June 30, 2015 – Finally our first night truly out in the woods, after a nice drive up higher and higher in the mountains, our adventures are beginning.
After awakening at Walmart (a reminder, Walmart allows people to park over night and sleep in their vehicle) after our last night in the area near where we were living, we were off. Seeing less and less buildings and more and more trees, it was fabulous. Going by GPS, and getting somewhat close to where we were heading, we were steered off main roads and onto dirt/gravel roads. We thought it was setting us in the wrong direction, but we got to the destination eventually.
What a great place to spend the first night away from home – wait a second – we have our home with us.
Of course, there is no wifi or phone service way out in this area, being way up in the mountains. What I do is write these words in Word, then copy and paste them to get them to you. Do you remember the old days before cell and wifi? Hard to remember for me.
Last night, after a nice salad and organic chili, we explored the area. As I wrote before, I very much like nature and the out-of-doors. You will read more and more about our time(s) exploring nature. No wild animals (darn) this time, but some splendid nature areas.
Right now it is 3:30am the next morning. I do not sleep that much and feel better with less sleep. Tina is breathing her sleep sounds, comfortably asleep. We sleep quite contentedly in this van/home of ours. We awoke to rain, a gentle pleasant rain, very nice.
The campground had showers in the restrooms, so we did.
We were going to go bike riding this morning (yes, I have bicycles on a rack on the back of the van), with the rain we cancelled that idea. In this new life we can go where we want to, when we want to. There will be future times to ride.
(Have to take a break to write this right now. Tina is presently driving, good be able to type while she drives. But, what I want to write about is something different. We just past some road construction and there was a group of workers just standing around talking; seems that I see this often. When I am working on something, and/or, getting paid for something, I put in full effort to accomplish.)
Sorry to see when people are standing around not getting things done.
Come to think of it, some people work so hard for a whole year (often at a job they do not like), to be able to spend a week out camping like we are doing right now. As I wrote before, this traveling life-style does not cost us very much. We were able to arrange our finances to be able to live like this. Sad when I see people in a job they hate, living a life that they do not want; I hate to see lives wasted. I believe we can all find a life that will bring up fulfillment.
For myself, I want to add to the world in a good way.
I wrote before in a previous blog about the absence of people smiling and/or saying hi. But, right now we are working our computers at a McDonalds in Wellsboro, PA; we are finding that most everyone is friendly and communicating in a welcoming manner.
Nice change to see.
Seems to me, sometimes, an entire area might contain friendly/welcoming people, while another might have grumpy/self-contained people. Not sure what might make an entire region either way, but I have found that. People in the San Diego area smile and are friendlier than the east coast of the US, where New Zealand has people who are highly friendly and considerate.
After my last post my friend Barry wrote about using the word, “you”, too much in my writing. I do see his point, but I do not like to write with the words “me” or “I”. He let me see that it is my blog and I am writing about “me”, so I must. You will pick out and pick up on the motivation included, I believe.
A writing teacher had told him about this thing with writing with the word, “you”, Barry told me. He also said the teacher told him to stay away from using the word, “but”. I learned about this some time ago. When you use the word, “but”, you are suggesting that all the things you said directly before that point are meaningless and/or, you were lying.
Here is Barry (he’s the taller of the two) >>>>> http://www.ted.com/talks/the_raspyni_brothers_juggle_and_jest?language=en
I remember Mr. Muradian well, my fifth grade teacher at Ocean Beach Elementary in San Diego. In fact, he is the only teacher I remember picking up things directly from; he taught with so much passion. He told us to not use the word, “it”, that you can always find a more descriptive way to explain something.
This same teacher taught us to never start a correspondence with the word, “I”. This is kept in mind for all of my communication since then. I have tried to use my mind more to write better.
The real key to brilliant writing is to be a good editor. Review, review, review. Then write and rewrite.
In fact, if you have any suggestions in improving my writing, please let me know.
And, if you are receiving these words via email or on Facebook, you can always go here to read past blog writings:
If you are not on my list and see this by Facebook, I would love you put you on my direct email list to get these writings. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you.
