a springy home that’s a sight to see

Time flies when you’re having fun.

And sometimes when you’re just sitting at your laptop in a friend’s house.

Or simply an altogether different environment from the usual or familiar.

Seems like yesterday when I arrived at Bill’s place here in southern California, stumbling in late, fried and frazzled from a 3-hour logjam in the desert followed by California’s evening commute.

A mere 38 hours ago it was.

Since, and through this visit, I’ve been uncharacteristically disinclined to get in the car and go anywhere.

I’m happy simply being at their dining room table (since they got rid of their kitchen table) with my laptop while their lives go on around me.

Bill going to work, Bill returning from work.
Bill and Carleen culling dinner from an array of leftovers.
Bill and Carleen talking about their day, dropping names, planning activities.
Carleen going with her son (19) to the passport office and then lunch.
Carleen running errands. Going to yoga class. Returning from yoga class.
Their youngest son coming in, hugging both parents, chatting, then turning around and leaving.
Rat terriers Max and Bonnie playing ruff rough ‘n’ tumble, mouthing and chasing each other through the house.

With two college-age sons and their buddies, their own friends, two lively dogs, there’s rarely a dull moment. Or enduring quiet one. In fact, I’ve suggested he put wooden lettering across the front of his house reading Bill’s Community Place.

I love my old college friend and I love being here for these very reasons. A lively, engaged and highly-interactive family dynamic is wholly foreign and unfamiliar. (as a comparison, mine’s best described as isolating, dark, warfare environment.)

I learn simply by being here and I leave enriched by the experience. By observing, I learn about a different way of interacting within the family, one friendly and invested in one another’s well-being. One of communication where people listen to one another and invite others’ opinions, thoughts and viewpoints. One where the kids willingly share about their lives and too the parents.

One of laughter, levity and affectionate teasings. There’s affection and concerns for one another’s health and life choices. There’s actual hugging that happens! Whoa!!

In simplest terms, it’s family where the left hand knows what the right hand’s doing.

By no means do I mean to paint a picture that it’s the Beaver Cleaver household free of conflicts and issues! They have theirs like we all do. They “simply” navigate them quite differently than both my family did and I do. Less embedded in controls, rage and toxicities, more flawy and expressive — so it seems to this outsider.

Delightful’s a good word to summarize my visits.

Whatever the scene at the time, I’m delighted to be in their home, exposed to and learning from that wholly different dynamic. Delighted that amid busy schedules we’re able to carve out a few days for friendship and fellowship.

Delighted to be in a home so lively, a home where even in the quiet moments, something’s about to spring forth again soon. It’s a springy {poing! poing! poing!} home.

Tomorrow a visit all too quick to pass comes to a close. No extended chatty goodbyes alongside the car this time, he’ll be at work by the time I hit the trail back to Arizona. Though too short, a visit at Bill’s is the pause that refreshes. Who’d a-thunk that all this lively activity and continual comings-and-goings could invigorate rather than drain?!!


On the road with Rude Campers, The Snorer and a Pain in the Neck

Wow! Is it only eight days since my last post?!

Eight days and some 800 miles.

Though my neck injury and consequential exhaustion no longer have me plastered to the couch delving into the delights of daytime TV {ahem}, I’m not yet outta the woods.

By force of necessity and will, however, I managed to haul the second and final load into my storage unit in Prescott (AZ), clear outta Kingman work- and housing-wise and hit the road — Destination: California to see longtime friends. {No other reason TO undertake CA insanity!}

The travels got off to a delayed and bad start due to my own stupidity and foolishness in staying in gambling town Laughlin, Nevada; no more to be written on that save that I need to live it down and let it go.

After finally clearing outta Nevada, I spent Night One at Owl Canyon campground some 10 miles outta Barstow, CA, best know, I reckon, as a pit stop in the Mohave Desert, an agricultural center and place NOT to live. Wasn’t as bad as all that but close.

My utter stupidity having depleted the best of me in Nevada, I was forced to fly on the cheap and bypass a much-needed proper bed in a budget motel for a slab of dirt for 6 bucks a night in the canyon. The beautiful canyon. The WINDY canyon! The  canyon with a wind so fierce that setting up a simple one-man tent became a battle of billowing thrashing nylon vs. man.

Man eventually won thanks to persistence, occasional pauses of gusts and the bracers of a picnic table.

Beautiful canyon but did I mention windy?

Oh, I did. Did I mention the group of loud and rude neighbors who use, in modern fashion, use campgrounds as their outdoor living rooms?  Did I mention the group of loud and rude neighbors who are either unaware that the setting amplifies all sounds (voices included) by 50 or don’t care?

I’d a-gotten outta my sleeping bag and gone over to tell them to shut the hell up were my injured neck less debilitating. FINALLY my prayers were answered and they did go to bed.

Peace at last! So I thought. Several hours later, deep into the night, I was awakened by a voluminous growly sound. Was there a coyote scrounging about the campground? A bear digging for an easy snack?


It was a  human snorer!

That guy kept me awake for a guesstimated two hours! I refused to look at the timepiece. He sounded like a foghorn. Like an injured bear or cougar moaning through the night. It was nonstop. It was a sleep depriver — for me.

And all I could do was lay there and listen and experience the hours of much-needed sleep drip away. I swore over and over that come morning, I’d query the campsite neighbors over in that direction: “Are you the snorer? Are you the snorer?” And then once identified, I’d say: “I’d get that snoring checked out. It sounds like something’s really wrong.” Because it did.

“And though I don’t know your personal situation, it’s not fair to your partner or others around, the  loss of sleep.”

Come daybreak after I exited my tent, I counted not only a good number of neighboring campsites but men in them! I had neither the energy nor time to approach each to discern The Snorer.

And I will say: Between the Loud & Obnoxious Neighbors to my left and The Snorer to my right, all contemplations of spending a second night were cast, well, into the wind! (Like I’ve oft said, people ruin everything!)

From the gusty Owl  Canyon campground outside Barstow to my friend’s home in Ventura (CA) was an easy drive …  and here’s where I be today. Some seven days and 1,000 miles  (counting Kingman-Prescott RT for storage)  later.

Despite my stay at the gusts-ridden Owl Canyon, this travel has been uncharacteristically low on lift and high on worries. Worry about money. Worry about where I’ll stay when I get back to Prescott. Worry about finding a place to live. Worry about finding work. Worry about finding work that matters and isn’t my usual Lame Crap Job – menial minimum-wage shit job. Worry about my neck injury and health and overall well-being and mobility. Worry about plunging back into the same dastardly depressing dark hole from which I’ve struggled and fought my way out of for a good solid decade.

I shouldn’t be worrying. I should be totally digging this travel! It is earned. It is needed. It is therapeutic. There’s no overlooking the neck injury, chronic pain and resultant degraded well-being through the months. They’ve taken a toll. Made me irritable, cranky, exhausted, edgy, short-tempered and tired … tired of just feeling bad.

I don’t like closing a post on a sour note; however, plenty enough’s been said for today. Coming up on 2 p.m. on a sunny day … it’s time to snap shut the laptop and get the feet movin’. Sayonara from So Cal for now …