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Moving on: 2020 Oregon to Michigan road trip

This year brought huge changes for me, as it did for most of us. My precious mom passed in March at eight-eight; my marriage ended in April; we sold our home in May, packed and moved apart. Though dealing with the weight of grief, my life feels…untethered. Strangely light.
Through the heartbreak, God has met me. Friends, who are further along on this road of aloneness, are helping me build hope that good things are coming. In this new season, I will pass on that hope to you while it is fresh and trust it will make a difference. And so, I begin this journey across the country and invite you to join me.
July 15, 2020
It is strange getting used to the idea of taking off without a return date. Gypsy-ish. I’ll miss the flowers I planted at home that have just burst into bloom, but relish the time I’ll have visiting with my children.

This will also be a time to get back to work on my current novel, “Charleston Tides.”  The mug in the photo is the “writing” mug I use while at my computer. I bought it in Astoria, Oregon, where Book One, “Astoria Rumors” takes place. It is traveling with me and posing for pics along the way.

Today, I’m with a friend in Bend, Oregon. She sees herself as the Father’s “jewel.” I love that. I’m asking how I see myself. God’s gypsy? Coming out of a long season of self-doubt and depression, I’ve begun to feel strong. Confident. Ready to step into the unknown. “Certainty” and “resilience” are my new aspirations.

It is enjoyable here at my friend’s home. It’s peaceful, but I hear the sounds of progress – a burned house is being reconstructed, bringing new life from destruction. That’s me today, under construction. I am grateful for a foundation of friends and family who offer support when “loneliness” threatens to reframe my “aloneness.”
                                              KALISPELL, MONTANA
While in Kalispell, Montana, my youngest and I created a private garden from an unused space by the side of their house. It was a delight to pass on the love of gardening passed down from my mom.


Brit’s garden became a favorite place for morning coffee, lunch, and dinner, or any other reason we could think of to sit outside!


The grandeur of this state is breathtaking

The Salt River, Wyoming was a great spot for a family reunion. Chilly, but great on a hot day


Sights like this one in South Dakota made the long drive an adventure


Taking the ferry from the Cheboygan, Michigan marina to Bois Blanc Island


After twenty-seven hours of driving, my son and I arrived safely at our destination. A bit of rest and we will both get to work on our projects

The peace of this place is just what I needed. My writing mug arrived intact and is doing a fine job inspiring new creativity.

After living in an RV for months, it feels great to stretch out in my beautiful cabin. I’m on the second story of what they call the “Treehouse.”

I came to the island with plans to draft my next book, but decided to edit “Astoria Rumors” one more time before it is published in November. It was a setback on my plans, but really, hard to complain about the setting.

Rising water steadily erodes the beach as waves pummel the shoreline. This tree is struggling to hold onto the soil that has nourished it from birth. At some point, it will surrender and these beautiful waters will carry it to a new place. We never know where we will land or what that new shore will look like, but I’m trusting it is grand.

On my walk, I met Jane who invited me to the island’s book club. Later in the week, she took me around the island and we stopped at Connie’s house on the west end of Bois Blanc. From her beach, we could see Round Island and Mackinaw Island. Jane actually swam across the channel to Round Island when she was a teen. Her family has owned their place here for five generations. That is true for many of the women I met in the reader’s group.

Two nights before we were to leave, we walked down to the beach and captured this moment. Truly glorious.

The day we left Michigan, my place in Phoenix, Oregon burned as a monster fire swept across our valley. Though humble, this had been my home, a sanctuary until I found direction. Another unhitching of my roots. Another prompt to keep my eyes on the horizon.

My sister sent this from my front gate. What a gift.