Tomorrow we’ll leave Melbourne.

We’ve been able to get quite a bit accomplished since we’ve been here.  It’s a good feeling.

It was a rather short stay compared to how long we were here last year.  It’s always bittersweet when we have to move on.  A double-edged sword of the nomadic lifestyle of sorts.  We love the ability to be able to move freely and pick our spots, but we do also feel sadness when we have to say good-bye.

As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, I do love to be on the move.  Hitting the open road gives me a feeling of peace that is very hard to describe.  We don’t stay in one place for very long, but it is nice to be able to settle into one spot for a little while.  It allows us to get caught up on some things and see many of those that are near and dear to us.

It also allows me to dig deeper into my creativity and write more often than when we’re on the move.  I noticed that when we were in Washington state.  We were only there for 10 days, but I wrote like I hadn’t written in quite some time while we were there.

So, even though we were here in Melbourne for just shy of four weeks, it was an extremely productive time for us.

We were able to see some family and although most of the visits were short, we did get to see my cousins, Jenny, Bobby, Andi, Jim, Patti, and Patty.  We’ll get to have lunch with my cousin Debi on our way up to DeLeon Springs tomorrow.  We got to see my Uncle Tom and Aunt LuAnn for a short visit as well.

We also got to spend some time with my Aunt Sally and Uncle Randy’s “Monday Night Dinner Gang,” which is always fun.

It was great to get to spend some time with all of them, it would have been great to have been able to spend more, but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

Youk and I got a lot of exercise during this visit to Melbourne.  We logged between 20 and 30 miles a week walking while we were here, wasting no time in getting my new sneakers broken in.

We were able to get a few small things off of our plate that we had needed to get done for a while.

Several other larger items were also able to be checked off as well.

I was able to get my newest book, The Journey of My Mother’s Son, Volume I through the editing process and into production.  The cover design has been approved and I’m just waiting on the production team to get everything formatted and ready for print.  Although this is now the third time that I’ve gone through this process, there is always a huge sense of pride and anticipation that goes along with seeing a project through.

The children’s book that I assisted on for Youk has now been sent off to the illustrator and we’re just anxiously waiting to see some of her amazing illustrations come back for review.  It’s a creative process and collaboration that is new to me, which is very exciting and refreshing.

The cover design for my next two books have also been completed and both of the manuscripts have been started.  I am really looking forward to completing this book series and sharing these stories with others.

In a complete rarity, we actually know our travel plans through May 8th and have the framework of where we’ll be at until July 1st.  Normally, if we know where we’ll be for two or three weeks in advance, we consider it a big deal.  So, for us to have things lined up for over three months is quite epic.  We were able to get reservations made and research our routes.  Again, giving us quite a sense of accomplishment.

We have several volunteer projects that we’ll be helping with over that timeframe that we’re really looking forward to.

The first of those will start tomorrow as we just head north less than two hours to DeLeon Springs to help our dear friend, Jeff Woytovich with his CAP Kid Camp – Florida event.  Jeff is the founder of the Children’s Alopecia Project, which is a support group for children who are dealing with hair loss from the autoimmune disorder alopecia.  We’ll be there until mid-day on Sunday.

After that, we’ll make a slow trek across the southern United States to the Lazy Days Service Center in Houston.  We’ll be there for a few days getting our ladder replaced and having an overall inspection and some other service done to the rig.  We’re not 100% sure how long that process will take, so we may have to fill in a couple of days before we head off to our next volunteer project, but that will be a pretty easy task.

We’ll report to our first A Year to Volunteer project on March 6th in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  We’ll be part of a team of over 50 people who will be volunteering at Sam Houston Jones State Park.  The park was devastated back in 2020 when it was hit by back-to-back hurricanes.  Our group will be helping to get the park opened back up to the public so that local residents and others can enjoy it again.

After our two weeks in Lake Charles, we’ll head to Memphis and stay at the Graceland RV Park and Campground for six nights.  We’ll celebrate Sandy’s birthday in Memphis, so we’re looking forward to that.

Once we leave Memphis, fittingly, we’ll make our way across the Volunteer State for our second A Year to Volunteer project of the spring and we’ll report to Roan Mountain State Park on March 27th.

Once we wrap up the project in Roan Mountain, we’ll head south into Dillard, Georgia.  We’ll stay at River Vista RV Park and Cabin Resort for four nights before heading west to East Ellijay, Georgia.

We’ll spend Easter at Talona Ridge RV Resort and are also hoping to connect and go hiking with one of my old players, Zac Schneider while we’re there.

On Easter Monday, we’ll leave Georgia and head north again into Kentucky.

While we’re in Kentucky, we’ll visit the Ark Encounter, Creation Museum, and Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  We’ll stay at Big Bone Lick State Park and Mammoth Cave National Park during our time in Kentucky before heading east again to Virginia.

When we get to Virginia, we’ll stay at Lake Anna State Park for a few days.  We spent a few hours there in November of 2020 and really loved it.  We’re looking forward to being able to spend more time there this spring.  We’ll also stay one night at the Battlefield Country Store in Fredericksburg, which is a really neat Harvest Host location that we stayed at in 2020 as well.

We’re hoping that we’ll be able to get a quick visit with our friends Homa and Andrew Schweers while we’re in the Fredericksburg area.

We’ll have one more stop before arriving back in Pennsylvania and that will be at Bar Harbor RV Resort and Marina in Abingdon, Maryland.  This is another repeat location for us.  Again, from November of 2020.  We had stayed there for three nights back then, this time we’ll be there for four nights.  It’s a beautiful waterfront RV park and we all know that Youk loves being near the water.

We’ll make it back into Pennsylvania for Mother’s Day, which really makes Sandy happy.

We’ll be in Pennsylvania until July 1st.  We have some grandchildren graduating high school this year, which is still somewhat surreal.  Another indication of just how quickly time flies.

We also have another trip to Knoebel’s Amusement Park scheduled and we’ll take a few little excursions to some undetermined locations while we’re in Pennsylvania this time around.

Most of all, we’re looking forward to spending some quality time with our family.

This short time in Melbourne allowed us to get some good things accomplished, that’s a great feeling.  It’s nice to see things fall into place and have an idea of what we’re doing and where we’ll be for a while.  Having a plan is a good thing, but not having a plan is good too.  It’s nice that we can decide how much or how little of plan we want to have.  That’s one of the many beautiful things about the nomadic lifestyle on the road.

As great as the road is, it’s always wonderful to get to spend time with those we love.  We’ve cherished our time with friends and family in Melbourne and we’re looking forward to spending time with our friends and family in Pennsylvania too.

In between, we’ll enjoy our journey and the time that we’ll have with our nomadic friends, both those we’ve already met and will get to reconnect with, as well as those who we have yet to meet.