My ride-share from Seattle to Redding, CA picked me up about 3pm. We had to stop and pick up a few other riders in Portland ( I really wanted to stay in Portland but it just didn’t work out this time. I will for sure when I come back.),which actually got us lost so that was an extra two hours on the ride.
The ride was smooth enough and I got to my Aunt Patty’s home about 4am. My Uncle Viv was up waiting for me and helped get me settled. I went right to sleep. Got up the next morning to my cousins being at the house doing some home repairs. I said my hellos and went back to bed for several more hours.
I had a good time with my cousins. We went hiking in Lassen and kayaking in Wiskeytown. I loved it. Such beautiful views. I did a bit of work at my aunt’s house and helped her with her garden. I enjoyed my time with family, but was ready to head south.
I went by ride-share from Redding to Benecia, CA right outside of San Fransisco to stay with my other cousin for about a week. Then on to Southern California.
Hiking around Shasta Lake with the Cousins
There is an amazing Ranger program in Wiskeytown where one can go (as many times as they want) on a guided kayaking tour of the lake for free. To experience the wildlife and the scenery. We were so lucky and went during a light rain so not only did we have a blast we got to kayak through rainbows. Spectacular!!
There is so much to say about Seattle. Weather was perfect (Yep not a drop of rain nor a cloud. I got a terrible sunburn.), people are kind and generous and the views are spectacular. Denis, my couch surfing host, picked me up right near the Fish Market and we headed that way. Got to mark that off my bucket list. I thought it was crazy and fun. We saw them slinging fish and invoking the crowd. Cool.
Denis had taken me as a last minute couch surfer so he already had plans for the afternoon. After settling me in at his home and showing me how to use the public transit he was off and I went exploring. The next day he had scored an extra ticket for the beer fest and took me along. Right under the Space Needle. I had a blast.
Denis is a full-time single father and works a full schedule so he doesn’t have a lot of time to work on the garden. So I did some landscaping for him to say thank you for his generosity. I have to say his front yard looked impressive by the time I left. He was happy and so was I.
For the fourth of July we went to his friend’s home. It was incredible to see the fireworks on the bay from their home in the Capitol Hill District. WOW
After a week in Montana I headed to Spokane, WA. Another ride-share with a very sweet college student from Missoula. She was fun and the conversation kept us alert and enjoying all the scenery. She was going home to Spokane for a few days of family time and I was going to my next couch surfing hosts.
The Callahan home. Loved it there. Such a great positive energy. Lots of kids and smiles. Food and drink and lots of goings ons. I felt a kindred spirit with this family right away. It was my first experience sleeping on a massage table and I could not have been more comfortable. We made so many plans to make so many cool things and never had a chance to do any of them so if they will have me I will be going back. 😀
I ended up leaving in the middle of the night the second night, because I got a last minute ride-share from a guy who was driving overnight to get to a rainbow festival in Washington. It was a long ride but with another ride share in the back there was time for each of us to take turns sleeping.
I got to Seattle at about 7 am and my host Denis came a short time later to pick me up at a Starbucks. How appropriate.
These are four amazing men. I went to high school with Sam Weber in Bellflower, California. We really didn’t know one another. He was a year between my brother and me. I knew who he was and think he knew my brother, but we really got to know each other through Facebook. Do I hear a collective sigh?
I wanted so much to visit him and to see the Montana he so loves. Because Sam is one of the most kind and generous men I have ever met I should not have been so surprised that he would drive a couple of hundred miles to come get me to take me back to his house in Great Falls.
We, well I, have been out of school 29 years. So it had been awhile. I don’t remember any weirdness between us from the welcoming hug to the sad goodbye hug.
The night before I was to come in Sam asked me if I wanted to join him and his friends and parents for an outdoor concert. I did! We literally drove (talking and laughing the whole way) to Great Falls in time for me to meet the boys and set down my stuff in the basement bedroom they had gotten ready for me and we were off to the concert.
First stop the liquor store. A liquor store in a casino. I was shocked and amused. The concert was so fun. Under the beautiful sky that I will never stop being in awe of. Dancing, drinking, and laughing. I was happy and exhausted.
Back at the house I chatted with the boys for a while before heading to bed.
I will do a separate post about learning to shoot a gun while in Montana with the Weber’s as it was a huge deal for me, but here I will say that this family of hunters went to great lengths to ease me of my fear of guns. There are several guns in the home and all went out of their way to make me feel safe. I will ALWAYS love them for this.
