On the Road Again….

Wakey-wakey!

Oh I was still so excited to get to my family in Broken Arrow that in spite of the fact that I was up until 11pm talking to my sister, Kelly, on the phone, I couldn’t go back to sleep when I got up at about 6am to pee.

So I got on the road.

Today I decided to listen to a book I have on Audible. It’s called Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, by Rachel Hollis.

Now, I hate reading for pleasure. It has always seemed like a waste of my time. It’s boring. It’s not active. And there’s always so much to get done. However, I do admire people that can sit down and actually read a novel. I know, it’s weird. I just can’t.

But I found a solution.

I’m part of, er, was part of a group at work called The Authentic Leadership Circle. It was about finding and being your best self. In this group, we decided to look at the Enneagram. They gave each of us a book called The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide — Revised & Updated. My heart sank because I REALLY wanted to learn more about me, and those around me, but it was a book…. to read. So I did some digging and found two other great books. The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery and The Path Between Us: An Enneagram Journey to Healthy Relationships. They both came print AND on Audible AND they had study guides. Perfect! And that was the start to my audible addiction. And to my self improvement journey. More about the Enneagram another day.

Now back to the story…

So I opened up my Audible App on my phone and started playing this book. It’s narrated by the author. And let me tell you, she sounds exactly how she looks on the cover of the book.

I started listening to the book. It’s neat because she is so open and raw and honest. You really feel like she’s a girl friend of yours over for wine after a big disaster in your life and she’s giving you advice. And I’m listening. The first part of the book is all about excuses to let go of. You know, things that are keeping you from working on OR EVEN SETTING your goals. And I’m like, yes, I need to do that.

Part of my personality is if I think I’m not going to be perfect and the best at what I set out to do, I’m not even going to try.

This is where, if you have read the Enneagram stuff, I think I’m a 3w4 sx.

So I’m listening and going, yeah, I’m 50 years old. What do I have to lose? Why do I have to be the best or perfect? I just gotta start and work it as I go along.

One of the things I have wanted to do since I learned they existed was start a blog that will make me some money so I can travel the country in my RV, writing more stuff on my blog that is making me money. I only need $500 for my park membership, about $1200 for food, and enough money to get me gas and repairs on my RV. And I don’t want to be chasing the money when the RV breaks down. Because it will, They just do.

So I’m listening and thinking, yeah, I am going to base my blog about this journey I’m on right now! I had already started the first post before I left my mom’s. I just gotta keep it going. And so I am!

Listening to her book was super motivating. The only annoying part was I was driving so I couldn’t take notes. I’ll listen to it again.

I forgot to fill up with gas right after I left the hotel. So I stopped at the Loves in Tucumcari New Mexico. I love the Loves chain. Always clean and friendly. Today’s weather? Rain with a chance of rain. It was raining.

I actually was so caught up in listening to my book that I passed the half tank mark and was nearly down to a quarter of a tank when I stopped next. Gas was only $1.59 per gallon at Loves Truck Stop in Erick, OK.

My next gas stop was the Love’s Travel Stop in Oklahoma City, OK. It was still raining and gas was $1.46 per gallon here! While I’m there, I get quarters for the toll roads between here and St Louis. They quarters are what’s in the little brown bag next to Tyson.

I got to my first toll booth. It was raining. There was a gal in the booth so I stopped and said hi and she proceeded to tell me it was going to be $12.75 for the toll. I sais, “What? At the truck stop they told me $10 in quarters would get me all the way to St Charles, MO!” She proceeded to tell me how because I’m driving a 10′ truck towing a car on a dolly, it’s $12.75. I’ll bet at Loves they thought I was just driving a car. So I asked if I could pay with a card. She said they didn’t take cards and gave me a receipt to take to another toll booth at the exit with the Walmart where there’s an ATM machine that I can get cash out.

So off I went to the Bristow, OK exit with the Walmart. The pass though the toll both there, the lady was a little cranky. She told me how to get around to the Walmart from there. I suddenly remembered doing this same thing when my ex-husband and I move to Green Bay, WI. I got in and got cash and got back over to the toll booth to pay my bill. And on to the next stop – my sisters! I wonder if my other siblings will come see me too!!

I didn’t need to stop for gas to make it there! I did have a few more tolls to pay, but none as much as the first one. I felt prepared. It was raining still and I had now switched to another Audible book, The Road Back to You.

I got there! I was so excited! It was still raining. But I didn’t care!! I was with family! I was at my sister, Kelly’s, house. Her husband, Randy, came home from work shortly after I got there. My other sister, Kim, came over. Her husband, Craig, was home cooking dinner but sent his love. Yancy, my brother, came in next. It was so good to see him too. And then my other brother, Tim, and his wife, Theresa, came in last.

