The past few weeks have been exhausting, mentally, physically, and spiritually. I am adapting to being by myself and almost drowning self re-discovery. I have not had a good nights sleep for nearly two weeks now due to a Rotator Cuff tear in my right arm. Bella decided to challenge herself at squirrel catching while attached to a leash that I let slack behind my back. (note to self… Let go of the leash next time!)

My life is easy for the most part, camping every day, fresh air and adventures. Moving from resort to resort, I never know what to expect. I never know what I am going to see or who I will meet at each new place. I never know what new insects I will discover from location to location. I never know when I am going to wake up after a rainy night to a leak in my home, or what might break next!

I am enjoying my “Gypsy Hippie Life.” I haven’t applied makeup in over a month, and I haven’t curled or straightened my hair in over a month. It’s been very freeing for me.

I have a couple of friends that worry about me being out here on my own. I will have to start making a list of questions that my friends ask me. My favorite one this week was, “what if there is an earthquake?” If my little trailer can stay in one piece, the way I drive! I think it will be just fine,” I joked, but to be honest, I don’t know. I will deal with it if it happens. I reassured her that people have been living like this for a very long time.

I sipped my coffee sitting at my picnic table, enjoying this picture-perfect sunny morning, a woman approached me, she was crying. “can I have a cigarette?” she asked as she wiped her tears “I can’t find mine.

I handed her my whole pack, “there are four in there, keep it,” I replied. I did not ask her if she was ok. I could see that she wasn’t. I asked her if she wanted to sit down for a minute. I lit a cigarette, and asked if she wanted some water or coffee.

She did not even answer; she just started crying again and told me that she fought with her boyfriend. She told me that he pulled her hair and that she hit him back, so he shoved her into the cabinets in their RV. One of the neighbors called security, and they had taken her boyfriend up to the front of the office. I am glad she told me that right away, I was concerned not only for her safety but my own as well.

She continued to cry and show me her red marks that were already bruising. She rambled on about other things, and she wasn’t talking to me, it was more like she was processing thoughts out loud. We smoked another cigarette in silence.

I wasn’t sure what to say, Bella must have sensed her distress, she leaned into her legs and laid at her feet. “I thought this time would be different,” she said with a look of self-blame and shame” I really thought he stopped using.” Without thinking, I blurted out, “did you, though? Or did you ignore the signs?”. I immediately felt bad for asking her that question, but I did and her answer let me off the hook. She said,” actually, yes… yes, I did notice, but I wanted to believe him,” she started crying again.

I know that demon, I know it too well.

She gathered her purse and the smokes I gave her and said, “thank you for listening, and thanks for the smokes.” I just smiled and said, “I hope you were listening to yourself… this time,” I replied wholeheartedly.

Her bother came to tow her RV out of the park, and she stopped by to thank me again. I smiled and said, “that’s what friends are for.” I doubt I will never see this woman again, but I will always remember her, and I wish her well.

I looked around the campsite at all the large and small RVs here, housing families ordered to shelter in place, and thought to myself… we’re all in this together. The family camping behind me was outside playing with their kids and little spotted dog. We gave each other “the wave” and a Happy Easter! The family across from me was sharing the Sunday Morning Church Service with the whole park over their outside speakers. A couple next to me were having Bloody Mary’s for Sunday Brunch and gave me a smile and a wave.

I poured myself another cup of coffee, picked up my book, and went back outside to sit in the sun and be in the moment and be grateful for the life I have right now.

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