Spring has sprung, the grass has ris…

I can hardly believe that I have been in Deming, NM for almost seven months! I’m sure I do not want to spend another winter, or spring here again! The winters get below freezing, and I’ve learned to put water in my fresh water tank and use the water pump instead of disconnecting the water hose every night it’s going to freeze. In addition, the winds here are like living in a dusty hurricane – no rain, just dust – that fine dust that is like talcum powder and that you can’t get out of your carpet or bedding, or anything. Today the winds blew just like they do in Virginia when a tropical storm is coming. This seems to be a rather common, often occurrence.

I spent from the middle of December to April 30th working part-time in the Ranch office, in exchange for my site, electricity, and laundry. That pay-off worked well for me most of the time. However, I got very tired toward the middle of April, and with management issues becoming uncomfortable for me, I’ve considered not returning next fall as I said I would. They want me to be available in the office October through December. I thought I would do that and then leave for warmer climes in January. Now I don’t know…

Tomorrow I am putting my trailer into storage for two weeks, while I take some time to venture into the area north of here and Silver City to ‘camp out’. I’ve packed my truck with all the things I can think of that I need, including a newly purchased shower enclosure for solar-heated showers, and a portable potty. I will sleep in the back of my truck which has a topper, so I can feel protected somewhat from the elements.

I’m also becoming quite handy in making small repairs to my trailer. Aluminum tape is GREAT stuff! I repaired a gouge in my gravel guard with it, and today I taped up an errant slide-out seal extension that hung over the tire. It had been stapled in place at the factory, but the staples had come out, and it had pulled away from the screw that held it further back. So I used the aluminum tape as a sort-of ‘strap’ to hold it in place under the edge of the slide-out. I’m grateful to one of the LoWs who was here last fall for telling me about this product!

I’m excited to be heading into a natural area, where few others will be. I have packed my sketch pad and colored pencils, my cameras, a few books, crossword puzzle books, and beading supplies. And I feel it is likely that some of those won’t get used at all! There’s something great about just sitting in the sunshine – I’ve thought about Roger Miller’s song, “Walkin’ in the sunshine, sing a little sunshine song…” I also hope to get some walking in to strengthen my back.

Since January I’ve been going to a local chiropractor for treatment; he says that I either had a very bad injury, or I have a very bad case of overuse…He has recommended a couple of exercises and WALKING as the best way to create better health for my back. I will see him on Monday morning, just before I head out, and again after I return.

The idea of health brings me to the fact that next month I will be on Medicare. After five years of no health insurance, at least I will have that in case anything major shows up. I think that when you don’t have insurance you take better care of yourself! The down side to the Medicare is that it will mean reduced funds available for my expenses on a fixed income…I just keep adjusting! And I’m glad to have that monthly income, as so many are really struggling these days.

When I return from this ‘pilgrimage’ to the mountains, I will hitch up my trailer and head to Bottomless Lake State Park (NM) for a campout with the New Mexico club of the Loners on Wheels, the Roadrunners. I will purchase an annual park pass and stay there for the allowed three weeks, and then move on, to who knows where?

Oh, I almost forgot to mention…I’m using a new name these days. Some of you already are aware of this through other communications; however, for you who aren’t, the new name (last name) is Swanne. Su/san Swanne. It came about over several years of pondering (hmm, a pun here?)and one day a couple of weeks ago, it became clear that I would make the change. Just so you know.

I will journal my camping, and hopefully be able to share here some of my experiences and thoughts about camping alone. I look forward to seeing some magnificent birds and other wildlife, too!

I’m hoping that you who receive this blog in your email are enjoying spring. I think of you all often, and send my love to you.

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