It was so great to catch up and talk about just be in each other’s presence. I am REALLY looking forward to being able to travel this summer and go hang out with them on the weekends. Yancy and Tim have a house out on a lake in the area and they are always posting these great pictures on their Facebook pages and everyone looks so happy. I can’t wait to be a part of that happiness!

Soon it was time for everyone to go on home and get ready to turn in for the night.

The journey begins…

O-dark-30 and away we go!

I was so excited and nervous all at the same time so I woke up around 4:30 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. My mom had already been up for a few hours.

After laying in bed for awhile, I decided I might as well get up and get on the road. Today was going to be my longest day. Not only time and distance wise, but terrain wise as well. Between Phoenix, AZ and my first stop would be mountains and snow. Yes, I said snow. Even though it is the end of March, the high country was getting snow.

I got up and loaded the last of the snacks, cooler and my travel companion, Tyson the Peacock, into the front of the truck and we were off.



First stop, ice for the cooler!

But first, I needed ice for my cooler to keep my soda cold. Priorities, right? So I stopped at the Cobblestone Gas Station at the corner to “fill up”. I had Diet Pepsi and Sprite Zero packed. And some string cheese and 6 peanut butter and strawberry jelly sammiches my mom made me. And…

My mom pulled up next to me in her truck. I forgot my Trulicity in her fridge… She remember and brought it to me. Mom’s always have our backs, no matter how old we are.

So I got the ice and a large Diet Pepsi and hit the road. Next stop, Payson, to say good-bye to Denise.

Payson is a better/sweet for me.

Payson is sweet because Denise lives there, first and foremost. Denise and I have been friends for 24 years. We worked together at ExecuTrain. She was a trainer and I ran the front office. We hit it off right away and have not stopped being an important part of each other’s lives ever since. We have had some great times. I’ll reminisce about those times in another post.

Payson is bitter because Mark, my ex-boyfriend who just dumped me and started this whole journey, and I spent a good amount of time RVing there. We had so much fun there. We stayed in Houston Mesa a few times. That’s where he told me he loved me for the first time. We stayed in Rye, and my friend Anita and her husband, Steve, came up and stayed with us. We tooled around the different thrift stores and shopped and enjoyed a few dinners out. And we stored the RV for a number of months at Patriot RV and Boat Storage.

It was so much fun for me. Great memories.

And now to realize it was all fake, it’s so hard to be in that space.

I feel betrayed, fooled, foolish for falling for it all. I feel frustrated. I feel like I can’t trust my instincts anymore. Aggravated, disappointed. So many things. When I drive through Payson, everything reminds me of the happy times and I miss those happy times and I am pissed I am not going to have them again.

So here comes the emotional journey part.

It’s OK for me to miss the happiness we had together. It’s OK to want that in my life. It’s OK for me to be sad about the end of our relationship.

I didn’t see it coming.

I keep going over and over and over in my head EVERYTHING. What did I miss? What did I do wrong? What should I have done differently? I honestly can’t think of a single thing.

And he says I didn’t do or not do anything to cause this. He just wants to live alone. Not to divulge too much personal information about him, but he does have some issues and quit possibly it really is him and not me. Is that my ego embracing that?

I am on a journey to become a better person all on my own accord. I started seeing a councilor about 6 months ago to help me work on some of my own things I’d like to do better. It was really great to have an established relationship with a councilor when all this went down. He really helped me work through a lot and fast.

My councilor and I talked about maybe Mark was going to hold me back. Maybe God put it on his heart to let me go now so I could soar to new heights on my own tomorrow. Who knows. I know I am still sad some days and I know it’s OK to still be sad some days.

I also know I am just fine on my own, and for once in my life, don’t feel the urge to find a new boyfriend.

So I made it to Payson, AZ and said good-bye to Denise and Sage, her beautiful Great Pyrenees. I told her, it’s not “good-bye”, but rather “see you later”. We already have a trip planned for the end of May – Lord willing we can travel by then!

She gave me a bag with some toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and fancy hospital grade blue gloves. All so I don’t pick up a bug on my trip. She is so thoughtful. I love her dearly!

Gas stop!

My next stop would be for gas at Circle K just outside of Payson right on highway 260. It was actually Denise’s idea to take a picture of Tyson everytime I stopped and post it on Facebook with a note of where I was at. That way, if I disappeared along my trip, everyone would know where I was last and know where to start looking for me. Pretty smart if you ask me.

I never let my tank get under a half a tank of gas, and that was about all I could go without needing to empty my bladder either. So Speedy’s Truck Stop was my next stop in Lupton, AZ.

I have to say, I was really thankful the price of gas went down so low for this trip. Gas was $1.98 here.

I’m pretty picky about where I sit to relieve myself too. I can’t stand a dirty bathroom. When my ex-husband, Chris, and I were moving from Phoenix, AZ to Green Bay, WI, I would only stop at truck stops or McDonald’s. Regular gas stations were out of the question. They are NEVER clean enough. Anyway, you will see a theme to my bathroom/gas breaks on this trip too.

