I love you.
Do you love me too?

I’m moody.
I know that.
You’re moody too.

I’m willing to change.
Are you willing to change too?
Not too much because this is me and that is you.

I’m fucking scared.
I’ve been alone all my life.
It’s how I protect my heart.
No exes, no kids.
I don’t know any other way.
Can we be “free birds” together?

All I know is that I want you in my life.
I look for your truck.
My heart skips when I see you.
Do you want me too?
Are you scared too?

Can we just be gentle with each other?
Like innocent babes
Nice, soft, sweet
And fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Know it all

“Know whatever comes to you unexpected to be a gift from God, which will surely serve you if you use it to the fullest. It is only that which you strive for out of your own imagination, that gives you trouble.”

The Journey by Brandon Bays

4:26 AM. Tired of tossing and turning, now on my left side, now on my right, now on my back, spreadeagled dead center across the bed, I give up and get up. I hit the buttons, fore and aft, to extend the slides pulled in last night when the winds were high. It’s dead quiet out now. Not even the rooster is awake.

Inverter on. First cup of coffee of the day. Vibrant red Keurig single cup coffee maker purchased for Mom after Dad died. She didn’t want it, she insisted, even though it was her color.

My favorite coffee — Great Value French Roast 100% Arabica Coffee in the purple box. I heard that the man who invented K-cups regretted adding to landfills. I vow — again — to order biodegradable K-cups from Amazon but Walmart’s convenience, low price, and dark roast are too tempting.

I apply Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in summer oak to a scrap of quarter-round and lay it on a piece of aluminum foil to dry. Remember I got vinyl plank flooring installed in Slab City? Well, Anthony, is helping me install trim around the edges. “You want to protect the wood,” he says, handing me a half-full can of stain, “In case you spill red wine on it.” I couldn’t picture myself drinking red wine anywhere near where the floor and the cabinet met but keep my mouth shut. I don’t make decisions based on fear, I tell myself.

I am so arrogant. I pride myself on not living in fear but live in fear everyday. I’ve been wanting to meet someone (For a change) and I do.

Anne calls me on my B.S. “You always talk about not living from fear and here you are doing it,” she chides as we talk men. We’re good mirrors. I call her on her B.S.; she calls me on mine.

I flash back to a conversation at Cathy’s house in Minneapolis several Christmases ago. Mom, Dad, and I in the kitchen, post-show wind-down. It was dark, late, and cold but warm and toasty in the kitchen. Mom in her pink flannel flower PJs. Jack and Diet Coke warmed from the inside out. (Do you sense a theme here?).

“You’re not humble,” Dad said to me.  “Your sister,” he turned to Cathy, “she’s humble. You’re not. You never have been.”

It’s true. Even as a kid, I knew what I knew and I had confidence in what I knew. And I questioned, all the time. Especially people in positions of authority. Parents, priests, professors.

More than one person considers my never-ending questions “arguing.”  I don’t. I consider them “discussions,” an information exchange, a two-way street. More than one person gets annoyed, really annoyed with me. But I can’t help it. Questioning is as natural as breathing to me. And in questioning others, I question myself. I am constantly challenging myself to re-think things, to have an eternally open mind, to never be satisfied with the status quo.

I don’t want to self-censor — I did that for too many years and am only recently finding my voice again — but I don’t want to piss people off either.

So what to do?

Make a second cup of coffee and wait for the sun to rise.

Dear Reader

Dear Reader:

Please excuse my recent silence. Dead in the water and all that jazz. Did you notice my absence or did it seem like just yesterday that you read about our  misadventures in Slab City?

It’s not because I don’t love you anymore, or because I don’t care, or because I have other, more pressing things to do. Actually, I have been busy with other things. Like you I’m sure. Things like taxes, maintenance on Pegasus, margaritas in Palomas.

And it doesn’t help that time lately seems to be both accelerating and standing still at the same time. Do you feel it too, Dear Reader?

Anyway, Pegasus et al have landed back in Deming, New Mexico, our home away from home. We’ve been here since late February and, apart from a quick weekend in Columbus, Ohio for my cousin David’s wedding, we’ll be here until.

Until when is anyone’s guess.

Until I get bored and feel the need to move.

