Hello, Winter!


This is the view from inside my cozy camper.  It’s kind of like being in an igloo.  The layers of ice and snow help insulate and retain the heat inside, which is a good thing, because my propane tank only holds 8 gallons and it’s gotta last till next week, or till I can get out of here, whichever comes first.

Thankfully we still have electricity in the campground, which means I can run my electric heater and save the propane for when the ice takes the power out.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to be “when,” not “if.”  The governor of NC is pretty sure, too, because s/he (I don’t keep up on politics) has invited 500 Floridian power company workers to join ours.  I like that.  Hope Florida has enough left, because they had tornadoes again last night in the Panhandle.

Atina the awesome Malinois had a blast romping in the snow this morning.  Glad I got her out before it started sleeting.  I took a blast of sleet in the face (the only part of me that was exposed–mask, next time I emerge).  The Doggess stretched out and ran like a deer through the snow-blanketed field.

Now it’s howling and spitting icicles, to paraphrase Carl Sandburg.  Miss Dog is lying on my foot, sulking.  She wants to go out.

That won’t happen until it decides to snow again, or even give us a precipitation break.  Till then, we stay cozy and warm in our igloo.

I have a lot to do this afternoon.  I can’t decide whether to proceed with my project of going through everything and finding stuff I don’t need, in order to lighten my load a bit; or to start a new project making covers for all the windows and skylights out of Reflectix, a marvelous material resembling bubble wrap covered with Mylar.  It repels both heat and cold, so it’s good for both summer and winter climate control.

It’s clear that I need to start a new blog dedicated to my Roadtrek travels.  If the power stays on, I hope to embark upon that project this weekend.  Themes, themes, themes.  I need to find a really good photography theme, because I need to start seriously marketing my photos in order to finance my travels.  I haven’t even posted my “real” photography on this site, because I want to mostly stay on topic.  Anybody got good photog theme ideas?

Spoke with The Boy couple days ago.  Sheesh.  He is not at all sorry that he threw his mother out at Thanksgiving.  At least I got a better sense of where he’s at, and why he did it.

He’s angry that I am a nomad by nature, that I don’t have a house with a front porch with a swing and the aroma of baking chocolate chip cookies wafting on the air. 

He wants me to have a place where he can come and visit me, and have a cozy bed to sleep in, and not have to camp on a deck and pee over a cliff and crap in an incinerating toilet.

I reminded him that this was only the case because I returned to the States to take care of his grandfather, and was living in his Grandpa’s studio. 

And before that I lived in Jerusalem, in a three story house, had a full-time acupuncture practice, was a leader in my community…HAD a community, fer krissake. 

And despite many invitations and offers to pay tickets he wouldn’t visit me there.

“No, I WOULDN’T,” he said emphatically. 

I didn’t need to ask why not.

He didn’t approve of me doing such a radical thing, moving so far away (as if he visits me that often anyway), putting myself in danger…God in heaven, what did I do to merit having a child who has judged me and disapproved of my life choices since he was a baby, and expressed his displeasure by refusing to participate, refusing to enjoy the various adventures that could have been so much fun if only he had made the leap and decided to be a mentsch instead of a lead weight to drag around?

(A mentsch, for those who aren’t familiar, is Yiddish for “man,” literally, but in common usage means “a regular guy,” “a good person”.)

Hell’s bells, one time I schlepped (dragged) him out to Antelope Island, which sits in the middle of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, with his horse and my horse and the Corgi.

I unloaded the horses from the trailer.

“Saddle up,” I sang out happily.  I was looking forward to the four-hour ride on the island trail, where a herd of American Bison roam, as well as marmots, jackrabbits, coyotes, hawks, eagles, and many other interesting things.

He was about eleven, and much larger than me.  He crossed his arms and scowled.

“Saddle up,” I instructed.  No response.

So I saddled his mare for him.  Mine was already stamping impatiently, ready to hit the trail.

“Mount up,” I sang, ignoring the fact that I had saddled up for him.

No response.

“Well, I’m damned if I’m going to miss my ride just because you’ve stubbed up.  If you refuse to come, you can damn well spend four hours in the trailer with the dog.  And don’t you dare go near the lake!”

I unsaddled his mare, got the dog dish and water bottles out of the cab of the truck, tied his mare to the trailer, mounted up, and had a very pleasant four hour ride around the island.

When I got back to the truck he was sitting in the shade with the dog inside the trailer.   The mare was munching at her hay bag.  Without a word, he climbed up into the cab while I loaded the horses.  When we got home (to the real house) he took himself to his room and was not seen till dinner.

