Here We Go
Updated: Sep 2
Thanksgiving 2022. Before embarking on this journey, there was an incredible amount of preparation. First off, where do I park this thing until I depart? I purchased Ginny, a 2020 23' Airstream Globetrotter from a wonderful and engaging couple in Grapevine, TX. Jimmy and Kim. Ginny was theirs for 2 years and meticulously maintained her. They briefed me on how things work and set me up with an expensive hitch, chocks, and several other necessary items because they are just nice people. I am so appreciative. After picking up my tow vehicle a 2022 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab with an EcoDiesel engine, I picked up the Airstream, where Portia and I headed off to our first adventure. A shake-down trip to The Range, a vintage trailer park in Bristol, TX. To stay in this park you must have either an Airstream or a vintage travel trailer. It was Thanksgiving weekend and most people in the park had been there for the holiday. It was a cool and rainy weekend. Actually a good weekend for a first trip. In the next spot over from us were a lovely couple, Brad and Laura. Their Airstream was a little larger and had almost the exact same white pickup. Anyway, we met and became friends. Brad taught me a lot on the first trip that has helped me immensely. I have found that Airstream people look out for each other and generally RV people are always willing to help.
When Portia and I returned to Dallas I still had the parking issue, because I was at least a month or so from being able to leave. I tried to leave before that but there was always something coming up that told me, it wasn't time to leave. So my dear friends Steve and Kelly let me park Ginny in their driveway from the end of November to our departure on January 2, 2023. I'm so grateful to them for their friendship. Darlene and I met them when we lived across the lake in the Brookhaven area of Farmers Branch. Kelly and Darlene just hit it off right away and were great friends. And they've continued to be great friends to me.
I published this post without writing some very heartfelt words about people I love. I guess I just wasn't ready. I don't know if I'm ready now however it has to be done. A lot of my friends know that I cry very easily. I always have. Emotions have always gotten the best of me even though it may not appear like it. But I have to say that these days I don't cry as easily anymore. I guess after 66 years I've learned to manage my emotions a little better. Something I've learned over the last couple of years is that the closer you get too painful and difficult feelings, the less painful they become. Texas has been such a wonderful place to live for the last 11-12 years. I came to Texas with such a full heart after being such a broken man. I healed in San Diego with my dear longtime friends Matt and Jen as well as April who was then my new friend. A lot of you know the story of how I ended up in San Diego. Anyone who doesn't can send me a comment here or a text or phone call and I'll share it with you if you need to know. I only say that because it is lengthy and extremely personal to not just me but people close to me and I don't feel like it needs to be brought up here.
I moved to Dallas to marry Darlene. Darlene was the love of my life. She was my friend and travel agent for over 10 years by the time we got together. She was born and raised in Dallas and I know she would have moved anywhere for me, but Dallas was the place. I've never been so welcomed anywhere as I was when I moved in with Darlene in April of 2011. The warmth and welcome I felt then still move me now and always will. All of Darlene's friends became my friends. I felt as if I was home. Darlene was bigger than life, she defined life. There was nothing I wouldn't do for her or her for me. As I often say "we captured lightning in a bottle." Darlene's brother Allen became my brother, his wife Megan my sister-in-law, and their little girls Nora and Rose my nieces. Darlene's cousins, friends neighbors, co-workers, etc... became part of my family. Some people would say I saved Darlene and brought her the happiness she'd always been looking for. I say who saved who? I've never experienced a relationship like what we had, and am forever grateful. True love is limitless and timeless even though life in this world is not. As most of you know, Darlene passed away suddenly on June 2, 2016. A nightmare of a day and night. But, I was given gifts most people never receive. Happiness and love without limits. Painful doesn't begin to describe that period of time. I've never felt so lost and alone. The memories of that time after losing her are painful yet beneficial as I moved forward.
Lots of other "stuff" and life has happened since that day and will make it in here in some way or the other. And now back to this journey.
It’s been about a month since Portia, and I left Dallas, and now we have a little experience under our belts. Although every day is an adventure. Every little thing is more complicated than you think when you're learning. It's hard to believe but it's also easy. Easy in the sense that I felt my path was always leading me here; I just didn’t know or acknowledge it. January 2nd, 2023, after a long process of divesting myself from what most of us would call a “normal life,” Portia, my 5-year-old border collie companion, and I hit the road in a truck and an Airstream. With a very fluid itinerary, we left Dallas with our first destination Phoenix to visit my sister Kacey and brother John and to drop off a few things for safekeeping. Then on to San Diego, where I am writing now, to visit my good friends Matt and Jen.
When I say I divested myself from ordinary life, what I mean is I sold everything that couldn’t fit in a 23’ Airstream and Dodge 1500 pick-up truck with a camper shell on the back. To some, that’s a dream; to others, a head-scratcher. I get it. It wasn’t always my dream either but freedom always has been. I can tell you this, I’ve never been happier, so at peace, free, without a desire for more, and the continuous accompaniment of quiet joy, silence, and peace. I have no end game. I can’t say I have a time limit or objective for where I want to end up. I genuinely don’t know. I know to most people, this sounds crazy, but it just feels right to me. I’ve been led here through what the Avett Brothers would say “life's loveliness and life’s ugliness….” Truth is in the loveliness and ugliness; it is not good or bad. It just is. We suffer because the “is” isn't what we thought it would be or should be.
Below are a few pics of our trip through Austin to visit Dan and Bryce and Nomadic Outpost and Beerworks, Las Cruces, NM, Tucson, and Phoenix - McDowell Mountain Regional Park is beautiful! Much more to come from San Diego, San Clemente, Malibu, and on from there. Also the cutest video of Nora and Rosie singing Uncle Mahoney Happy Birthday.
Take good care.
Mahoney and Portia