I think I have a touch of road weariness. Sleep is a bit more difficult at night (rather easy in the middle of the day when chores call), motivation for a variety of tasks swings widely, and I feel like my posterior has grown 2 inches at least in girth from all the hours behind the wheel. This is probably just about where I should be psychologically speaking. The adventure has lost some luster and the reality of being jobless and somewhat homeless is seeping in through the cracks in the windows and doors of my pleasant illusions about life on the road. But…I have gotten a recent boast to my mood. My god daughter and her Mom made their arrival at the cabin in the pines yesterday for a short summer residence while they review eastern colleges. The god daughter will be college bound next September and it only seems like 17 years worth of seconds since she was born 😉
Mom is carrying on with her business while traveling. I’m embarassed to admit that I haven’t made much progress on my own business of finding a path, a vocation, or at least a steady source of income. A new route has engaged my interest based in part on my own brother’s experience with the miltary health system. I’ve always been drawn to social causes and social services; old folks, not for profits, people with HIV/AIDS, drunks and druggies, and various flavors of whacko. Taking the civil service exam and working in the Veterans Administration system may just be a way to balance my complete disagreement with the Bush/Cheney/ghost of Rumsfeld war on everything with my growing concern for the thousands of Vets who will most certainly be left to their own resources after either a change of Administration or the end of the Presidential campaign (when the vets cease to be a political football to be played with in debates of dubious value). Leaving these real heroes to the general indifference of some bureacrats or low-ball bid social work contractors will amount to just another failure in current policy. Thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
Enough introspection. Travel-wise I’m back in New Jersey after a four day stay with my brother on his farm in southern Virginia. Horses, dogs (Blue, Casey, and Maggie), cats, goats, ducks, chickens, Bob the Turkey, and a reptile with no known human name. No painful encounters with any of the animals. My last visit, about 18 months ago, was not so painless. I had gone to Virginia to help my brother recover from a bit of surgery (featuring mutliple screw-ups, infections, and much pain) and to give his wife some relief before she did what the doctors had failed to do. Bailey, a great dane that pesonifies the “great” part in terms of size but who was totally affectionate in an insistent kind of way, took exception to my bending over to fetch up some “medical waste” from my brother’s morning toilet. I suppose my rump reminded him of one of the deer in the area that had escaped his grasp the day before. He did not miss this time and gave me a chomp on the left glut that still aches on the proverbial rainy day. After the inital shock and cascade of profanities, I reteated to the powder room to discover that no skin was broken but the ultimate bruise would cover most of my lower left side (it did). After quite a number of deep breaths and promises to myself that I would have this dog shot, I emerged to find my brother frantically explaining by phone my predicament to his wife and the possible need to fulfill my promise. Bailey, however, was servile, contrite, and just a bit confused by all the commotion. It would seem that his little “love bite” had been misinterpreted. Such is the nature of inter-species communications I suppose. I recovered. My brother did too. Bailey was not shot but, sadly, due to a quirk of his breed, died six months later from an intestinal blockage.
Enough storytelling. The trip to Virginia included stops at both Jamestown (a one day trip with my brother which will be a special memory for me as the two of us just “don’t do that sort of thing”) and Williamsburg. The Jamestown photos are posted and I’ll be working on the Williamsburg captions later today. Both days were perfect for touring. Not too much sun, a breeze on the river, and lower than usual humidities for the Tidewater/Cheasapeake area. The round trip mileage, including a nice detour on the way home to Smithfield, Virginia, came close to 800 miles. So far this voyage I’ve put over 3200 miles on the Focus. It’s running great and will be getting a well deserved oil change before I head back west at the end of this week.
Side note on Smithfield, Virginia: While taking the long way around local route 10 in Virginia to get to Surrey for the ferry to Jamestown, I got a quick tour of the late colonial period town of Smithfield. Better know for it’s processed and packaged meats and nitrites, the Smithfield meat packing facilities reside on a road that I’ve been trying to avoid most of my life. ROUTE 666, the legendary “highway to hell,” courses right down the middle of this, I’m sure, “good christian” town. I can just imagine the Sunday sermons at the local baptist or methodist church.
Enough…finally. More, of course, later.