Saying Goodbye

Is indeed hard to do.

I found out recently that all of the areas that I usually stay at, in Arizona, have had huge fires and they’ve been using fire retardant, that Red slurry, everywhere. If I was there right now, I would probably be in the hospital, or worse, because I have such bad reactions to fire retardant. So yes, the good Lord did want me in Kentucky, but I think now it was more a way of getting me out of Arizona for the summer.  

There are Things we have had to let go of.  Practical Things.  Charlie’s mattress, we have both lost a lot of clothes, my doormat.  Seems silly. Right? To be upset about Things?  The fact that my son did not have anything to sleep on was definitely a concern, but a doormat? Well, that was the first doormat I ever bought. I remember, I thought it was so cool that it was for my Little Gypsy.  There are practical Things that have memories attached. Some may seem silly to you, but my step from, Suzy, and my table from, Elizabeth, meant a lot to me.  That crazy step ladder that turned out to be such a great little work bench.  A couple in Winterhaven gave that to me.

Something about the combination of that mold and rust, was really bad.

 All three of those Things have been such a blessing, but the mold issue that sent us running back to the Camp on the Kentucky River Campgrounds, invaded our world, in hard and unexpected ways. Kentucky may be where I’m from, but it is not, home.  Some Things, like the ones I mentioned, are a little hard to let go of.  Some have caused such deep sorrow.  Things that both Charles and I have had for years, gone.  You can tell yourself they are just Things, but it’s the associated memories, that make them so hard to lose. Old photos, precious things from Charlie’s childhood.  Gone.

There was the fear of Things that might be lost. Incredibly important Things.  My trailer, Charlie’s truck. Our homes.  Both invaded by mold.  

You can see where mold was actually starting to grow in the canvas on my Little Gypsy. Bringing a little trailer that is made out of canvas, to an area where they have 46 inches of rain a year, was just not a smart thing to do. I just didn’t realize how much of a problem it was going to be.

But, by the Grace of the Lord, and an extraordinarily difficult time of cleaning, with Braggs vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, for months now, we believe they are safe.  We are praying it is so.  We have both been so grateful, for our little homes in special ways. Now? Even more so. 

There have been other goodbyes.   We sold Charlie’s trailer, so we could afford to get necessary repairs done on both our vehicles. We were even going to sale my sailboat, but another sailor stepped in to help. I am so blessed! After seeing what happened to my trailer? Charles has decided that a very old, well used, Casita, might be in his future.

Saying good bye to kin.  I got to see my mom, one brother, his wife, and all three of my sister’s, and most of their children. Charlie’s cousins. They came down to the campgrounds, to say, So Long, for now.  They did not know, and neither did I, that it may be Goodbye. At least until we meet again, in heaven, by and by.  

One sister asked, as she was leaving, if maybe in a few years, we might be able to come back. I guess that was the moment I started to realize, that we could not do this again.  Knowing what we have been through this last couple of months.  I won’t, I can’t, risk this kind of battle for my health again, and especially, for the health of my son.  In some ways, in many ways, I wish we had never come. Not just because of what we have lost, but because it got my hopes up. I thought, perhaps, I might be able to live in Kentucky, buy a piece of dirt, and get to know my brothers and sisters again. Saying goodbye to that dream, was tough. The reality, even if we could have stayed, would be so different. But I was hoping that, Charles, would be able to have family around. That he could get to know, The Cousins, and his aunts and uncles. That’s something he has never had. I have those memories. I was even able to reconnect with one of my dear cousins while I was there. I was hoping that we would be able to get to know them all over again. Yet.  I’m glad we came back, because it means that they’re in touch with my son, and even though its going to be a long distance, and likely sporadic, relationship, at least, Charles, knows he has relatives in abundance, in Kentucky. Who knows, maybe one of these days he might be able to visit his Dad’s relatives in Pennsylvania.

So we are saying goodbye to Kentucky, in fact we’ve been gone for a while now. One good thing? I have come to realize, through this latest adventure, that I already have a home. My beautiful Little Gypsy. 

After a lot of scrubbing, and a new paint job she really is beautiful again. 

