“Times they are a changin’.” – Bob Dylan.

Luckenbach TX 2 Back in Ottawa Ontario waiting for spring to arrive before summer hits… it will be like flicking a switch. We have been a bit lazy in not blogging our drive back north from Texas, it wasn’t without its memorable moments. Like being jolted out of bed at 5 a.m. to sirens screaming and the town P.A. system blaring: “Severe weather warning in effect, take cover immediately”. Yikes!! Talk about freak you out: like “really… for real???”

No time to waste: a flurry of critical action, we never practiced emergencies like this :)

1. Wake Steve, who is usually a very light sleeper… how the heck can you sleep through that racket!

2. Collect jewelry, trinkets and bits and bobs that are essential if you are going to be well and truly homeless (bus-less). A girl has to look her best in any circumstance you know!

3. iPads and wallets,

4. And of course essentials like passports that we spend half our life hiding, half our life trying to find, and the rest of the time forgetting about them… Or traveling on one that is expired or even worse: trying to cross a border on the wrong passport! Guilty on all counts. Now… where did we put them??

Luckenbach TXWe head for Walmart with essentials in hand; ok we can now live through what ever gets thrown at us. Except, what if Pumper was sucked up in some vortex! For sure she would reappear in the future with a wicked witch of the East driving her, a bunch of Munchkins in the back dressed like Hippies, and a man made of tin with a tool bag and cart of VW spares! (Someone should make a movie about this!)

Natchedoches“Tornado Alley”. Incredible when you wander the back roads in these parts and see the poverty… we are all for charitable work helping the less fortunate in developing countries… Guess we need to look in our own back yards at the suffering and impoverished, might be a good place to put some effort! So many people living in the path of ultimate weather “black belt” showdown, and all they have for protection: some ancient wreck mobile home or double wide as they call them in the south!! They stand no chance!

Natchez MuralThese are the people of the south: Their own breed, with hospitality part of their genetic code. We are loved and soaked up, and treasure the warmth and charm. Another town… another McDonald’s. Madison Mississippi we are treated to an incredible display of love and giving: Pumper is swarmed by the morning coffee club / town elders during their regular morning meeting to solve world hunger or whatever other problem one of them brings to the table at the risk of a bunch of wise cracks! One old timer thrusts a tray of fresh baked lemon squares at us, that is a very dangerous thing to do (we politely refuse the entire tray and take a modest helping!)   Another appears with freshly picked asparagus straight from the garden, organic for sure… we could sit there all day and soon enough someone would turn up with lunch!

VicksburgYes, Texas delighted.. Austin was blast. The car show at Fredericksburg (500 cars), great fun and lots of new friends that are now ‘Dreamers’ subscribed to our blog. Being interviewed by Kim in Nacogdoches for an article that later appears on the front page of ‘The Daily Sentinel’. Meeting Marilyn fundraising for a school project in Swaziland: Now this is a lady that could write a gripping book having spent half her life in Africa.  And yup now we might just be thinking of going there for a visit!!! Africa seems to be calling us!

Rolling on to Louisiana and Mississippi, immersed in the civil war memorials and history… Talk about red carpet… Pumper is showered with love and appreciation! Just love the “laid back” groove of these people. And our new monicker’s “Lady Bug and Shot Gun” as dubbed by one of the elders at the coffee club meeting… proposed and passed without hitch right there at McDonalds!

SwampIn Tupelo 2 tornados touched down just 24 hours before we were there with devastating consequences apparent as we drive down the main street the major tornado tracked during its brief mayhem. Cars wrecked and turned over, buildings with the upper floor missing and power lines down everywhere but with an army of repair people and average Joe citizens pitching in to try and return the town to some semblance of what it was.

We tried to hang out far enough south, Tennessee, Kentucky, to stay warm but ‘responsibility’ called… and a promise to dog-sit for daughter Simone in Toronto. Can’t believe how cold it felt for pretty much the whole month of May in Ontario. And on top of that I was again as sick as a dog for close on a month with bouts of chest infection, sinus infection and just feeling exhausted… yet another visit to the hospital. My immune system is so compromised that the slightest ailment turns into a major challenge.

SDR NashvilleThis has led us to rethink our future… and everyone knows how hard it is for us to plan! As much as Pumper is one of the family, it is time to face facts… I am just not up for the hard core travel and living in a tin can any longer. We had a good run for 5 years the last 4 in Pumper. We have seen so much of the world, enjoyed many wonderful experiences, and met so many beautiful people. Now, we are proud owners of a 5thWheel Trailer and pickup truck and plan to do less strenuous travel a little closer to home but still be full-timers. We so appreciate all our friends and dreamers that have followed us around the world on our odyssey and sincerely hope those friendships will last. Thanks to all of you that at times unknowingly have encouraged us to Live Our Dream. Not sure if our new pace will be ‘Blog Worthy’… will have to think about that.

MuralThe obvious next question… “What about Pumper?” we thought about putting her in storage but that just wouldn’t be fair on Pumper, she was made to be on the open road. She is a strong lady with many more miles and years left in her. We also think that it would be unfair not to let someone else ‘live their dream’, so we are selling her in the hope that she brings as much enjoyment to her new owners as she has brought us.

It’s not a sad ending it’s a happy beginning of a new phase in life for us and for Pumper.

Peace and Love… live large, and live your dreams!

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