Next, off to the Finger Lakes in the great state of New York. You will be hearing details upcoming. And, we just passed into New York on Highway 15, here we are.
On the way north we went to http://www.cmog.org/, a fascinating place. When I think about going to museums, I often think, “how boring”, I will just look at pictures on the internet.” This place held demonstrations and had many ancient glass works, quite enthralling, I must say. After some hours there, it was off again on the road.
One thing before going on with this, as we were walking back to the van after the museum, I got a strange feeling. Usually I am thinking ahead on things and going back to the car I might be thinking, “What will I work on or do after I get home?” Well, we were walking to our home (on wheels), so, I just thought it peculiar.
8:22pm on July 1, 2015, just pulled into Watkins Glen in NY and into a Walmart for sleepy time. A beautiful area this is, you should see it. But, much nicer last light when we slept in the forest under the trees, but I have to remember, when we sleep our eyes are closed anyway, so it really doesn’t matter where we get our shut-eye.
Rain is on the way.
We were planning to go into Watkins Glen State Park for a long hike in the mountains, yet, storm clouds are coming in. So, we went for a short bike ride and ate nuts while out.
Yes, two nuts eating nuts. Actually, read this article about nuts I came upon today, they are great for us. >>> http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-food-that-cuts-your-risk-of-premature-death-by-20-percent.html
Now it is Thursday, July 02, 2015 at 5am. In Walmart writing to you while Tina gets some more shut-eye. I do enjoy this writing and explaining our doings to you, it seems to bring it more solid in my own mind. Have you read my posts I wrote while in Australia and New Zealand? Go to kitsummers.com/blog to read, I believe you will enjoy reading the words.
This morning we went to http://nysparks.com/parks/142/details.aspx, it was marvelous. Here is a short video of the many waterfalls:
Watkins Glen, a fabulous place.
We were there early, no one around, very nice. Taking a bus to the top, we walked the paved trail to the bottom. With my balance issues, muscle problems and vision difficulties I was a chore to navigate the way at times. I remember when I was young at the jetties at Ocean Beach in San Diego; I would nimbly run across the tops of boulders with ease—full speed—not anymore!
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What a special day this is. For the afternoon we left Watkins Glen and headed north to Geneva on the other end of Seneca Lake. Once there, we did a wine tasting at clrwine.com.com, where, after sampling various wines, we bought a bottle and finished it (I do have to say, I only had two glasses, Tina was a happy lady by the end.) Also, we brought high class crackers, a smooth cheese, grapes and salami to eat—splendid, yes.
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Tina mentioned heading back to Watkins Glen, but I said, “We’ve done that, let’s find new experiences.” That’s the thing, like I wrote before, the more “experiences” you can have in life, the bigger your life can be. So, get out there, make things happen to bring on experiences.
So, we headed up to the other end of the lake, slept over night in the parking lot of Wegman’s under some nice trees. Awoke to a clear sky, it has been cloudy and rainy for so long, a good change. Webman’s has free wifi, so here I am.
Spent some hour’s online working on things while there. When I go into a place to use their free wifi, I also plug in for electric; works out well.
We are at Seneca Lake State Park, where we made a breakfast of little red onions, onions, parsley, and some good spices. Turned out exquisite, very tasty.
Now we are just relaxing at this nice lake setting, Tina is getting some sun, and, I guess you know what I am doing?
This park has grass everywhere, with a crew to keep it cut and nice. Parks are place for lawns, but, so we over do it?
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The US has this allure of having grass at every location possible. Everyone, it seems, who owns a home “has” to have a nice big lawn. I do understand when you have kids who play on the green blades, but it seems that people over do it. I have been seeing these humongous spreads of lawn—to me—what a waste.
This land could be used in many other ways. In the last house I owned I had a big garden, which fed us well. Why don’t people plant gardens instead of grass? It seems to take the same effort, but the rewards are nourishment for your body.