She’s the best possible kind of home that I can have during these difficult times. Although I must tell you, it does not seem like difficult times right now. We are at an incredibly beautiful campgrounds, here in Tennessee. I’m going to be able to stay here for two weeks, right on the water front, for free!

Something so many people long to do. At times like this, I will agree with people and say that I am living the dream. These last few months has made that hard to believe, but this place is beautiful, quiet, and filled with peace.

So, although these last couple of months have been filled with hard times and goodbyes, tough decisions and painful places to stay, places that made us both so ill, there are incredible times of beauty and joy, as well.  I hold on to this kind of Joy, dearly, during those tough times.  Knowing that around the corner, or just down the road, the Lord will provide a place of incredible beauty. A place of rest. A place that brings such Joy!  Joy! Pouring out of me. I wish you could hear my voice, and see my face, and know that joy that is just ebbing up out of me! It is so good here.

 There was one more goodbye, that happened in Virginia, just a few days ago. Charlie and I, were able to get to Arlington, and see my husband’s headstone. Although our pastor and friend of many years, took some wonderful pictures for us, once the headstone was in place, we had not seen that in person yet.  There was something very warm and wonderful about being there. It felt like Mick, was really there with us. It is both wonderful, and very hard, how memories can fill your heart and mind. But while we were there, all of the hard memories slipped away, and all of the joy filled memories filled my heart. There were stories, about his Dad, that I told Charles while we were there, that Charlie had never heard before. 

Both Charlie and I were talking to that headstone as if Mick was actually there. 

Sharing those stories, talking about him, filled our hearts and minds with those wonderful memories about his Dad. It really did make it feel like, Mick, was there, listening, smiling, even chuckling.  As a follower of Christ, I believe that when someone dies, they rest in the Lord until the Lord comes back again. Then the dead in Christ will rise first. My husband knew the Lord. He told me, one of the last times I saw him, not to worry about him and the Lord, that they were okay.  So I know that someday, Charlie and I, will see, Mick, again. I know, going forward, that there will still be tears, that will catch me at unexpected times, but, thanks to a friend, I also now have this memory, this precious memory, of time with my son, at his dad’s graveside, that will help to ease the hurt, and the sorrow, of loss. 

They say that hindsight is 20/20, but I don’t believe that’s an accurate picture. I think that when we are in the middle of loss, or in the middle of greatness, we see things a certain way.  I think our vision is a bit blurred, at times, because we are too close to that moment.  After a little time passes, that way of seeing those events; great, small, hard, sad, happy, and even joyful, changes.  You start to see them maybe 50/40. Then, depending on the event, a few years later you can probably say that you’re seeing them about 30/30. But I think some time has to pass, before you can really look back and say I understand, and I see clearly now, why, that happened the way it did. 

I’ve heard it said that with every goodbye, there is a new hello. I can tell you one of the, Hello’s, has been such a blessing.  I am content with my little home. In fact I am very happy with my Little Gypsy, and this traveling life again. For a while I was focused on buying a piece of land, but I realize now, that that’s just not an option, and it’s okay, because it would be a burden, instead of a joy. My little home is a joy. A gift from the Lord. It’s something that I can take care of.  The good Lord has blessed us with wonderful mechanics, when we’ve needed them, and the means to get things fixed, wherever we’ve been, and I know that He will continue to provide the help we need as we cross the country. 

So it’s goodbye to owning land, and hello to Road Life with Little Gypsy! 🙂 

I don’t know where the Lord will take me next, but I know, I too, am in good hands.

We are heading for Arizona. Eventually. Lord willing.  Hopefully, before it gets too cold out here in the rest of the United States. I know it’ll take us a couple of months to get back there, and there are problems with me living there, but it’s the only place that I can spend the winter, while I’m living in Little Gypsy. Hopefully, some of the modifications that I have made, will make a difference. They are a little bizarre, I will admit, but I’ll tell you more about that, at some future date. I’m hoping that they will be enough to allow me to get rest in Arizona the way I used to.  

Take care for now, gentle reader, and remember, it is time, quality time, spent with those you love, that make the best memories!

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