Entering the Suck, leaving it, and going back to it again.

Upside down on the House.

Lousy Weather.

Same scenery, day in, day out. (Construction cranes anyone?)

Shit Weather. Doesn’t matter if its Summer or Winter.

Mosquito Hell.

Redskin’s Fans.

God Awful Shitty Weather.

I can think of many reasons why we made the decision to consider getting the hell out of Dodge (In this case, Hampton Roads, VA). Some are listed above. Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons we should stay, family and friends being the number one reason. We are not bashing on Hampton Roads either. It isn’t that it is all that bad here, it’s just not our kind of good. The truth is, we only moved here because the Coast Guard sent us here, and we became trapped.

O.K., so that’s not entirely correct.

We weren’t physically and financially trapped, per se, but we lowered our standard of contentment to meet the availability of joy the area had for us. Once our standards had been lowered, it became easier to meet our expectations. Think of a successful car salesman. He sells tons of cars and is on top of his game. Then, inexplicably, he starts to sell only enough to meet his minimal needs. That was us in a nutshell. Getting out of this rut would take some grit, some luck, and some exceptionally shitty weather. Thankfully, we hit the trifecta.

In the last year, both my wife and I lost our jobs (My former boss knew she was letting me go, but still made me go to the fucking Christmas party…remind me to expand on this theme later) Lucky for us, I am retired military, so we had a little bit of a safety net. Unlucky for us, it turned out to be insufficient. Things were starting to get scary. We needed something good to happen, and happen fast. Then, out of the blue, my phone rang…

About 12 years ago, while I was stationed in the SF Bay Area, I did some side work in the summer as a Chef for some high-end clients at a camp along the Russian River in Sonoma County. When I received orders to Virginia, I handed the job off to another Coastie who agreed to take over for me. Flash forward to this past May, when things were looking the bleakest (and I’m talking Top Ramen and Kraft Dinner bleak), I got a call from one of the clients. How he got my number is still a mystery, but what is important here, apart from his superb detective skills,  is that he wanted to know if he could fly me out to California to work for June and July. Talk about some divine intervention and good luck! So off I went to work and live at a cabin in the redwoods for the summer.

My Favorite Spot in Monte Rio, CA…Lucy’s!

If you have never been to the redwoods, all I can say is you have to go. I mean this. YOU HAVE TO GO! There is a certain energy there that is hard to explain unless you feel it for yourself. The air itself feels alive. When the morning fog is still thick in the air, and when there are few other humans around, the sounds of the forest make it seem like you are in a cathedral. Then you look up and see the enormity of the living trees around you, and you realize that you are, in fact, inside a cathedral; only this one was not built by the hands of man. You are, surrounded by the oldest and largest living things on Planet Earth, a natural cathedral of emerald green, filled with spirits of life. And the spirits talk to you, if you let them.

What the spirits said to me was, and I am paraphrasing here, “Tim, you dumb bastard, what in the hell are you doing? Come out and visit us again, and this time bring your smoking hot wife, Angie! Have you thought about purchasing an R.V.? Oh, and don’t forget to turn in your timesheet before you leave.”

Then I am back in Virginia. I am pretty sure I passed a sign saying, “Entering the Suck!” as I was heading out of the airport. Not to worry. We won’t be here for too much longer. All we need is the cash to buy an R.V., find someone to rent our house, and figure out how to make money on the road. Then we are out of here! We figured this out while stopping for a bite to eat at an IHOP on the way back from the airport.  Angie ordered French Toast, and I ordered the “Rooty Tootie Fresh N’ Get Me the F$#k Out of Here and on My Way Back to California”…With sourdough toast and a decaf. I wasn’t asking too much, was I? The waitress didn’t think so.

And, as fate would have it,I  wasn’t asking too much, because two weeks after I got home, it rained….and rained…and rained. The rain, as you will see, would become a game changer. Serendipity, to say the least.

Serendipity, happens to be one of my favorite words to say. I am also fond of saying rutabagas.

And this is the point where our story really begins.

Watch for the next installment:

“A Journey of 3044 miles begins with a single step on the gas pedal, but first you need to buy an R.V.” (at least I think that is how the old Chinese proverb goes…).

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