What I especially like is a house that has natural vegetation with all local plants growing all around it, without a lawn. And, of course, a garden growing eatable plants is part of. This looks so much nicer to me than this huge lawn.
Most people who mow let the cuttings lay on top of the lawn. Eventually the blades break down and feed the lawn. So, is a lawn carnivorous in eating itself?
Right now it is the next morning, July 4, 2015, at 6:33am. What an afternoon and evening we had last night, now, let me recall (memory, memory, oh boy.)
After our nice breakfast yesterday of potatoes and onions, we spent time in that park doing various tasks including improvements to our home (the van.) I juggled,
Tina napped some, a relaxing day.
In the afternoon we were off to Belhurst castle. This was some rich person’s home that was converted into a restaurant and wine tasting place; quite nice. Take a look: http://www.belhurst.com/. We sat with Anne and Terry, who we met there. They have been to Belhurst numerous times. We made new friends! Which we will do throughout our travels.
Off to The Crows Nest Marina for a marvelous dinner>>> http://www.thecrowsnestrestaurant.com/ordereze/default.aspx>>>this lifestyle is very comfortable.
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Being July third, it was fireworks tonight. We decided to take a cruise that goes out of http://www.stiverssenecamarine.com/ to see the show. Joining 60 others and riding out on a calm lake, we rode out and dropped anchor to wait on the start of the fireworks for over an hour. This boat was older and not very classy. And, the captain of the boat had driven out too far from the fireworks show to see a good light show.
We were quite disappointed.
But, we did sleep the night parked at the docks. In fact, if you opened the back doors of the van you would step off into the water. A very quiet and comfortable night.
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We have been gone for less than a week, yet it feels like months away.
Write to you soon again>>>>>>>>KitJuly 5, 2015
Blog six-On the road again.
In reading over what I last posted to you, I see that the words are somewhat negative. My outlook for myself, Tina, the world and you is in a good light. For future posts I will attempt to always be on more of an optimistic note.
Experiences vs. Things—When you are living in this van and holding a minimalist lifestyle, it can help you prioritize what is truly important in life, and let go of what is not. It can help you choose experiences instead of things, so that you can do more of what you love, and less of what you don’t. You see, experiences are what life is all about.
With less in life, you can focus on making all the things that you have and do aimed toward excellent. I have seen so many people who have too much, and/or do too much, and they are constantly stressed and often aggravated.
When you are minimalist, you can make sure that every detail is something that you want.
Life is better.
Living in this way is very inexpensive, so you have more to give away, and/or, not have to worry so much about expenses. Life gets easier and grander. Being rich, to me, is having enough money to live the lifestyle that you want. So, in aiming toward the minimalist life, if that’s what you want, you are rich.
“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”– Paulo Coelho
In my life I have discovered that is not what you have or do that makes a good life, it is the experiences you go through and the love you generate that makes a good life. As you might know, I have traveled much and been through some life-changing accidents, yet I continue to pursue the good and help as many people as I can to live a better life.
The smaller you get the easier life is.
Joy and meaning—Every day you have “moments.” You must cherish these moments. When you have and deal with less you can often perceive these moments more clearly. All these “moments” added up can live you with a spectacular life in the long run.
Appreciate that this is all you have.
I have a challenge for you. Make a list of your things you have; one list are the things you need, another list are things you “may” not need. You will see that you have many things that aren’t necessarily necessary that you own.
It’s a trade off; I believe minimalism will always win.
Right now Tina and I are sitting on the grass in yet a different park. We just put together a delicious salad and I am practicing my juggling while Tina is taking a nap (ok, you caught me, I can’t practice my juggling while I type these words—or do I have a special skill?)
I have been juggling daily and the juggling is coming back, makes me feel good.
5:36am on June 23, 2015, awake early again. Last night we slept on the lawn at the house where Tina grew up. Her mom has a cat and with my allergies I would not have slept. So, instead of sleeping in the van, we choose something different.
