Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Have Wheel Estate, Will Travel

Have wheel-estate, will travel.

Being a mermaid, I am having a really hard time getting used to the c-c-c-cold. I miss my Caribbean home, yet I love wandering around this planet, seeing what a mermaid can see.

I did go to Goodwill and other used shops throughout the country, during my past wanderingss, collecting up a few winter clothes. To be polite, I could say they are recycled shops or nearly new shops. I care about the environment, I do my part to recycle, I try not to be wasteful with utilities or gas.  The foods I buy are chosen for health reasons, I am careful to keep a close eye on the refrigerator that foods are utilized before their past-prime condition, so that nothing is wasted. 

While most folks think they can never ever get by on anything that is not brand new, state of the art, I find that I am flexible. I can deal with old technology, nearly new clothes and pretty old things, like this old motorhome. And me. Today I feel very old. I am in loads of pain.  Grrrrrrrrrrr...

In my first career, I was an executive. I wore expensive tailored suits, designer hose,  silk blouses and had a wall full of shoes to choose from. At that time, few women were in my field, I dealt primarily with men. I never carried a purse, just a beautiful leather briefcase with my initials modestly emblazoned in cursive gold.  That was before designers felt the need to plaster their own initials or name boldly on everything they or their minions created. My girly things were either stashed in hidden pockets or tucked away discreetly in the briefcase. I carried it home at night, took it back to work the next day.  The funny thing is, I never ever worked at home.  Once I left the office, my work was done.  I refused to work at home or take business calls there. Whatever files had been previously in my briefcase that day, while meeting with clients, were removed before I went home.

Now my office travels with me, in my little wheel estate home.  My clothes are previously owned except my winter boots, which were purchased at discount a year ago.

Back in my executive days, others thought I was working nights at home, since I always had my briefcase with me when I arrived or departed the office. How funny.  Well, I've heard once you  get a reputation for being up at the crack at dawn, you can sleep all morning.

Home was where the hearth was. I wanted to totally relax, visit with my pets and friends, never once thinking about work, until I showed up at the office again.

When I moved to the Sea and the Caribbean, all those lovely clothes were given away.  I took up wearing yacht uniforms when on duty and sarongs when not on duty. One island, that I visited twice a week for years, due to my sailing/working schedule, coincided with my night off. The islanders called me the sarong lady.

In the afternoon, I had to clear the tall ship through customs and immigration on that little island. For them,  I wore my best white uniform, complete with epaulets and gold bars. Afterwards, I would take the launch back to the ship, to place the passports and paperwork back in the safe, change into a colorful sarong, then go back ashore to scout out evening entertainment possibilities for the passengers, then sneak off for a break.

There was one bar on that island, I always recommended the passengers avoid. Not because it was unsafe or anything, but because it was the secret hide-away for the captain and I, when we needed a break from the ship, the crew and the passengers.

Islanders, transplanted construction workers, live-aboard cruisers and sailors, frequented the place along with a sprinkling of drunks, herb dealers and the comically insane. It was aptly named the Back Yard, a place to unwind and relax with no pretensions. You had to follow a brief dirt path by a wooden fence, to enter an indoor deck of sorts that had been built in numerous stages and at varying heights.  Trees grew through the roof, plants were scattered about. Most of the stools and tables were hand made, some better than others. There was a ramshackle upstairs loft area.  It was kept closed off, except on a few busy nights when live entertainment filled the bar to more than capacity.

Sometimes the captain and I wanted a break from all manner of people, so the bartender allowed us to go upstairs, in spite of the locked gate with a big CLOSED sign at the bottom of the stairway. No one else was allowed up there. The bartender would tell inquiring patrons, who saw us go up, or heard us walking around the wooden floor,  that we were "in a meeting". We tipped the bartender, lavishly for this consideration. Naturally, he took superb care of us.  

There was a built-in bench in the corner of the loft, we would pull up chairs to prop our feet upon and for an hour or two, pretend we haven't a care in the world.

It's hard to live, work and play 7 days a week, 24 hours a day on a ship or yacht.  Sometimes we just wanted a brief escape without dealing with the constant wants and needs of others, as well as the tremendous responsibility of managing someone else's ship.  Let the crew be in charge of the yacht at anchor, send the passengers to the touristy places, and pray nothing happens while we take a well deserved respite from our constant duties.

My mind just wanders along today, as I think of then and live in now.

