• Blog 31–Live life BEFORE you die

    I have to admit, I have not been quite sad since Tina left me, but I am finding my way back to living life. I thought of the title of this post as I was wallowing in grief, not making forward movement. I decided that it was up to me, I had to be the one to make my life good once again.
    Thank you so much Tom S, John S and Jeff C for sending money to help as I go through this hard time. I had asked for possible financial help in my last blog post, one percent helped, I did not expect even that, thanks.
    This morning my computer shut off for no reason, then  it asked for a password, which I furnished, and was told it was wrong. I restarted the computer and was able to connect once again.
    Makes me worry about future life. If the computer were to break down, if my van were to expire, if I got sick, I would be out of everything. A hard thing to think about. Being out here all alone traveling in the van with no close family or friends can make it kind of scary.
    Right now I am asking  myself, “Where is my life going?” Kind of scary not to see a future. I am glad you are there reading, and on this journey with me.
    But, please, I do want to make it a one sided dialog, I’d love to hear from you. Please do, it is awfully lonely out here on the road.
    ​11-11-2015–After leaving my nice stay with Dave Finnigan, to the south I drove. First to Clearwater Beach, in that Dave said there were street performers. I saw a good acrobatic act, she said the juggler was not working that night. I ended up parking with a beach view for sleepytime that night.
    ​Dave suggested I stop by The Ringling Museum, which I did; very nice. At the entrance I let her know that I was juggling instructor at the 1979 session of Clown College, she listed me as a teacher and got me in for only $10 instead of the normal $25. Take a look:
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    Museums usually do not do much for me, these things can be seen in books or on video. Yet, I was fascinated by some of the old circus paraphernalia. There are actually three museums here: The Museum of Art (opened in 1931), The Circus Museum (opened in 1948) and CA’D”ZAN, The House of John and Mable Ringling (their winter residence.)
    John Ringling started out by buying up various circuses and then merging those into a bigger and bigger show. He went on to make millions with his circus. But, it ends up that when he died he only had $300 in the bank, he got into some bad deals and investments.
    I remembered the name Dieter Tasso from my early days of juggling. In fact, he had seen my act at Ballys in 1981 and, after, sent a note backstage simply saying, “Great job juggler. Dieter Tasso.” This little note meant much to me. Great comedy by Dieter, take a look:
    Nov 13-14–Next it was off toward the south, passing two national parks on the way. Big Cypress State Park was fascinating to the extreme. Being mainly a swamp, you cannot get to much of the park to see it.
    Seeing the Big Cypress trees growing in the swamp was phenomenal, to say the least. Much growth all around, but also swampland, both sides of the road, as far as you could see.
    I did see three agalators (I mean three crocagaters, no, I mean aladiles). And, numerous birds such as The White Ibis, a Wood Stork, some Great Blue Herons, a Greater Flamingo, along with others. It was fabulous.
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    I saw that you could get a tram right out 18 miles into the glade, yet, at $31, I did not. I did, however, right my bike the 35 mile round trip, felt good, but not much to see, mainly just swamp on each side of the road.
    Off the main road, route 41, I drove 20 miles to get to Bear Island Campground on a dirt road. Well worth the long  drive, this is the nicest campground I have ever been at.
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    Well away from all stores, with no cell phone or computer connection, I liked the isolation. There were a few other campers back there, but I pretty much had the place to myself.
    Nov 15-16–Well, look that, right next door is The Everglades National Park, but, was not much to see. I drove through the top part of it, then down to a 40 mile drive to get to Flamingo, FL. Did not see many animals, either.
    What I did see were mosquitoes, more than I have ever experienced before. Tried to walk a trail next to a canal, they were right on me. I ran, some followed and more were ahead. In camping, I slipped into the van so none would enter, some did, kept me up much of the night.
    Normally I try not to kill bugs, but these mosquitoes were asking for it. Squishing bugs and seeing my red blood was a little much.
    Rain came down heavily.
    On November 16,Tina’s daughter, Erin, had to have heart surgery to repair a valve. Things went smooth and I was connected to Tina much last night to make sure. We will talk again today. Tina and I still love each other much,
    Nov 17–Now on my way out to Key West, hitting all the islands. Stopped by Key Largo Library and they bought each of my books, a nice feeling.
    It is mainly land that you drive on to get to Key West. I thought it would be an island, then a bridge, then an island . . . Many businesses selling to tourists.
    At another library at Big Pine Key, I saw roosters running around. The librarian said that someone from Key West left some chickens off here (they run around wild at Key West, too) and they are left on their own, laying eggs, making chicks and more and more big birds.
    Staying in the driveway of Bounce and Karen, who I first met in 1977, They build a beautiful house for themselves and live very comfortably. Performing now and then, they have some rental properties that keep them going.
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    Nov 19–Today Bounce invited me to join him and some others as they went out checking crab traps and fishing on a boat. I thought, how wonderful, then thought again. In the past, seasickness has disseminated me, so, I decided against my time out to sea.
    When he returned he had two fish and many crab claws. I ask, where is the rest of the crab, he said that the claw is really the only edible part on these crabs, so he pulls them off and throws them back in. Bounce says these Stone Crabs will grow new claws and be back to normal–a good thing.
    It’s been a few days, so, time for a shower. Bounce has a shower in the back yard that has a gate that people can’t see through. It was so nice to take a shower, with no clothes on, in the out-of-doors (should have seen it–well–maybe not). To look up and see coconut trees while you shower is miraculous.
    Time to get these set of words off to you, hope you enjoyed the read. And, as I wrote previously, I don’t want this to be a one way posting of words. I miss you and would love to hear from you.
    Hope I do>>>>>>>>>>Kit

