Tag Archives: travel

Another Curve Ball . . .DUCK!

I don’t know why I expect plans to go as scheduled. It hasn’t happened in so long. Sometimes I feel like I’m playing Ping Pong with life and there’s so much English on the ball, I can’t possibly return the serve. Yet I lunge and give it my best shot.

Our plans to explore Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Colorado this summer shifted dramatically when the hubmeister experienced a severe set-back due to high winds, blowing dust and pollen in New Mexico. After an overnight stay in the hospital, he’s been released to his primary care physician in Tucson for a follow-up. And since we don’t want to drive south for a month then take off again, we decided to make the best of it by hanging out in the SonoranDesert’s higher elevations.

So the upside . . . and there’s always an upside to every disastrous event . . .is that instead of searching out new  adventure I now have time to write (you’ve heard these promises before, sigh), work on my gourd art and attempt some creative flair with a box of driftwood I’ve gathered from earlier excursions. Oh yeah . . . and paint some more rocks. No long hikes until fall since I don’t care to encounter slithery creatures lurking on those hot desert trails

As for writing, hopefully you’ve enjoyed my ongoing short story series spawned by my print published anthology, Road Tales. I’m almost done with an eBook version, Road Lore and MORE, which will incorporate the short story collection as well as even MORE myth, lore and back road oddities. The second Dead Men novel is close to sending off to beta readers. I anticipate a release date of June 15th. Even more exciting – my pet project is about to come to life! . . . The Claim Adjuster is an intriguing thriller unlike anything I’ve written. Prepare for a fall release. 

Until next time, I’m positing some photos of my latest escapades. Look for new short stories scheduled during the summer months.

Painted Desert

Hiked a LOT! This is Sabino Canyon, 7 Falls Trail

Sedona – sigh. Hiked a few trails. Must return!

Walks with my buddy. He is getting too old for hiking but still likes to catch a few sniffs on the shorter trails.

Hid some of my painted rocks

Pottery shards at Homolovi State Park. They were everywhere!!! And no . . . I did not take any home but it sure was tempting.

Beautiful Usery Park near Mesa, AZ. LOVE it! And the trails.

Homolovi Ruins

Petrified Forest

Mexican Food and Margaritas!

Gourd craft – decanter for box wine. Oh, yeah 🙂 Want to sell these on Etsy.

Dinosaurs, oh MY!

Standing on the corner . . .

San Felipe Church in Old Town Albuquerque. Built in 1706. Amazing!

View from the balcony of the iconic Painted Desert Inn – now a museum.

 

Advertisements

Interview at Ellenbooks

There’s an elite group . . . and I don’t say that lightly . . . of authors who manage to balance life on the road with writing. I was honored when Ellen Behrens, an outstanding author and fellow RVer, asked to interview me for her blog. Please click the link below and stop by to say “howdy”. While you’re there, check out Ellen’s delightful series, Rollin’ RV Mystery series!

Fellow RV Novelists: Deb Sanders

Dreamin’ My Life Away . . .

Day dreaming. Visualization. Manifesting. Law of Attraction. Goal setting. Believe it and see it.

All of those terms describe a similar process – achieving one’s ambition or desire. 20150502_172043

The trick is transforming thought into action. Everyone “dreams” about the pot at the end of the rainbow. That pot might contain a winning lottery ticket, a cabin in the woods far removed from civilized society, an endless beach on an obscure island, or the funds to enable your family to pay the bills and sock a little extra away for a rainy day.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Not so easy to attain.

There are few things we can count on in life. One is change. The winds of time ensure we will always encounter shifting sands. The other is disappointment. Humans have a tendency to want what is just beyond our grasp. This means living in a constant state of unhappiness because expectations are seldom achieved, and when they are, the end result often does not meet our glamorized vision of what we anticipated.

And therein lies the key to happiness. Expect nothing. Enjoy whatever happens.

It is an impossible task for most people because societal influences dictate what we need to be “happy” – unless you’re a dark horse like me. Some days I think I’m on the cusp of enlightenment – but only by a hair.

