Now here it is 2016 and by now all the dogs we had on the trip, Rocky, Candy and Sammy D have left this world and went on to the Rainbow Bridge. My Mom passed away July 2014. 2005 will always remind me to be grateful for every thing in life.
Reflecting Back On 2005
Here we go back at Lake Minatare, camp is all set up. That is Granny in her spot! The one and only camp chair. By this time after being out on the road and camping here and there we were all pretty worn out. At least we knew we would be staying here at least two weeks. The limit for camping at a State Park is two here, however you can move for one nite then come back.
Day after day just seemed to pass by. Each day brought new memories, some best forgotten, some treasured. During this time I was really starting to like the freedom associated with just being out in nature. I had mixed feelings and if I had not had Jonathan and the dogs with me I am not so sure I would have wanted to come back to society at all. Then on the other hand the over whelming urge to go home ate at me. However, I longed to be inside, watch tv, flip a light switch, get water out of a running sink, wear clean clothes, shower daily, open up a refrigerator to get a glass of milk or cook on a real stove.
I figured I probably started at least 200 some odd campfires.
Let me just say I can cook pretty much anything outside! I cooked every meal. Did all the dishes in the little tub. We had to haul water, walk a about 4 city blocks to the outhouse and gather wood everyday. Granny did a lot of the wood gathering. She would take Jonathan with her and they would come back with the hood of her car full of wood. At this time I did not have batteries for my digital camera and only had cheap out of date film for my 35 mm camera. So I never did get a good picture of Granny's car full of wood.
A day in the life at camp, Granny looking exhausted, Milo in his kitty tent, Myatuk close by Granny and Me contemplating on what to do now. Thank God Jonathan cut my head off in this picture. lol About the only thing I had going was a good tan! The orange bucket in this picture is what we used to do dishes, well lets not say we...ME...hehe Okay so Granny did do them once in a great while.
Jonathan was a little trooper. He is an outside boy anyway, but things where getting to him too. He likes to draw and he brought me a picture one day he had drawn of a house. The house had a circle around it with a slash through it. You know like the no smoking signs. He was ready to find a place too. He turned six years old that day.
He did manage to smile and kept occupied with looking for cool rocks, wading in the lake and trying to keep on Granny's good side.
Candy thought she could talk to the Morning Doves. It about drove us all crazy! Hoot hoo Hoot hoo from the bird, Woof woooo Woof woo from Candy...for hours it seemed. Granny said, "Candy girl do you think that bird is talking to you?" We would laugh cause Candy looked at Granny like, " You think I am just barking into the wind or what?" Then Candy would do here Woof wooo and every damn time that bird would answer with Hoot hooo! lol That bird conversation happened every evening about the same time. It made Candy really happy.
Myatuk and Sammy D were still mean towards each other so all the dogs had to be tied up. There were no other campers here, but we did get the occasional visit from near by town people. They would drive by and stare, some stopped to see how we were doing. Mostly we had visitors after a big storm. I guess they wanted to see if we had blown away or not!
One day the wind really started to pick up. I took a few pictures before it got bad.
To bad you can not see the white caps on the lake!
Shortly after these were taken we had to gather the bedding and head to the cars. What a long night that was. No way to stay in a tent with winds gusting upwards of 70 mph, rain, hail....Just one of many nights spent in the car. The tents did stay up, however they were wet inside. So when day came. tired or not we still had to get things done around camp.
During all of this we would have to go to town and try to find a place to live. The community center in town helped us. They provided a list of landlords and helped pay some rent. It was not easy to try and find a place with 4 dogs and one cat! Day after day we searched. Some days we were just exhausted and never left camp. Lack of sleep and lack of her proper medication was really getting to Granny.
We had been asking all over the near by town if anyone knew of places to rent. We got a lead one day and we went to look at some trailers in this trailer park. Oh my gawd!! NO WAY !! They were just terrible, and I mean NASTY!! EWWW! Granny was just not thinking, she said, " Judy we have to take these two trailers that is all there is to it" I said, " No if you want to go ahead, I will camp out and wait! Then the guy showing the trailers would not take a check, he wanted cash! THANK FULLY it turned out.
We went and got cash, well Granny got cash. I told her we should wait on the little house I had found. You see a few days prior I had met a landlord, filled out an application and he had a house to rent at the end of the month. Well Granny did not want to wait!! Come on!! This landlord was awesome, willing to work with us on the rent, would take housing assistance once that came in and AND take all the pets!! But nooooooo Granny was frantic, she really was exhausted, not thinking straight and wanted one of those nasty ass trailers. I tell you what, those trailers should have been condemned! Yes they were that bad. Well anyway Granny gets her cash right, then we go back and THANK the good Lord that guy was not there.