  • Blog 30–I need your help

    Nov 2–I got an email from my friend Nikki in Australia, what a joy to receive this email. She said she was glad I was continuing the postings of my blog. So, my words are making a difference. Nikki owns JugglersRest.com. I stayed with her when I was down under, and what a wonderful person she is. I am so glad we became friends.
    I’ve not been writing on this because I am currently not traveling, being with Dave Finnigan near Orlando.
    As you see, the subject of this email is, “I need your help.” Right now I am at a mechanic in Orlando. After my van started drinking coolant, I found out I need a new water pump–$500–the amount will be paid for with credit card, which is up to about $3500.
    Once the credit cards are paid off they will never be used again.
    In the past, when I was successful at juggling, or successful at school shows, or successful at book sales, or successful at salsa, $500 or $3500 was nothing to me.
    Currently living on only about $1000 a month through Social Security Disability (that is how I have been able to travel and write to you), this is just enough to live on for me. But, things have gotten tight.
    This will only be asked one time of you, never again. I am hoping you would help by crowdfunding me through my Paypal account. If you don’t have Paypal, it is easy to set up an account. With a Paypal account you can just send to my email address.
    I feel weird asking for your help, but right now I don’t know how to climb out of this hole I am currently in. Any help you will give would be a treasure for me, thanks.
    Nov 6–My friend, Greg Joyner travels much, in the far east. Greg sent me these words recently:
    The truth is though….. once you get used to being alone, once you really are at peace with yourself. You will not miss anyone. Yes, you will still enjoy other’s company. But you won’t NEED anyone. This took me a long time to learn. But having done so has changed my life dramatically, for the better.
    Greg’s words comforted me.
    When I was traveling and in the US and Australia and New Zealand for five months, I was quite alone and enjoying myself tremendously. I have to remember that, traveling alone will be a delight.
    Currently staying with my old friend, Dave Finnigan, who is a juggler I first met in 1977. He has lived in the same home for many years right near a golf course (no, he doesn’t) in Celebration, Florida.
    Having taught thousands to juggle and written books on juggling, he has added much to the juggling community. Here is Dave:
    Living in Celebration, FL for many years, Dave and his family fit in well with this small community. Yesterday we took his little one year old dog, Lucky, out for a walk through town. In the small lake we saw an alligator, so, yes, they are around.
    Dave and his wife, Thelma, have raised a wonderful family. Only one son still home, and he has reason to be. Davey was born with Cerebral Palsy and has had a hard life. Not able to speak or move his body very well at all, he is confined to a bed. Yet, his mind works well and he is quite happy.
    What is amazing for me is Dave and his son developed a way to communicate using “click” sounds. You see, Davey is about to use his mouth to make the click sound with his tongue, and, they developed a system that let’s people know how to determine what letter he is using to spell words.
    Today I woke early, as usual, 3am. After getting out of the van, I was walking up to the house in the dark. I stepped wrong and fell so that my shine struck the edge of a brick wall, full force. The pain is in the extreme end and brought tears, and continues to be.
    Going through this and the pain makes me think about my life. With no family and friends (except you, I hope) to turn to, I am not sure what I would do if something bad were to happen–physical damage, van damage, mental damage (whoops, too late for that last one.)
    I am just seeing that life is such a solo venture. Often we have others to help us, but we are the one to make our life happen. Makes me see why people turn to a God to help in life.
    The temperature will be a balmy 91 degrees today, with a clear sky, couldn’t ask for better.
    Nov 7–As you see, I’ve not been adding to this post much. Right now I am at:
    Finding many highly intelligent people, and everyone is so helpful and friendly. 
    As you see from the website, this is a conference for non-believers. I have looked at the issue of faith and belief, and nonbelief makes more sense to me. 
    Nov 10–Heading toward Key West today. Please remember my words about  needing your help, I hope you can. 

