A Small Whirlwind

Whew!

I have a few minutes to sit and catch my breath and write.

Jordan came home for a week to get his drivers license-he had about a week’s worth of actual behind the wheel driving experience and figured he was a pro and that it was time to bite the bullet.

He arrived on a Saturday morning, got his permit on Monday and went driving with me afterwards (talk about scared Mom mode…), had some professional drivers training on Tuesday, and took his test on Wednesday.  Talk about a whirlwind week;  I don’t know how we managed but he was confident and I had coffee so we got through it alive.  He went back home pre dawn Friday and is now the proud owner of a California drivers license!  My first kid to drive legally!

The Monday after Jordan flew home the kids all started at their new school.  This has been another tornado adventure, let me tell you, but we all love it!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously that they’re attending a school geared towards the arts-Hannah has Choir and Dance classes in the morning while the boys have Band.  Matthew plays guitar while Elijah is learning bass and I believe that after all of the practice they’ll be having, these kids will have some serious skills.   The school also has a recording studio where the teachers and students can collaborate and actually produce music.  Not many schools have such opportunities for their students.  It’s an exciting time!

The oldest was released from jail yesterday after being incarcerated for a month.  He is being allowed to do Drug Court which means he’ll be drug tested several times each week, must attend drug classes, and he also has to do community service which will all be checked on by a judge each Friday.  He’s staying with my mom who was nice enough to offer up her home-she’s subjecting herself to random house searches by probations…I had already refused to allow him to stay here.  I just can’t have his anger outbursts, drugs, and homeless “friends” hanging out here.  I’m done with that.  If he fails, he faces 4 years in prison.  I hope he can finally get his shit together because he’s running out of options and bridges to burn.

I had a chat with my husband about different ideas to try and he suggested I start a podcast.  So I’m trying to come up with what I’d like to do with it-what my topics should be, a name, and what kind of microphone I need to purchase.  I’m very new to this form of expression but I think it will actually be fun-there are endless possibilities.  No politics, just something interesting and entertaining.  I’ll also have to hone my editing skills…lots of new things on the horizon and I love it.  I’ve been stuck in a rut for so long.


My first time in the car having Jordan drive.  I was scared shitless.


Hannah in front of her Middle School after orientation.


The 3 of us went out for Pho-we’re goofy.


We went to the Guitar Center so they could mess around a bit.


First day of school, 2017!


Jordan bought a new car!
See? I told you it has been insane around here-I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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The Grand KPop Caper

Our son, Matthew, is a most determined young man.  He makes up his mind about something and puts those thoughts into action.  He’s unusual;  unique.   I like those qualities-they fit nicely in this family of ours!

Some years back, Matthew developed a fondness for KPop.  For those of you unaware, KPop is Korean pop music.  These groups are akin to our boy/girl manufactured bands and churn out catchy pop tunes complete with fancy dance routines and English phrases thrown in to delight their mainly Korean fan base.  The girls are pretty and the boys are stylish and always impressively dressed.

Matthew wants to be the next big KPop star.  From California.  Hey, stranger things have happened and looking at the website of the record company he is interested in, they don’t seem to discriminate based on ethnicity.  What does bother me, however, is their very strict dieting standards.  If he were to make it into KPop stardom, he’d be weighed everyday and have to focus on a minimal calorie diet.  He’s a growing boy and he’d never survive without Takis!

This boy has been teaching himself Korean.

He impresses me with his ability to pick up new languages.  He goes back and forth between Korean and Japanese but seems to have kept his focus on Korean, lately.  We watch Korean dramas together-he’s gotten me interested in them, surprisingly, but they’re quite good and entertaining.  My favorite one was Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight, also called Bring it On, Ghost.  I’m currently watching a comedy on Netflix called The Sound of Your Heart-it’s a good Mom/Son bonding experience and I’ve gotten some great belly laughs from this show;  it’s hilarious, really.

Not only is Matthew teaching himself a new language and watching shows based in another country, he’s teaching himself guitar.  His ease at learning new skills and the determination with which he approaches these skills is mind-boggling.  I wasn’t like that at his age…I wrote boring poetry and read Stephen King novels.  Whoopty-friggen-do!

All I can say is, I hope he achieves all that he can dream and I’ll never tell him he won’t succeed.  I try to stay positive and encourage him and who knows, maybe we’ll see him on stage somewhere!

He’s quite the character and I find myself laughing at his antics.  He’s a natural performer.