I found out how much I like Kokanne beer. Actually it is my favorite too bad it is Canadian and hard to find everywhere but up there. How much like a hobbit I apparently look like (I had never seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies so I we had a marathon and Garrett pointed out that I did not need to wait till Halloween to be a Hobbit as all I was really missing now is the hair on my feet). How to spot a decoy moose. And to make 3 large boys like me!!
One day we planned a trip to Ft Bennett. Sam, his parents, his son, Jonathan and me. Sam’s dad, Lowen scared the beegeebees out of me with his driving which was culminated when he abruptly pulled to the side of the ridge and pointed out this huge bull moose. Poor Jonathan woke up from his slumber next to me in the part of the truck that was still hanging precariously in the road whilst Sam and Louanne (Sam’s mom) took pictures of it. Everyone was amazed (well I didn’t know enough to be amazed) at the size especially so early in the year. I could not stop laughing when Jonathan quipped, “Really a moose in Montana who the hell could imagine?” he was obviously not at all happy about being the possible target if anyone happened around the corner of this ridge to find the truck just sitting there.
The real amusement came that evening when Sam, Louanne and Lowen as soon as we were home put all the photos they had taken of the bull on Facebook and within seconds one of the comments noted they had also seen the DECOY there!!! AHAHAHAAHA
Then Garrett, who seems always ready with a TOLD YOU SO MOMENT, tells his dad that yeah um there is only three legs and asked if no one noticed that the whole time we were there the bull never ever moved? HA
Ft. Benton itself was cool too. It is known as the Birthplace of Montana: http://www.fortbenton.com/. Just a really neat place with tepees and memorabilia everywhere. Especially interesting was the info on outlaws from the area. Cool.
The night before I left for Spokane, Sam and his friend, Kari, took me to the famous Sip and Dip Tiki Lounge. I want so much to take my son here some time. It is a bar that faces a mermaid tank. Mermaids swim while you drink while a 90 year old woman plays the piano and sings. Where else can you have THAT kind of entertainment all in one place???????????????????????
I left Denver by rideshare on a beautiful morning headed for Cody, Wyoming. I was in for a treat as I moved north in the heartland of the USA. I have never been to Wyoming or Montana even though I have wanted to since I was in my mid twenties. I should have taken the kids here camping while they were growing up.
I have been amazed with the skies!!! Simply breath taking.
My friend in Denver, Richard, did not really get couch surfing so ride-sharing was way beyond him. He was a nervous wreck about me going into a person’s car I had never met. I had found a ride-share through Craigslist. I am an aware enough traveler to check the references on my rides. Still Richard insisted on driving me to meet him. I think Richard finally calmed down when he realized I was going to be in the car with the sheriff of Cody. Actually so was I. I had a great time on the ride and he was great about telling me all about the history of the places we drove through. Just before getting to my couch surfing place in Cody we stopped at a very old (like a couple of hundred years old) saloon. What a hoot. I loved it. Met a guy, the one sitting next to me in the pictures below, who grew up there and the entire town seems to take care of since he is a bit dependent on them after his parents have died. There were several books written by the owner on Cowboy Economics to which I learned a bit. After a couple of beer it was on to my couch surfers….
Couch surfing at the Pollocks. Such a treat. Robbin had just had surgery (yet she was still planning on going camping that upcoming weekend) and was set to be resting on the couch. But nope. She moved around the kitchen setting out food stuff and making sure everyone was comfortable. There was another set of csers there too from back east on their way to Yellowstone. It is always so much fun to be sharing a host. That way not only do you meet the host, but also someone who is traveling too.
Jim cooked a wonderful fish dinner and I sat with the daughter still at home and her friends on the couch. We all had a really nice time. That night Jim called me out to show me the incredible sky with all the stars in it. I have no words. I just loved talking with this family. They are so warm and loving. I feel very blessed that they accepted my request. I know I will see them again in the future.
This family is big into camping and go all the time. They live at the mouth of Yellowstone so that’s convenient. Anyway, Jim is in construction and has this fantastic outdoor fireplace and chimney they have built with rocks from the adventures. I want one!!!
I needed to get to Billings, Montana to meet my friend for a ride to Great Falls. Normally I would have been able to ride there with Robbin because she is a nurse in a hospital there and commutes, but since she was on leave she kindly found me another nurse going that way. YEAH!!!
