It’s very hard to take a picture of a mud puddle. At least one that demonstrates its depth and size without just looking like a dirty spot in the ground.
Also, I am so tired that it took me three tries to spell the word “puddle.” I nearly went into that space where it stopped feeling like a real word. Puddle? Pubble? Pebble? What’s that thing called again?
Yeah, I’m guessing this is not going to be the most coherent blog post ever. But I’m currently at Half Moon Bay State Beach, which is a lovely — also, currently, extremely muddy — campground just south of San Francisco.
By about 2PM on Tuesday, Serenity’s tires were back in place and I was back on the road. I managed to get to Tehachapi in time to meet Carol (hi, Carol!) for dinner at Blue Ginger Pho, just one day late. Pho was just what I needed, because I was thoroughly cold-ish by then, tissues constantly in hand. I spent the night parked on Carol’s street and headed out early the next morning.
Wednesday was a grueling day. I had campground reservations that I’d paid for, so for the first time my schedule wasn’t flexible: I needed to reach Half Moon Bay by 5PM. I also needed to refill the propane. I’d filled it just a few days earlier, in Albuquerque, but it takes a fair amount of propane to keep a metal box warm when it’s 2 degrees outside and I didn’t want to chance needing it. And I needed to get the tires rechecked, to make sure the lug nuts weren’t working their way loose again. I also wanted to go to the grocery store. I managed all of it, except for the grocery store.
But when I woke up this morning, I proved completely unable to talk myself into doing anything else. Instead of going to the grocery store, I ate oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and maybe for dinner, too. (I’ve got other options, but I’ve also got more oatmeal, and I haven’t had dinner yet.) Half Moon Bay is a charming town, lots of cute shops, just five minutes away. I did not explore it. My favorite sushi restaurant in the entire world is an hour down the coast, a beautiful drive. I did not go there. Instead, I hung out in the van, admired the sea gulls, and tried to keep Zelda out of the mud puddles on our brief walks.
Tomorrow, I’m going to briefly go into San Francisco. When I started planning this journey, I wanted to take a couple days and play in the city. But the closer I got, the more I stumbled over the reality of traveling with a large van and a small dog. Like every city, San Francisco has terrible parking. Once, when I was pregnant, I drove around my apartment for an hour trying to park and then gave up and drove to my brother’s house and spent the night there, because he had a driveway. So the sensible thing to do would be to leave the van outside the city and travel into the city on public transit. Except what would I do with Zelda? I’m not going to leave her alone in the van for that long. So I’m going to give San Francisco a try, but I’m not going to stress myself out dealing with city hassles.
Then one more weekend on the road, but by Monday — I hope! — I will be settling down in Arcata, ready to get back to writing the sequel to A Lonely Magic again. I tried today, even managed to pull off a few words, but I currently can’t spell puddle, so it’s not exactly gone well. But a previously written snippet made me laugh…
Fen sighed. “I wish I could turn into a bird.”
An owl would be perfect. Silent flight, good night vision. She could glide away on spooky owl wings. No one would hear her or see her. She’d just be gone.
“Why would you wish to do that?” Elfie asked, sounding puzzled. “Transformation is always fatal. The magic cannot sustain cellular life through the process of re-shaping and re-forming. If you became a bird, you would be a dead bird. This seems ill-advised.”
Fen’s lips twitched. Elfie, so literal.A Precarious Balance
I really appreciate your honesty in recounting the ups and downs of van life. I know it’s hokey but I’m sending you a virtual hug right now cause it sounds like you need a real life one at the moment. So wrap your arms around yourself and sing that song from Annie about the sun comming out tomorrow, tomorrow, if nothing else it may crack you up and cheer you up. Not like a big comforting bear hug from your Dad or son but it is what it is.
On a different note your snippets are wonderful! You are such an amazing talented writer.
🙂 Aw, thank you! I hope I didn’t sound like I was whining — I really didn’t intend to! It’s a beautiful place, I was just really tired.
So very glad you introduced me to Vietnamese cuisine. That Pho noodle bowl is still a highlight of my week — and at CostCo today I see they have Pho noodle bowls in a six-pack for a mere $7.79, but it wouldn’t be the same without that silver tray of bean sprouts, lime and those leaves — have forgotten the name of them already. But the mix of flavors in that soup was soooo memorable. Got stitches out today and still have medium to severe pain, but the tension is gone so it’s an improvement. Be safe and hug Z for me. I love your snippets too — Have to wonder at all the other things that shift physical properties and whether it shortens their lives just a bit each time they shift. Hmmmm…
Thai basil! Not quite the same thing as basil, but similar. Glad to hear you’re doing better! And thank you so much for your hospitality — it was great to be able to put a face to the name finally!
Barbara Anderson said:
Sarah, you do sound a tad befuddled and overwhelmed at the moment! I’m not sure I have any ideas about what might help except perhaps some quiet time where you can enjoy the views with Z and decompress! I’m not familiar with San Francisco having never been there, but for me beaches or mountains work well. Crowds put me on edge, so I’m sure I’d flee from hoardes of people! Sending you a virtual hug also!
Non-driving time, that’s what I need! But I am about to start three months in a driveway, so that’s going to be plenty of non-driving time. 🙂
I constantly go back and forth in my head about buying a van and living in it. Right now I am picturing it. We’ll see.
I’m glad my whiny post didn’t turn you right off the idea! I wasn’t meaning to sound like I was complaining. My life has an awful lot of great stuff in it, I have no regrets. But it’s still life. You’ve still got to do laundry and change tires and run errands in the rain!