Two days ago we decided to take a jaunt in the van, this time to Atlantic City. Half way there we stopped at a very large park area. We were to only ones there and resolved to spend the night in this beautiful place. Very quiet, very dark, perfect for sleeping, so, off to slumber we went in our comfort.
At 1:30am we were awoken by a state police officer who basically told us we had to leave the park. I guess they comb the park every night, and to me, what a waste of time and money for them, and this money is from us, the tax payers.
I said to him, “What harm are we causing in our being here?” He basically said, “It’s a regulation.” I knew he was simply “doing his job”, but I hate it when people do not think and just “do their job”. Knowing it was the middle of the night and that we would not cause any harm, he could have simply said, “Well, stay the rest of the night and please don’t repeat this.
I was about to ask him to state the exact regulation that we were doing against, trying to make him think, but with Tina there I just packed up with her and we moved on. I hate it when people don’t think and just “follow the rules.”
June 24, 2015, Last night we met up with Jai, who Tina discovered though a search for computer help some time ago. Just about to turn twenty years old, this young man will go far. He has intelligence, skills and wants to help people. Tina thought she had deleted all her photos, but right away Jai found where they were and organized them better.
Yes, Jai can work remotely. If you are in need of any computer help, he can assist. Write to Jai at — email@example.com.
June 26, last night we had a splendid evening with some of Tina’s friends, and her daughter, at an Italian restaurant. What a great time everyone had, yet, I believe, that group of people will never be together again as it was. Only the memory will live on. That occurs so often as we go through life, instances that will never come again. We are the memories we make and we must remember all the good.
We have not left yet because Tina has a few more things to clear up, appointments and such. Sunday looks to be the day; I will let you know, of course.
Have you seen? Here is Tina – tinamiller.com
June 28—We got together with 4 or Tina’s 6 kids, kind of a going away party. I am excited to say that departure time will be tomorrow.
You may know, I have driven round trip across the country 19 times, usually by myself. I am happy it is not a solo trip this time;
Tina and I will have fun.
Wanting to get these words to you, I will be posting now, another will come soon.
Miss you>>>>>>>>>>>KitJune 28, 2015
- Many of us have all gone through a traumatic event in our lives, such as my twice being hit by two different trucks and going through a 37 day coma. Even if you haven’t had a major change, these words can help you live a better life.At a young age, I realized that I had a hard time focusing on–the weeks, the months, the years–the upcoming. I’m not denying that the future exists, I just don’t live there. I’ve come to the conclusion that we must live life for now, then it will add up to a fantastic future, then, of course, it will bring a fabulous past.No matter how your life currently is, you can always see and make a better life for yourself. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, see what you can do and do your very best at each. All of these “bests” will add together to make your life much better.After my life-changes I have lost so much, but there is so much left to bring a good life. It’s amazing all the different directions your future can take. Start now to direct your own future in a direction that will bring you joy, and do it in a passionate way. Remember, people are here to help, but each of us are ones who make our own life good (or bad.)I decided that I’d get up every morning with a smile because another day of life has arrived. Then, once I am going, to focus on living my life fully that day, each day, not worrying about the future or the past.You see, a good life is made up of a “series” of good days. I live my life in the day–everyday. We only have one chance to live this life. No matter what might have happened in your life, you can still find fulfillment.Each of us has that choice.Start today to make the right choices.Do good, I care about you.June 28, 2015
When I sit down to write a new set of words for you, I think for a moment—what I will write that will interest anyone? Once I do start, my mind clicks on and words flow. Here are more words for you to comprehend and ponder.
June 19, 2015, Tina and I spent the night last night at another Walmart, many others were spending the night there too, I could tell, in their sleeping vehicles. As usual, I woke before Tina (3:30am this time) and I knew that Walmart provided free wifi, so in I went.
I must say, people are starting to bug me–much. When inside Walmart to use their free wifi, once again I passed many people–all in their own little world, not looking up, not smiling, and not saying “hi”.
Then we took a long walk in a short park, http://www.allentownpa.gov/Portals/0/files/Parks_Recreation/maps/TrexlerPark.pdf.
