Tuesday, August 14, 2012

# 327 - I DID IT! Yep, Took My 1st Solo Get-Away!

I'm quick with my promises to myself regarding the post I made recently about taking solo get-aways. I had my first mini-vacation this past weekend...starting on Saturday and ending early Monday morning.

I arrived to the resort campgrounds Saturday afternoon.
Immediately, I headed for the beach.

First of all, I've known women throughout my life who made it a purpose to go off on trips alone, especially during times of transition. One of these women was Virginia. My life has been blessed by knowing Virginia. Today, I understand the deep reasoning for her making several trips on her own. At the time, I didn't have the capacity to comprehend why she'd go off on vacations by herself, but life has shook me around a bit and life itself can shed light on a subject that had previously been dark to you.

I completely get it. I wish she were here so that I could hug her. She deserved a lot of hugs and love; life sometimes has other plans, but she's now free from being tethered with pain to this earth in a physical body. Cancer took her within six months of my mom's own death from cancer. Two awesome women, they are missed tremendously by those who respectfully appreciated and loved them.

Nearly everyone has golf carts to zip around the
tight-night recreational community. What a life!

As for my trip, I prepared by washing my clothes Friday. Did the floors, cleaned the kitchen, did other laundry, dusted some furniture and went through some old things in my closet. I came across my suitcase and pulled it out. Yes, I really need to get out of here a little.  The next day, I would be leaving.

It took five trips, but I loaded up the truck and left.

I backed out of the driveway with a bubbling excitement growing within me for the anticipation of this much needed get-away. I kind of felt like I have now taken a path that cannot be ignored or forgotten. Going on a vacation alone was not what I ever thought I wanted to do, but as I've needed to do it, I've found it to become the most treasured vacation to my spirit for healing. I focused, during my time away, on the here and now...not on ugly words and action...I focused on being in peace at the water's edge. No one nor their cigar could crash my peaceful time away from home!

As of that evening, I was walking the beach, enjoying the sunset.

Red Tide cause by Algal Bloom, these are Shad all
over the beach because they are more susceptible to the
toxic levels of this algae. Also, it puts a stop to the
harvesting and selling of shellfish that become toxic
from Red Tide.

I walked and walked and walked...for hours, literally. Feeling the sand between my toes, hearing the waves, smelling the ocean...I felt amazing, better than I've felt in a long time, as if a heavy oppressing burden was off my shoulders. It confirmed several things for me and I thought about Virginia with her travels. Deeper understanding set in even further.

Stepping into the water's edge, I realized that this was the furthest I would let my Red Toes touch the Red Tide waters. Just a few warning bells going off. Besides, I don't like sharks that feed more in a frenzy at dusk. I'm happy with the beach and the waves, that's enough for me.

I continued on my peaceful journey along the water's edge as the sun completely disappeared and the cloudy sky blocked all stars. Darkness began to settle over the beach, yet the waves continued their comforting patterns of hitting the shore.

Walking along, I decided to turn back.

 It became so dark that I could barely see my hand in front of my face.

Taking pictures along the way with the camera set on "night" didn't help me see anything after the night engulfed everything.

I kept walking past huge beach front houses filled with people enjoying each other's company, watching their big televisions mounted high on the walls and their huge windows showed a side of life that I hope is as good as it looks. Onward I walked, looking for the part of the beach where I had entered.

Beautiful homes on the beach --- Hurricane Ike could not
kill man's need to live at the ocean's edge.

Soon, I realize...Darn, it sure got REALLY dark! I'm the only person on the beach, but isn't that incredible? Take the fear factor out of it...I didn't get close to sharks, houses were nearby, I could hear people laughing...but I was walking the beach alone Saturday night. It was MINE, ALL MINE!! HaHaHa--Evil laugh.

I admit, I also got a bit of the creepies and hurried back to my shelter for the night.

Last picture taken Saturday night on the beach.
Yep, it's dark as dark can get, even with the "night" setting.

Finally, I spied the area with markers for my entrance and breathed in a little sigh of relief because midnight-dark hits you pretty hard when you're a long way off from finishing your walk. By the way, all that walking made my short, chunky legs feel alive and tingling! I shouldn't say "Chunky," because my SWEET friends tell me that my legs have great curves. So, my curvy legs felt alive and tingling after the long walk! It did feel good to get back "home."

Temporary Home Away from Home

I need to get onto the beach more often for evening walks, it's liberating and great exercise for me. There's been a tremendous shift in me, down to my soul, and things will never be the same. I am a changed woman, it feels exhausting, but I like the way I feel and the freedom I am savoring.