 


This last picture was taken yesterday.  He insisted we find somewhere pretty in order to take some photos he could use to send to the KPop label.  He needed a head shot, waist shot, and full body shot.  We took a lot of silly pictures and had fun-it was hot and we almost had to run for the hills from a bee hive, but we did it and had fun in the process.

Here are some random scenery pictures-it was very green and pleasant to view.



(The bees were in that tree!)


A Mountain Drive

I took two of the kids for a drive through our local mountains yesterday.  It was so nice to be out of the house and experience some nature for a couple of hours. This was also the first time I had driven my new car through such twists and turns and steep inclines-I knew it would give me the opportunity to brush up on my mountain driving skills.  This car has that new fangled shifter which tilts sideways in order to allow you the lower gears.  It makes me nervous so I figured I best get used to it.

Glendora Mountain Road is off to the left of the main road that takes you up to Mt. Baldy.  Sometimes it’s closed if there has been gravel in the road or if the snow fall is too heavy.  We were in luck as the road was wide open and didn’t seem to have much traffic.

It has been several years since I’ve driven on this road and I didn’t recall it being so narrow but, if you keep your eye on the road and follow the speed limit, it’s a fun adventure with great views of the San Gabriel Valley.   There are many hairpin turns and blind turns, as well.  I was so thankful that I didn’t have anyone following me because they’d surely be frustrated at my low speeds.  I’ve been trying to determine the actual speed limit through the mountain road-it seems that it might be 40mph which, in my opinion, is far too fast with as many blind turns as we encountered.  This makes it too easy to take out a person on a bike because there isn’t even a lane divider for the majority of the road.  I erred on the side of caution (maybe too much so) and averaged about 20mph.

We all remarked about how Elijah probably wouldn’t enjoy this many turns and figured he’d comment on all the butt pucker twists throughout the 20 plus miles of mountain road.  He was alright on our trip to Big Bear, but this road was far more adventurous.  If I put more research into it, I’d like to make a day of hiking somewhere out there.  It’s important to be cautious, however, as there’s spotty to no cell service.

I enjoy my time with these kids.  They’re growing up too fast.

It took us about two hours from first heading out until we arrived home.  And we made it out alive!  I have to say, I was impressed with how well my car did on the drive, too.







Get out and explore!

My Rocky Bottom

The oldest boy texted his dad informing him of his latest arrest.  Apparently,  he tried running from them, well, biking from them.  He didn’t get far before he was tackled, body slammed, and face planted into the asphalt.  He said his fingers got pretty messed up and somehow his leg had incurred an injury which he says was a cut to the bone.  They took him to the hospital where he received a cat scan which revealed a concussion and they wouldn’t stitch his leg wound.  And now I ask, How far down is rock bottom?

California has had its teeth pulled regarding drugs.  An individual can walk up and down the street carrying meth, a pipe, various other drugs and their paraphernalia with nothing more than an officer checking for felonies and then being transported to the jail overnight and released the following day.  It’s nothing.  It doesn’t count.  The state voted to reduce drug charges to misdemeanors so now they are nothing more than the equivalent of a traffic citation, only there don’t seem to be any fines.  How would they pay them, anyway?  California would rather make up the difference on me for not having my dog licensed on time.  $300 for failing to register your dog vs. getting a talking to by police for carrying meth.  Make sense?

These kids need help.  No, I don’t want to see them in jail, but I’d wager that most of them are dealing with psychiatric issues that need to be dealt with and I’d think the state could come up with a few rehab facilities that are set up like jails only not actually jails.  Keep them confined but get them clean and feed them.  But our governor would rather waste billions on a stupid bullet train that will never get built.  It’s hard to feel hopeful for the future when you see these young people with no options who will continue to spiral down until their crimes turn violent and they end up in prison or dead.  I’m no bleeding heart, but damn, there has to be something.

This has been my morning-well, in actuality, the past five years of my life.  Worrying about my oldest son who seems hell-bent on self-destruction with no way to get him on the right track.  He’s brought the criminals around who have inhabited the garage next door.  Saturday I discovered a blanket thrown over the outside security light and a blanket on the grass covering a block of cement that I’m sure someone was going to use to break the back door.  I called the police about it and they sent a giggly woman who spent a grand total of two minutes checking it out.  She happily returned to flirting with her partner before they drove off.

I didn’t realize that the rock bottom being referred to was my own.