  • Blog 29 — Into Florida I jump

    Another night done with. It’s funny, it does not matter, really, where you rest your eyes, they are closed and you are in a different world for sleep. But, I agree, much nicer to wake in a forest than a Walmart parking lot.
    I did want to let you know that I do have my old camera still. The zoom does not work and it is on it’s way out, but, as you see, it still works.
    Oct 23–Driving through Virginia still, at the southeastern corner is The Great Dismal Swamp, with this unique name I had to talk a look. After driving two miles in on Jericho Road (a dirt road with pits) to the end, there was not much to see. I did see that there was swamp around, but no people, very nice. Always improving the van, did some work on it.
    Why, looky there, small bushes with white balls on them? Pulled over and I knew what this was, cotton fields were everywhere. Interesting how they harvest the cotton, big rigs roll the bushes into bundles, hard to explain. I did take some samples with me (and, no, I ain’t no cotton-picken thief, so there!  Well, I did pick some cotton, so, I guess I is.)

    Here I go toward the Outer Banks, quite an interesting drive. Down to Kitty Hawk, NC, where the Right Brothers (I think I spelled that Wright?) first flew.
    I found out that these two guys are from Ohio and they had to ship everything to the east coast to take advantage of the powerful wind, mainly. By horse and buggy, by boat, they really put a lot of effort in getting there.
    Then, on December 17, 1903, they made their famous flight. And, such a short time since then, we have gone so much further in flight than anyone could have imagined.
    Passing through towns such as Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head and Wanchese; very interesting names. In I popped at Alligator River National Refuge, didn’t see any. I talked with a local who, after living in the area for over 22 years, only saw two gaters. So, I did not look very hard, knowing I probably wouldn’t.
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    For a few hours I did more work on the van, a thorough cleaning and such. I had not ridden my unicycle in some months. I jumped on and rode well, still have it.
    In the campground here they have showers, so, clean up time. Feeling so much better after the shower. About every other day I am able to find a way to shower or clean sufficiently.
    Into the Croatan National Forest, a wonderful place. I pulled off the road at Neuse River, Flanners Beach, like it much.  Right now I am sitting at a picnic table typing these words to you. Quite warm out, glad I am going south away from the cold of winter.
    Then I drove a small dirt road toward the ocean, about a two mile drive. I could tell that no one had been down this road in some time. When I arrived at the ocean, with the gentle breeze, it was like a paradise. Then, I look toward the beach, why look at that, I found an awesome horseshoe crab shell totally intact, about 30.48 centimeters in length (12 inches.)
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    Scheduled to be at my friend Melodye’s house tomorrow, Monday, about 2pm, in St. Mary’s, GA. So, some time to waste, no, I take that back, time to make things happen. There should be a couple more big parks between here and there I can go and conquer, I will let you know . . .
    Oct 26--Today I saw a fly flying at 75 miles an hour!–incredible–and with his little wings. Of course, we were in my van with the windows closed and the fly was flying around inside the van. Still, I was hitting the speed of 75.
    Melodye has been successful in real estate and land management for a number of years. With her husband Jeff they own a fabulous house and fixed it up so nice.
    We have both grown in so many different ways since the time when we were both in Point Loma High School together. One memory I have is Melodye and I, along with some other friends in high school, would drive down to Rosarito Beach in Mexico to dance and drink until early morn.
    Oct 29–Yesterday I arrived at the home of Dave Finnigan, who I have known since 1977. Dave is so involved in so many things, and has accomplished so many good things in his life. Dave is 73 now and has much more energy than, say, someone who is 56 (wait, I am 56.)
    Here is Dave:
    So, I’ll be here for a bit, then off to Key West. Now, who wants to join me?