The following morning, I took it easy and did some reading. Mainly, I wanted to avoid the heat of the day and to pace myself. I am very good at taking care of myself. As for the ocean, I felt blessed to be able to have this mini-vacation. My uncle is generous hearted and his place usually has someone using it for the weekend, but he reserved the next two weekends for me to use it by myself. He and my aunt have other properties and they've generously told me I can go to any of them, any time I'd like. It's great to have family like this and it's wonderful that I work on nurturing family relationships because family is there for each other.

Regardless, it felt liberating to leave behind the old role I've long played as the main fixture in the house, I fully embraced these days of alternating relaxation and excitement, it was long overdue. There is nothing better than taking myself on a date. And guess what I realized? I AM worth it. If I am to your irritation, I am to someone else's delight; if I am your misery, I am filling someone else's heart to lessen its aching; if I am your burden, I am another's joy.

Yes, this trip was good for me.

This little island resort and campgrounds has such creative little hide-aways.

Nothing special here except for the nice concrete pad!

The rule is that you can't technically "live" here, which only means you must be gone a couple of weeks per year, which can be satisfied simply by a making a couple of visits to see your awesome family and friends at their place. 

Another rule is that your RV must technically be able to be pulled away; however, during Hurricane Ike, these RV's were mostly tied down, but the hurricane waters blanketed the land and carried nearly everything out to sea. Anything left behind was utterly destroyed. I might be able to find photos of what this place looked like after the hurricane, but it has undergone amazing reconstruction to show our appreciation and respect for the ocean's power.

This place seems to offer each person an opportunity to show off their wood-working skills, their unique beach-style decorating and to make the most out of a small space. Of all the places in this resort campground, I love the bamboo favorite!

Moreover, I will definitely be taking more of these trips to different places and at different times. I will be doing much more than I can blog about doing. Somethings I can't share because I keep the experience close to my heart. Gratefully, I'm learning to enjoy my freedom with different scenery, on my own. Eventually, that little get-away will become the final get-away...hopefully to my cabin in the woods. If not, I'm sure I'll improvise and make it worthwhile.

After a surprisingly great night of rest, I awoke rested to a beautiful Sunday morning. The goal of the day, get back on the beach, which is buzzing with activity. With no time for television this entire trip, I focused on the beach. Sunday morning, I packed my drinks, got a towel, put on suntan spray and brought my new first book of a trilogy that Heather bought for her Momma.

Everywhere I look there is a different people scene taking place...people having fun, people dining outside under their veranda, people taking a stroll beneath the sunlight, people sitting by themselves deep in thought, people reading and people flying kites, others sleeping on the beach as they are burning to a crisp...people loving every minute of their beach-lifestyle. I tried to keep the drool from being too apparent. Anyone here need a room-mate?

Most of all, I understood what Virginia had told me about her trips...they confirmed that she'd be okay, no matter what. That's what the trips boiled down to...solidifying the knowledge within herself that she could make it alone. Her lesson is now my lesson.

I'm seeing that I will be okay, no matter what.

After the beach, I took a shower at the resort pool to rid myself of the sand, then swam a few laps and basked in the timeless joy of swimming and of being weightless; my joints experienced such relief that I promised myself right then and there that I'd someday have my own private pool. A private pool so I can work out the pains and aches in my body without a kid jumping on top of those kids, but five jumping in at once in your lap line is not something to look forward to happening ten more times in a row!

Yes, a pool is now on my bucket list. It may be way down the line on the list, but it made the list! For me, it would be very beneficial and offer long-term means for me to get exercise and movement that feels good to my body that is full of hardware and sawed out bones and ick...cadaver bone. I'm a walking spare parts advertisement.

I might as well add to my life things that bring great relief and joy. I grew up with a pool, but my youthful body did not realize the benefits until I began swimming with a body that began to grow older. My mother always swam with her one usable arm and one usable leg to relieve her Polio impacted body and my grandmother will still swim any chance she gets. There's no doubt, the sun warming my bones feels great, getting vitamins from Mother Nature's beams was healthy for me and going for a swim, minus the sharks, gave me a welcomed break from spine woes. If I had a pool, I'm sure my kids and grandkids would enjoy it while visiting...Stefie's aquatic therapy was helpful, she's had a broken back with lingering complications, so she is my partner in being able to testify to the benefits of being in a pool when you have an ailing back.

Regardless, I'm planning on making quite a few trips, just to make sure the idea that I am well capable of being on my own is fully cemented into my brain and soul!