Back to the present; I live in a mini-motorhome, a term I've learned from my insurance company.  Over the past few months, through touring various thrift shops, I assembled a tiny winter wardrobe. Nice stuff, that doesn't even look like it came from a used clothing store. Even my friend who traveled with me in the autumn, began perusing the used stores, while waiting on me.  Now he is hooked, after seeing the prices, vowing to never buy new again, if he can find used.  The puppy has been treated to assorted stuffed toys, I found in the kid's department for a mere fraction of what the pet stores charge for something similar.

Of course recently, he learned how to rip and unstuff his toys, leaving bits of fluff in his wake. *Sigh*.  I used to toss out the ripped toys, now I just let him finish unstuffing them, then he has this bit of deflated faux fur to play with, that once resembled a fully stuffed teddy bear or a purple hippoptamus. He seems happy enough with that.

Today I am in a ton of pain, but I am trying my best to get a zillion things done so I can hit the road again to parts unknown.

My situation here in Orlando, is coming to an abrupt halt. I was trading work for a place to park my motorhome for the winter while puppy and I lived in it. In RV terms, this is called workamping. But the local county government, sees it otherwise. Recently we were informed that RV's of any shape or size may not visit on personal private property while in Orange County, Florida, home to Orlando and Disneyworld. Not for ten minutes, not for an hour, not for overnight, totally hidden from the street and neighbors.

We were all shocked and surprised to learn of this. We've been threatened with a $1,000.00 daily fine. Holy cow!

The disabled folks I've been helping out, will have to work out Plan B. There are no campgrounds nearby, for us to continue this arrangement, even with me parked elsewhere. The closest one we found is over a half-hour away.  I don't have a car, what RV-ers call a "toad". According to the county "code enforcer", I can't drive and park my RV at their home, even for a few hours a day, while I help them out.

I have yet to find another workamping position in a southern locale. My mini-motorhome was not built for the bitter cold. While I do have several invitations from friends to come park on their property, they all seem to live in bitterly cold winter climates. My plumbing and holding tanks are not heated, like they are in the fancier RV's. My big windows are not insulated well at all.  Pulling down the room darkening shades, certainly helps keep the heat in, but I can't live in a cave by day. When I get up in the morning, all the shades go up again, so I can gaze out upon the world from my desk.

I haven't come up with Plan B yet, no idea exactly where I am going in 48 hours. I have my ideas... probably southern Georgia or the southern coastal area of South Carolina. Florida is very pricey.

I am on a teensy-tiny budget that my current writing income affords. I am working fast and furiously as time permits, at increasing my writing income to a living wage.

That is much easier said;  than done. Maybe a famous book reviewer will "discover" my book and give it fabulous publicity. (Wouldn't that be lovely!)

I keep tracking down possible workamping opportunities and applying for same. Largely I hear silence in reply.

Despite the pain attacking me since yesterday, puppy and I bundled up against the cold, then took a long walk through suburbia. I tried to walk tall and straight, with my shoulders thrown back, and my gut sucked in. I prayed this would ease the pain. I've even smiled at myself, like a grinning fool, trying to feel better.

If anything, I feel much worse.

Yuck.

I didn't need this now, well I never need pain, who does?  I am a tad angry with my body, I've spent a bloody fortune trying to get well and stay well. I've tried to stay far away from the pricey medications that had numerous bad side effects, including pain medications which are so bad for my kidneys and liver, which have taken a severe beating, but are hopefully on the mend.

That sentence sure was a mouth full.

My ridiculous debts from seeking medical help in the past have piled up all too rapidly on my credit cards. I try not to let is stress me out. However, this physical pain I've been in for the past day and a half is just excruciating. I have no idea what could be wrong.

I just want it to go away.

I hope an angel comes along and breaths fresh energy into my body, removes the pain and lets me get on with life. I'm just not done yet! 

One more hour, one more day, one more week, one more month,  I want it ALL.  Am I asking too much? 

Have wheel estate, will travel.
This picture was taken in the autumn at Lamb City Campground in Phillipston, Massachusetts.
That tiny blur, to the left of the picnic table, is the puppy dog on a very long tether.
Since we had no immediate neighbors, he was treated to a large enough area, to play Frisbee and ball,
while still tethered.
Most all my pictures on my blog will click to enlarge, something even I didn't know for awhile.

A Big Thank You To The Angels
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