Friday, July 10, 2020

JB's succulent garden 
Hello! I've been holed up in Provincetown with few personal inconveniences but plenty of anger and push back against our current U.S. President and the shocking (uninformed?) people who continue support  him.

The Corona Virus here in Provincetown has been at zero. I feel like I'm in a bubble, able to see my neighbors and friends safely, with masks, at a distance, but with the benefit of ocean breezes and mostly compliant residents. This may all change now that the tourist season is in full swing, but I live in a state with an intelligent governor so at least I can feel I'm in competent hands.

Unlike Florida, Arizona, Texas, and a shameful Federal response.

These days I am finishing up a travel memoir on our road trip across America and querying agents about my family saga, now renamed Saints of the Little Things. It's a gift to have writing as a life companion. I normally don't reach the outer ends of boredom or anxiety because I can write.

And I can garden. Our plot of land is small but it's so refreshing to plant something, tend to it, and watch it grow. These days I mostly write, garden, cook a little, volunteer a bit of counseling and resource help, and look for ways to be kind. JB and I have been surprising people with Saturday morning orgasmic sticky buns for the last few months. We order ten a week and just decide who's on the delivery list each week. It's been a great feeling to do this silly delivery, and it makes a sweet difference to the receivers and to us the givers.

I think there is a blanket of anxiety and unease among most of us these days. How could it be otherwise? Wearing masks in a real or imagined way separates us from other people. I may greet people with a smile but it's often not seen or understood. And for many, isolation starts to hurt. I am not seeing my beloved Jessica and my beloved grandkids in any way close to normal: that's probably my biggest loss. But in another way, I'm staying put in a way I'm not used to, and I like it. My big time prayers are aimed toward the Presidential Election in November. My country needs to heal. I find that Trump upsets me even more than fear and sadness about the virus.

 I hope you are all well. I know I've not been reliable here on Blogger, but if you happen to be on Facebook or Instagram, I'm there and I'd love to follow you.

Meanwhile, stay safe and don't lose hope in humanity or the planet. Big shifts are happening, that's for sure. I hope when we land, we're the better for it.

He. Will. Not. Win.

Love kj

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Snippets from a Road Trip

 This post is in no order. Since we hightailed it back to Massachusetts from California, the Corona Virus has taken over day-to-day life. But our 8 week road trip was too magical and too awesome not to write about it, not to share. So I'm going to randomly post snippets.

For starts, here is our loosey-goosey itinerary. Nothing after Blythe California was as planned because we were instead racing to get back home before we might be quarantined or sheltered in place in one state or another. But boy was our trip from East to West wonderful.

 In Charleston South Carolina, we tracked down one of our favorite artists, Jonathan Green, and found the gallery where his signed prints are sold. We bought one, our first purchase of the trip, and we're still giddy about it. We came close to visiting his house and studio, but that's another story.

This is one of many signs we found along the way. I went out of my way looking for interesting and/or comical signs and sooner or later, I may bunch them all together into maybe a chap book. I wonder how many fried chickens applied for this $ 15/hour job?

All in all we stayed in at least 20 hotel rooms. In every one, we spread out a blanket for our dog Mattie and gave her a beloved greeenie on the bed before we left her alone. She was perfect the entire road trip, in the car, on the road, on city streets, in hotels and in people's home. She loved being with us.


This was my very favorite meal of all time. Shrimp and grits at Henrietta's in Charleston. It was orgasmic.

 I have no idea where this was. Just a scene among hundreds as we headed south and then west.

We have friends who moved to Carefree Arizona and this is the view from their deck. No subdivisions for these two--they are smack in the desert. While we were there, a loud rattle sound came from the garage. Not one but two RATTLESNAKES! The fire dept came and disposed of them, meaning they carefully captured both and released them not far from this very scene.

Oh Southern California. I could breathe you in every day.

Bisbee Arizona.  Once a thriving copper mining town, it has a charm to it that made it one of our favorite places. This is the Main Street, with all kinds of fantastic specialty shops and restaurants. We shopped a lot here.

Here we are  in Palm Springs visiting with friends. :^)

This place has a story to it! Nestled in the hills of Topanga California, it was the first time we tried AirB&B. It looks darling, right? It was called the French Quarter. We arrived to mud. More mud than I'd ever seen. JB's feet sank down 6 inches trying to get from the car to the front door. It was too late in the day to start over, so we hunkered down in the "French Quarter" for a night of uneasy funk. The place was tired, worn, unelegant. We laugh about it now, and we managed to reconnect with my dear friend ValGal at a local restaurant. But jeez Louise, mud and more mud. 