Even in this nice park setting, only one person acknowledged us in a friendly way. We did see two squirrels and two rabbit babies. Also, there was a fawn running around looking for his mother. He got within ten feet of us, crying a fawn cry, it was sad. There are roads all around the park and I hope he does not get hit before mom finds him.
Am I invisible?
Next we went to Wegmans to use their free wifi and sit in the air conditioning (starting to get hot out there.) I would think that a healthy place like Wegmans would have friendly people who might say hi, only two did out of many.
I do not understand.
To me, friendliness and joy are much more important than “things”, or my personal goings on. Seems that so very many people in this world are very self-contained and are not open to others, which will make life so much harder for many.
I hope you are not one of these unfriendly people.
On a different matter, I’ve been watching videos on YouTube about Jade Helm 15 and the massive buildup of military throughout the country. Look up videos on YouTube from Dahboo 7, he has some very well researched words and communicates them quite well.
Upcoming sounds like it could be a massive kill-off and/or imprisonment of many thousands (millions?) of people—be careful out there. That is one of the reasons I wanted us to own and van and travel. Not running away, but being able to travel to where it is currently safe.
There is change coming up in this world, we must ALL be careful.
Do not go along with the tyranny, with the government. We are told that there are terrorists all around the world who are against the US, but, it is the US who is the biggest terrorist in the world.
Yet, I am not completely educated on the upcoming changes in the world. You much study and learn for yourself, as I continue to. Be careful, my friend, I love you and want the best for you.
A short blog is this one, more later. Make your life good, bye for now.
I care about you>>>>>>>>>>>>KitJune 22, 2015
Trying at type something daily in this for your read, but I will be posting my words just once or twice a week, not wanting to inundate you.
With these words I want to inspire you, to help you to live a better life. When you want to read past blog entrees, remember you can always go to: http://kitsummers.com/blog/
What a wonderful trip is ahead. I am enjoying writing to you, yet, if you no longer want to receive, let me know and I will take you off the list.
Walmart provides free parking for campers and people who want to stay somewhere for the night in their vehicle. This is a scary corporation, but nice of them to allow people to stay the night in their parking lot.
We have stayed at a couple Walmarts so far.
The employees and people who frequent the store are a “different” set. But, we have all been customers at Walmart at one time or another. When I walk through the store I pass many people. Very few make eye contact, say “hi”, or are friendly.
People are so self-contained, it’s scary. As I walk around the store everyone is in their own little world, not friendly with anyone. I am just not seeing that in others in this store and much in the public, too. I am just not sensing any friendliness in so many people.
I try to be friendly and connect with everyone I can in a sociable way. I think that if everyone did this the world will be a better place. How about you? Which side are you on?
I do hope you are not one of these Walmart—people.
At least it is somewhere to park for the night, yes? But, I must say, I mentioned before that Tina gave her notice to quit and is finishing up this week before we start on the road. Get this, she works at—yes—Walmart! She works in the back doing the accounting and control of merchandise. She likes what she does, but says that the political structure of this company is awful and higher ups are often unpleasant people. A few nights ago we stayed at a Walmart that had free wifi, a good thing.
You are wondering about connecting to the internet while traveling, yes? All McDonald’s have free wifi, as well and numerous locations all around the US (US—those letters remind me of something I just read. Many people call the United States “America”, but it is not. There is South America and Central America, too, don’t forget they are “America” as well. Or, as Dorothy calls our country, Amerikka, this dangerous country we reside in.) And, right now we are eating dinner at a place called “Wingman”, free wifi here. Starting to be more and more places everywhere with free wifi, a good thing.
Today I am off to Planet Fitness for a workout and a shower. Yes, that is just one way we keep from smelling too human. With my insurance the cost is only $10 a month and I can bring a guest (Tina!) each time for free. Nice to get a good workout in while on the road and a good shower at PF for only $5 each a month. There are PF gyms all around the US and most are open 24/7, so we can always be in shape and showered (how about you, are you in shape and showered?)
