Saturday, December 11, 2010

SPOTLIGHT, Travels With Lucifer...

So, let's get this straight... Lucifer was the cat. Not my ex.

i've mentioned Lucifer and Joe and the trip before, but it was mostly about the cat. Lucifer, if you recall, was the better traveler of the two. He neither complained nor whined nor argued. Ever...

So, settle down my darlings. Come and sit here, get comfortable and enjoy the show.

In 1976, at the end of our relationship, Joe and I (and Lucifer) decided to try to find somewhere in the United States where we could get along.. Joe, I mean, as the cat and I got along just fine. One of life's great lessons was learned on this trip: If you can't get along here, you can't get along anywhere, especially in a Volkswagon Van with a black cat.

The trip, however, if you filter out the fights, was actually very enjoyable for me. I don't know that Joe liked being on the road. If I think about it (and I rarely do) it wouldn't appeal to his needs for security and some sense of belonging. It was just another proof to me that what I love to do best is truly wonderful.

We headed around the country for almost 4 months, which is a major amount of time. We hit the edges of the United States, mostly, and I'm thinking it was about 30,000 miles. We went to Zion National Park first, and divested ourselves of a lot of ideas for traveling the first few days. We then headed north through my lovely Oregon, and then east clear to Maine. South to Florida and west again to home. This was my first major trip out amongst the English, and I will always remember the good stuff. The VW was a good traveling method, except that Joe drove, as it was a stick shift. The good news was it made him feel macho (because I never let him drive), and yet he didn't have the power in the van to actually chase down and kill anything... or anyone.

We dug for clams in Washington state, and used them for food clear over to the Grand Tetons, where we turned the last of them into clam chowder. We met a bunch of really super people in the campgrounds where we didn't argue, as Joe could be quite charming when he tried. He was the only one catching fish in Yosemite. We had a little brown rooster tail lure that we fixed up every night. He was a GOD in camp.

The argument in the Tetons took a while to figure (I had to decipher what the causes were, or repeat the scene over and over). It was based in Yellowstone. It seems the second time we hit it, it was not as great as the first, and it broke his heart... or something.


One of the great things about that trip was the year: 1976. There were 200 year celebrations all over the country, and each little town had their own festivities. Then there were the tall ships in New York, and a lot of stuff near the birthplace of this country. It was a lot of fun.

We stopped in New Jersey to visit Joe's family, which, although EXTREMELY enlightening, wasn't enough to make up for ALL his problems.

We visited Carlsbad Caverns (amazing) and a lot of little 'off the road' places. Shiprock New Mexico was a bit of a letdown, but then you know how I feel about the south west... or south in general (grin).

I'm still looking for some pictures, but most of what we took were slides... Oh what I would have given for a digital camera.

And to have lost Joe somewhere along the way.

The cat could have stayed..

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rilynn Posts

Before I get into the traveling, I had to put these on. Rilynn visited Mom today, and she has a little routine. She has Sunrise in her back pocket, and owns everyone there. She got into the piano today, and kissed all her 'visiting pets'.

Mom and Rilynn in front of the tree at Sunrise...

Playing the piano

Rilynn seems to be very focused on this playing. I don't know if she's been on a piano before, but I love the single note choosing (from low to high)...

Might just have to keep music in mind...

Kissing the kitty

and then there's the kitty... which must be kissed...

Kissing the dog

Rilynn kisses the big stuffed dog every time she visits Mom.. she has a routine, and not walks down to the room by herself. It's her little 'other place'.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Re-do... A Guy Named Joe

This is a re publish of an old post. I'm putting it on again because I'm going to SPOTLIGHT our big trip in 1976. I'm trying to find some pictures from the trip to add to this, but in the meantime I wanted you to put a face (and unibrow) to the name.

So go back some 35 years and meet a guy named Joe.

I loved this picture... it was early in the relationship, as you can tell from his NJ shirt and tie... (grin). We were at my parents (who didn't ever like him) after work... tired... close.

Ok, so my Joe wasn't quite the Spencer Tracy character... or the Van Johnson character... or even the Irene Dunne character, but it wasn't from lack of trying.

I met Joe in 1972 when he installed the battery in my Volkswagen. The VW in those days made one of the stupidest decisions ever made in an automobile (and there have been some doozies) by putting the battery UNDER the rear seat. It made it impossible to check it without major contortions, so it was never checked. I'd put even money on some under the table dealings between DieHard and VW. That battery did die hard, and when it had to be replaced, there was my guy named Joe.

Joe was from Jersey. I'd just read The Godfather, and I knew ALL about New Jersey Italians, and was more than a little intrigued. This carried me for a while before I realized that it was all we had in common. My liking Sonny Corleone, and Joe thinking he WAS Sonny Corleone... Not exactly a basis for longevity, but we managed to live together for more than 4 years.

I'm not going into great detail about Joe. I do consider him one of my great failures, as I couldn't make things 'right' for him. He had no self belief, in spite of the fact that he could do just about anything. He could fix anything, he could figure out just about anything, yet somehow these talents were not considered valuable. I never understood that.

We never married. It had as much to do with my not caring for the institution as it did with the fact that he had never divorced his first wife.. and maybe a bit of his being manicdepressiveparanoidschizophrenicmaybebipolar and all his other charms. There were other wives after me. Joe couldn't be alone, couldn't live alone, couldn't be happy alone. This is, in my humble opinion, a crippling lack. Each of his other women would eventually call me to ask how to deal with Joe. I would get a " Joe said you were the only one who knew how to handle him" call. It was true. I did try to help, but noticed through the years that the phone calls were more frustrated... and often drunk. Alcohol and Joe were not friends. He was smoking again, in spite of the asbestos damage to his lungs. and he was ever the manic-depressive, schizophrenic, paranoid sweetheart.

eventually the calls stopped...

but you will spend some time with us around the country, as we spent almost 4 months in a VW camper...

and if you ever wonder how to REALLY find out if you're going to be together forever?? Rent a VW...hit the road...

Thursday, December 02, 2010

She Walks...

Ain't she cute? She walked sometime while I was on vacation...

She seems so sure of herself (with no help from a couple of dogs!)