If You Want to Find Out Who Your Friends Are, Stop Blogging!

That is not meant as a slam, instead it is meant as a “Thank you” to the friends and followers who have sent personal notes to check in and see if I am doing okay, since as one friend put it, “You’ve gone dark.” Your notes of care and concern mean a lot to me.

I temporarily lost my blogging mojo. It is tough to find my cadence again. Good time tales seem too frivolous, while bad time tales seem too morose. Yet for the blog to be authentic, it needs to include both. Easier to just stop writing.

View of Superstition Mountains from Lost Dutchman SP

View of Superstition Mountains from Lost Dutchman SP

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But in thinking over my lifestyle now, most of my friends, my meanderings, my bottomless bucket lists and plans have come in some way as a result of this blog. If I am honest with myself, I feel a little lost without it.

A beautiful bounty from the backyard of my blogging friends John and BJ http://justfinding.blogspot.com

A beautiful bounty from the backyard of my blogging friends John and BJ http://justfinding.blogspot.com

This Safeway parking lot in Fountain Hills, AZ has 1,060 solar panels!  (I did the math.)

This Safeway parking lot in Fountain Hills, AZ has 1,060 solar panels! (I did the math.)

I spent the holiday season in San Miguel de Allende, something I had booked and planned long before Dad’s decline. In looking back, I went through the motions, but it didn’t feel quite right. I was coming to terms with the guilt of having brought Dad home, the guilt of not being able to handle the “doody duty” required for long term care, and the guilt for longing to return to my life on the road. Everyone I talk to says “Guilt is a non-productive emotion,” yet no one can tell me how to rid myself of it.IMG_0838 IMG_0866 IMG_0869

So life continues to be a bit of a roller coaster as it has for the last couple of months. Dad has “good days and bad days.” There are days when he doesn’t even know he is supposed to swallow his meds, then there are days when he is demanding the car keys, but settling for the riding lawn mower! I guess that is the nature of life for dementia, but I certainly never expected the swings to be quite that drastic.IMG_0871 IMG_0877 IMG_0878

My parents are fiercely independent and determined to maintain control over their lives. So consequently, I am resuming mine. I got back to the Winnie a week ago, resting right where I left her in the Eagle View RV storage in Ft. McDowell, Arizona.IMG_0879 IMG_0881

New "overflow" loop at Lost Dutchman.  Nice sites, no hookups but great views!

New “overflow” loop at Lost Dutchman. Nice sites, no hookups but great views!

Getting back felt like an episode of the Amazing Race, as I had booked a midnight flight on Spirit, the last flight out of DFW in hopes of maximizing my chances for a ride to the airport (knowing I could entertain myself all day if I had to.) But Eagle View does not allow overnights in the storage area, so a 1:00am arrival meant I had to book a night at the EZ 8 Airporter Motel…a motel with “airporter” in the name, which turned out to be nowhere near the airport. I ended up paying more in ground transportation to get back to Ft. McDowell than I did in airfare to Phoenix!

El Dorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

El Dorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

Eldorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

Eldorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

Eldorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

Eldorado Hot Springs, Tonopah, AZ

Stepping into the Winnie, I broke down and wept. Never have I loved a home more than I love my little “snail shell,” and never is it more apparent than when I have been away from her for so long! I will keep close proximity to major airports, so I am never more than a couple of hours away from my family when they need me.

I have some catching up to do….so stand by for San Miguel Revisited. And again, thanks so much to those friends and followers who reached out when the blog “went dark.”

(All photos taken on a rainy day in Lost Dutchman State Park, AZ, unless otherwise indicated.)

33 thoughts on “If You Want to Find Out Who Your Friends Are, Stop Blogging!

  1. I checked your site every day, hoping for more of your great pictures and entrancing prose, continually hoping that your silence wasn’t because of a sad reason. Was most pleased when I saw the familiar white duo on Gayle’s entry the other day!

    Welcome back! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

  2. Great to have you back…
    I’m told there is a reason for everything, but I’ve yet to discover the purpose of unearned guilt. Anyone who’s dealt with aging, failing parents knows the helpless feeling… the delicate balance between stepping in to help and “taking over.” It’s a lose, lose situation, and it just sucks for it to end that way. I think you put it better than I’ve ever heard it said, “My parents are fiercely independent and determined to maintain control over their lives. So consequently, I am resuming mine.”
    Box Canyon Mark

  3. Oh, I have so missed your blog, I never comment but I always read your blog. My daughter calls it creeping..ha ha
    And your feelings in dealing with your Dad I fully understand, my father in law is having the same issues at 85. Cranky and trying to be independent! As I learn to live in Grace, I learn to let the past decision go and forgive myself. Look to the future with joy and not worry.
    Ah happy travels Suzanne, wish I was free of this office.

  4. Glad to see you are back and enjoying Arizona!

    I too checked your blog every day. It’s possible some of us (at least me) did not write anything out of respect for your privacy. When you posted your Dad wasn’t doing well, I thought perhaps things were getting worse and wanted to give you the space for whatever might be happening.

    I posted on your San Miguel blog post though!

    Still hope to meet up with you one day. We’ll be heading back to Arizona in a few weeks. We are still in Indiana going through the last stages of a massive remodeling job on our 45′ Renegade.

    Take care.

  5. So glad to see you back, even though I know it’s tough. Knowing that others have been on your spot, and have struggled with the same feelings of helplessness and guilt (in regards to parents) helps a lot, even if there are no clear answers. And just about everyone I know has had these struggles! For now, I think your plan if getting on with your life and staying close to airports is a perfect compromise. Can’t wait to see more of your gorgeous pics!