A midday hike to clear my head

I’m getting increasingly stressed about the idea of my husband switching jobs-the company he is currently with is making certain changes which are not conducive to a good working environment and so he is looking at his options.  This means we will no longer have the same insurance and we’ll most likely take a financial hit.  He’s in the trucking industry and is away for long stretches of time.  While he’s been away, two of the kids have moved out, the other three are rapidly moving closer to adulthood, and his own health has declined.  I’d love to see him find employment that has him home in the evenings or at the very least, the weekends.  We all miss him and want him to be healthy and happy.

In order for him to possibly have a local job, he would most likely be forced to take a serious pay cut which would mean we would have to pick up the slack somewhere…this means me.  Somehow, I need to make some money.  I haven’t worked since 2010 when I was a home health aide.  Before that, I taught for a year at a private school, was a substitute teacher, and was in college completing my degree in English.  Honestly, I have no clue what I would even be good at, let alone where to begin my search.  I would absolutely love to work from home but is there even such a thing anymore?  I know people somehow manage to earn money off of their blogging and various other social media ventures but I’m completely out of my element in that area.  How exactly does one do that?

So here I am-what does an unemployed 42 year old mother of five kids do when faced with the challenge of finding supplemental income?

I grabbed my daughter and we went for a hike yesterday.  I needed to get some nature in my lungs, be off of my bed, outside of my house, away from the noise in my head.  I needed some pine trees, wildflowers, and bugs crawling in my socks-some sweat, slippery dirt, and climbing.  I also realized quickly just how out of shape I’d gotten.


 

About halfway up, I realized I had worn the wrong shoes.  Converse sneakers do not have the tread needed to navigate through the slippery surfaces and I easily envisioned myself landing with my feet over my head and having to be helicoptered out of there. We’d be easy to find between my heavy breathing and Hannah’s lime green socks.

We spotted several lizards that seemed to be trying to race us down the hill and only encountered a handful of people, which was very nice.  There was quite a collection of poops along the trail and I’m sure at least one was from the mountain lion the sign at the gate warned us about.

The sun felt good on my bare arms and the breeze helped relax me somewhat.  Bonding with my girl was a great escape-exactly what I needed.  She’ll be twelve in August and I relish the time we spend together while I’m still in her good favor;  before I turn into the woman that no longer knows anything.

As for extra money and me gaining employment, who knows, I don’t know what I’m qualified to do other than possibly work at Taco Bell.  What does a B.A. in English get you nowadays other than snickers and giggles from engineers?

Would you, could you, live on a boat?

I read a short article this morning about a couple that quit their jobs, sold their belongings, and bought a boat upon which to live.  The idea intrigues me.

So I started thinking more about the idea of cutting out some of life’s clutter-no house payment (I don’t own a house so that’s one less worry), no car payments (well, we only have a motorcycle payment), no utilities…the list goes on, of course, but you get the idea. You live on your boat, your only mode of transportation unless you take a taxi, subway, or train while you’re docked and really just…live.

But as I put more thought into the notion, I start feeling a little claustrophobic.  That’s a lot of ocean out there.  What does one do on a boat all day, every day?  I’d bring a good selection of books that I’ve had sitting around that I’ve started but not finished:

  •  The Space Trilogy  C.S. Lewis (I started this on a plane to Connecticut-Excellent!)
  • Very Bad Men and The Last Dead Girl  Harry Dolan (I read his first book, Bad Things Happen, in about a week.  I enjoy his style;  he avoids purple prose which I detest-I skip right over that, and he’s an excellent writer)
  • The last four Sookie Stackhouse novels  Charlaine Harris (I started Dead in the Family right before my dad died so I took a hiatus from the series.  I devoured the first nine books so I’m sure I would do the same with the ones I have left)
  • The Dark Tower series Stephen King (I don’t know how many times I’ve started and stopped The Gunslinger. If I lived on a boat, I could finish these)

That’s just a little glimpse into my world of reading but what would I do after I finished all of my books-aside from buying more?  What do I do with no internet?  No, perish the though, I can’t do it!  Living simply is one thing, but living on a boat out in the middle of a bunch of blue is just not for me.  I could lounge around on deck during the day and perfect my tan having absolutely zero tan lines and have Robert do all the work involved with sailing.  Of course, I could also swim in all of those beautifully clear waters that we don’t have off the west coast. Oh, but there’s that issue of hungry sharks and stinging jellyfish to contend with. I’m a pretty good swimmer but not good enough to out swim a shark that thinks I’m the proper size for a midday snack. No thanks.

