Saturday, my feet hit the floor at dawn.
Bridget and Spike run outside for their morning duties, come back in, and keep their eyes on me constantly as I continue to pack the PTV. What started as a neatly organized arrangement quickly turns into a tangle of folding tables, buckets of cleaners, tools, and all sorts of oddball-shaped stuff. I check my phone. It’s 10:43! I throw a few more things on top of it all and leave the driveway by 11:00.
The crew sleep the entire trip!
The only time they wake up is when we stop for gas. They make their mark on a few bushes, have a drink, hop back into the PTV, and go back to sleep.
By 5:30 we pull into my sister’s driveway in Rienzi, a town of 400 residents.
You Civil War buffs may be familiar with the name Rienzi. While in this town General Philip Sheridan of the Union army received a gift of a handsome, black, long-legged horse from his cavalrymen. He named the horse Rienzi. That’s the “northern version” of the story. The “southern version” is that his men stole the horse. Anyway. General Sheridan described Rienzi as “an animal of great intelligence and immense strength and endurance . . . . He was as cool and quiet under fire as any of my soldiers.” Rienzi served Sheridan well and carried him to the battle at Winchester, which became the horse’s new name. You can see Winchester (stuffed) at the Smithsonian.
Back to our arrival!
We pull into the driveway and my sister Pauline comes at me with arms flung out for a long, sweet hug. Pauline has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is presently halfway through her chemo treatments. We are so glad to be together!
Pauline is a remarkable person.
She is a courageous woman who relies on the three Fs . . . faith, family, and friends! A few weeks ago her doctor let her take a break from chemo so she could attend her high school’s alumnae association’s get-together held each year in our hometown in Cambridge, New York. At first Pauline didn’t want to go as she hadn’t adjusted to the awful shock of losing all her hair and having to wear a wig.
Eventually she was talked into going and ended up having a glorious time! People were wearing pink ribbons for her. The bald men banded together to show her how much she’s loved.
Isn’t she gorgeous? Aren’t these men wonderful?
Back in Rienzi, the entire family arrives!
Lots of hugs and excitement . . . many questions about my camper and upcoming plans. Soon a spread of grilled meats and “fixins'” is laid out, and we sit together eating, laughing, and enjoying each other. Bedtime comes and my Coleman air pump blows up the air bed.
Bridget, Spike and I sleep without waking the whole night.
Today is more feasting and family talk, photos, sharing stories, tears, and laughter. The crew enjoys the attention of grandchildren and being walked on a leash around the property.
Tomorrow morning we leave early for Texas!
What a touching way for your sister’s high school mates to show support! Especially considering that they were probably a-holes at age 16.
“An animal of great intelligence and immense strength and endurance”. Bridget and Spike would take issue with that, I’m sure.
I can’t wait til you aren’t in Kansas anymore!
Kim . . . . Pauline is sitting next to me right now. How we laughed at your a-holes comment!
Hooray, you’re on your way! Enjoy your time with family and rest up for the long drive.
It’s hot here in Texas. We’re suffering some of the hottest and driest weather on record, so the normally green roadsides will be dry and yellow, alas. Drive safely!
Hi, Denise . . .
Too much time has gone by without my family getting together, so this visit is extra special.
Texas does everything in a big way . . . even heat.
Just found your blog yesterday. You are a wonderful writer! (And I’m a former English teacher, so I should know, right?) I hope to do what you’re doing about 10 years from now. I will follow your adventures and hope to learn a lot from you. Safe travels!
Thank you, Ginny!
I wish you the best of luck as you move toward realizing your goal. It seems a long way off … I waited seven years. The day does finally arrive and believe me, it’s worth waiting for!
I’ve been wondering all day yesterday and today if you made it out OK on Saturday as planned. Your sister is courageous and sounds like fun. Breast cancer isn’t fun but it’s survivable. Tell Pauline that my mom is now 90 and a 19 year breast cancer survivor. At the time she was hoping to live long enough to see her grandkids graduate from high school. Now she’s loving on 4 GREAT grandkids. There IS life after cancer.
Glad you’re enjoying the family. Food with family always tastes better.
We continue to pray for a safe and uneventful trip – at least till Tuesday morning. That will be an EVENT!.
Pauline let out a little chuckle when I read her your comment, Mick. Hello, Tennessee!
I just found your blog and read from the beginning to now in one sitting and I really enjoyed myself. You’ve had quite an adventure getting going and now you’re on your way and how exciting is that. I hope to take off the first part of October and head for Tucson and then who knows where. I just went through a moving sale this weekend and I’m thrilled that it’s behind me. I’m glad I found your blog and I’ll keep reading about your adventures.
Jeana . . . Hello and welcome to my blog!