Next time I go to Cody I hope they will take me with them on a trip to Yellowstone. 😀
Woke up to iced coffee and a sausage McMuffin for nourishment on my travels to Denver (thanks Melissa). Got my back pack and my carry on into Jessie’s car and we were off by 8:15 am. I have really not done all that much traveling by air during this journey so it is always a luxury. Once at the airport I got thru to get my ticket and since I already had my seat assigned I was off to the gate with no hassles. It was so cool to be on the inaugural flight of Frontier from Knoxville to Denver. There were lots of animals from the Knoxville Zoo on display, Starbucks was there with coffee and treats, news crews were there and they gave away free t-shirts. Also they gave us ear phones b/c we were given free access to the TV. Nice treat. Our flight arrived 25 minute early. I have never been on a plane that was anywhere near that early before! AWESOME!! The other incredible thing is flying without ANY checked luggage. As I mentioned those benefits in an earlier post. I went straight to eat something and then see a bit of what is becoming an anomaly, the Denver Airport. Very strange airport and goings on reported at this airport. But something I haven’t spent much time researching. There were a lot of odd murals that is for sure. I took the express bus costing $9 with a free transfer for any of the public transportation options downtown. I had read that Denver was extremely commuter friendly and it didn’t disappoint.
I was in Denver for two weeks and during that time I stayed at four different couch surfing hosts and with a high school friend, Richard Ybarra, so I was moving around a lot.
The first couple of nights I stayed with a really nice family in a great area just outside downtown Denver. They had the coolest dog ever. An Alaskan Malamute who I swear can say “I love you”. I immediately got a headache and had to go to bed. I was really weak. I guess I didn’t give enough credence to the mile high tips as I should have. It was a great place to relax and to get used to the altitude. We had some wonderful meals and lots of good conversation.
I went fishing with Richard and his son and grandson while I was with my first hosts. It was a really hard concept, this couch surfing, for my friend to take in. I had an interesting time convincing him and his family (all of whom have relocated from Southern California to Denver) that it was safe and that I am not totally crazy. Since they have known me since I was in the third grade though they have always known I was a bit off any way. 🙂
Richard and his niece, Alyssa, dropped me off at Orin’s and Liz’s who were my next hosts for a three day stay. It was there that my backpack broke. Both of my hosts are well-traveled hikers and Orin told me that part of the weight that was hurting my back so much was from the metal all over my backpack. All of the latches, zippers, handles, and pullies on it are hard metal. Weighing it down considerably before I even got anything in it. He gave the backpack a quick fix till I could go in the next day or two to get another one.
At Paula’s, my next host, I started looking up packs online. Then we went to several stores. I finally found the one that I wanted. Also black with grey and white added. I am happier with them aesthetically and with less weight it is much much easier.
Paula and I had such a nice time relaxing and talking she has an AMAZING view of Denver from her window and we cooked meals to eat with glasses of wine on the balcony and just enjoy the views. She was just getting ready at 66 yrs old to embark on a really grand trip herself and we shared lots of tips.
The last couch surfing place I stayed in Denver was Annikah’s. I actually stayed with her for two nights before she left on a volunteering trip of her own in upper state New York for a month. See, it really seems like there are a lot of people that are like-minded to me in Denver!
I have to say I love Denver so much. The architecture blows me away. It is so beautiful. The city is so bicycle friendly. In downtown where one has to go up steps there is a slot to put the bike wheels so you can walk it along side of you up the steps. I loved that where there was a chain link fence a group had gotten together and knitted a floral design right into the chain links to make is so much prettier. All over downtown there were these random pianos. Wildly painted for anyone and everyone to just play. There is a creek that runs through it with bike paths literally everywhere.
The food was good and the beer even better.
Have I mentioned I really like DENVER?
Some of the best times I had while in Denver was fishing with the Ybarras. Lots of laughs, lots of relaxation, but alas no fish. HA
The other really cool outing I did while I was there was with my host, Paula. She took me to the famous Red Rock Amphitheater: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Rocks_Amphitheatre. WOW!! The history, the acoustics and the views. Anyone who goes to Denver and doesn’t make this place a number one thing to see with or without a concert is a fool.
I know that Denver is on my short list of places to live when I am done. The only thing it doesn’t have is a beach. Although it might be smart for me to try to visit a bit in say January before making a permanent decision. Time will tell…..
