Sunday, May 29, 2016

On The Road Again . . .

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world be runnin' our way
- Willie Nelson

Listen to the Audio Version: 

Hi Everyone . . .

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything new here. Frankly, I needed a short break. There were just a lot of things going on and my poor little brain was getting fried.

Additionally, I was devoting time to straightening out the space I had been occupying at my friend's place in WV where I was based camped for way too long. And, I was devoting more time to completing some modifications and changes to “My McVansion” before heading out on the road again. I ran it past my mechanic and we found a few minor things that needed some tightening, replacing or refilling. I wanted to make sure it was road worthy before I started wracking up the miles again.

Just about the time I was finally ready to roll out the door, one of my few remaining clients (from my 50+ year career in the recording & voice-over business) called with a new project. Actually, the 3rd or 4th complete update and redo of one of his training programs. I had to record the program at his offices in Fairfax, Virginia (where I have an office at my disposal whenever the need should arise). But, the scripts wouldn't be ready and cleared by his lawyer for another week and a half. So, one more delay, but certainly worth it. Dave and I have been working together on his programs for over 35 years.

So, due to all kinds of circumstances (and probably a few excuses) I got a late, er, make that LATE start, by several months getting back out on the road. My last post was a week or so before I finally headed out, probably close to a month ago. When you're in one place too long, there seems to be a longer transitional period than one might think, at least for me.

So, I headed to northern Virginia as soon as the scripts were ready, bunked in with my Air Force buddy in Falls Church, Virginia for a few nights, recorded the 8 CD's worth of new material with my client, then headed west. Unfortunately, I had to forego all my planned visits and wanderings south of the Virginia border. That bummed me out, but I'll plan more time for that this coming fall and winter.

I did get to visit my long time book editor and his wife, good friends from my book publishing days. I also got a chance to run through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee and camp for three nights in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – most pleasant and relaxing (as I spent time editing my client's programs). Since then it's been a continuous road west, doing my best to avoid interstates, although the yesterday was and today will be interstate days. This was only because to get to my destination for the next couple weeks I'd have to go a hundred or more miles out of my way and expend gas money I'd rather conserve at this time. I've actually seen quite a bit of Americana that I haven't seen before on this trip already.

I stopped in Jackson, Tennessee to visit the International Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame, founded and curated by one Henry Harrison. I had only planned to spend about an hour at the Hall of Fame and then move on to Memphis. But, I met Henry, a delightful and knowledgeable man about the rock-a-billy genre of music and friend of many, if not most, of the notable artists. While there, a delightful woman, Debe, who looked much younger than her age, befriended me. After we left Henry and he closed the Hall of Fame, Debe filled me in on the city of Jackson, drove me past the late Carl Perkins home, then took me over to her new massage salon where I met her husband, David.

We had a delightful dinner and parted ways until Sunday morning when I followed them to their church service – at a Unity Church. I had never been to a Unity Church service before and always wanted to attend one. Seize the opportunities when they arise. That was in Memphis. We spent the rest of the day in Memphis and had dinner on the famous Beale Street, enjoying live entertainment and good food. They also put me in contact with another person I met with on Monday before crossing the Mississippi River and heading west.

This is what is so great about my life and lifestyle. It's one serendipity after another.

So, it's Friday morning as I write this. I'm parked in a Walmart (Motor Inn – bring your own accommodations – as I like to quip) parking lot in Amarillo, Texas. This is where I spent the night last night with other vandwellers and RVers parked all around me – all headed for their own adventures and serendipities. It was wonderfully cool and comfortable sleeping last night and it was a beautiful sunrise shining right in my back window this morning. The temperature was about 49 degrees here at about 3,600' above sea level.

I will be leaving here shortly to head to my destination for the next couple weeks in high desert country of central New Mexico. I'll be meeting up with a fellow full-time traveler and his wife. Sharon is heading out on an adventure of her own with her sister, so John will be baching it for a couple weeks. So we're going to enjoy some of our own adventures. I'll complete my client's project, do a few more things to the van I didn't get to do before I left and enjoy some time to catch up on a lot of reading.

I've received some emails from some of you, my loyal and much appreciated readers. Thank you for your concern. Several of you were concerned something happened to me (illness, accident, died, dropped off the face of the Earth). Let me reassure you, I AM FINE – better than fine, actually. It is so great being back out here on the open roads (and knowing my writings were missed). So, yes indeed, I'll also be WRITING and will be preparing a number of new articles for the blogs.

Yes! I've been taking photos – how could I not. It's what I do. I'll be posting them with some stories to go along.

Some travelers, whether in larger forms of RVs or vans, travel almost continuously. Others select a location and stay there for, perhaps, anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months, some even longer. I'm kind of between those two extremes. I don't like to be traveling everyday. But, sometimes I may do that in short spurts like I am right now. But, when I get to an area that I really like and can find a comfortable place to park for several days to a couple weeks or so. I do that and spend time on my personal projects and writing. I may venture out from there and do day trips to explore the region.

So, life is grand. As the late Gene Autry wrote and sang, I'm back in the saddle again, out where a friend is a friend . . . Stay tuned! My batteries are recharging and getting near full. There is so much to write about and discuss. Keeping life simple, living free and being happy in a world full of turmoil. This may be one of, what may turn out to be, the most historic election cycles in our country's history. We could end up (I'm not making any predictions or endorsements) with the first non-political establishment president in 64 years since Dwight Eisenhower or the first woman president since the beginning of our national history. Who knows? It's an exciting time to be alive, yet there is certainly much to fear and be concerned about. Let me finish this article with this quote from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens:

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Nothing is really all that new except for the technology and the players. That's why it's important for us to live free and be happy. EH