What a compliment to hear that someone would read this blog from beginning to end in one sitting! Thank you. It sounds like we are living parallel lives. Congratulations on the moving sale and good luck with your adventure come October.
Yeah, stay with us … the more, the merrier!
Awww…what sweet family time!!! Just think…pretty much anytime in the future you want to pull up stakes of your Casita to visit family and/or friends…you can! Woooo hoooo! Glad you made it there safely and AWAKE…bet there were times you wished the “crew” could take a turn driving and you could curl up and rest?! I see you have inspired another new follower…now I’m not the newest newbie 🙂 !!! We are all watching, prayin’, and wishing you more safe travels…and looking forward to the day we can all hook up – – -meet up—- and camp together! REST WELL!!!
Ahhhhh the journey has begun !!!
Your sister is a champion!!! and henceforth will be in OUR thoughts and prayers…..
You should’ve seen Pauline smile when I read your comment.
She and I are thankful for your prayers. Yes, she is a champ!
Enjoy your visit with family. What a sweet thing for those men to do in support of your sister. I know she must be so happy you are there to visit with her. Good to hear how things are going with you. Hugs and some nose kisses for the sweeties.
The bald men gathered together and then called Pauline to join them. It was then that she pulled off her wig. Everyone there jumped to their feet and clapped and cheered! It was a very touching and meaningful moment for her and all who were there.
I have nothing witty to say about your departure, Sue, but I’m delighted that your first day on the road was uneventful and ended with spending time with family. How blessed you are to be living your dream! Thanks for sharing the adventure with us.
Who needs witty when you’ve got sincere.
I’m glad you are following our adventure.
I trust that as I am writing you, Sue & crew, are finishing up a good breakfast OR are already on the road to Rice! Be safe. Be excited. Be you!
Strong hugs from me to thee(s).
Maggie . . .
I’m writing this reply a few days later than when you commented. I just want you to know I appreciate you cheering me on!
Am following your journey wih great interest. Surprised to hear you come from Cambridge, NY. That’s my favorite town…sometimes thought I’d like to retire there.
Thank you for sharing so much about yourself, your journey, your family.
Another Cambridge fan! I am acutely aware of my good fortune in having been reared in such a unique and magical place. It would be a fantastic place to retire, especially if you like snow.
Thank you for reading . . .
YAY!!! Glad to see you’re on the move, and made it safe and sound to MS!
REPORTING LIVE FROM RIENZI MISSISSIPPI, This is Susan’s sister Pauline.
Sue and Crew left this morning at 8 AM CST. Since she will be on the road all day, she asked that I let you know that she is on her way to pick up the, the, the…hmmmm, gotta come up with a name for that, RV. She wished she had time to answer each one of you individually before she left but time got away from us.
I am so glad to see she has such a faithful following. Makes me feel like there are a lot of people out there taking care of her. Isn’t she a great writer? I know you are enjoying her blog as much as me and my family are.
This gives me the opportunity to thank you for the kind words of encouragement that you have sent my way. Your thoughts and prayers are really appreciated.
Oh, how I hated to see them leave!!! It has been so wonderful having Susan here. We have laughed and yes, shed some tears, this weekend. The time was way too short but I am going to look forward to seeing RV Sue and Crew pull into this yard again. After all, you can’t beat the campground fees!
On behalf of my sister Sue, I bid you all a very good day and promise that you will be hearing from her very soon.
No need to cry, dear sister. I’ll be baaaaack.
Strong hugs for thee, Pauline, strong hugs indeed, from me. And THANKS for the rvsue update 🙂
ohhhh. I can’t wait, I can’t wait!!! It’s almost time for your new digs!!
Hi all. Sue called me about 6:00 pm tonight to double check tomorrow’s plans. At that time she was about 30 minutes away from Corsicana where she’s spending the night tonight. In typical Sue fashion she assured me she hadn’t run off the road yet. We’ll see her tomorrow after she picks up her Casita. I’m nominating CQ as her Casita’s name for Crew Quarters. Then she would be tooling down the road with the PTV pulling the CQ.
Hi Auntie Sue, glad to hear you reached your destination safely. We enjoyed spending the weekend with you, Bridget and Spike. I don’t know if your dogs feel the same way. We’re just a little suspicious that you were giving them valium or xanax! They were so calm in all that chaos! It was such a blessing to see you and Pauline together, and your visit meant so much to her. Hopefully we’ll see you again before too long.
Pauline is so fortunate to have you as a daughter-in-law. I’m sure she realizes that. And Scott is blessed to have you for a wife, which he knows. You two are doing a great job with the children.
Thank you again for the delicious meal you and Scott prepared for us all. God bless you and your family . . . .