  • Blog 28–toward the south I hoop

    ​Yes, still here, still slowly moving forward (very lonely right now.)

    ​Oct. 17–
    The cooler weather is here, yikes. Very cold in the van last night. I have a sleepy bag that is good for down to 10 degrees, so, not too bad. The problem with sleeping is taking in the cold air into your lungs; cold air is hard to breathe. I put my head in the sleeping bag, but then lack of oxygen? If you have any ideas for me, please let me know.
    I have an appointment to get my van fixed on Monday, needs a new water pump, I found out. Dave tells me he will have to take much of the engine apart. Wish I could help, but my knowledge of vehicles is nil.
    So, an entire weekend to do what?
    Good things came my way.
    Chris and Dena have been friends of mine for some years. They run food shows in the northeast, which do very well for them. Back when I made my salsa (summerssalsa.com) they gave me a booth and I sold much.
    Take a look at the show that present:  http://philly.gourmetshows.com/
    And, what a great show they put together, very classy. These two are such a highlight of the show, Chris and Dena present themselves so well, as well as the shows.
    It just so happens that the show is this weekend. My appointment to get my van fixed is on Monday, what a coinkedink–I will be with them helping in the show all I can for the weekend.
    There are an incredible number of very beautiful women at the food show. Yet, I know that I could never with any of them in that I lead such a different and weird lifestyle. Planning to live a lonely solo life from this point forward ( I write as I am smiling.)
    Getting quite cold to sleep in the van, last night down to about 32, with the cold front that has come through. That is the reason I will be heading south to Florida soon. Last night was hard. But, as usual, I will be OK (whatever “OK” would mean.)
    I let Dena know how I was cold the night before, she booked and paid for a room for me to stay in at the Radisson, where the food show was taking place. So nice of her to provide a room for me to stay in. I do have many friends, after all, I am so grateful for that.
    It was strange, I awoke to pee and I was not sure where I was, have you ever had that experience?
    Yet, as I was sleeping well a text came in at 2:41am, a text from a concerned friend on the west coast wondering how I was doing. Often when I awaken in the middle of the night I cannot get back to sleep, such was the case. So, I jumped on the computer to write more words to you.
    I’ve been thinking about my life–what a strange life I have lead.
    Getting better, getting worse, who’s to say.
    I just keep pushing forward how I can.
    After I posted my words on my thoughts of God there were four people (out of about 250) who wrote to me and said to take them off the list; thank you for staying with me, by the way. Maybe I opened up some ideas that they could not deal with, perhaps I opened their eyes some and they did not like what they saw? Those were my last words on God, unless you have some for me?
    Yet, I could never deny the existence of a God; no way to prove there is not a higher being. I remain open with the hope there is. Always learning, I never give up, I hope you don’t give up on me.
    If you need, please reread the words I posted. I did not say a belief in a God is a bad thing, or a good thing, and I did not put God down in any way. Just trying to help you figure out what exactly you believe and why. I question myself too much, perhaps that is why I look for a belief I do not have right now.
    Oct 19–Got together with Tina last evening–much hugging, kissing and tears, but I will be alone. Actually, kind of scared and lonely I am without my traveling partner, Tina. Today we had texted back and forth, one last effort to have her be with me–no go. Yes, I will meet new people, but . . .
    Today was the day,the van needed a new radiator, so everything is running excellent in the van now. I feel safe and good while traveling and sleeping.
    Oct 20–Going south, through Baltimore, through DC, about to get on Skyline Drive to go through Shenandoah National Park. This morning I bought a camera at Walmart, so I could get better photos to you with these words. I bought a display model, so it was cheaper (still at $100, more on my charge card.) Now I just have to learn to use it right.
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    Currently I am at another McDonalds to use their free wifi. An employee was doing a good job at cleaning the room, so I complimented her on the good job. She was surprised and thanked me much. Compliment people how and when you can, it will add to their life, and also yours.
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    I am in the process of changing my outlook, looking for the good. This is something that each of us can do, it does make life better. I am sorry for being so down for the last month, things and changing and improving (for me and for you!)
    Here I am at Shenandoah National Park on a picnic table typing right now. There is just one road, Skyline Drive, which you stay on for the 100 miles through the park at the peak of the mountains. There are many turnoffs and overlooks to the beautiful lands below. The are also some wonderful waterfalls throughout the park. Take a look:
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    These mountains were developed through the tectonic plates as they sifted away from each and the mountains popped up.
    Established in the Appalachian mountains in 1935, there are splendid sites everywhere. Two peaks rise up to 4,000 feet, we are way up here.
    Shenandoah Park is to one of the largest concentrations of black bears in the US, by the way (hope I don’t meet up with one, but, then again . . .)
    Did not think I would enjoy camping without my camping partner, Tina, but, things are fun, after all. And, right now I need to go and find more firewood, bye for now.
    I opened a bottle of wine this afternoon, enjoyed the taste and where it put my mind. All my family were addicted to alcohol, I can resist that. No worries here, I have control (says the drunken juggler.)
    For the last two days I have been driving Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mountains, what a delight. I pulled into a campground at about the center of the hundred mile drive. Not the same without Tina, but I slept OK.
    Today on an early morning walk I got startled by a deer 3 feet from me, she was as surprised as I. We smiled at each other and went our separate ways. On the same walk two squirrels scurried by playing with each other, how nice.
    Then, while driving, I saw two bear cubs on the side of the road, nowhere to pull off, so no pictures, sorry. Then, down further, two deer were in the road, and off they went into the bush.
    Took a shower in the campground, only $1 covered plenty of time for me. Campgrounds at National Parks are inexpensive throughout, I am comfortable with that.
    Currently I am at yet another McDonalds using their free wifi to get these words to you, in Suffolk, Virginia.
    A couple bad things occurred recently. That camera I bought for $100, I must have left it in the cart when I got to the van, gone it is. And, I had left my electric razor plugged in and forgot that. I am feeling like such a fool. These things can eventually be replaced, but, stupid is as stupid does.

