70 Days, 7000 Miles, Day 9

July 1, 2001

For the last two days, people have been asking me when I was going to leave because they wanted my spot for Canada Day.  I left early.

I learned a lot today:

(1) Always consult the map before you venture out.  I went the wrong way up a one way street in Sault Saint Marie.  There was a lot of yelling and gnashing of teeth. Luckily, I had my windows rolled up.

(2) Joni Mitchell wrote “Both Sides Now” when she was young and, according to my radio, will be performing it today at age 57.  Win, lose. Up, down. Young, old.  I hear ya, Girl.  I still don’t understand all of it either.

(3) Listened to a great story on NPR about a guy who discovered a seedling growing in a dirty crevice in his car. He became obsessed with it. He gave it water during his lunch break, kept the windows open when it was hot, and parked in certain spots for maximum sun exposure.  In the middle of the night, he would go out and start the engine and the heater if there was danger of frost. He finally was able to transplant it into his backyard.  It grew to be some sort of Japanese tree. He had no idea where it came from.   I laughed so hard listening to this crazy story that I got looks from passing motorists who I’m sure thought  I was a little nuts.

(4) I need to smile more. The guy at the toll booth told me I had a beautiful smile. Woo,woo!  This old girl ain’t dead yet!


70 days, 7000 Miles, Day 5

June 27, 2001

I left M.H.’s house in the morning and got on a highway that follow the Ottawa River. I was on my own now and I was anxious. I was really doing this, alone  I found a beautiful campground and was given a great site on the water.


I was agitated for two reasons today. First, I had just finished teaching 5 days ago.  I loved teaching my second graders but the end of the year was so hectic.  A field trip, grades, lesson plans to be turned in, room to clean, grade level meetings, district workshops, placement of students for next year, final evaluation, etc., etc., etc.  It usually takes me two weeks into a summer vacation before I stop being a teacher.

And there was another factor, I hate making mistakes.  It is my biggest fear and the cause of the most distress in my life.  It all comes from once being a very self conscientious,shy child.  I always tried to avoid any kind of attention especially anything negative.

Today judgement and doubts were shouting at me. “Should I stay here for one night or more?”  “Should I stay put because of Canada Day on the first?” “I’ve only gone 300 miles?” “How many miles to Michigan?” “I’m I doing enough?” ” I’m I being enough?”

I chipmunk came up to me after I got settled and I fed him some crackers.  He came closer and finally came up on the picnic table.  The little creature allowed me to feed him as he sat before me inches away.  He was so trusting, so into the moment we were sharing together.

I  decided to stay here 2 nights or maybe three. I need to make a vacation transition, passing from a goal oriented rat race to serendipity, one day at a time, one lovely present moment after another.

I will get to Michigan when I get there.