No, I haven’t fallen off of the earth, and NO, I haven’t stopped traveling and writing. I’ve just been stupid crazy busy and haven’t had much time to explore.
As most of you know, I became a CAT claims adjuster to finance my insatiable desire/need to travel. Usually the work would be for a couple of months and then off until the next storm. 2014 was a GREAT year for me financially, travel wise, not so much. In January, I was deployed to Jacksonville, Florida for an “inside job.” I was in the catastrophe call center instead of climbing roofs. I was released in April and I stuck around for a couple of weeks because my youngest son, Marshall, (his first name and the one he prefers to be called now) lived there. We didn’t have a lot of time to hang out while I was working, so I stayed for a bit longer.
At the end of April, when I was leaving Jacksonville, I got a call. I was deployed to the Tulsa, Oklahoma office. I rolled through Alabama long enough to unload and reload poor Ol’ Lexie.
I was able to spend about 30 minutes with my eldest son, Austin. I knew it would be the beginning of 2015 before I would see him again. I then meandered through Texas on my way to Oklahoma, stopping to see some friends and family along the way.
Let’s get back to the reason for this story.
In 2006 I bought a 2001 Lexus GS300 with 80,000 miles on her. She was well maintained and in excellent condition. I named her Lexie and I loved her.
Lexie didn’t get a chance to stretch her legs much because I still owned a business. I did take her to Wisconsin and Orlando a few times, but that was about it until 2012.
As you know, I had a life changing event in 2010, when I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. It changed the way I think, felt and most of all, lived. We all know life is short, but now we were talking about MY life and I wasn’t going to waste another moment thinking, “I wish I would have….” It was now time for me.
It took two years before I finally left on the first adventure because things did not work out the way I planned, but I will say, they worked out for the best.
I loved traveling in Lexie, she took me from Minnesota to Ft. Lauderdale and from the tip of Long Island, New York, to San Antonio. She never complained about the 118 degree heat or the -25 temps and she never left me stranded. I took great care of her, and she of me.
Every time I hit the road in Lexie, she is packed, and I mean PACKED! You would be surprised how much you can get into a vehicle if you know how to load it correctly. There wouldn’t be one inch of wasted space when I left on each adventure, but when I loaded her up for Oklahoma, she was riding low. You know, the car on the road that has the rear dragging and the front pointed to the sky, that was me. I’m sure I exceeded the weight limit on this trip, but I had to pack for 8 months.
I decided when I got to Tulsa I was going to be leaving in a new vehicle. There was nothing wrong with Ol’ Lexie, but she was getting up there in years, and I needed more space.
I was saving money like crazy and was not doing a whole lot on my one-day-a-week-off because of my goal. Plus, I really couldn’t find a lot to do within a couple of hours driving distance from downtown Tulsa. To be honest, I really wasn’t looking very hard because I didn’t want to spend the money.
After researching vehicles for a year and a half, I knew what I was going to buy, a Buick Enclave, and it was going to be the premium package so I could have the “cooled” seats and a sunroof. I am of the age where, “the colder, the better.”
On November 6, I found the vehicle that had everything I wanted, and it was in Norman, Oklahoma. By 5:45 p.m. I had my 60 hours in for the week and I took off to Norman. At 6:39 p.m. the software I used to help me stay on track, Mint.com, sent me an email letting me know I had reached my financial goal for a new vehicle. At 8:15 p.m. I was writing a check for said vehicle.
I sold Lexie to a fellow adjuster who bought her for his son. I know she will be in good hands, but it was still a bittersweet moment.
Meet Ellie, the Enclave.
Oh, the places we will go and the things we will do and see! I am so happy you are with me!
I was released from Tulsa on November 18th, and before I got to my apartment that evening, I was deployed to the Greeley, Colorado office. I am in heaven!!!!
Next up, the RV…