November 2, 2018: Out With the Old, In With the New

Today I drove by my old house. Really old, as we haven't lived there in eighteen years. There wasn't any one thing that motivated me to do this, other than a recent sentiment of touching pieces of my past as I look to the future.

I often think back to a parting conversation I had with my divorce attorney. It was a remark he said in passing, one that typically would have slipped my memory quickly. But ten years has passed and his words are burned in my brain.

"You will remarry and be happy. I am sure of it. You're a traditionalist and will find your happy home again."

I have often wondered which of my behaviors deemed me a traditionalist and not a trendsetter in his mind. Why conventional was seen as my future and not edgy? Did I ultimately fulfill this prediction? On the surface, one could say no. But in reality, I think he nailed it.

My life over the last ten years has appeared anything but traditional. A long-distance relationship turned marriage that included…

October 12, 2018: Life is a Collection of Memories

Today I went to a funeral. Rather, a celebration of life. And that it was, in so many ways.

Uncle Bob Gillen passed away. He was my ex-husband's uncle on the Lane side. I have enjoyed Bob's big, vibrant personality at Lane family gatherings over my many years as part of the Lane tribe. I have always treasured the Lane family from Scott's siblings up to his grandma, Lucille Lane Coschka, to all the parents, aunts, uncles and cousins in between.

After receiving a text telling me about Uncle Bob and then getting over the initial shock of his passing, I made sure to clear my schedule to attend the funeral ceremony. Aunt Marilyn (Lane) Gillen and Uncle Bob are salt of the earth people. Always wonderful to me, pre and post-divorce.

Walking into the funeral home solo, I was directed by Bob's daughter-in-law to the Lane clan taking up their own church pew. A part of my heart warmed instantly, feeling included into the family upon my arrival. Without hesitation, Cookie (my for…

October 8, 2018: Well, That's About it Then

Day 30 | 30 Days of Writing

As our trip and my 30 days of writing have come to a close, all I can think about is my mom's famous closing line. She tells this to us when she is ready to finish a conversation. It typically happens when Facetiming and she is done, ready to hang up.

"Well, that's about it then."

We are now home and it's time for a wrap. With a safe and very fulfilling trip behind us, I have to admit I loved sleeping in my own bed again.  With my own pillows and the the downy smell of my comforter, bedtime last night was a welcome reprieve from our life on the road.

Before pulling into our driveway, I calculated the key stats of our trip:

4,888 total miles driven (all by Garrett with lots of pointers from me and Larry)
23 stops at different McDonald's
10 states visited
16 travel days
9 different hotels
4 national parks (Zion, Bryce, Death Valley, Yosemite)
3 travelers
1 dog
countless memories (priceless)

When the kids were little I sent a Christma…

October 6, 2018: Last Stop...The Boys!

Day 29 | 30 Days of Writing

I can't believe it has been 29 days of writing and 15 days on our road trip. Seriously?

Today was a bit of a marathon, but with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I will start at the end and work my way back.

It is 9:51 pm and we are getting ready to go to bed. Down for the count at a Country Inn and Suites in Greeley, Colorado. This will be the 15th consecutive night at either a hotel or guest bed. And all with a seven month old pup at our side. Not an easy feat, but Zeke has been unbelievably well behaved, until I jinxed it by saying last night that he hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night for a while.

Our sweet Zekerdoodle responded with a wake up call at 2 am (thank-you, Garrett, for taking care of him). He is now outside with Garrett again for the second time in a hour after whining by the hotel door (Garrett creds again).

Time to go home.

The hotel is fine. It's clean and in a safe area (as were most on our trip, but there were…

October 5, 2018: Recovery and Reflection

Day 28 | 30 Days of Writing

Today we have surpassed 3,900 total trip miles and crossed into our 10th and final state of Wyoming. It was a solid ten hours on the road with only one driver behind the wheel for every logged mile. Garrett is our driver. Larry, Zeke, and I are the passengers.

Zeke was pretty much wiped from spending the past few days with his energetic doggy cousins. He snuggled in with Grandpa Larry for most of the ten hours on the road. A book or other obstruction on a lap gives him no pause, Zeke just lays right on top of it all.

Our overnight stay is in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Over dinner (at Old Chicago, of course), I asked the guys what I should name this blog to describe our day. Garrett immediately said "recovery". When I asked for clarification he added "and a lot of reflection". Larry nodded his head in agreement. We had a long drive to get to our next major destination and that gave us a lot of time to reflect on our trip to date.

We have offi…

October 4, 2018: The Caregiver

Day 27 | 30 Days of Writing

We spent our last day in Reno. Zeke had a first and so did I. Zeke swam for the first time. I met some of Garrett's family for the first time. For the rest of our crew, this was all old news.

The morning started with a big breakfast at a neighborhood cafe. Aunt Linda's four dogs waited in her car while Zeke was a bark away in ours. They knew something big was to come.

With a short, but scenic drive, we found ourselves in the beautiful Frenchman Lake area. Linda and her dogs (standard poodles - Finn & Pete, corgis -  Roe & Marsh) know this area well.

Zeke was the virgin pup, following his canine cousins to seek out something he had never experienced before.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. Zeke's closest encounter with water was our neighbor's backyard waterfall. Now we found ourselves in a big recreation area with five dogs off-leash and running crazy as a pack. Seven-month-old Zeke held his own and kept up with his older dog…

October 3, 2018: Day Date

Day 26 | 30 Days of Writing

Today Garrett and I had a day date. Missing our date nights but not quite realizing it, Aunt Linda and Larry told us we were on our own. They had their own plans for the day, even offering to take Zeke. But we instead chose to take the big baby pup with us.

While Larry, Linda, and Kenny shopped Costco and Trader Joe's for the menu items for our evening meal, Garrett and I (with Zeke in the back seat) took a driving tour around Lake Tahoe. I would describe the day as raining a lot. Garrett would argue that I'm exaggerating (note we didn't get out of the car other than to eat). But we were able to spend some time alone, catching up. A perfect afternoon even with the rain.

As we talked about life concerns and thoughts on our future plans, Garrett carefully maneuvered us around the curves and ascents into the Tahoe region. My husband loves for us to 'be on the same page' and talk things out. And although I give him a hard time about it, it i…