“It was wonderful when I discovered my kids no longer needed an “Industrial Strength” mother. I felt free to roam in the tracks of Charles Kuralt, John Steinbeck, and William Least Heat Moon, traversing the countryside seeking adventure and excitement; however, there is no denying that no matter how you live life, it is decreed that no day shall be perfect. Every day-to-day existence must enfold a certain amount of drama.
When I spill orange juice down the front of the cupboard, drop an egg on the carpet, or fall off the step stool reaching for a can of tuna, I know that day is not going to be exceptionally good.
One morning I looked for my hiking shoes. After a diligent search to no avail, I sat down, put my fingers to my temple and tried to think like a pair of shoes (people often say I think like a pair of shoes, but this time it was because I thought of them as solemates). Where would I hide if I wanted to confuse the driver?
It worked. A vision appeared. First, I saw shoes wrapped in a white garbage bag being removed from a hiking daypack and put on the floor next to the door until I could put them away. Secondly, I saw kitchen scraps being put into a white garbage bag on the floor next to the door. Thirdly, I saw this good little Maxwell housewife diligently throwing the bag into the RV park trash receptacle. A day later I knew the shoes fit, but I couldn’t wear them; they were 300 miles away in a dumpster.
It was obvious that my memory was slipping on a daily basis (That long ago already!). Family friends had given me a start for a “Vicks” plant (a perennial plant with leaves that smell like Vicks Vap-O-Rub when crushed) to keep me company on the road and exercise my almost nonexistent green thumb. It was wonderful. I talked to it during long lonely evenings, sang to it while I was driving, and put it in the sink for safe travels when I broke camp.
One morning I forgot to put the Vicks plant in a secure place. On the first sharp corner, my treasured Vap-O-Rub plant went flying across the counter and hit the table, sending bits and pieces of rich black dirt sailing into the fan and the typewriter that was secured on the couch. I felt really bad about the demise of that special gift, but on the other hand, I found out what happens when the Vicks hits the fan. I didn’t hear either my fan or the typewriter cough for months. Reality made me wonder, however, with all that singing, if just maybe the plant committed suicide. I never used the typewriter after that because I didn’t want to be accused of writing dirty letters.”
(An added note for your interest in 2015: A typewriter is a non-electric machine that does not require Internet service. You push those things that look like buttons with the letters of the alphabet on them and they go up against a paper and voila! There is typing.)
God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling.
The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”