Come to find out a few months later that guy did not even own those trailers anymore and the law was looking for him! I knew something was fishy and I was not going to live in one of those trailers.
The next day we went into Walgreens. Granny had ordered some medication. Well first I had to beg her to let me go take a shower first. She was not happy about having to wait! Excuse me! We are going out in public here an I had not had a shower in days, slept in the car, gathered wood, cooked over a campfire..smelled worse than a dogs butt! lol I WAS taking a shower. She said, "Well people know we are camping they expect us to stink!" *rolls eyes* Whatever, anyway I showered!
So off we go to Walgreens. Oh boy, they had over charged her or something. They had to call in the assistant manger (who was a total hottie) to HANDLE Granny! She was yelling in between crying her eyes out. OH my, I was sooooooooo embarrassed. I had to calm her down and make jokes with this man to make light of the situation. Finally it all worked out and she got her meds! To this day every time I walk into that store and see that man, Chris is his name, he always smiles and asks "Hows your Mom doing?" Then we both laugh. I have to say he did so good not getting upset with her that day. Truly a professional. He told me has never met anyone like my Mom. I laughed and said "Yes she is an original for sure." lol
Days keep going on and on Wait! I have to say someone please call the fashion police!
Go figure the only picture of me is in this outfit! By this time I was out of clean clothes and had to wear whatever was clean. Not sure why but I brought a ton of clothes, but they did come in handy. I even had brought clothes of Granny's she had left at my house.
We had more days to wait until the little house was ready. Finally Granny agreed it was a good choice and we got to rent the place on August 22, 2005. It was a small place but hey it was a place! Here I am a week after we got settled in.
Jonathan is hiding behind me. I got him signed up for first grade. Then the job search began. I put in 20 some odd resumes until finally finding a job! I started work the third week in Sept. It was great! I was going stir crazy in the house with Granny. We had some good times, but we just don't see eye to eye well enough to co habitat for too long! Oh ya and the day after I got my job, my Jeep died! Yep totally died! I was once again stranded on the side of the highway.
Luckily a railroad guy was nearby and he came over to see if he could help. Well nothing was happening. The car motor was just locked up. He did have a cell phone and I called Granny to come get me. Great, I get a job then no car!! The old Jeep has done its job and now it was time for it to be towed off to the crusher. Jonathan cried. :(
Well Granny was cool enough to let me borrow her car, for a time. Then all of sudden she decides she is moving back to IL and that I can no longer use her car to get to work. GREAT!! UGG! Oh well, I called the bus service and they took me to work and picked me up. Thankfully I was on some work program that Nebraska has to help folks out. They ended up buying me a car so I could continue to work and become self sufficient once again.
Granny moved out at the end of October. She moved back to IL and once again peace reigned in our household. No more fighting dogs, or Jonathan and Granny having yelling matches, but also no more long conversations. Now I realize I have probably been rather hard on my Mother during this trip, but you just have to know her! I do have to give her much credit for always being a Mom that is full of adventure and memorable moments. Even if all the moments are not pretty at the time, later on in life you can look back and certainly laugh!
She did help out a lot by watching Jonathan after school and letting me use her car. It was really good to see her drive up that first day she arrived in Nebraska too. I guess I knew the adventure would start when she got there. Also she did manage to get me to one of my dream locations. All in all my Mom is pretty cool, but would I live with her again??? Not a chance! I do miss her being around sometimes. She can really hold some great conversations.
Well this is an American story and it does have a happy ending. Christmas 2005 was just awesome. My older son Jasper got to come and spend it with Jonathan and I.
Jonathan loved having his brother here. Then we got a knock on the door and it was one of the guys I work with and some of his friends. They had got together at work and bought Jonathan and me some gifts for Christmas. :)
They even got Jon a bike! with all the accesories. :) Christmas day I fixed lasagna.
That is our traditional meal. It was yummy and we had the best time.
Jonathan tried out his new bike and skateboard.
The year really ended up well. Jonathan loves his school and it was fun to watch him in his Christmas program.
We are very happy and life is good. This is one year I will never forget!
It was quite a journey and I would not trade it for anything. It was very difficult at times, but we endured. A Wing and Prayer and a lot of faith. I know now I can handle anything life throws at me and I will just make the best of it. I had a lot of friends and family praying this whole trip and I have to say I know they sent out all the Angels to watch over us. I am truly blessed to have such great friends and family.
The first day of January 2006 I found MySpace! I thank all the great friends I have on MySpace for encouraging me with writing this story. I hold you all close to my heart and will forever cherish you all.