Also for showering, Tina sent away and we received a showerhead and hose that hooks up to any sink. So, we can also shower in the family/handicap single person restroom anywhere. Eventually I will have a water container, water pump and shower head to use in the back of the van with the doors open. So, there is that way, too.
After a night at that Walmart, the next day was spent at another park. Nature is so fantastic; I like to spend as much time in nature as I can. You will read many more words of our wilderness experiences. More and more to the out of doors we go.
Let me tell you of some aspects of the van we live and travel in. I built a seat that is six feet in length. The top lifts by way of hinges and there is storage under. On the other side is a shorter version of the same, and I put in a mechanism that makes it into a tabletop that lifts so that we can sit on the other side and work or have meals on the tabletop.
The back rest for the seat lifts out to be placed between the seating/table area to make a full size bed. We have a memory foam mattress that is used for seating/backrest, and then this is then laid out to turn into our bed. This memory foam is very comfortable as a seat or a bed; we sleep well.
The kitchen area is in the back of the van. This can be accessed from the inside or the outside with the doors open wide (when you are using it from the outside.) As the doors are open, I installed a tabletop on each door that folds down to use in cooking. Cooking utensils and cookware are mounted on the doors and backside of the van. I had mentioned about having a water tank and pump for the shower water, this same nozzle will be used at the sink in the back for kitchen water.
You can walk from the front driving/seating area to the back easily. There is storage in each bed, and also in overhead cupboards that came with the van. Being a conversion van, it is a little wider than most vans. There is a skylight on each side, under the skylight I built a shelf that holds a one foot long planter, secured down; there are three.
In these planters we are growing much lettuce, spinach and cilantro. So, a moving vegetable garden travels with us. In the future we will be growing more and other things (the banana tree will look fabulous growing out of the top of the van.)
Solar power will be upcoming, along with a refrigerator and TV. So, all the comforts of any home I can think of. In fact, we are already more comfortable in this than any home we remember. The smaller you can make the “things” in your life, the better life will be, I have found.
I cut covers for each window out of Reflectix. Then, on the other side of each I used spray glue and glued on black cloth on each. The Reflectix reflects sun and heat, so when it is sunny hot that side goes out. Black attracts heat, so in cooler environments we put the black out. When these are on they totally block any light from coming into or going out of the van.
Last evening we were in another park environment, his time with a big salad and bottle of wine to share. By the end of the evening we were both quite happy and feeling good.
Through this I am seeing that each of us can change our life, anytime, into something that we like much better. As you might know, through my life I have had to change my life much, through accidents and various circumstances. If you do not like your life—make a change—make things better for yourself.
Tomorrow is Tina’s last day of work, and then we start our life together on the road. Today, once again, I was at a nice park, doing some more work on improving the van. I do hope we pass near you; I would love to see you and let you see our home on wheels. After the park I went to Planet Fitness to put in a good workout. Then I took a shower and I feel quite clean and refreshed right now.
Right now back at a McDonalds using their free wifi. Air conditioned, not many people, quite pleasant. Along with connecting to the internet, I can plug in a charge my electric things.
I am sure you have heard of how scary McDonald’s food is. We seldom partake. But, not fair of us, we do get a salad or something at times.
Had a mishap this evening. After picking up Tina from work to take her to an eye doctor appointment, which was soon after she got off. I was about to turn into the parking lot of the eye doc and watching cars coming toward me. I did not see there was a small island, which I drove over. Bounced the van pretty good, in fact, one of the planters with lettuce growing came down to the floor with a crash, yikes.
Tina knew of a carwash place that had a good vacuum, so off we went. It looked a mess, but the cleaning up went rather quickly. So, tomorrow I will replant and this time I will use a double secure system to hold things in so that will not happen again.
In my life, through various traumatic things, I have learned that recovery can be quick, and you can return to something even better than before. I have devised was in my mind to make the van better, and just see, once again, if something bad happens you can make it back—to an even better outlook on life.
I will write you soon again. How about you, will I hear from you?June 17, 2015