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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricanes & Earthquakes .... enough already?!?

The east coast of the US seems to have made through this major storm of the century! (did anyone see that movie - one of the only scarey movies I actually liked.) 

Sometimes I think that the media blitz during these events is just annoying chatter that stirs up the average persons emotions and keeps everything stirring.  I feel it is good to be informed.  And then we could move on for a while and come back to be informed again.  Just spending days and nights huddled around the giant TV sets of the world seems somehow a bizzare event in and of itself.  and perhaps I am becoming one of the old people of the world....

My 'friend' Steve "Love Life" Frugate is in southern Maine, I hope to meet up with him when he gets closer.  I got the brakes fixed on my Explorer although I still need a few things done to feel comfortable driving it a long distance.  I have decided to sell this vehicle and use the money to buy a mini-van which I can live more comfortably in - a mini-van having a bit more space.  My income being a Social Security check of $795 a month is the driving force in many of my decisions because I just can't afford many luxuries.  My choice to live Simply and Frugally and to learn as many survival skills as possible definately gives me many advantages.  My experience hiking on the Appalachian Trail, earlier this summer, was an excersize is rustic living out of a backpack.  Owning only what I can carry physically allows me to choose a few nicer pieces as owning a quality piece of equipment or clothing certainly pays off when it is the only one of something you own.  I have bought a couple more items of clothing since being in Maine, because I was cold and my situation changed a lot, having the Explorer lets me carry a few more items too. 

I miss my supportive friends, the ones that know me in a respectful way, those that have taken the time to ask me why I have chosen the things I have or why I have made the decisions I have made.  I do not miss those people who have just assumed or decided who I am or why I did something .... don't miss the judgemental people who have decided that I am "broken" and need fixing either (and of course they are the only ones who can 'fix' me!  --- isn't that a definition of self richeousness? possibly?.... whatever)

When natural disasters strike the world, I, like many others I expect, turn my thoughts to the people who have been most important in my life.   I wonder where they are, if they are alright, if I should call or email, just make contact again.  Sometime I do, sometimes, I just let it go - sometimes the choice to contact is taken out of my control, like with some of my family members who have informed me that I am dead to them... I leave the communication door open a crack and briefly peek out that door only to be reminded that it's not truely open for me.   (yes, there is a story there and I'm not ready to tell it)

I have been so disappointed by the people in my life.  and I am not alone.  We were watching the Chopper's reality show on television last night and Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. have been going through law suits and family 'divorce' .... it is not just my family.  It can be challenging to know who to believe or trust or visit or even to strike up a conversation with.  I like to be social, I just have learned to be quiet (wisdom), watch others actions and listen carefully to others, mostly people talk about themselves even when they think they are talking about others.... I still make mistakes.  These days tho, I don't stay so long... what ever form people ue to talk about others they will eventually talk about me the same way - so if they are drama queen talkers I will eventually be the subject of some drama in their lives.  It's another annoying part of being human...interpersonal relationships...and it's pretty easy to just watch for patterns and to choose what is fairly safe to deal with, then as soon as possible - get more control over my own whatever and get off to myself.  And no I'm not a hermit - I don't like to be alone.  I need alone time, absolutely.  Days alone, nights completely alone in the woods...well, I don't like them, it's scarey when the night animals make sounds or the thunder booms and the lightening flashes - 10 feet away!  I like knowing someone is nearby.  I enjoyed my hiking buddies like The Bear and cliff or "SlowMo" being  a couple hours ahead or a half day behind me on the AT, because I knew eventually we would meet up and have stories to share.  Those are the kinds of friends I need - and appreciate catching up with for a chat, for encouragement, and even for advice.

I feel like I am rambling today.  I am feeling anxious to be on my own although I am at the mercy of others for a little longer because I am waiting for paperwork to come in the mail and waiting for someone to make another couple repairs to my Explorer.  In order to save money, it only makes sense for me to just stay here and wait until my nephew has time to help me out - after, of course, he takes care of the other pressing priorities of his life.  I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a friendly, generous nephew willing and able, with the skills, to help me with a mechanical issue.  So I spend my waiting time, knitting (a gift of bags of yarn & a couple pairs of needles!) and providing transportation back and forth to work for his new wife, who has been accepting her husbands enjoyment of having me visit his house although fairly obviously she doesn't feel quite the same way.  Staying in other people's homes gives me the opportunity to observe how they interact as well.  I find it particularly interesting what things people give priority in their lives.

Anyway that's enough for this morning....
You all have a nice day - thanks for stopping by and don't forget to feed the fish (upper left corner, move your cursor, click and the fish will swim over and eat the food...kinda kewl!)