Until it gets too hot and we head north through Colorado and South Dakota to Minnesota and Wisconsin for the summer; then Indiana, Ohio, and my old home in northern Virginia for the fall; then Arkansas in early October for a workshop; then back west.

But what am I up to now?, you ask. What has kept me so busy that I couldn’t write? What, what, what?

What exactly am I up to as I sit in Pegasus, boondocking for a mere $85 a month — can’t beat the price — orifices snapped tight against the wind and sand storm.  Strategically parked nose to the east, tail to the west, open slides to the relatively calm north. Even Roan is inside. Just another spring in the high desert.

What am I doing? I’m writing a book based on my blog posts from the past three years. The book will also include select comments from you, Dear Reader, as our journeys dovetail — ebbing and flowing before forking to the four winds. It’s a beautiful thing when journeys overlap. It reminds us how we are all more alike than not.

Anyway, back to me. My book will either be called “Becoming Me Again” or “Life Wide Open,” like the poem of the same name I wrote back in September 2014.  Oh, how time flies.

I’ve compiled a 62,300-word manuscript and am looking for expert outside eyes to help me with the next steps. And, unless someone comes knocking at Pegasus’s door with a hefty advance, movie deal, or both — I plan to self-publish.

So, long story short, if I go radio silent for a bit, please excuse me, Dear Reader. I still love you and think about you often. The feeling’s mutual, I’m sure.

With Love and Thanks.

Liz Carmel

Back to the warm

It was getting too cold for me — although Roan loved it — in Deming, New Mexico. One morning it was 13°F. Ouch! So, after having to delay our departure 10 days due to two more repairs — bringing the grand total spent on repairs and maintenance this year to a whopping $7107.13 — but hey, “It’s only money,” right? — we left New Mexico last Friday.

The first day on the road was great — we did about 330 miles stopping for the night at Holt’s Shell Truck Stop in Gila Bend, Arizona. The second day was rough. We battled winds up to 40 MPH all the way. The Imperial Dunes blowing onto I-8 plus construction and detours made the trip more exciting. There was so much sand on the freeway at one point that I dropped down to 35 MPH and put my flashers on.

We made it to the Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort (FOY) early Saturday afternoon.

Located about 13 miles north of Niland east of the Salton Sea in the agricultural power house Imperial Valley, FOY is a beautiful park with lots of amenities and activities. It’s in the middle of nowhere yet manages to attract repeat customers — many Canadian — year after year.

Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort
Pegasus at the Fountain of Youth Spa RV Resort in Niland, California. The Chocolate Mountains are in the background.

There is a ton to do here — bocce ball, cards, dancing, karaoke, hiking,shuffleboard, tennis, pickle ball, farmer’s market — the list goes on and on. I’ve personally enjoyed the hot spring mineral pool (aka the “lobster pot”) for soaking, the salt water pool for swimming laps, the steam room for pore clearing.

First-timers at FOY pay a special rate of $9.95/night for full hook-ups through December 15th when the price goes up to $45/night. My plan, unless I get a job teaching yoga here, is to relocate to nearby Slab City just east of Niland on December 16th.

I got an estimate to install 500 watts of solar from The Sun Works, enough to run everything but the air-conditioners. (Yes, I sold the Yamaha TW200 I briefly owned back in Deming!)  “Solar Mike” Gohl is one of the best when it comes to installing solar on RVs.  He likes to say that he buys high and sells low.  Works for me!

Slab City began its life as Camp Dunlap, a training ground for desert warfare during World War II. With daytime winter temperatures in the 70s, the concrete slab-speckled, off-grid area has become a haven for snowbirds, most sporting solar.  I’ll stay in Slab City aka “the last free place in America” for a bit.

I probably won’t tag along with the WINs (Wandering Individuals Network) to Martinez Lake north of Yuma, Arizona for Christmas and New Year’s. I probably will head east to Quartzsite for the Big Tent RV Show 21-29 January 2017.  Of course, plans may change at anytime.  Go with the flow and all that.

Enough about me.  Whatever your plans and wherever your location, Dear Reader, thank you for spending another year with me. Your comments and loving support have meant a lot. I hope the feeling is mutual.

Now off to “Karaoke and Pizza Night.”