I have taken a “test trip” of sorts, this weekend.
My dear van has been in and out of the shop for months. I have now officially put more money INTO my van than it is worth. But, I felt no alternative. I certainly can’t be financed for a new vehicle (being an unemployed, full time student with less than stellar credit) and I do not have five grand in the bank for a new car. So, last week, my sweet Voyager was back in the shop twice (three times, if you count rotating the tires on Friday morning). After replacing the radiator cap (that was allowing pressure to be lost from the recently replaced radiator), the new-yet-appropriate pressure blew out the hoses (original to the van, probably). But, the place I’ve been taking the van was, AGAIN, wonderful … super …. fantastic. Butler Automotive’s customer service is outstanding.
But, this time …. I think we’ve “got it.” I hear no more odd noises. I have gauges (Yay!). My fuel gauge properly registers. The engine doesn’t leak fluids. When I push the accelerator, the van moves forward without hesitation. These have become treats, not the norm. But, right now, things are working well. And I’m thankful.Having not felt comfortable enough to take the van away from home, I’ve not done any traveling for, about a year. As the dynamics of our family have greatly changed of late, I have come to the conclusion that I’m just going to have to do some traveling alone. James and Glory aren’t able to get time off often and Joy is off with her daddy every other weekend.
While I’m at home, I tend to get distracted with “stuff” that needs to be done. So, this weekend, I found ONE campsite left in the foothills of the South Carolina mountains. I figured I could try a two and a half hour drive and be confident with the van. I prayed my “if-it’s-gonna-break-Lord-please-let-it-break-BEFORE-I-LEAVE” prayer and went about my business Thursday and Friday morning. With no big calamity, I threw the bike and kayak, tent and sleeping bag into the van and took off Friday morn.
As James helped me load, Dulcie found her way into the van, hopeful that she wouldn’t be left behind. I may need to consider finding a way to train her to be more social so that she could join me on outings. Hmm…. wonder if she would like to kayak. She’s not a water lover … it would be hard convincing her balancing in a floating boat on the water is a good time.
When Glory found out that I was going to camp alone, her reaction was the same as Joy’s later in the day: they bemoaned me. “AAAaaaawwwwwww, Mooommmmmm!!!” I didn’t get STOOD UP by a best friend. I didn’t get left behind on a trip. I didn’t have someone give me the slip at the mall. I was choosing to go on a trip alone! It’s okay!
As I was talking to Joy about it, I took her little face in my hands and looked into those blue eyes and said, “Joy. I like myself. I am very fun. I can go alone and have a great time. Really. I will.” I want her to understand comfort in oneself and ease being alone. I want her to see it modeled.
I’m not bothered by the thought of being alone. I unloaded and put up the tent without a problem. I slept on a blow up mattress in the back of the van, so I would feel a little more safe than in a “bare” tent. (I was glad that I had planned for this as the temps dipped down in the 30’s. I would have definitely been cold in a tent!) And I got up early this morning and hiked alone to try to catch some beautiful daybreak photos.
I have thought a lot about this wonderful video I found recently.
It was created by Andrea Dorfman, featuring Tanya Davis’ voice and poetry. I love everything about it. I love the style of the filming. I love the prose spoken. And I embrace and adore the message.
So, I wonder ….
Are you okay being alone?
Are you okay sitting at a restaurant by yourself?
Reading a book in a library?
Taking a hike? Or camping?
It’s a new thing for me. But, I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me …. I have a trail to hike,
so I can also take some sunset shots.