

Who wants to join me for the hike of a lifetime?

 

You walked into the party, like you were walking onto a yacht..

A gavotte, in case you are interested, is a 18th century commoner’s dance in 4/4 time where feet are raised instead of slid. Rarely, I would suppose has anyone danced a true gavotte on a yacht, except perhaps the illusive David who watched the 1970 eclipse and bet on the winning horse at Saratoga, I’ve always kind of voted for the guitar repairman or Warren Beatty since Carly Simon dated both and both actually thought the song was about them.

However, that really isn’t what I want to blog about today, yes, all that was just my mental subtext of the universe starting my soundtrack with that song the last few days.

I may have mentioned before that all my titles (at least for awhile) are lyrics, because I do live to a soundtrack, but before I go on to what’s new, a follow-up to the last post. I really hadn’t meant the last post to be a request for money but a few of you incredibly generous readers again filled my heart with gratitude. Some went to bills, some went as directed to replacing my copy of Fiddler on the Roof and helping me make some magic for others.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. My actual medical bills are about $2000 away from being paid off again, just using essiac tea and the usual organic foods, positive attitude and long range goals and this time. It will all come together in the end, I have faith, but more importantly I also have a plan. If you want donated funds to go to something specific (medical bills, my charitable works, my trip thru the Appalachians please add the note.)

And to those who donated, I will follow my amazing friends Ann Videan (check out this amazing Author at http://anvidean.com/ )and Laurie Evans (share and support this funny woman through life’s many challenges at razzzberries.blogspot.com) example and write real “Thank You’s,” which does relate to the subject of my blog.

(But first, and very tangentially related, my new favorite word, encountered in my Botany for Appalachia studies is “peregrination,” now on to the real blog.)

Words Versus Communication, or at least that’s how it feels sometimes, like there is a war of words in progress. Not the trolling memes and name calling kind, although there are also too many of those, but a word fueled breakdown in human connection.

In my title song “Your So Vain,” Carly Simon had a crush (brief affair?) on an arrogant and magnetic man of common roots and new money and is a little bitter. Her meta self-referential lyrics not only demonstrate all the wonderful subtleties of meaning words can convey but were kind of a precursor to modern modes of meaning.

I am old enough to remember when the concept of communicating in most of the ways I currently communicate were just science fiction. I could talk to someone on the phone if I could confine my activities to the length of the cord and no one else needed the phone. I could write a letter, or go for a visit. The effort it took to tell someone something added gravitas to the words and to the relationship.

The receiver was part of the message and the purpose. Tone of voice, or posture, or even the ways the letters looked on the page; hurried and slanted or carefully crafted bits of spider web, illuminated the inner soul of the words.

If we wanted to talk to ourselves we addressed journals, diaries or our children and spouses.

Now more of my words are poured into empty space. I say thank-you with cyber cards where all the letters look the same. I instant message and email and tweet and post and like and blog.

Perhaps it is my age that makes me think that the more ways I have to share my thoughts and feelings, the more confused I am on what it means to communicate.

So I am going to go for a visit, write a couple thank-you’s and remember again that a story is only a story when it has an audience, love only love when it has a recipient, and ))U(( feels nothing like a warm pair of arms around your waist.

Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…

However one must still take the medicine. That is one of many bits of wisdom that I have accumulated in my lifetime of adventures and books, a bit of wisdom from childhood complements Disney’s Mary Poppins.

I am happy to be known as the Mary Poppins Nurse, I knew she was a Time Lord long before Pop Culture acknowledged her origins. I knew she was a Time Lord when PBS was in its infancy and Oscar the Grouch was orange. However, I am not here today to discuss Time Lords, or Mary Poppins or other purportedly fictional bits of sugar that helped my wisdom grow and flourish, I am here to talk about the medicine.

Medicine is the tough stuff we have to swallow to become better: better health, better writer, better informed, better person. Medicine is often bitter with wide ranging side effects, not all of them pleasant.

I remember just how disappointed I was as a child when I read a biographer’s portrayal of Jack London (how I loved, loved, loved his books) as a soft, overweight man willing to trade his name to grape juice manufacturers for ten silver pieces, and as much likely to survive an adventure as a spoiled persian cat. It was a tough pill to swallow.

I was still too young to realize that sometimes more motivates a biographer than love and facts; yet old enough to know that not everything in books is real; I somehow expected much more of Jack. I vowed then, I was not going to be like Jack, I would be a lifetime adventurer.