My last stop was in Santa Rosa, NM. Let me tell you about that whole mess!

So I pulled off Highway 40, and got on my phone to look up a Wyndham Hotel. You see, as much travel as I did for work, I had accumulated enough points to stay for one night free. Yay!! So, the Wyndham App said there was a room available at the Travelodge, so I booked it. And then I hit the Directions button to get directions to said hotel I had just booked.

The map app took me to the Travelodge in Vaughn, NM. It was a 41 minute drive away from the highway. First, I can’t find the hotel. So I call and a very unhappy person answers the phone and basically makes me feel like an idiot because I didn’t see the tiny sign hidden behind the diner as I came in. When I do get there, and see a sign that says to check in at the diner. Now, mind you, we are under quarantine because of COVID-19 and most restaurants are closed. So I go in the diner.

I let the gal at the “front desk” know I’m here to check in. She asks my name and proceeds to tell me I don’t have a reservation. I show her my phone with the confirmation. She continues to tell me she doesn’t care what my phone says, it’s not in her computer. We go back and forth. I’m trying REALLY hard not to come unglued. I’m hungry, I’m tired from driving for 10 hours, and I can’t stand rude and incompetent people. I’m a 3w4sx. It’s just who I am. Again, something I was trying to work on with the councilor for I got derailed. She tells me theirs nothing she can do and to call the app because it’s their mistake. So I hit the Call button on my confirmation and get connected to a very pleasant person, tell her the situation and she proceeds to tell me I’m at the wrong Travelodge and she has my reservation at her location. I find out where that location is and leave the awful place I was standing. Thank God!!

45 minutes later, 4 minutes from where I had exited the highway is a beautiful, pleasant little Travelodge with a room that has my name on it. I was so thankful the lady at this front desk was so pleasant and kind. I told her of my terrible experience and she was appalled that anyone would treat any customer that way. I was too. Anyway, she got me checked in to my room.

All set and ready for bed!

I got into the room, got a nice hot shower. Made a few phone calls to let a few people know I had made it here. Talked to my sweet sister, Kelly, for about 2 hours and then sacked out.

While talking to Kelly, we discovered I had driven further than I thought and I would make it to her house by tomorrow night. I was thrilled!!

What a great first day of my trip!! One down, two more to go! I got this!!

The first day of the rest of my life

I got a lemon so I made lemonade. I’m sharing my life. Tell me about yours.

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Tomorrow I start my journey to St Charles, MO. It’s a bitter sweet. I have my kids, grandkids and my mom here in Phoenix, AZ. I have made so many great friends here. My work pals are so wonderful! I am going to miss everyone so much. There is no question about that.

The purpose of this site is to let people see my journey. Not just my travel journey, but my emotional and spiritual journey as well. It’s real. It’s raw. And I’m not hiding anything.

This journey begins because the man I loved wholeheartedly, out of the blue, informed me he didn’t love me anymore. In fact, he told me he never loved me. Never mind that nearly 2 years ago he asked me to move in with him. About 6 months after we started dating he told me he loved me. Never mind all that.

Apparently he was pretending all that time. I am heart broken. He seemed absolutely perfect for me. We had the same retirement goals. We have the best time together being silly and sweet and working toward our goals together. We rarely, and I mean rarely, ever disagreed about anything. Forget about a fight. It was bliss. AND neither one of us wanted to get married again. It was perfect for us.

Except is wasn’t because he was pretending, apparently, the whole time. I don’t understand any of it and I never will. I’m not built like that. And I don’t want to ever be built like that.

So my life crumbled away in an instant and I have to once again rebuild. I’ll share more about my other “opportunities” for rebuilding another time.

I was struck with the reality that at the ripe old age of 50, I don’t have an income that allows for me to live on my own in my favorite location, Phoenix, AZ. How sad is that? When I shared this information with my friend Jill, in St Charles, MO, she said she thought it was the universe telling me I needed to move there.

But I love, love, love, love, love my job. And with my personal life a mess, I didn’t want to create a mess in my work life too. So I looked at the office in St Louis and lo-and-behold, they had my position open there. So I applied. And I got it. And I start on March 30th in spite of all this crazy virus stuff going on.

That’s right, I’m moving across country during this crazy mess. The traffic is going to be great! I have tried to anticipate every possible challenge I may encounter along the way. I even consulted with my dear friend Denise, who is a talented and knowledgeable speaker on the topic of Safety. She helped me think of a few more things as well.

So, with my 10′ UHaul packed up, my car on a transport dolly, and enough food to feed an army, I am ready to pull out of Phoenix when I wake up in the morning.

And here on this site, I will share my travels.