    Nina

  6. The guilt associated with the passing of a parent can just be overwhelming. It can suck the marrow out of your bones. It was good to see you on Gayle’s post and know you were back. Go easy on yourself.

  7. Thanks for coming back! Dr. Laura says guilt is what you feel when you know you’ve done something wrong. You have not earned guilt. Tom says you have done everything right, but you can’t do everything!

  8. YAY we missed you but I totally understood you were dealing with the really important family matters. Dementia is indeed a massive roller coaster but I’m so happy you are back in YOUR home and that weeping – relief! Now give yourself time to charge back up and back on the road you go miss! :)

  9. I am stuck on the lawn mower story…when I need a little giggle during the day I will put that image in my minds eye!
    We have all missed you, but understand your “silent times”.

  10. It was so good to see you and talk with you. I’m glad you made the decision to renew the blog. I was talking to another blogger yesterday that mentioned he was missing you.

  11. Good to have you and your beautiful words back:) I have checked a few times to see if you were back to blogging, afraid I misses or deleted something. I assumed you were consumed with the care of your dad. Some things are meant for yourself. But I am so glad to have you back on the road sharing your wonderful travels.

    That is a gorgeous spa:) Just looking at the photos makes me relax:)

    Welcome back to the good life:)

  12. Now didn’t that feel good hitting the publish button again?
    You would have still been our friend had you decided to quit blogging, and we’re glad you’ve planned to join us for some more adventures!

  13. I know how you feel My Dad is going thru the same thing complicated by having a stroke 8 years ago. We had to put him in a home last week and it is the most heartbreaking thing to watch. Hang in there you will get thru it. Traveling will help. I have read your blog for a while now and enjoy the hikes you write about, hoping to do some of the ones around Valley of fire when we get down there this spring.

  14. I’m so sorry your family is going through this, it’s so difficult for everyone in the family. I know (kind of) what you are going through. My parents are both 92, mom is in a home for dementia and my dad just moved into an assisted living place and is so depressed about my Mom. And about losing his car during the move because he no longer needs it. There is truly nothing I can do for them, so I live my own life and keep in touch with my dad by phone. I think I’ll call him right now. :) Take good care of yourself, and blessings to you and your family.

  15. Love your eye ; Parking lots need to be appreciated too.
    We not-senile-yet late bloomers know the day is coming: “You may go out to your RV but you remember the wheels have been removed.”
    Make every mile count! IMHO. Old friends are not few-and-far-between! Thx for another trail to explore.

  16. Good to see you are back. I have missed reading your posts and was afraid you may have quit writing. I can say that I truly understand what you are saying about helping with parents, as I struggle to deal with my mom’s dementia and Parkinson’s. It is a roller coaster of love, frustration, and helplessness. Dementia sucks! Your blog is one that brightens my day! Welcome back!

  17. Glad your back to update us on your adventures. My Father passed away the beginning of January at the age of 94, so I understand some of what you are going through. My parents who live in Michigan wanted to stay in their home, so for the last 2 years they have 24/7 in home care. I would spend 2-3 weeks during the year to help out. Very difficult to care for parents that are in wheel chairs and need assistance for the bathroom, feeding, just getting around. But, my Father never complained about his situation and we had many laughs at my feeble attempts to get him dressed and bathed. I don’t think my parents ever expected the children to be their full time caregiver but always enjoyed the visits.

  18. I’m sorry we weren’t able to connect when Merry was in town. I’d love to see you on one of your trips back home. I’ll be heading to NM soon. I really miss my little Castle in the Desert! Happy Travels!

  19. I understand what you’re saying about guilt.
    Guilt’s the gift that keeps on giving.
    Missed you a lot. Glad you’re back.

  20. We loved your “my parents are fiercely independent and determined to maintain control over their lives,” –describes Mike’s 92 y/o Dad to a “T!” Mike is an only child which to me (one of three) makes it even more difficult. We have decided to make sure he is cared for and go on with our lives–not without some lingering worry and guilt!

  21. Good to hear where you are. It is good to see how well you are coping.
    Guilt is a self generated feeling, don’t allow it to generate.
    peace,
    Allen and Deede

  22. I am of the same opinion as Tina and her comments. As you were dealing with elderly parents and as there were no postings then perhaps personal space and time was needed.

    But very pleased to see you’re back and look forward to some more of your adventures.

  23. Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful comments. I am overwhelmed by your kindness and support. I tend to have “perceptional narrowing” at times like this, so it is comforting to know that others have been down the same road and agree, there are no easy answers. This is my first experience in the decline of an immediate family member, so 60 yo, I have to admit it’s been a really good run!

    I agree and appreciate those who said silence was interpreted as personal and private time, and were therefore respecting my privacy. I didn’t mean to say “Why didn’t they write?” 😉 Instead, I was trying to say how much my relationships and friendships have reached new depth and breath as a result of the blogsphere! For that, I am extremely grateful.

    A heartfelt “Thank you” to all who support me in the the things I hold most dear; friends, family, travel, writing and photography!

  24. We know all too well the myriad of emotions involved with caring for and making decisions about elderly parents, and the equally tough decisions about how close or far away to be at any given time. These are deeply personal decisions, different for everyone, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if others could give us the answers and remove that burden for us? I have stepped away from blogging a few times, for various reasons. For me, I find it necessary to recharge. With your wonderful writing style and beautiful photography, your friends will always be there for you, no matter how long the respite may be. Take care and the very best to you and your family.

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