I have started this letter, in my mind, a hundred times, and I never quite get into the computer to actually put a word or two down. The time has come, however. Ice on the windshield this morn notified me that we are close to the edge insofar as camping 'cross country goes.
The mower is tuned; new belts, blades, plugs, filters are on, and the last mowing of summer is done. Leaves that were green two weeks ago have suddenly aged to gold and red. The tent trailer, purchased a couple of weeks ago, has had its wheel bearings repacked and all the electricals work. We practiced putting it up one time and feel confident we can assemble it in nothing flat when the need arises. Thomas-the-truck is almost packed. How hard it is to decide what few tools I can take, and what must be left. Just one of my drill presses, just one of my band saws, one of my table saws, my oxy-acetylene set-up - it all begs to come along. A few hand tools is all I can manage. I will whine endlessly.
Waldo and Shay know something is up. Dogs always do. They have probably been nervous since we first packed up our stones and bones and skins and moved caves. Rocky-the-cat is oblivious. She has been trying to sleep with Shay lately; it makes Shay so nervous she gets up and leaves. Even after months of acclimation Shay still seems convinced that Rocky is an alien. Rocky seems to truly like dogs. She has raised 2 now and has the hang of it.
Pat and I are both done with, as she says, the Sisters of Little Charity. Just didn't work out. Going in I wondered about working at a Catholic Hospital. Having trained at one as a student nurse, and having been told there that babies certainly did not come from the insides of women, and that vagina was a terrible word, I had my suspicions about them. No, just didn't work out. The Middle Ages were, and still are, an interesting period.
Our desire to return to Stitzel Canyon is somewhat attenuated by our desire to remain here. Maine is a fine place. We both like it here a great deal. I had a tearful farewell with my big iron machines in the shop today. I told them to stop that crying, it could only cause rust. Pat was standing by the truck this afternoon and said to me, 'We have to be really careful not to screw anything up so that it is impossible to leave here.' Right, cautionary statement noted. I didn't really want to break my leg anyway.
This is Tuesday. I have had the front end of Thomas checked out and some part replaced. New tires are in place. I even vacuumed him out. The boxers' camper shell is clean. We will probably leave Thurs. I have an invite to visit a friend in New York. From there we will go to Buffalo, across a couple of hundred miles of Canada, come out north of Detroit, and go across Michigan to catch the Ludington Ferry. The ferry will deposit us in Manitowoc, north of Milwaukee, and we will drop down to a town south of Madison to vist my buddy, Stuie.
After that we are freewheeling. No one else wanted a visit. So, we can camp anywhere we can set the tent trailer up, and if it gets too cold, we can drop south. For the moment the plan is to head west from Stuie's and end up in Washington State. I am thinking of seeing my dad. If you know anything about our relationship you will realize that this is something to conjecture. We will go down the coast from there and see various kids and such. After that it is a loop over to New Mexico.
The only way to reach us enroute is our hotmail url: <<firstname.lastname@example.org>> or by the cell phone. 207 240 0377. It will stay a Maine number until we are in New Mexico and get it shifted. Not a lot else to say. See you when we do, Don, Pat, Waldo, Shay and Rockstein.