Well it has been quite a year! One in someways I would like to forget but in other ways was very memorable!
Let’s start at the beginning. January started of beautifully with a fun week in Michigan with a great guy. Caddilac is a great little town with an awesome little restaurant just across from the park. The state park is between 2 bodies of water and it was fun watching the fishermen out on the frozen lake and the little squirrels busy finding their buried food! Lol! They were so cute.
A trip to Ottawa for work late in the month and great stay at Silent Lake Provincial Park on the way back. What a beautiful park. I have only been to this park in the winter. I will have to go in the summer once.
February had its own surprise with my beautiful grandson being born 6 weeks early. He was a little battered and bruised from the delivery but what a strong little man he is growing into. He will be walking before his first birthday no doubt. We wondered why he would pick now to come out and maybe he knew what was coming and wanted to be home. Lol!
In March life was busy with work and new grandson, plans for later in March with a trip to Detroit and Action Vans hall party. My work schedule was also getting busy with a lot of travel through the year. Then the unthinkable happened and my world was turned upside down! Again.
The world stopped!
Wow what the heck is happening? Our borders were closed, well sort of. Road traffic was stopped. Everyone was told to stay home because we were all going to die. Parks, playgrounds, trails as well as gyms, hotels, and all different small business were forced to close. My job schedule was cancelled and we were told to stay home and work remotely. Although it is possible for me to work remotely keeping my work computer charged is a challenge. It draws so much power that it wears both its battery and my house battery down quickly. With the gyms and campgrounds closed for showers and my power issue I was forced to move into my daughters. With the new baby I would have been there anyway but forced is not something I adjust to easily. I have confinement issues!! Like for real! It kind of makes me crazy to be trapped somewhere. Whether it is a elevator or the revolving door at work (yes that happened) or being in one place it makes me pace! They said 2 weeks so everything should be back to normal soon.
April and May brought no change. Masks were implemented and that made my life more complicated then it had already become. I cannot wear a mask. During this time and into June and right up until now all I have felt from the general public was hate. I was spit on, cursed at and even threatened with a good beating. I was told at work our jobs were being temporarily desolved and we would be put into different positions. During this time I also had some important people in my life both turn and walk away and turn on me. People I would have never guessed would do that. All of it was just too much! After a work meeting to discuss the new changes I had a nervous breakdown. Now I am a pretty strong woman and I adapt usually pretty well but all of this in just a few months was just overwhelming and I had my first panic attack. I thought it was a heart attack. I was so scared as I have only me to look after me. My children and my friends have their own lives and although they are always there I do not like to lean! They can lean but I like to stand.
I would say I have had more major changes in the last 6 years then in 20 years before that. With the divorce, the con, the loss of the house, the loss of people I cared about and now the loss of my freedom as strong and flexible as I am it was mind blowing.
In July a roadtrip was in order. North to the woods. Tom and Kim thought that was a great idea and took their van and off we went. To the top..well almost. My favorite provincial park Kettle Lakes. What a very pretty park that is. I spent 6 weeks there for work and would go back again and again.
We visited the town of Moonbeam. I was kind of hoping the alien ship would take me away! Lol!
We also went a little south to the town of Cobalt. What a very cool town that was. The Heritage Silver Trail was very interesting. The history behind the silver mining and the equipment that had been kept was amazing. The depths of those mines and the cold air coming out of the shafts showed just how deep it went.
They went south and I went west. They were still telling you not to travel but I had to get away. I needed space without people and a tree to sit against deep in a forest to make this all stop. The demons that came with the mask both on the street and in my head. My mind whirling constantly with all the changes and adjustments in my life that I had no control over. Then I got bad news from work regarding a claim and had another panic attack. This one was bad and I really did not like the thoughts that were going in my head. I was close to Dunlop Lake Lodge and I knew there was peace and friends there. As I sat on the patio taking in the scenery I thought am I happy? No! What do I have control over that I can change to make me happy. My decision…it is time to retire.
On the way back down south a nice weekend at Six mile provincial Park with my daughter and her family was so much fun. A beautiful park with lake side hydro I noticed. Hmmm something you do not find often and will have to remember next time I am traveling through.
Back down south to say a tearful goodbye to the people on my team. That was hard! Those people walked with me through some difficult times. I was in that department for 11 years and the friendships I made there I will cherish for a lifetime. Paperwork and more paperwork and it was time to go have some fun with my daughter and grandkids in the Bruce Peninsula. We did so much that week and found a few things that were not on the schedule. The Grotto, Flower Pot Island, and Bruce’s Caves to name a few.
Oh let’s not forget about Indian Falls! Where I slide down the hill. Haha! OMG! What an adventure!
Deciding what I was going to do next was difficult. I wanted something that would bring in a little money but not a “job” after all I did not leave a job to get a job. Lol! I took a little tour in this area, because friving calms me and helps me think and found The Stargate to an Alternate Universe. Ohhh that was needed for 2020.
How to put the thing I love the most, writing, to earn a little extra. Finishing my book that I started was the first thing and better where to do it than a bucket list item. Pickle Lake is the farthest destination you can drive to in Ontarios North. This time traveling north I had no time limit. Time to stop at all the places that I did not before. Rainbow Falls Provincial Park was beautiful. Hydro spots lakeside just sayin! I even stayed a little longer because well I had the time and they had a secluded spot with my own beach! Who could say no to that!
Pickle Lake is a cute little town that was so quiet and peaceful. It was there that I finished the writing of my book! All the places I saw as I traveled through the north with only the weather as my time guide. Aguasabon Gorge, Old Woman Bay, Wawa, White River where Winnie the Pooh actually started. I am now thinking I was the only one that did not know that. It was all so much fun. I love to travel and see new things. Now that I have time to stop and smell the coffee it is even better.
You can find the whole tour a few blogs back starting with this blog. It was fun! Come on along! “A Chipmunk Northern Adventure! – Chipmunk’s RV Life” https://chipmunksrvlife.com/2020/09/27/a-chipmunk-northern-adventure/
Now it is late October and things are still locked down. No borders open and as I head down south, I wanted to keep my running water, I googled interesting things to see near me and up popped Screaming Heads in Burkes Falls. Haha! What?? I had to stop and see it. What a amazing place and there is a castle. I’m in!! It turns out to be an artistic display of sculptures made out of stone into Screaming Heads. Going back after Covid to see the castle for sure and it was an interesting display of art. Check it out on my YouTube channel. https://youtu.be/JmHIzPMz_aM
November came and it was time to make my writing into a book. When you think you know the Microsoft Word program. Formatting and design cover and putting it all together to become a book was a learning curve. After some flowery cursing and a trip through Kindle Publishing University on November 21 I published my first book on Amazon. From Housewife to Vanlife is by far my greatest accomplishment. Well after my kids, I have great kids, LOL!
December followed with a great Christmas with my kids and my friends and a fun New Years. 2 new batteries added to the house power and new puzzle flooring added to the floor for extra insulation which is making a huge difference was nice addition for this month.
We are now into the first week of January and I look back at how much my life has changed in just a year. What I have lost still echos deep in my heart. What I have gained pushes me forward to a better tomorrow. I did not think I would be spending my first retirement winter cold. But its not like I have never done it. Lol! I am so hoping this all will be over soon and I can hug those that mean the most. Our lives are made of moments and only for so long. We need to make the most of those moments because we never know what tomorrow will bring!
Here’s to a better, more traveling year in 2021. Route 66 to the Oregon coast is my next dream. Its kind of hard to be a travel blogger when you can not travel. But as always I am making it work!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventures!
See you next week!