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The Real Journey

November 22, 2018

20181117_085525_resizedMy journey with Gladis has only covered about 2,000 miles so far and is easily traced on a map.

The first loop was from home up through Buellton to King City to the Pinnacles to San Juan Bautista, Monterey and home over 4 days.

The second was to Buellton, Paso Robles (sense a theme?), Sacramento, Ashland, Brookings, Eureka, San Jose and home over 20 days.

The next? I’m thinking of heading to the southwest.

But today, on Thanksgiving, I’m sitting on a friend’s couch and thinking about the real journey, which is to gratitude.

The past few years have been kind of a mess, sponsored by menopause. For much of it, I didn’t feel like doing anything beyond just getting through each day.

“I don’t feel like myself,” I told my doctor, and she said “I hear that from women in menopause ALL THE TIME.”

So after my mom died in August and my landlady decided to “go another direction” with my apartment (I’ll tell you the story in private but not here. Give me a call) and I had to give up my dog and I lost my mind, things were not looking good. I felt like my head was a mass of whirling bees. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t work.

Six weeks off work did me a world of good and the love of my friends and my church/spiritual center got me through. But the real breakthrough came as soon as I hit the road.

Everything became so sacred and beautiful when I saw it through Gladis’s windshield. The gold hills of Paso Robles at daybreak, scattered with ancient oaks took my breath.

Thousands of acres of wine grapes, their leaves turning autumn colors made me laugh at the idea of so much wine on so many tables. And then all the fruit and nut tree orchards along Highway Five. It seemed like hundreds of miles, and it made me so grateful. “This is our food,” I thought, my heart aching with thanks.

And then the ribbon of water, the aqueduct bringing northern California water to the south. Beautiful water. Life.

I was grateful for the sunrises, the sunsets, the nubbly fall plains, the hills, the mountains, the redwoods, oh, my God the redwoods. And then the coast with peaceful wide beaches and severe black crags jutting into the water.

I was thankful for the truck stops with their peculiar hot dog-coffee-air conditioning smell and their friendly cashiers in garish polyester smocks.

For having friends and family to visit along the way, making my journey so much richer.

I was grateful for fellow travelers who chatted me up, cozy Elks lodges, rest stops, people curious about my journey with Gladis.

For dogs in cars regarding me curiously. For traffic laws and well-built bridges.

I am profoundly grateful I have been given this opportunity to see beyond my own walls and fears. This journey is not outward, but inward AND outward to a place where I see that the world is indeed made of thoughts, and that thoughts can change and that possibilities are there for the discovery, if only we are willing to move.


I love comments! Please leave one and make me even MORE grateful.


  1. Christine Voth permalink
    November 22, 2018 09:21

    Happy Thanksgiving, Sue, wherever you may be today. Am enjoying being an armchair traveler as you share your adventures and observations.

    • November 22, 2018 09:24

      Thank you, Christine. I am certainly thankful for your friendship and for all the beauty you bring to the world.

    • November 27, 2018 06:44

      Thanks, Christine. I was in Camarillo! I had vegan ham, which I wouldn’t recommend, and green beans with lemon vinaigrette, which I would. I hope you are well.

  2. November 22, 2018 10:04

    I am so grateful for your experiences. They make my heart sing. Your gratitude extends so far beyond the confines of Gladis. I feel like I’m on the trip with you. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving. 🍁

    • November 22, 2018 10:58

      Aw, thank you, Annette. I’m grateful for you, too.

  3. Elvie permalink
    November 22, 2018 10:54

    Your writing is so beautiful. I am grateful that you are my sister and I can go on your journey with you through your words. Peace and happiness little one.

    • November 22, 2018 10:59

      Thank you, Elvie I’m grateful for you being my sister and for your kind words.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    November 23, 2018 07:45

    It’s a really wonderful thing you are giving to yourself, this journey.
    Very inspiring!!!!

    • November 24, 2018 17:50

      Thank you. I would love to hear about others’ journeys as well.

  5. November 23, 2018 14:59

    Beautiful. I’m so glad you’re finding your way again (and sharing the journey with all of us.)

    • November 24, 2018 17:50

      I am stationary for the moment, but my feet are itchy already.

  6. November 23, 2018 15:18

    Let me know if you ever want a passenger! I’m ready for the open road! ❤

  7. November 23, 2018 15:27

    I’ve been loving reading about your travels, both literal and metaphorical. Thank you for giving this to us!

    • November 24, 2018 17:51

      Thank you. I can’t wait for more!

  8. November 24, 2018 08:10

    I’m glad for you that you had this time. And I sometimes think about how there are cherry tomatoes you still haven’t found, but you can do that next time. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • November 24, 2018 17:53

      I have been cherry tomato-free for a week or so. Now I found out what happens when you use the fridge for a while, then leave it shut up in warm weather. Some kind of bleach routine needs to commence tomorrow.


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