You see, life has thrown so many curve balls in my path, so many rotten lemons too sour for lemonade, that I almost stopped believing in purpose. I lived to work. I worked to pay bills. I watched from a distance as others enjoyed lifestyles I would never experience. They were happy. They had the things everyone strives to achieve. They were blessed. Or so I thought.

89923b5cbb4c896d7c96018026b39241Someone once told me this was life. Accept it. And yet there was always a minuscule thread of rebellion refusing to accept the status quo. Sure, life might suck today but what about tomorrow? I suppose it could be defined as hope . . . which makes me a hopeful romantic. Without hope . . . without the possibility of improving one’s lot in life . . . how can anyone go on? If you take away the dreams, visions of a better existence, what’s left? Is strife, pain and disappointment worth the challenge?

Today I can answer that question with a resounding “YES”!

I’m about to embark on a great adventure. Full time RVing. Some naysayers consider this the ultimate personification of narcissism. Others snarkily refer to my upcoming lifestyle as irresponsible. A few scratch their heads at my gypsy free spirit, applying labels like black sheep, hobo, vagabond, poor relative, lights are on but nobody’s home friend/relative. They curl their lips and turn their backs because giving up material “stability” to embrace a simplistic, nomadic journey borders on insanity. These are the same people who drive 80 mph to reach an overlook, take 5 minutes to sigh, then jump back in their cars and head home to Tivo, Xbox and YouTube.

I get it. Life on the road is not for everyone. I’m happy my critics can enjoy their homes, green lawns, finger tip technology and gas grills. It all boils down to a square peg in a round hole. But which is right? The square or the round? I think both are right. It’s a personal choice.

I love the great outdoors. Always have. I’m grounded in the wilderness or wandering aimlessly on a deserted coastline. Awestruck by the beauty of this great planet. Connected to the energy of every living creature when all you can hear is the wind in the trees. My heart fills with such joy, such love, such wonder that words can’t possibly express what I’m feeling. It extends outside this feeble vessel called Deb Sanders to something greater than all of us.

There are a few people who say, “Wow, I’ve always dreamed about traveling.” “I’ve always wanted to RV full time.” “I’ve always . . .”seahorse-1

Suddenly, this crazy, disjointed, unorganized life I was dealt is coming full circle and enabling me to live the dream. I haven’t owned a home in years. I’ve relocated so many times that material possessions are meaningless. Sentimental relics from my past have been farmed out to those with more “stable” lifestyles. I’m happy. They’re happy. It’s a win-win.

June 21st is the first day of the rest of my life. I saddle up and ride off into the sunset. Until then, I’m living vicariously in my dreams content in knowing the only difference between dreams and reality is action.

 

Home is Where You Park It

Some of you may have noticed my blog feed has been sporadic of late, as well as undergoing a few subtle changes. There’s a reason for that . . . the call of the wild. Gypsy fever. Nomadic life. Full time RVing.

parkscampgrounds_heroYep. Me, hubby, the dog and cat are about to become Happy Campers. I’ve always had an adventurous spirit but never found the right time to fully embrace it. Until now. We’ve been mentally preparing for this daunting change for about six months but are just now purging possessions. I call it downsizing panic. I’m excited.  But nervous. Eager. But bittersweet about giving up my “stuff”. I tell myself material things do not make a person. So why is it so hard to let go?

It’s been a difficult couple of years. My writing took a backseat while I helped our daughter and her family adjust to a special needs baby. A wonderful but emotionally draining experience. It’s hard to be creative when your heart hurts.  Thank God everyone is doing well and on the right track. Now . . . time to resurrect my writing career. I’m almost finished with the first book in a new, cozy style mystery series and excited to get it out there. I’m sure many of my fans have forgotten me but hopefully we can reconnect while I earn a few new ones.

New books. New life.

Everyone thinks full time RVing is a long “vacation” but it’s so much more. It’s a lifestyle. It’s tiny house living on wheels. It’s minimizing every single aspect of your world. It’s slowing down to enjoy life, embracing the wonders of nature and  returning to – or discovering – a simpler existence.  I’m looking forward to long walks, uninterrupted writing time, and watching the sun set over mountain tops and desert floors. With a glass of wine, of course.