And I know myself pretty well.  I’d be bored!

I have a better idea.  Since I’m a landlubber anyway, I think it would be a better fit for me to live in a truck.  You know, of the big rig variety.

I’ve had a little taste of life in a big rig.  I’ve traveled with Robert for two weeks at a time here and there and for the most part, I enjoyed it.  The quarters are more cramped than on a boat, I imagine, but it’s totally doable. Robert does it all the time.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and having the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations.  We have talk for hours and hours as we roll down the highways from state to state.  Unlike being out on the water in the middle of nowhere, I know that we can stop when needed and get out to stretch. Living on a boat sounds less and less appealing as I dissect the idea and compare it to living in a truck. While there would be no nude tanning, there would also be the absence of sharks and jellyfish!  Bonus!

I can’t recall the first trip I took with Robert but I do remember winter 2014 when I flew out to Hartford, Connecticut to stay with him for a week (which turned into two weeks due to blizzard conditions).  This was the longest I had spent in the air and I was able to read all of Brave New World.  No, I didn’t read it in high school like everybody else.

After landing in Hartford, I had to take my first taxi ride.  The airport had a window at the bottom of the stairs that would set me up with one.  Thank goodness, too, because this was all foreign to me. I arrived at the hotel safe and sound where Robert was able to meet me outside and pay the driver.  Scary thoughts kept creeping in my head.  What happens if he isn’t outside when we arrive-I have NO money to pay this guy.  He’s going to yell at me. That was a really long flight and I can’t take the yelling.  I’ll be stranded in Connecticut forever!

Sometimes my imagination gets away from me.

Anyhow, what I’m trying to tell you is that I made it-the girl who used to be afraid to fly and do things alone, like getting a taxi.

We had some down time before we needed to hit the road and drive so we were able to take a tour of Mark Twain’s house.  Gorgeous! I was so impressed but also a bit disappointed that we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside.  Honestly, I probably remember it a little better since I wasn’t distracted with a camera or phone.  I was able to take my time and sort of sink my teeth into all of the little details.  Mark Twain was one interesting character, I must say.Mark Twain house

Robert Mark Twain

After getting a coffee from the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street, it was time to head back to the hotel. Just an observation-California has a Starbucks on almost every street corner but on the East Coast, you’ll find Dunkin’ Donuts instead.  Honestly, I much prefer their coffee over Starbucks, anyway.  Not that my opinion matters…

The next day, we were able to watch the Nuclear Cowboyz-amazing stunt performers!  Robert was driving their equipment to and fro which made it possible for us to be dazzled by their performance.

nuclear cowboyz

After enjoying such a great show, I was thirsty, of course, so we found a restaurant that had delicious libations. A Jayne Mansfield, for example.

courtney bar

I may have had two of those…that night is a little fuzzy.

After a good night’s sleep, it was time for us to head out and do some driving.  I say ‘us’ like I’m actually participating in said activity.  No, in fact, I do not know how to drive one of those behemoth trucks, nor do I care to learn.  While not nearly as scary as the sharks and jellyfish I would most certainly encounter while living on a boat, I have a healthy fear of giant vehicles.  They could squish me like a bug without even trying.

Did I mention the cramped quarters there are inside a truck?

little truck spot

Here I am, sitting on the floor.  There’s no seat!  Thankfully, this was a loaner truck just to do some business in town.  I look thrilled, right? Actually, I found it quite humorous.

Greenwich was just lovely, all frozen and sleepy like.

Greenwich, ct

1538937_10151919159117634_1540333536_nRobert took care of business so we were able to get back into his regular sized truck where I actually had a seat and there were beds in the back. Much more comfortable.  If you drive for any distance in a truck, you’ll notice that after, say, two cups of coffee, a familiar urge will come over you when you’re in the middle of New Jersey, and after your husband says “No, there aren’t any truck stops around,” you have to get creative. Let me tell you what to do:

  • Save your Big Gulp cups!
  • Grab extra napkins at all the places you eat
  • Practice your balance before you go on a road trip

I’ll explain.  The Big Gulp cups (or any large-sized soft drink cup, for that matter) are your porta potties.  You will need the napkins for obvious reasons.  Hopefully you have good balance already because you will inevitably need your porta potty while the truck is in motion. Yes, if you are a woman, you will be relieving yourself standing up, into a soft drink cup, while the truck is swaying side to side down the road.  You’ll also want to close the curtain to retain a little bit of modesty. Have those napkins handy, girls, because you don’t want to have to reach and then drop your cup on the floor.  I imagine your husband would not be thrilled with you.

