Journey of the Heart – Part Two


My turn. Steve got things started here last month after the house sold but it took me a bit longer. The intervening weeks were filled with packing and sorting and moving, with organizing, reorganizing and then reorganizing again. Without help from Nicole and her friends, and Dennis and Nancy, I don’t know how we could have met the one week window we had to be out of the house. It was a crazy busy time and we are so grateful for everyone who stepped up to help us get it done.

We didn’t go far when we left, just one mile down to the campground where our adventure here started five and a half years ago, next to the beautiful lake that used to be a river. The photo of the limestone heart rock above was taken down at the shoreline. So fitting!

When we first arrived here it was summer and the warm water called us in. Not so this time. The season is different and wave after wave of unusually freezing temps just seem to keep coming. The new owners of the house formally-known-as-home returned to Houston, granting me permission to continue feeding the birds so I made regular treks back. The house had lost its pull on me but the birds were harder to leave, especially mid-winter, and looking at the garden, even in the dead of winter, gave my heart a tug.  I particularly worried about the roadrunners through nights of freezing rain and sleet so when Pteri showed up and “clacked” to me on my last morning of filling feeders, my heart lifted. With or without me, the birds will survive (or they won’t but that’s a much bigger subject than whether I feed them.)

There were also a fair amount of “until-we-meet-agains” (I don’t do goodbyes) and lunches with friends, interspersed with annual bird counts and Canyon Gorge docent commitments. And a couple of nights camped at the beautiful home of our friends, Joe and Jeannie. Their hospitality means so much to us. Once again, we are grateful. I love it here. Thankfully, the Army Corp offered us a volunteer position up at the Lake Office for the month of March so our wanderings will be short before we get a chance to check back in. February will be a shake-down cruise of sorts.

And that brings me to today. More than two weeks out, back on the road as “full-timers”, we have finally left Canyon Lake. We still didn’t go far, only about 75 miles, but in some ways it is another planet. No longer in the Hill Country, and not yet on the Gulf Coast (where we plan to spend most of the month), we are surrounded by a leafless winter woodland, a river and, most notably, a palmetto swamp. Today is cold and blustery … perfect for writing inside our cozy, colorful, homey trailer. Still, the space is small. Dogs need walked and there are birds outside. Somewhere out there, I know there is Pileated Woodpecker just waiting for me to find it. Let the fun begin!



A Journey of the Heart

campsite map in shape of a heart

We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to enjoy living in a brand new house with brand new appliances. When we set out on our journey six years ago, it was in a brand new truck towing our brand new trailer. We’ve learned many lessons over those years, not the least of which is that nothing stays new. The best you can hope for is that things are well maintained. That goes for our bodies, too.

During those years, we’ve experienced loss as well. Losing Ginger in 2012 and Grayson this past summer had a profound impact on both of us. We’ve lost any number of animals over the years, but these losses were different, perhaps as we have begun to deal with our own mortality or perhaps as a result of living in such close proximity. Ginger’s passing was painful, but Grayson’s illness and untimely death served as a reminder that our preconceived notions about the future have little basis in reality.

These lessons, in addition to a list of factors far too complex to address here have led us to a decision:

We’ve made the choice that while the rig is still road-worthy and we are fit and healthy enough to enjoy it, we’re returning to our vagabond ways, selling the house and going back to living as full-time RVers. The decision to sell the house that we love was not an easy one, but once we came to it, there hasn’t been a moment of doubt. We are swapping the conveniences and benefits of living in our “big” house (which is how WE think of it) for a different set of benefits living full-time in our little home on wheels. The biggest single benefit is feeling free to say “yes” to the next great opportunity, whatever that might be.

Since setting out in early 2008, we’ve kept a map of everywhere we’ve stayed. Last summer, Westi and the grandtwins followed our progress as we traveled towards them from Michigan and Westi observed that the our stops on the map were in the shape of a heart. That observation has become a theme as we re-imagine where we are heading. The journey IS the destination, and we’re choosing to go where our hearts lead us, wherever that might be.