Family is one of the most important influences in a person's life. My trip this spring revealed itself to be about family. There are many types of families and I have experienced a few on this eastward journey.
I left San Diego in early March and drove east to Ohio. I arrived to help my niece and her husband with their toddler, Ward. Ward is in treatment for childhood cancer. I met this young boy for the first time and he is a delight.
My sister, Ruth returned before I left to continue my travels eastward. When one's family is scattered across this huge nation of ours it is hard to find time to get together and catch up. Ruth, her husband, Joe and I were able to spend quality time together.
Approximately a month later, I found myself in northern New Jersey, visiting my other sister Ginny. Because my other niece lives close by I got to see all of my birth family on this eastern side of the USA trip. It was good to spend time together without rushing. I even got to help my sister at the semi-annual BARKS garage sale, which supports their rural community's all volunteer animal shelter. It was fun.
Another kind of family I met up with on this journey, are my family of friends. I saw a friend that dates back to high school days. Joy and I rode the Roadtrek south from the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay to Raleigh, NC. We spent Easter week with her sister and her husband. Numerous relatives came in and out during the weekend. We laughed and shared stories and caught up. My family of friends are important to me.
I also have another family. The Roadtrek group on Facebook has become an important group to me. I look to the members for advise and support as I travel solo, in this big, beautiful world. Most I have never met, yet I am supported and encouraged. It is that support that helps me journeying on. One by one I am meeting up with members of this family. Mary Zuschlag has become a good friend and occasional fellow traveler, on our shared, nomadic adventures. Linda Peden has also joined us for some of these remote and breathtaking moments in time.
I have visited with the Curry's a couple times. We stay in touch and I hope to meet them on the road somewhere, hopefully this year.
Right now I am staying with another member of the Roadtreking family. Mary Jane and Toby Stout have invited me a few times to stop by their home in State College, PA. Yesterday, on a cold and rainy day, I decided to cut south and come in for a visit. They opened their house to me and Miss Elsie the Cat. Today I had the grand tour of this lovely college town, home of Penn State. Toby is fishing, so Mary Jane and I have been talking our way through the evening, and the day, today. It is fun to meet up with such lovely people. I feel blessed.
I am glad for all my families. All of them help me thrive in this adventuresome life I have currently chosen. Even when I am alone, on the road, I know that I truly am not entirely alone. There are so many that I can here silently encouraging me: “Go Janet, Go.”