Now, if you’re like me, you say “Here you go” as you hand your giant cup full of pee to your husband to put in the cup holder while you get everything zipped up. If you’re especially fond of him, you’ll remind him in about an hour not to drink out of that cup. Did I mention that living in a truck (or boat) and sharing tight quarters will help you get to know your spouse?  

Really well.

What could be better than sharing all sorts of wonder with your love?graffiti

Ha! No, really, there are plenty of pretty spots in New Jersey, I just notice the not so pretty sometimes.

Can you sail your boat through here?

overpass

We encountered some extreme weather which you would definitely find while traveling by boat. But while things may have gotten a bit hairy a time or two, I never had to worry about drowning or all of my books getting wet.

Unlike living on a boat, fishing is not mandatory living in a truck.  Most of our meals were truck stop fare.  If you were underweight before starting your new life aboard a moving house, you wouldn’t be for long.  I would start getting cranky because I couldn’t just eat when I wanted to, so at meal time, I’d go a little overboard.

I’m starting to see why Robert says I’m expensive to take on the road.

food

Did I mention extreme weather?  Now, this may be the norm for you where you live, but Southern California winters are very mild.  We rarely get rain and this past December there were days when I was wearing tank tops and flip-flops.  You can see where this might be out of the ordinary for me.

1484717_10151920722387634_670570688_n

There was a wee bit of snow in Pennsylvania…

The first time I had snow in my hair in probably 25 years.

1551678_10151920825122634_1096809547_n

robert ice

Pennsylvania was just about frozen solid that trip.

pennsylvania

If you were on a boat, you wouldn’t be sailing along that frozen mess!

I’d say Robert drives an average of ten or so hours per day.  He has an app on his phone that he uses to find nearby truck stops and other places that we might be able to stop for the night.  Like boats, you can’t just stop anywhere you please-trucks aren’t allowed in all places as there are weight and height restrictions.  If you’re lucky, the truck stop will have wifi that you can purchase for $20 per day.  Otherwise, you won’t be watching that new episode of Orange is the New Black.

I truly enjoyed my two weeks on the road with Robert-it gave me a glimpse of what it’s like for him on a day-to-day basis, although it’s much lonelier out there for him as I’m not there to entertain him.  Like, when I pout because I didn’t get coffee first thing in the morning or because it has been four days since my last shower and I’m reminding him of that every ten minutes.

He misses out.

So, when I think to myself about selling everything and living a life of travel, I think about living in a truck rather than on a boat.  I think I would become a crazier version of myself if all I had was water to look at for hours on end, day after day.  I enjoy being able to walk on a surface that won’t make me seasick and not having to worry about being eaten by a great white.  It’s the simple things in life, right?

Like a porta potty…Oh look, here’s one now!

coffee potty

Adventures in Motorcycling, Part Five

Bright eyed and not so bushy-tailed, we knew today we would arrive back at home-to kids, dogs, cats, and the realization that Robert would soon be back on the road, alone, in his truck.  Neither one of us wanted our vacation to end so soon but, alas, bills must be paid.

The wind was horrible and I needed to keep my head tucked down and against Robert’s back to minimize the feeling that I’d be blown right off the bike into oncoming traffic. There were gusts expected upwards of 30 mph and for a new rider like myself, that news was far from good.  I did the best that I could to hold on as tight as possible and when we finally hit a rest area, my muscles were feeling strained from holding the same position for so long. I was glad for the break to rest a little.  Robert’s dad gave him an extra handkerchief when we were there visiting, and boy, was that a lifesaver! While not what I’d consider glamorous, it was of great use to prevent the heavy winds from invading my nostrils with so much force.  The air was cool which made it all the more uncomfortable.

We were on the main highway for an hour, at least, and the wind was picking up even more which is worrisome when you are travelling on a road packed with big rigs.  I just wasn’t up for becoming a pancake because a semi blew over on top of me-Robert was feeling the same so we got off the highway and on Route 66 through Amboy.

In case you aren’t familiar with Amboy, California, it is in the Mojave Desert, west of Needles and east of Ludlow.  While it was a boom-town in 1926, it was more of a ghost town when we went through. We passed only one police officer and I wondered to myself what bet he lost to be stuck on that lonely stretch of highway. The road was enjoyable with many curves and we pretty much had it to ourselves.