After a few weeks being back in Knoxville I left TN again the first of June 2011. I was so glad to be back on the road again. It seems its in my blood to travel. Even more so than I had originally thought. I knew from a very early age that I wanted to just be “going”, but didn’t have any idea how deep that ran within me. I have traveled with my kids their entire lives, but this is so different. The ability to change plans and go where I am drawn is just incredible.
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I made in the beginning was too much luggage. I’ve learned this lesson and am benefiting from learning it BEFORE leaving the USA.
There are many lessons I am learning. One of the main ones has been how little material things I need. This is beginning to sound like such a cliché in our society (and so few people really do it), but life is a lot more enjoyable the more we simplify.
I took several months before I began my current journey getting rid of almost everything I owned. I have roughly 15 boxes in a friend’s attic back in Tennessee, but the rest of my things are gone.
The first time I took a cruise with my family in 1996 we over packed even though I thought we had done so well. I heard from many seasoned cruisers on that trip that the trick most adhere to is to pack everything you “think” you might need about a week before the cruise. Two days later take out half of the stuff you packed. Two days after that reduce the remaining stuff by half and then the day before you leave do it once more. Still one will certainly still have too much stuff after all the reducing. The wisdom of that rule proved itself to me on later cruises.
Well I made the same mistake (even though I would have sworn I had mastered packing for trips) in April 2010. I took along so much more than I ever needed. And it caused a lot of issues. From the aches of pulling, dragging and hauling all this stuff to not being able to enjoy several last-minute opportunities because of luggage…
I rely on public transportation and ride shares to travel everywhere. I am a solo traveler without any help so this is the one area I have to be sensible and I sure wasn’t in the beginning. The thing is I THOUGHT I had really done so well. I was wrong.
After I was burglarized I got a new lesson in doing without for a bit. But since I lived with South Beach models for a few weeks I soon had more than enough clothes again. I’d made a decision that when I stopped back in Tennessee to see Marley and friends I would pack only a very small carry on and a day backpack. Ideally I would love to be able to travel with only a day pack. I doubt it will ever happen, but this is good too.
So when I flew out of Knoxville on my way to Denver I had no luggage that had to be checked in! It was wonderful to fly without that hassle included. Although when I went through security at the airport I was not happy that I they took my new toothpaste, lotion and conditioner I had bought but forgot that they would be carried on with me so I hadn’t thought to look into the size allowances. It was a small price to pay for all the advantages.
The backpack I left Knoxville with this year was the same one that has been with me sincethe beginning. My dear and special friend, Jessica Young, gave me hers. It is a UT-K college backpack. It has been through a lot with me. I got the pink carry on from my other great friend, Callie Spears.
For convenience and ease I was set. Aesthetically I was not. I do not like purple and red together nor do I like orange and pink together. Those that know me know if something is bugging me I get a bit obsessive about it. So having two of the things that have to be with me all the time such an awful mixture of colors drove me crazy.
It worked out that once in Denver a week apart both my backpack and then my carry-on broke from all the wear and tear. I replaced both in black. All was right with the luggage.
Lesson learned and action taken…
What a difference it makes having just two really small and light pieces of external stuff to take with me everywhere. I can get up and go when I have an opportunity I want to take. I can walk, get on buses and move around with no problems!
I pull behind me the carry-on (or lift when needed by the Velcro handle) with most of my clothes, the electrical plugs and toiletries inside. Then in the backpack I have a set of clothes, a spare pair of shoes, my netbook, camera, iPod, phone and beach reading. Plus it has a place for wallet and ID in the front pouch. When I am on the go I usually put the backpack on top of the carry on and secure it to the pull bar and just use the wheels.
It has been such better way to travel. I don’t think that I will ever get down to just the backpack as I would have liked, but this is definitely the next best thing.
My time in New Orléans ended the third week of December. I learned so much, saw so much and laughed so much that I am in love with this city. I usually blog about an entire place in one post, but I’m not going to do that with my time in New Orléans aka NOLA.I want to post about my adventures first and then I will post my blog on what I have learned about the people and their hearts and perseverance since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.I had previously visited The French Quarter three times in the 1990s. I was told, and found out for myself on this trip, that visiting The French Quarter is in no way really visiting New Orléans. That is why I chose to spend some real quality time all over New Orléans this trip. I am so glad I did.
The food!!!! OMGosh, the food!!!!!