Keep it Simple,
Simply,
Lesa

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Repairs already!

So my new-to-me Explorer needs a total brake job! It just started that tell-tale scraping sound so I took it to a relative of a relative's Auto repair shop only to be told its a $1200 job with much more work to be done before the next inspection sticker can be had in Feburary.... bummer - I made a good decision - didn't I? 

I slept in the local WallyWorld parking lot a couple nights as I debated what to do and how to tackle this new set of issues.  Then remembered I have a handy nephew near by.  I contacted him and have been staying with them the past few days.  I sold my hammock camping set up in order to buy the pads and 2 rear roters, my nephew and his neighbor are going to help me out with the job and they will look it all over and see if I have any other major stuff to repair.  Anyway my life is still an adventure!

I heard from my Great Aunt, who had been a missionary in Japan.  She is wanting to visit with me this week while they are traveling here in Maine, so we made tenative plans to meet up. 

I watched a 60 minutes special report show on a guy who was wrongly accused of murder in Nicaragua a few years ago and kept in prision for a while.  The story with it's many references to "Gringos" reminded me of one of the reasons that I recently returned to the US.  So many people in other countries feel that we Americans think we are special and above the law and tat we have so much stuff and money that we can buy our way through stuff or out of stuff or what have you.  I did feel tired of defending my being a normal human being, who, although I am American, am a poor person with less income than many average third-world country people.  I receive a Social Security check once a month and have a yearly income of around $9000.  Many people, especially American's and even some Central American teachers/professors cannot relate to my income or my lifestyle and although I have a very low income, I still choose to see my life as an adventure, to travel often, to be generous and genuine (as much as humanly possible).  Anyway, the show reminded me of how many people in Central America hold a grudge against us "gringos and gringas" and how that was one factor in my choosing to take a break from traveling and feeling a need to protect myself all the time.

I sang Karioke with my nephew and his new wife last night, that was a lot of fun and we all laughed so hard that we nearly had tears running down our faces.  It has been nice to relax a little bit.

I have also been enjoying their kitten Max who curls up at my feet to sleep, during the night.  

Hopefully tomorrow's planned auto repairs will be successful and not take too long.  The new question of the day --- given my trust issues, who will I be able to trust enough to help me with auto repairs in the future and will I be able to afford repairs when they come up????

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mobile Lifestyles!

Incredible, take a look at this! --  http://thetuckerbag.blogspot.com/

So I've been couch hopping (different from Couch Surfing which is related to the website....couch hopping is w/ppl I already know and didn't use the CS site to contact)... ever since I got the Explorer.  I'm staying w/family off and on and geez...I'm so done with that.  I clean, wash dishes, paint walls and generally clean up other ppl's messes or cook for them so I can have the 'honor' of sleeping on their pet infested couches or to have the other 'honor' of hanging my hammock in their junk room.... I'm sooooooooo done!  So this morning I'm thinking why I haven't already just moved into the Explorer and gone to sleep in the local Wally World parking lot?  Good q (short for question) isn't it!  So after my niece returns from work tonight, I will discuss what she wants from dear Auntie Lesa before I actually do that and leave... OMGosh I just learned that one of the Giant dogs is preggers so she is NOT getting rid of it! 4 cats, 2 HUGE dogs in a leaky, wow, it's incredible mess of a house trailer....

Because of the Explorer purchase, I am low on cash until early next month, so I need to make do a bit - the windows are tinted and close to black and I probly won't have a curtain yet (or I might surprise myself).  If I could just sell the Gregory backpack that's only been slightly used and has been on Craigslist for a month, then I'd feel more comfy about my money.  I'm also a bit concerned about being warm enough as I have felt cold at night even in the houses up here in the good ole North East of the USA.  (I was spoiled with that weather in Central America the past 5 years!)

Oh and I don't have a camera right now...so bare with me as I get a little more together - at least the libraries in the US have computers for us to use!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another month already!

I think I need to organize my  blog time - I can hardly believe it is the begining of August already!  Time just flies sometimes.

It's my older sister Linda's birthday today and no I'm not telling how old she is :D!  Love you Linda, Happy Birthday I hope you have a GREAT day today!

Linda is to become a grandma again tomorrow.  Amos, my nephew, and his wife Alice are having their second child - Congrats!