  • Blog 27–Departing soon

    This will be a short blog, to catch you up on things.
    Oct 11–Today I drove to the Media, PA area and looked for a park, why, look there, Rose Tree Park. I large park, very much grass (and you know what I think of grass, such waste.) I have both bikes and the unicycle off the back of the van and was organizing things.
    Up rode Keith on his neat home-built bike. We talked for awhile and he let me know of a swap meet about one mile away. We took a ride to go and see. Boy, am I out of shape, time to get on the bike often, and start running, too.
    Oct 13–I had juggling books and things stored at Tina’s daughter’s house. Leah asked me to remove them, which I did. Now, where to put them???
    Maryellen, the wonderful lady I was married to for 23 years, agreed to store these things at her house, a nice thing she did. Everything worked out well.
    Oct 15–Hanging out for a few days because of work that needs to be done to my computer and also my van.
    The computer would not start at all, so I took it to Bill at Keytron, they are working on it now; a Windows problem. Right now I am using a computer at the Aston library.
    The other morning I noticed coolant leaking down to the ground from the engine. Took the van to Dave’s, where I usually have gone, he found that it needs a new water pump, for, an amount that could be $500. So, my credit card goes back up higher.
    Oct 16–Every other day I am going to Planet Fitness for a workout and a shower. Feels so good to be clean, and I am keeping the van in top clean shape, too. Such a little home I have, easy to keep very nice.
    Have not watched TV in quite awhile, they have TV available at PF. But, you have to keep pedaling the stationary bike to keep watching. So, getting my muscles in better shape. Working on the upper body, too.
    In recent blog posts I have been somewhat negative and sad. Things will start changing, I do have much to be thankful for, which Tina reminded me of in an email just this morning. I must set my mind back on the positive and helping others, in doing so that will help me the most.
    Planning to start heading south the beginning of next week. On the way to Florida I plan to visit some National Parks, as Tina and I had been planning to do. You will be viewing photos of the spectacular sites that I see.
    Are you between Philadelphia and Florida?
    May I stop by for a visit?
    Let me know.