I had an idea of some of the food stuffs that I wanted before I got there… Muffuletta (most amazing sandwich ever), chicory coffee and alligator bites. But I had no idea the culinary treats I would get to enjoy…I was lucky enough to couchsurf with a great guy, Vince. Between him and his neighbors I was treated to many many culinary delights. They also were kind enough to take me to all their favorite local pubs. People in NOLA are apparently as serious about their football as the rest of the south and we spent each Sunday at a different pub watching the games. One of these Sundays two of my friends joined us from Knoxville, TN. Patrick and Will Horton are two of my favorite Downtown Knoxville people. Seeing them always puts a huge smile on my face and they give the best hugs ever.
There were two other couchsurfers with me and we all had a blast. I think the pictures below are worth all the words I could say…We laughed and reveled all day. Finn McCool’s, http://finnmccools.com/, is by far my favorite of the pubs. The owners are so kind and fun. After meeting the owners, Pauline and Stephen Patterson, the night before at a private party we went to the pub’s Christmas party that Saturday night. This is a bar full of locals with lots of Irish flare. The owners are from Belfast and had owned the neighborhood bar in Mid City New Orléans for several years before Hurricane Katrina hit. Once they were allowed back to their place they saw that there was extensive damage that left them questioning if they should even reopen. With the help of their many loyal customers they took 6 months and rebuilt. I am so glad they did…
After Melissa got to feeling better after her surgery I put a Craigslist post for a rideshare to New Orléans, LA. I had flexible dates of about a week and decided to be ready when a ride came through. Yesterday I checked my email to find an offer of a ride for 11pm to go straight through to New Orléans. I wrote back that I would take it.
That gave me little time to get completely ready. With Melissa’s help I packed and got ready.
At 11pm my rideshare, Brian, showed up. We loaded up and headed off. I will say I am afraid of all night driving. I only had a couple of times where I got a bit nervous, but for the most part it was a very easy ride and went by really fast. Brian didn’t take any money towards gas from me. He said it was just really nice to have the company on a long trip. He is a chemist and was on his way to a conference.
Once in New Orléans I made my way, via the post Katrina shuttle bus (only $5), from New Orléans to Baton Rouge. It was a very comfortable luxury bus with free WiFi, but I was wayyyyyyy to tired to get online.
After I got to Baton Rouge I had to call the farm. Being Thanksgiving weekend there was no one to answer the phone when I had called the day before to say I was coming three days early. So I sat in the bus station putting quarters in the pay phone (I had not done that in years). Finally after several calls and messages I was told Prentiss, the owner with her husband of the farm, would be out to pick me up.
She is so funny and spunky. She showed up with all four of her kids. All of whom are under the age of 7. It is a beautiful drive back from Baton Rouge to the farm in East Feliciana Parish (this particular Parish is not considered part of the USA, because it and a few others were not bought as part of the Louisiana Purchase). She came into the bus station and held up a sign that said “HERE 4 MONDAY”.
Once back at the farm I got the tour. We, the WWOOFers, are housed in the former slave’s quarters. Very cool. This place is over 200 years old. And met all the current WWOOFers. All but one are leaving in the next few days and the next wave wont be here till the beginning of January. Prentiss then gave me a beer and sent me upstairs to take a nap. I had been up over 27 hours by that time. I was ready. I only slept about an hour and a half, but it was good.
I came downstairs and hung out talking with everyone before dinner. Dinner was amazing. Hutch made venison stew with Deer he had hunted himself with carrots and onions from the garden. Freshly made bread with garlic butter and homemade grits. incredible!!! That and a glass of wine and I was ready to go back to bed. Happy!
The next day I woke up to see how really pretty all the property is. I spent the next two weeks doing everything from Farmer’s Markets to laying drip irrigation. This is a property that is antebellum (pre civil war). So amazing. The WWOOFers are housed in the attic of the former slave’s quarters now refered to as the bunkhouse.
The entire two weeks I was here I ate the most wonderful freshest food available. Meat hunted from the land and vegetables from the garden with the dairy from a farm up the road.
The propierter took all of us to dinner and dancing at the Magnolia. A place in St. Francisville. So fun and such a family place to go.