We did not gas up under the assumption that there would be plenty of opportunity after getting some miles under our belts. Well, as the gas light came on and we passed  mile after mile of burned out houses-I swear it was a scene out of Breaking Bad. I was starting to panic. Robert asked me to check my maps to see if there was anything around but my dumb “smartphone” thought I was still at home and was absolutely worthless.  Images went through my head about us having to walk mile after mile in what I only imagined to be Meth Alley while Robert pushed the bike-this very heavy bike, to a gas station. Oh, the humanity!  We pulled over and his phone was much smarter than mine so he was able to see that there was one just around the corner. Whew!  Talk about too close for comfort.

The wind was still very strong as we pulled up to the Joshua Tree Saloon. Of course, the parking lot is all gravel and being on a bike in gravel makes me extremely nervous-not that don’t have confidence in Robert’s abilities, I just don’t like the feeling of sliding while we maneuver through it so I asked him to stop for a minute so I could hop off while he parked.

I was so ready for a drink. Or three.

The wind was really howling and I was afraid that the bike would fall over while we were inside but it’s not like I was going to sit outside and try to catch it if it did so I decided I’d just go in and enjoy myself.

We decided that it would be best to stay the night and start the trip home after we rested and the wind died down some (supposedly, it would be better the next day).  Oh darn, we have to stay another night on the road in my favorite place with my favorite person.  Double darn.

Robert called the Joshua Tree Inn just in time because they only had one room available.  We were able to get the John Barrymore Suite which we had never stayed in before (this was John Wayne’s favorite room) and I was beyond excited.  It’s a very romantic setting;  the rooms are done up all cozy, and they each have their own private patios.

We finished our food and I had a couple of Cowgirl Gun Slingers (in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m the drinker in this outfit) so I was sufficiently loosened up for a relaxing evening.

Unfortunately, the Joshua Tree Inn has no covered parking or anywhere to park a motorcycle that could topple over into the car next to it…I did wish that we could sneak it into the courtyard when the owners left but I’m pretty sure someone would give them a call once they heard the loud rumbling of the engine right up at their bedroom doors.  We would just have to hope for the best.

After we were all checked in and given the keys, Robert let me into our room while he gathered our belonging and brought them in.  I promptly found my comfy spot.

 Yes, that’s my side of the bed.

It was an absolutely adorable room.

I told Robert that he could sleep on the daybed. I’m a giver.  It was a cute little kitchen stocked with utensils and a fresh supply of coffee.
  This was a lovely sitting room at the entry.  Coffee!  Oh, was I happy to see that we didn’t have to go anywhere to get a fresh cup in the morning.  I’m cranky if I don’t have coffee and quiet first thing.  You never would have guessed that, would you?  Now be nice.

I made myself a cup and listened to the wind from inside the bathroom where I could get a nice view.  Yes, that does sound a little strange-but it was the only unobstructed window.

I really do love the sound of wind blowing through the trees and bouncing doors to and fro as long as I don’t have to be out in it.

I slept so well that night other than an occasional start from sleep due to the sound of something knocking around outside.  I finally told myself, as I was worrying about falling motorcycles, Screw it, if it falls, it falls, and hopefully the ghost of Gram Parson will help Robert pick it back up off its side.

Yes, the concrete slab used to memorialize the place where Gram Parsons had been cremated has been moved to the Joshua Tree Inn and supposedly his spirit, at times, parties it up a little with the guests.

The sky was a bright and beautiful blue with windswept clouds spread about just so.  Gram Parsons Memorial to the left-in front of the stone guitar.
  Outside our suite.  The unheated pool just yonder.        I’d love to take a swim one day but it hasn’t been quite hot enough during the times we’ve been there.  I have, however, been entertained watching a man swim with his family while wearing his Speedo.  There’s something so comical about men in Speedos…maybe it reminds me of watching the boys high school water polo team.      I loved this piece.  It’s a bicycle wheel with painted lampshades attached to a pole so that it rotates in the wind.  

 Robert carried our stuff back to our (still standing) motorcycle, got it all packed in, and then we said goodbye to our favorite little hideaway.

I had such a fantastic trip and I owe it all to Robert.  He spent months planning this trip trying to make it absolutely perfect and he exceeded my expectations.  He went above and beyond to not only ensure that we had a great time and got to enjoy the true beauty only found in nature, but that I always felt safe while we rode so that we might have many more adventures together in the future.  He’s quite the man and I’m a lucky girl.