That’s been my life since he was a baby.  There have been times when I really wanted to give him away.

He got somewhat better after wilderness therapy and therapeutic boarding school.  In fact, I really thought the values he learned there had stuck, but I guess they’ve worn off.

Well, now that he’s 30, there’s nothing I can do but live my life on my own terms.  As they say in New England, “If he don’t like it, he can lump it.”

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  1. Start the travel blog. You’ve got a reader waiting. 🙂

  2. He’s blood I get it
    Your heart aches I understand
    But you can only do so much
    If he’s not listening
    At least you have made clear that it’s on him not you
    Now let’s see those photos
    Stay warm
    The shit here is getting ready to dump
    Like 18 inches or so
    I hate this snow thing
    It makes me catastrophic
    Besides shoveling is yet another pain my body can’t stand
    Love and hugs

    • Thank you for your validation and support, Sheldon. I really appreciate your love.

      I don’t envy the snow dump coming your way. That really stinks!

      Yah, the baby boy will have to make his own way now. Good luck to him. I’ve got better things to do.

      It’s still snowing here, and I’m exhausted after taking Miss Dog out for her second run, and making Mylar covers for three windows. Three to go, might have to wait till tomorrow, I’m kilt already. Soup for supper!

      Stay warm! Maybe you could pay a neighbor kid a few shekels to shovel?

  3. I definitely would have loved to go on that four hour ride with you! I was a huge, and I mean HUGE horse lover when I was younger. Well, I mean, I still love horses but I cannot afford to keep one and my body doesn’t allow me to ride anymore, so….
    But seriously, that sounds like an amazing day for an 11 year old! I grew up until I was 13 in Kansas City, but I rode horses, thanks to my supportive parents (and their ability to finance my riding) at some stables on the edge of the suburbs. And, I rode when I went to camp in Minnesota a couple of summers. You see…my main play when I was young school-aged was “horses”…the whole Johnny West toys. I had so many of the different horses that came with all their tack, and the various people and all their “stuff”, and the buckboard wagon, etc. My best friend and I would spend hours upon hours playing together at our homes…I’m pretty sure we were the only two kids in our whole school who did. I mean, we lived in the middle of nice suburbia where most little girls played with dolls. We often took lessons and rode together as well.
    When my parents and I moved to the Lake when I was 13 I kind of got away from having horses in my life and lived a more water-centered life, which I loved. But, I still have a very special place in my heart for horses. They are such amazing creatures.
    So, you go ahead and envision you and I riding together around that island. I would have been about 20 yrs old and we would have had a ball! Love, Sara

    • OK, come along and you can also come on weekend trips with the Backcountry Horsemen, riding crazy trails in the Wasatch-Cache wilderness or the High Uintas, eating grilled elk steaks, listening to cowboy poety, encountering ornery longhorn bulls, etc etc I will have to write a post about some of those wild and woolly trips.

      No toys for me. I only played with animals and wandered around in the woods. I literally did not own a single toy except for a hand made doll named Mrs. Edgar, made by an adult friend. She did not resemble a doll or even a human in the usual sense. I had a lot of art supplies, of course, and musical instruments, and those were my “toys.” I also adopted all the ponies that more affluent children got bored with. I made them all spiffy and rode them whether they willed or not. I never got dumped by a horse in my life but those ponies tried to kill me. That’s why I’m a tough old bird 😆

  4. I think it’s seriously time for the “no contact” with your “son.” You don’t deserve his abuse.
    Photo ideas? Start with those beautiful towns in the mountains you nest in. Mars Hill, Wolfe Laurel, Shelton Laurel, Cherokee….all those places that are encompassed by the great Blue Ridge mountains. There are quaint little towns that still hearken back to the days of brick roads and storefronts.

    • Yup, I have made the decision to go no contact. If he wants to change things it will have to come from his end. It finally dawned on me today that he has taken absolutely no responsibility for his misery, blames it all on me, and I don’t need that in my life. It’s terrible to have to divorce one’s child, but if that child is abusive, it’s self-abuse not to.

      My mother, who is a fantastic photographer as well as a flaming narcissist, has explored every cove and holler in these mountains. She has a fantastic series on the inbred folks of Wolf Laurel.

      I actually don’t do people, buildings, etc. I do wonders of nature. You’ll see. And I actually hate these mountains, although I’ve got a few gems from the piece of the North Toe that I own, and Bailey Peak. I’ve got a series from Grayson Highlands, which I think is one of the most beautiful places in the world. When I get over being exhausted from doing a few things (CFS) I have to embark upon my quest for a theme.