More to come. I hope my friends here are feeling as safe as possible. The virus and Donald Trump are  cause for great concern. I'm home appreciating the little things that aren't little, but it's pretty weird to be living a different life. I hope it's temporary.


Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Quickie Update

This is Southern California. I have plenty of gorgeous and interesting photos to share from our Road Trip across America, but for now I'll quickly say that we hightailed it back to Massachusetts from California in an effort to get home before any of the states ordered a 'shelter in place' order. The trip home is a story in itself.

The Corona Virus has taken over daily life. My small tourist town is reeling from the real possibility that there may not be a summer season and local shops may not open and there may not be jobs. I have plenty to say about that too.

I'll blog again soon. I promise. And I'll write about our  awesome 8 week road trip adventure. Even Mattie the dog had a great time.

I pray we are all well and safe and I pray our doofus dangerous USA president is ignored in favor of our medical specialists and governors.

Take good care!

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Update from the Road

"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."
Mae West

JB and I have been on the road for 2 weeks. We're now in Pensacola Florida, heading to New Orleans and to San Antonio and Austin from there. We're having a remarkable time.

I've spent the last hour trying to upload my photos and I can't. The sights are wonderful, interesting, quirky, unusual. When I solve my photo problems, I'll be excited to share our slices of America, so far from Western Massachusetts, through Philadelphia, to Rocky Mount NC, to Charleston SC, to Savannah and Tybee Island GA, to Flagler Beach and then St Petersburg, to the sweetest town of Apalachacola and St George Island, and now, at a Home Suites Hotel, where we're (finally) doing laundry and re-organizing the car.

We've driven 2500 miles over 14 days, and by the time we arrive back in Provincetown, late March, early April, we'll have clocked 9000 or so miles. Might buy a new car when we get home!

Mattie our dog has been wonderful. We start most mornings at a local dog park or beach so she can run and sniff and play. She's been great in the car and great when we leave her in all these hotel rooms while we gallivant on our own. But she's spent the day walking on a leash with us in Savannah and St Petersburg and in Apalachacola, behaving like a well trained dog. (Ha!)

My favorite moments so far: the Shrimp and Grits at Henrietta's Restaurant in Charleston, the tiny tall beach houses on St George Island, and time with friends. And the unlikely fact that JB and I have had no arguments in the car. :^)

Hopefully I'll be back soon.


Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Road Trip

Come the end of January, JB and I are starting a 2 month road trip. We'll be heading south in our car, away from snow and colder weather, down to Florida, across the Southern USA to Phoenix, where we'll drop off our dog Mattie with friends, then take a plane to Mexico for 2 weeks, return to Phoenix, pick up Mattie, and head to Southern California.

If this sounds adventurous, it is! I've been mapping out places we want to see, and friends/family we want to visit. It's like putting a puzzle together. We've decided we don't want to be stuck in the car driving more than 5-6 hours at a time, so we'll have plenty of stops, some overnight, some for several days. Philadelphia, Charleston, Tybee Island, Savannah, St Petersburg, New Orleans, Austin-San Antonio, El Paso (Texas is big!), Tucson, Phoenix, Puerto Vallarta, Palm Springs, Pismo Beach, Carpenteria, LA. There are people and places I will be so glad to see.

I've started mapping our return trip and it's equally exciting: Los Vegas, Sedona, Santa Fe, Memphis, Nashville, Washington DC, maybe New York City for a final fling.

I should add that I'm doing this with a back that still limits me and a knee that probably needs a replacement.  I just ordered walking sticks so I can walk further and with better balance. I should further add that neither of us is sure how traveling life will be with Mattie. But I feel good about it all. I'm glad that JB and I are opting for a grand adventure. I might do a road trip Photo-Journal. I haven't found much help with the planning and gallivanting from available books, so who knows: maybe I'll write one myself!

I see 2020 as an auspicious year. I'm hoping by its end the turbulent era of Donald Trump will begin to recede, and I'm hoping I will have a book contract for my family saga manuscript. I'm also aware that living and dying seems to be playing a significant role for many of us, so far.

I keep reminding myself: Wait to Worry. That little mantra has helped me out more times than I can count.

Happy New Year from me. I'll be posting our travels. :^)