Posts by melanie

Today’s drive across Central Washington was a slog. Hours upon hours of beige fields and hills, broken only by the occasional green swath of not-yet-harvested hay. Yet as boring as my drive was, I was impressed by what those fields represented: the likely starting point for the hay we use for livestock, for covering newly planted grass seed, and for Halloween displays. The fields tell a story, if you pay attention. Some are...

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Looking for Home


Posted By on Jun 11, 2019

I’ve mentioned before that since the day I left on my sabbatical coddiwomple, a little clay bunny has been seated upright on my dashboard. His tummy says, “Love Your Life.” I later added crystals that are said to help people along their journeys, spiritual and otherwise. I’m not a woo-woo person for the most part — I even approach Reiki energy work from a pragmatic perspective — but a couple of...

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An Unexpected Detour


Posted By on May 26, 2019

I was enjoying a warm April week on Witts End Farm in Witts Springs, AR when my sister called to say our father had entered home hospice. I had planned to see him in mid-June when my travel route brought me to Bellingham, WA but the news made me reassess. I cancelled my plan to attend Easter services at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa and bought a plane ticket West. As luck would have it, the farm is a slice of heaven on earth...

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A Dog’s Life


Posted By on May 1, 2019

I spent about two years thinking about this trip, saving photos and notes about all the national and state parks I wanted to visit, along with Unitarian Universalist congregations on most Sundays. I planned to camp nearly every night, just me, my dog, and the stars. Reality struck once I started researching the parks and found that national parks aren’t dog friendly. Many state parks aren’t, either, although national...

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While eating breakfast this morning in a Louisiana Waffle House today, I enjoyed the friendly banter between the cooks and servers. The customers were me (white), a man (white), a woman (white), and a dad and two kids (all brown). I’m guessing about our racial makeup based on skin color alone. I hadn’t noticed the family in the booth until the white woman came to the register next to me and whispered to the server. I...

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Learnings and Observations


Posted By on Apr 11, 2019

I’ve logged 1,448 miles in 6 days, traveling from New Jersey to Mississippi. I’ve slept in Northern Virginia; Roanoke, VA; Asheville, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Jackson, MS. Two super cheap hotels, one middle-of-the-road hotel, an apartment, a house, and a backyard (two nights). I’ve learned that as long as the bedding is clean and I feel safe, I can sleep anyplace comfortably except when Bella is on my legs. I write this...

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When I planned the coddiwomple, I expected to camp under the stars or in my tent every night, but as it turns out, Bella and I will be enjoying hospitality offered by family, friends, and co-workers along the way. For example, we stayed with my daughter Brie in northern Virginia our first night of the trip. I stayed with my daughter in Virginia on the first night of my trip. Bella and I arrived around 9:30 pm, having gotten a late...

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The Things I’ll Miss


Posted By on Mar 31, 2019

I’m gonna miss my cozy bed when I’m sleeping in a tent or on the 28″ wide plywood platform in my SUV. I’ll miss stretching out under layers of cotton flannel and an airy comforter, snuggled into a pile of pillows. I’m definitely gonna miss my bed. I’ll miss seeing my sister and the dear friends and neighbors who look out for me. Quite a few of them attended a “happy trails” party for me...

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