Sunday, June 24, 2007

With Apologies to MS Spears

OOOOOOPS! I did it again!

How many of you noticed there was a 10 month gap in my diary of our first years on the road? Probably no one! But here it is anyway. This one shold have gone between our Reincarnation and Life's little circles! I'd skip it but you have to meet Clancy!!!!!

A Different Road and Clancy Joins the Family

When last we saw our newly hatched fulltime RVers they were heading north out of Sacramento, CA. The original plan was to earn an adequate income telling tales Under the Story Tree, reality, however, altered that plan.

The Spring of 2004, brought us our new home on wheels, freedom to roam and the highest gas prices of 2 centuries! Being fledgling Storytellers it would take quite awhile to be able to build a reputation that would ensure us enough story sessions to make a living. But along with a Second Life comes a willingness to be flexible.

In preparation for departure, we had discovered the seemingly all-knowing Jaimie Hall (Bruzenak). Jaimie had written a book entitled Support Your RV Lifestyle. It was replete with the voice of experience and designed to help newbies like us avoid some mistakes. Within the first 40 pages I’d already hollered, “I never thought of that!” at least six times. We treated the book as a bible and did almost everything she suggested.

(Ironic note #1: The two things we didn’t do her way were things we really regretted!)

(Ironic note #2 :Jaimie has published the 2nd edition of Support Your RV Lifestyle and guess what two fledgling storytellers are on the cover!)

The most useful thing she pointed us to was Workamper News. A subscription service aimed at fulltime travelers, Workamper helps put great people like us into great jobs all over the country. We’d written a joint resume and it was on line at for employers all over the country to see. Soon the calls came in.

To make a long story short - something you may have realized by now I don’t do very well- We had been hired for our first job on San Juan Island, near Seattle, as camp store managers. Fun, scary, stimulating, hard, confusing, and satisfying. Our summer was one long learning experience and the best thing we learned was how terrific other Workampers could be. We still correspond with another couple we worked with and hope we can find a place to work together another time.

Off to Omaha, Nebraska to house sit for #3 son, Sage Words and #1 DIL (Daughter-in-law), Sparkles while they were deployed in different directions. What fun we had exploring a part of the country we never expected to enjoy with #1 DIL’s mom.

We led the first storm of the winter down to the South Eastern corner of The Land of Enchantment (New Mexico) to spend Christmas with Old Newsie and his bride, Grandma B. Naturally, we went mostly to visit the folks and my brother and sister-in-law, but we were also adhering to the first rule of full timing. North in summer, south in winter.

Yeah right - we have a picture of us snowed in by Dad’s house!

:>) :>) :>) :>)

We had just finished dinner and I had these big meat scraps left. “We need a dog”, I told Big Jim. He wasn’t too sure about the idea but off we went to the Lea County Alternative Humane Society. We were living a second life and we knew our dog was hoping for her own second life.

German Shepards, Bloodhounds, Beagles, Terriers and Poodles. All wonderful dogs, but too big or too noisy. We told Craig, the caretaker, what we were doing and that we needed a medium sized dog with personality to travel full time and maybe even help with the story sessions. He’d see if he could find one the following week.

“I think I have the right dog for you, he said when he called, I just picked two more up at the pound who were scheduled to be euthanized today.”

We hurried right over and into my arms he placed -a mop! A completely docile Pomeranian who simply lay in my arms and let me stroke his long silky fur. He never looked at me, barked, or moved as I stroked that long silky fur and thought about twigs, burrs, ticks, and mud in campgrounds.

Big Jim was saying something about “nice and quiet’ but my attention had been grabbed by another little tri - colored pup who had been jumping at her cage behind me, telepathically shouting LOOK AT ME!” from the moment I arrived.
One look, that was it. Can you believe both of them thought this dog, part dachshund and part blue heeler, was not the one for us? Craig shook his head, worrying that she wouldn’t take to travel. Big Jim just shook his head, he knew he finally had a little girl in his life.

A week later, after they had been able to treat her minor cold, we went back to pick her up. We’d thought about all kinds of names like Gypsy and Hobo, even Rover! But we finally decided on a name in honor of one of the dearest ladies I ever knew, Big Jim’s feisty Irish Aunt Mary. When we arrived with a new leash and collar and I called “Clancy!” she came instantly.

Clancy, the Gourmet Weiner Dog, is a working member of our trio. She is mentioned in our resume and is described as an official greeter, model, and tear-licker-awayer. And Craig was wrong about her not wanting to travel. She lets us know she’s been in one place too long by jumping up on the dash or in Big Jim’s seat and waiting until we finally get the rig under way!

See ya down the road,

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