      • Inbred folks of Wolfe Laurel? I laughed out loud when I read that! I have always suspected that was the problem with Losers’ family…I may have to re-think a few things. I.m sorry you hate my mountains…but you have seen far more beautiful places than I have, so my foundation for judgement is limited.
        Embark on your new journey and let nature take it’s course as far as your son is concerned. Time to think about and concentrate on YOU!

        • You have to realize that my parents came here 45 years ago, when few people had indoor plumbing, and in some of the hollers brothers and sisters had been marrying (and brothers and fathers “taking advantage” of their female family members) for a hundred years. And they didn’t take so kindly to Yankee strangers with big cameras either. But my mother can charm the paint off a wall if she wants something, so she got her shots. Elizabeth Hunter did a book on Wolf Laurel. Your ex came from there? No wonder!

          • No. My ex was from upstate South Carolina. Being from North Carolina, I should have listened to my kinfolk when they told me to stay away from those boys from South Carolina!
            I know about in-breeding….I’ve seen Gone With The Wind…where the Wilkes’ always marry their first cousins! LOL
            Who knows what has gone on…”she’s my sister…she’s my daughter”…

      • oh you MUST get over to Colorado! We have some stunning waterfalls, lakes and mountains around!

        • Yes, I spent most of the summer in Colorado. Plan to get back there as soon as weather permits! In fact, I am looking for a little patch of ground to buy. Where are you located?

          • I’m in Thornton, just north of Denver. Lovely place but maddeningly expensive!

            I would LOVE to move out in the country, away from all these people but, with my youngests medical issues, it’s impossible until we get a car. I don’t see THAT happening any time soon.

            • Yes, certainly you need a car to move out of town. Maddeningly, it would be much less expensive in the country, and you’d have more money to save for a car! Sounds like an O. Henry story. I wonder, could you crowd source a car, since you really need to move to a healthier environment for your son?

  5. Holy cow. That is one hell of a view. And I don’t even know what I am looking at. The Day After Tomorrow? Sorry about your son. Being a parent is hard

    • That is the view of my windshield, from the inside. It looks somewhat worse today. Supposed to warm up tomorrow, then freeze tomorrow night. I hope I can get out tomorrow because otherwise everything will be solid ice.

      • Oh! Yeah, that wouldn’t be good. Can you call for help if that happens?

        • No. I took Atina out for her “last roundup” and ventured over to my driveway, which is solid ice, and stomped my way through two feet of icy heavy snow to the campground loop, which is inches deep in ice. Nope, not goin’ nowhere till this melts off a bit. Now I have an abscessed tooth. Luckily I travel with a pharmacy and surgery, so I am taking cefuroxime while I wait for a chance to go to a dentist. I have some kind of pain pill from the 90’s that I hope is still good, should I need that sort of thing before I can get to a dentist.

          If it ain’t one thing it’s another.

          I’m starting to have a feeling that I’m being kept here for a reason. When things start piling up like this, I start waiting for the phone call….

  6. “Well there’s nothing I can do but live my life on my own terms.” There. You said it yourself.

  7. When my son was four, I chased him down an eight-lane 50-mph road as he laughed maniacally. Finally, after he chased me around the house and I resorted to locking myself in my bedroom, I called his child psychologist and said I wanted to return him, that I’d had enough. She called for a psychiatrist to see us the next day to get him on meds. I know what it feels like to wish there was a return policy. Thank God that’s not where we are today, but it took a lot of work. He wanted to behave well, too, which makes a HUGE difference.

    • LOL!!! It’s not funny, but it is.

      My son’s childhood nickname was Sitting Bull. If he didn’t want to do something, he’d sit down on the floor/ground and cross his arms, and there was no moving him. He refused to have fun. I’m sure he enjoyed all the secondary gain he got from it.

      I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one to lock herself in her room/bathroom, just to get a break. I actually used to counsel parents to do just that, as child abuse prevention.

      Whenever I saw a case of abuse where a parent just lost it because the child didn’t know when to stop jerking their chain, I thought: there but for the grace of God go I…

      • Parental timeouts can prevent abuse, and I’ve used them to cool off. But in this scenario, I feared my preschool-aged son. He was in a red zone and out of control.

  8. Yep, I’m still identifying with you. My son likes to argue and never agrees with me. He is 50 years old and I will write a post about the hell he put himself in and the worry and grief for his family and his friends. It has been a rough 21 days in ICU and now a long road in rehab to try to get him physical and mentally functional again. His memory is quite good so that’s a plus for him, I hope.

  9. We say that in proper England too. 😉


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