The Dip in the Road
There’s always at least one, more often than not, several.
My road started back in June 2010 (if you don’t count the 53 years of journey before that), then it hit a 10 month road construction detour. No need to get into all of THAT!
This first part has been somewhat enjoyable. The flooded, green and gold scenery down, and the semi-wild acreage I’m staying on is perfect for writing—and I’ve done some. The family is a nice, wholesome brew of pagans, and the doll of a 4 month old is sooo entertaining. I was just biding my time to head over to Cherokee National Forest to check on that campground host volunteer position, or to float around until the summer cabin I was borrowing came open in Asheville, NC. Just a’hanging.
I had a couch waiting for me in Johnson City, TN found through Couchsurf.com (check it out—couches all over the world), but mobile phone difficulties made me plan to delay. Then I got another message from the Johnson City couch that said availability needed to go from a week to 2 nights only. Arriving there on Saturday would only give me one weekday to visit the ranger. What if he was off that day? Or on vacation? Then what? So I emailed the ranger instead of visiting live only to find out that the one position was taken already (what do you mean already? I applied in January?), and the other might not come open until mid-June of July 4th. “Terrific,” I replied.
Still technical difficulties with the TN couch, so postponed departure until maybe (obviously), Sunday. No problem, just had to wait for the cabin to come open the first week in June, so I’d float a bit more—two weeks more—but so be it. Had no clue where I’d float, but ok, let’s keep going forward.
Then, wonderful Facebook—the 21st century way of finding out all and any bad news. Mind you, I saw none of these bumps, hell, Chicago potholes in the road, so I went banging and head-bouncing over them. The friend whose friend had the cabin comments on my departure post, “You just getting that far? Did you get my text messages? (Of course not. I don’t have text messaging, AND YOU KNOW THAT!), I have to talk to you about Joan. I can’t get hold of her?” Now the vehicle (me) has hit a damn black hole in the road.
I scrambled to call only to find the technical difficulty is with my phone. I can’t be heard. The call goes through, I’m connected but no one hears me. Funny, isn’t it, how quickly old phobia’s arise? No one ever hears me. It’s like I’m invisible. Only now, it was absolutely accurate. I frantically emailed my son asking whyyyyyy, why can’t anyone hear me? “idk. did you try turning it off and back on?” Do I really need to answer that for you, or to explain what happened next? I didn’t think so. I make the call about the cabin and he’s having dinner with friends so he’ll have to call me later. “Terrific,” I replied.
That was all yesterday. One thing after another after another. I called a Chicago friend and whined a bit. I went back on couchsurf.com to arrange something. And then I took a long bath and went to bed. Because that’s the way I roll under stress. I’ll think about it tomorrow. I am indebted to Scarlett O’Hara!
It’s another day, the sun is shining, birds are singing, the baby is laughing and it is what it is. The TN couch called and she was able to hear me. We rescheduled for a tomorrow arrival. I have another couch in TN right after, and that will take me up through Thursday, the 26th. I have another couch in Knoxville, TN on the 31st. Hell, that’s only five days floating. It’ll be fine.
By the way, I called about the cabin and he was getting a shoe shine at the airport. He’ll call me back. I know. The road has smoothed out slightly now, but I’m braced for the dead-end at a gravel pit. In this moment, the hawk glides above (of course, the camera is inside) and the coyote peeks from behind a tree. Messenger and trickster. Oh boy!