Pondering life: Or What to do when Grounded

I seem to be racking up blog drafts that drift off for lack of my interest. If that is how I feel about them I am not about to burden the few readers I do have with my drivel. During my morning constitutional my mind tends to rattle off ideas, plans, silent conversations, (with others and myself), edit papers, (not mine) along with random darker thoughts. Lately being grounded from travel has turned to an attempt to ground my psyche before I blow up or delve too deeply into self pity.

If I cannot travel perhaps I can write about how that affects me and learn from others how they handle lack of actively seeking new cultures, history, food, new friends, adventures without going completely mad. Of course, the question is why am I not travelling if that is what I really want to do? Health and finances of course.

When I injured my knee on my last trip I did not expect to still be suffering the consequences. Reiterating a major note to fellow travellers: if you have travel insurance USE IT! I did not. I also had not intended to use up the money I still had to cover everyday expenses at home. However, not working, and nearing 61, created two problems for me. No income and ageism.

Much to the horror of my family I do not want to just grab anything. Unless a job can be done at my pace, will benefit others, our planet, and give me some pleasure, I am not interested. I would love to write and travel, sadly I do not think my musings and travels are what people are looking for. Then there is the fact I would still need money to go anywhere. Meanwhile, I try to fit in mini-adventures. A day trip to a new place close to where I live so as to pace myself. Sadly, many of these still mean I need to be with someone. I read. A lot. I write. I rail against the injustice of it all until I realize that is more self pity.

So how do I manage without money? Or so little? It is not easy and I do not know if I will ever be able to travel beyond the borders of my own country again. Such a sad prospect. However, I am not yet living on the streets, (I expect that has been blogged to death) I do have the Canadian medical system, and one of my daughters is on the cusp of working two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies until she moves to Toronto in about six months. I am fortunate. Although many would consider it selfish.

After all, some would say, why should our children care for us as we age? The same question is not even considered in many cultures. Rather, supporting an extended family is expected. Even if the parents cannot provide much towards their own care. Yet, in our western culture anyone without a good pension plan, savings, or a long term plan, is considered a second citizen – unworthy. It seems to not matter what brought someone to a position of living on the edge. If we, counting myself as on that edge, have not fallen or jumped we are invisible because we do not appear to be failing. We simply withdraw.

Have Chariot – August Update

Only one week left before we slip into September. My living room was a little chilly when I got up this morning. Someone left the big wall fan on all night. I am beginning to think I will not get out for a test camp. Of course, with a campfire ban, over 560 wildfires, and extremely smoky skies across the province camping is not exactly a fun prospect. This morning I woke up, peeked out the window and saw blue sky and a sunrise working hard to pierce the clouds. The smoky haze is nearly all gone. Everyone can at least take a proper breath.

Heavy smoke in the air for a week is not healthy. Smoke in the air of one of the most beautiful places in world is unthinkable when it surpasses the Air Quality (AQI) levels in Beijing! Firefighters at all levels need to be applauded, this has been a tough summer. A summer some are saying is the new normal. Yikes! Although a shift in wind, so smoke, direction has changed there will not be any changes to the campfire ban. So sad, no roasted marshmallows in the new future.

My hope is to go on a day trip up Vancouver Island to visit Newcastle Island even if we cannot camp there for now. I am definitely an island girl. Of course, no smoky skies here does not mean it will be clear closer to where some of the wildfires are burning. This means I will be keeping a close watch on weather, fires burning, AQI, traffic before heading out. Probably next week if all is fine. Meanwhile, happy note, I can still go blackberry picking! Possibly a quick trip to Sooke where I know of some great places.

Mini Adventure: A Perfect Afternoon

I admit to stealing the title idea from another blogger, todaysperfectmoment.wordpress.com, he has such lovely insights into what could be a not so good day by finding a nugget of perfection. (Check him out – he is also a Canadian) Yesterday was a bit like hitting the mother lode. I knew I had to get away from the day. Where else but to one of the many spots to not only glimpse the ocean but be immersed in the experience.

I love Vancouver Island. I do not love how expensive it is to live here. A 45 minute drive away is French Beach. A rugged, surf crashing, mist in the air, giant driftwood strewn beach that is not your typical sandy, flip flop, run into the spray type of beach. Although there were two children, under the watchful eyes of the adults with them, who were actually in the water! My daughter said they must be true west coasters.

That is what we do when the world seems to be crashing down. When money, jobs (or lack of same), housing, age and pain become too much a trip to the ocean can wipe it all away, like the writing on the sand. Even if for only a couple of hours. I may not have solved any of the problems but I was certainly invigorated.

The cherry on top of an already perfect afternoon was a stop for coffee and a treat at Shirley Delicious. Yes, Shirley is a real place. Yes, everything is delicious. (Interesting side note, one of the owners has the same surname as the sports doctor I will be seeing later in the week). Shirley a positive sign.

Have Chariot – what about meals?

Five years have passed since my mother died, nearly eight since my father. So July and August have not been happy months in recent years. However, as I continue my plans to travel, possibly even live, in my car and camp I am reminded of all the adventures my parents went on. With only one driver. The only difference is that they had a truck although I am positive it did not have a canopy let along a camper. They camped.

Which brings me to what campfire bans? In B.C., probably the majority of the province, there are campfire bans currently in place. It just happened that my inbox had an article that discusses just that problem. Although it speaks of Vancouver Island the message is that camping can still be fun. https://vancouverisland.travel/island-moments/ This made me think that perhaps I should collect the rather ancient Coleman stove my sister found with our parents things. If they could survive for a weekend, weeks and even a year once (although that included a lot of B&Bs) then surely I can.

First thing to do will be to make sure it is in working order!

Of course this brings me to another issue. Once cooking is done what on earth does anyone choosing to use their vehicle as a place to bed down in do with food? All the material I have come across says to lock it in the vehicle, assuming you have one, but nothing about those especially hungry bears that choose to sniff about, and possibly break into, said vehicle. Just stay away from grizzly country? Camp in fields only? I have camped, even had to cower in a shower once when bears were nosing about – Jasper National Park many, many years ago.

Perhaps needless to say we have not yet gone camping. However, I am working on it!