On my one full Sunday there I went with a French WWOOFer named Karine. We borrowed the farm bus and went exploring. It was so fun to see her drive the large (especially by France’s standards) van. We went to the Mississippi River ferry then to Clinton and finally to St. Francisville, Louisiana where we visited a two hundred year old to present day cemetery. It is by far one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen. It is at Grace Episcopal Church and has Live Oak Trees with Spanish Moss everywhere. There are gates and statutes for full family areas. I just couldn’t get over with the haunting beauty of this place. I still get chills when I think of it.
Next stop a couple of weeks playing in New Orleans before heading to Miami…
I left Knoxville, Tennessee after a visit that was supposed to be about 10 days and ended up being exactly a month. I wanted to see Marley mostly and then see a few friends as time permitted. Well I got to see Marley only twice in that entire time, but I did see many friends. That part was great. It was very hard to say “goodbye” both times to Marley. She thought I was home to stay. She has gotten so big since I’ve been gone. She is a busy girl and played with my friend’s 7 year old boy for most of my Welcome Home Party, but that was fine. I just loved seeing her and hugging her. The second time I saw her we painted a picture I had started for her of under the ocean. It was wonderful just spending one on one time together. We painted and talked about everything. Plus the picture came out really good. It is going her room.
The way to Knoxville was via Nashville. The original plan in Nashville fell through at the last-minute. Literally. I was boarding the plane in San Francisco and found out by text that the friend I was meeting there had to go to Atlanta instead.
That left me getting on a plane with no plan. Luckily I sat in the very front (the best leg room too) and got to talking with the stewards while I wrote out a sign saying I needed a ride. They let me make an announcement. Although I found out later that many of the passengers thought it was a joke. No one came up during the flight so upon landing instructions the very kind stewardess made the same announcement.
At the baggage claim a couple of people made various offers. Sadly I picked the unknowingly chose the “conspiracy theories” guy. Could have been interesting conversation if he wasn’t a bit nuts. Gave me lots to talk about when my friend, Melissa, met us in Crossville, TN. It was wonderful to see my great friend Melissa. She is at such a happy and fulfilling time in her life. It made me so happy. I stayed most of the time at her house with her and her daughter, Megan. We spent so much time laughing and playing it was awesome.
Now the reason I stayed longer than I intended was first the WWOOF property I was going to work at in Georgia fell through at the last-minute. I searched WWOOFing hosts in several southern states and I received an offer to WWOOF at Oakland Organic Plantation in Gurley, Louisiana. I told them I would be there on November 20th. With that time frame in mind I was free to enjoy Knoxville for an extra week in a half and see most of the people I wanted to and make some extra money cleaning houses. I was cleaning Melissa’s mom and dad’s house and her mom had to go to the doctor because she was having intense pains in her chest and back. I was left to the house cleaning. She was upset when she came home, because she found out she had shingles. Not only did that mean weeks of pain it meant that she couldn’t help Melissa after her major surgery, which was the reason they had me cleaning their home to begin with. The decision was made that I would stay for a couple more weeks and take care of her. Her mom was not happy and inundated me (and everyone else) with instructions for how to take care of her baby. That left me leaving at the end of the month. But with that I had plenty of time to hang out and relax. My dear friend, Louise, and her lovely husband, Pierre, welcomed me at their home for several nights also. This gave me plenty of time with them. They are from Canada and relish in relaxation. I loved it. I went back while Pierre was in Canada on a business trip and stayed for two more nights with Louise. We went to the movies, took a walk thru Ijam’s Nature Park, and Market Square. It was so nice and so relaxing I also spent Thanksgiving with Louise and Pierre at their wonderful friend’s home. It was so fun and such a beautiful place out in the country. I was the youngest so I got the children’s table since there was not enough room for me :). We played Canadian Rummy. I have to get that card game. I have so amazing and loving friends. I am very blessed.
I took many many baths while I was in Knoxville. I hadn’t had any while I was in California. I had two welcome home parties (one Marley with Marley and one with great friends), I went dancing with Melissa and our friends, played for Halloween, went to a male revue, several movies, and lots of walks. It was a lot of fun to go to the downtown YMCA and see all my former guests. I adore them and they seem to adore me!
I knew when I left Knoxville that it was time for me to leave. Being back knew it even more strongly. I felt such a huge disconnect while there. I certainly miss people from Knoxville. I loved getting all the warm welcomes and hugs. They meant so much to me. There is just a lot of memories but no future for me there. The entire time I felt restless and anxious to be going again. Melissa recovered really quickly from her surgery and I was able to leave on the 28th of November for the next farm in Gurley, Louisiana.