Hubby and I are torn between two styles of RV’s – a Fifth Wheel and a Class A. Owners of each type are passionate in their belief that theirs is the best rig for living on the road. Pros – I like the interior of Fifth Wheels, the added option of a vehicle in which to explore, and the easier turning radius when driving. Cons include less storage area and more time setting up camp. Class A’s have tons of underbelly storage, easy set up, and comfortable travelling for us and the pets. Downsize is . . . the size! It’s a little intimidating to drive a 37-40′ beast around, much less parking it. If we don’t pull a “toad” or tow behind vehicle, we are limited to renting a car for local excursions which is probably cheaper and safer but still a hassle. What to do? We’ve flip-flopped so much on this decision I’m getting dizzy! Whatever we decide, we are adamant about making the purchase in April and being on the road by the end of May.

I’m already building a new website for our adventure and will introduce it soon. DebSanders dot com will remain my author site. The other will serve as a travelogue – with a bonus.  I plan to research local lore and myths while wandering from place to place, then write short stories based on those legends. It will be a fun diversion in between novels.

I’ll still be posting book reviews from time to time on this site, as well as more articles about the craft and industry. And who knows what other tidbits might appear? Stay tuned and find out.

Not All Wanderers Are Lost . . .

 . . . unless you’re my hubby.

I recently went on a Sunday afternoon drive with hubby. I typically explore my surroundings on my own but this particular day I encouraged him to go with me. We  moved to North Carolina last year and since our time here is short, I want to experience everything I can. I want him to do the same. Whether he wants to or not.

 Earlier this fall when the  trees were absolutely glorious with color, I took a day and meandered across a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was so enamored with my adventure that I convinced hubby to repeat the journey with me. In his defense, I’ll admit it was colder. Most of the trees had lost their leaves. The sky was overcast. The wind had a bite. But by golly, it was the friggin’ Blue Ridge Parkway. Everyone who comes here should take at least one day and traverse a few miles just to say they drove it. Right?

 We stopped in a high country hamlet called Blowing Rock for lunch at a quaint little place called Foggy Rock Eatery and Pub. The food was quite tasty and well worth the drive. But being the wanderer I am, I suggested we continue our trek. That’s when things got interesting.

 Hubby and I are a good match. We bring out the best in each other, although sometimes it requires time and patience to realize it. Often, it requires a LOT of time. We approach life and tasks differently and that adds a dash of color to our relationship.

 So it came as no surprise when I realized hubby was driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway at maximum speed, eyes set firmly on the highway in front of him, totally oblivious to the vast layers of mountain ranges in the distance. I set my camera on “motion” and tried to take a few photos but alas, not even motion setting can overcome such speeds.

 The color began to emerge in our relationship. Unfortunately, it came out more in my language than our actions. Did he not see the scenic overlooks? Did he not care to stop and gaze at the vast beauty that leaves one in awe? Apparently not. But this man loves me dearly. He stopped at every third or fourth overlook and allowed me to take a few snapshots for mementos. Granted, he sat in the car with the engine running but realizing how difficult this little diversion was for him just made me love him more.

 And that made me realize we all approach life differently. It doesn’t make one style of direction better than the other. Both will still get you where you want to go, but one will ultimately be more satisfying than the other.

 Hubby likes to go from Point A to Point B. It doesn’t matter if there are no time constraints. The journey is all about the destination. I, on the other hand, enjoy taking my time to experience the little twists and turns along the way. I know I’ll get to Point B eventually but why hurry? I don’t mind being lost. I consider it a road less travelled that could provide a gem or two I might have missed otherwise. Hubby freaks if he doesn’t know where we are. Which is why I often tell him I know our exact location when I haven’t a clue. It makes him feel better. And if he’s not stressed, he’s a lot more fun.

 Since Hubby and I have been married, two things have happened. I’ve learned to arrive on time, both surprising and shocking my children who used to bet on how many minutes I would be late when I said I would meet them at a certain time. Hubby’s indulged my penchant for wandering aimlessly and has even chalked up a couple of memories which he now recalls with fondness.

 And both of us have realized compromise can sometimes break us out of our comfort zone long enough to provide a stellar experience.