I now have great empathy for that armchair traveling Jack I so despised as a child.

AlThough it is also good to know that one opinion was mostly false, more scholarly biographies have reinforced my original perception of Mr. London without ignoring his faults, the facts are that he did slow down as he aged due to renal insufficiency of unknown origin and he was one of the first to trade his name and image to a product for money.

I am still am an adventurer.

I still have to take my medicine, including the aches, pains and infirmities of age, disease, and a few bad choices.

But there is so much sugar in my life, from roses blooming outside my door, to smiles from babies and the triumph of met goals.

Today at Physical Therapy my exercise assistant (who is a mere 22 years old and cute as a button) said with awe, “You’ve done so much!”

My first response was, “I’m old, more time to do things.”

But the truth is, if my life had run smoothly would I have had so many adventures? I don’t think so.

Today I salute all the hard parts, the things that made me better, more interesting, the things that led me to realize there really are only three important questions when contemplating an action.

1. Is it compassionate?

2. Is it ethical?

3. Does it support my long term goals?

Now all of you go out and take your medicine and say a thank you for the sugar that helps it go down….

Straight to the Heart, and You’re to Blame

Good Morning!

Things that give love a bad name are buttered movie popcorn, playing addictive phone games, and shopping.

Things that go straight to my heart and kind of give love and my heart a boost are dogs, birds and pigs (sorry cats, you and I have that sort of love that bad young adult romance is based on, I love you, you kill me: i.e we can co-exist only with the assists of decongestants.) Also 50-80’s music and archery and swimming

First time out with Two Moons and loving it. Also great way to see what to fix!

First time out with Two Moons and loving it. Also great way to see what to fix!

That’s me using borrowed equipment on Sunday Mornings at Papago park. I had much fun thanks, and actually got 12 points in my first speed round ever.

Listening to a little Bon Jovi while I bring every body up to date on the life and times of this S.O.F.T. lady complete with stats, goals, recent challenges and needs and amazing life surprises.

Always on to start and end with gratitude let me tell you some of the universe’s recent perfect timing and fun surprises.

Back story on the first one is that I did a good deed that was very hard for me, I lent my Nintendo DS3 to a mom who had more need than I, complete with my Zelda game.
I really missed it last week as I wanted more than anything to disappear into anything game, glass of wine or box of popcorn to avoid the glaring absence of my beautiful old Golden.

Sunday night I got back from archery and the zoo with my honorary grandkids BAM and Tam (and their parents of course) and found a box from Amazon outside my door. Inside was a Disneyworld Nintendo 3DSLX, anonymous gift. So Gifter if you are reading this, like BIG BIG BIG hugs.

So I gave my 3DS, the one I got from Sara to this Mom. Lending her my game until she beats it, or I can replace it. Crap, I guess I am still a little selfish.

So I have real love in my life as well, like, you know, a potential rest-of-my-life partner which is both awesome and kind of freaky for me. He has also joined in with my trips to the gym and eating right, though he is quite calorie focused and I am more nutrition.

I am only on Essiac Tea for the cancer and less PTSD meds for the PTSD. My hair on my head is currently giving me a lovely layer of fuzzy stubble among the parts that didn’t fall out and so my hair has awesome body. Bad news is my genetics are showing and my eyebrows again need daily maintenance, as does my moustache. But this is to say I am getting healthier.

My current stats are 222 lbs, BMI of 42 and body percent fat of 41% (Steroids, self pity eating and couch only energy levels for a year will do that to a girl, but hey, I’m here to whine about it!)

Starting where I am…yesterday my steps were 4229 and it was truly all I could do! My goal is 10,000 steps a day. My swimming goal is a mile in an hour, and well I did 0.3 miles in 50 minutes. Did 25 meter lengths with pause then another length. Down from my first two attempts where I did 50 meters with just a turn.

So what are my big goals?
1. Ability to swim 3 miles open water!
2. Hike the Appalachian trail
3. Live to see Bam, Archer, and Tam graduate High School.
4. Publish a book of my poetry.
5. Publish a new fiction book I can be proud to put my name on.

Not much I know, LOL

What do I need?

Hiking gear
Donations
A definite plan…

What can you do to help?

Join me. Support me with comments or donations.

Make it your best day.

For now Namaste.
Crowfae