Back at the RV, I felt grateful to know how to do everything for a self-contained unit. I know how to dump the sewage/black water, how to turn on/off the water heater, work the slide-out, check the battery and so on. My Uncle Billy is a perfectionist in everything he does. If he builds something with his wood-working skills, he doesn't forget important details such as sanding until the wood is as slick as a baby's butt. You can see that his plumbing skills are just as awesome because his black water connections include a see-through pipe from the RV to the hose that allows you to check for flow and blockages. He also has a connection right near there at the RV outflow to attach a hose for clean-out.

You can see that each hose lays on concrete and is put together with great care. My uncle is probably the most amazing man I've known in my lifetime. He's a good, kind-hearted man; I'm so thankful to have had one such as him for me to admire; we share a beautiful bond and even though I didn't have any other first aunts or uncles while growing up, he sure made me feel as if I were surrounded by doting aunts and uncles. I didn't miss out on anything because of his very caring nature.

Overall, my mini-vacation has been a hit. As I said, it's the first of many to come. It's time I really do start putting myself first, and if I do, the first thing I'll make a continuous effort to do is to go on trips to see my girls. Things will be changing, for the better.

Perhaps my own continuous aching desire to see my girls more often will prompt someone else to have the desire to do the same. That would be nice. And since I am trying to find a vehicle that will be suited to my body size and be comfortable for long trips, I am happy over the prospect of not having to push the pedal with my tippy-toe any longer! More freedom is coming my way!

Time to celebrate!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lana,

Wow!!How inspiring. You go girl.


Mike said...

A weekend get-a-away surely enlightens the soul.

I'm assuming this is close to Houston?

Anonymous said...

This post made ME feel better.
Less tense, more joyful,load lightened and at peace. Thank you.

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

How awesome for you Lana! I know that freedom feeling you are talking about all too well. It is very inspiring and uplifting.

Modern Day Redneck said...

Sounds like a great time. Pat yourself on the back for doing it.

Vickie said...

How fun! I love my alone-time, too. I have a friend that lives down there where you went. It's a great place for a quick getaway - glad you got to do that!

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

Absolutely LOVED reading this! Such inspiration! I am so glad that the trip turned into what you wanted and then more! Onward and Upward!

JD Lynn said...

I am proud of you! (I barely know you, but so what!)

I could practically hear the waves as you described them. What a wonderful thing you are doing for your self.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lana,
You are amazing well done you took a giant step in the right direction you have tasted freedom. You have undone the first button on that straight jacket that has been holding you in it’s vice like grip for far too long now keep going girl get rid of it once and forever. said...

Bobbie - Thank you! The ocean seems to inspire us all!

Mike - You are on target. Yes, Galveston is outside of Houston. Far enough away to feel as if you are in another world, but not too far in reality!

Beth - You are amazing! This trip made me feel exactly how you explained.

Hookin It with Mr. Lick Lick - Yes, it's a kind of freedom that I've not felt since before 18 years of age. It's liberating!

Modern Day Redneck - Sometimes, we REALLY do have to put ourselves first, especially when the other direction is only harming us. The waves seemed to be the best companion I've had in a LONG time!

Vickie - I bet you, as a fellow Texan, know about West Beach. It's a place always hit so hard during a hurricane, but it has that tropical feel that's hard to beat. I have grown up going to this place, it originally belonged to my grandmother who used it for EXACTLY the same reason I'm using it...for her own retreat. Thank God for strong women in our lives!

The Kelly's Adventures in KY - Drawing strength from each other is an important thing to do in life. My blog buddies know I'm a regular woman, normal ups and downs, wear my heart on my sleeve and am determined to keep moving forward in spite of hurdles! Keep going forward yourself!!! Savor the little things! :-)

JD Lynn -- Awwwww! What a precious comment! Thank you! I'm always inspired by my readers and appreciate every bit of is needed and valued to the bottom of my heart!

Sueb - Honey, those buttons are popping off more each passing week! Pop, Pop, Pop!


LindaG said...

Glad to hear that your first trip went so well, Lana.

*hugs* ♥ said...

Linda - It did go great. Just a little get-away can sure help our perspective get realigned. I hope you are taking time out to do some fun things, you sure are working a lot with the move --- I know it's got to get exhausting!


John Gray said...

bare toes on the beach

Karen said...

So proud of you, Lana! I've never gone anywhere by myself and your adventure sounded fantastic. Just to get the confidence to Know you can do these things on your own is priceless.

You are my idol!