Steve is having some back pain - what a reminder of my days of herniated disks.  The memory of John Z., my ex-S.O., seeing me off at the back of an ambulance on the 5th of July a few years ago.  My back was achey and I felt a twinge and pinch in one hip while we were enjoying the 4th of July in a historic section of Brooklyn.  I stood up all day because sitting was just painful.  I didn't tell John how painful it really was, because I wanted to enjoy the day hanging out together again.  We did this 'on-again-off-again' relationship thing over nearly 20 years.  We loved and do love each other, I just guess we are either too different or ... well, really I don't know why we aren't together.  John told me once, in the year after my father died, and while John was going through some personal problems, he told me that he never loved me and he had been leading me on for years --- who knows.  If that is completely true he certainly would be a good liar.  Anyway - I haven't spoken to him in a long time --- and he did put me in the ambulance that early morning when I woke up and could not move my legs - not at all.  I spent many days in and out of the emergency rooms getting morphine shots for the pain over the next 2-3 weeks before I was scheduled for an epidural and months of physical therapy.  My back and my health improved after that as I religiously followed my physical therapy instructions exactly and even increased the excersizes.  I wasn't 'going out' that way - I didn't want to be an old lady driving a scooter chair around I was and am too young for that.    Soooo - Steve, Linda's fiance, went scuba diving yesterday off a little cove here in Maine.  Beautiful spot, nice day, calm water AND Steve had not been diving for a few years.  He recently had all his gear repaired and decided that this was the morning, so Linda and I went with him to watch and be near the ocean for a while.  I guess his equipment was heavier than he remembered and his weight belt shifted around on his waist a lot and he said he kind of wiggled once and felt a twinge in his hip then a couple spasms in his knee... So he's heading for the chiropractor's office this morning as he can barely walk without a painful look on his face.

I would like to 'let go' of more of my past and lately I have been considering just deleting the 30ish years of personal jounals I have.  I started journaling when I learned I was pregnant with my 1st child, my son, Joshua.  I didn't expect to live very long, at that time, partly because of the physical abuse I was enduring and partly because if that didn't kill me, I certainly didn't want to live and had considered suicide many times.  In fact I heard that last week the authorities permanently closed the Memorial bridge that connected Kittery, Maine with Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I had a pivital life experience on that bridge one late night in 1978.  A few days earlier I had taken an entire bottle of sleeping pills hoping to die, or at the least get in a really good sleep.  I was exhausted from trying to be who other people wanted me to be or to conform to some standards that just weren't working in my life, I couldn't see anyway out.  I had no support.  No friends, that I knew of, my family had abandoned me again.  I just didn't have what it took to keep going after the events, including a rape that happened at that time in my life.  Anyway, I swallowed the whole bottle of pills and wouldn't you know it I was wired for 3 days, like I couldn't sleep at all.  I was so nervous and filled with energy.  I remember feeling even more stupid because I couldn't even get killing myself right.  (looking back that sounds rather silly and it is where I was at that time)  So after a few days of wandering around because I couldn't sleep, I found myself on the Memorial bridge, holding on to the railing, reminding myself that the shock of hitting the cold water would bring me to my 'senses' and I would have to resist the urge to swim in order to drown.... just as I was lifting up my leg to climb on the railing I heard this screaming voice calling "Help me!"  "Lesa - Help me!" and I"m like shaking my head and looking from side to side, like I'm crazy or something because it's 1 or 2 in the morning and there is NO one anywhere.  I continue to climb on the railing and hear it again "Lesa! - help, help!"  so I climb down and spend the next hour and a half or more hunting for a person and I can't find one anywhere.  Not behind garbage cans - no where... so now I remember being so puzzeled and wondering if I was crazy or if it was an supernatural event.  I walked home, where I was staying and went to bed.  When I woke I remembered that 'only God knows the day and time' of our death and decided that it wasn't up to me to decide about dieing.  I never tried to commit suicide again.  I didn't understand my life nor my purpose in being alive and I decided right there that I had to live the life God wanted for me, no matter what that might look like.  Walter Hodgeden, a friend from highschool, came to visit me one and only one time, in that week that followed these events.  He reminded me that I was liked, I was an interesting person and friend and that someone liked knowing I was alive.  I wonder what happened to him?

So I kept personal journal writing for 30ish years after I found out I was pregnant.  One time after my now ex-husband burned a number of my journals in a fit of --- whatever? because 'You are always writing in those damn journals'.  I took my journaling very private and eventually typed all of them into computer documents and at first emailed them to myself, eventually creating documents and storing them in what people are now calling the "cloud", first Yahoo documents and then Google documents.... I even carried copies on a mini-sd card in my fancy-expensive all purpose cell phone that I took on my first adventures in Costa Rica where it was promptly stolen!  Anyway - lately I've been pondering deleting them.