One Small Step…

Yesterday I crossed the state line into Indiana. Flat, pastoral Indiana. Not a big deal, I know.

But it has been four months since I sold my house, and this is the first time I’ve ventured out of Michigan. I guess that means the journey has begun.

In these four months, I’ve camped in the driveways of relatives and friends, camped in forests and parks. I didn’t camp during the month I spent in Germany, but that’s another story.

In these four months, I’ve learned

  • Good-byes are hard. I’ve spent some fabulous time with children, siblings, parents, and friends. I enter into their lives and get to know their routines. We cook together (sometimes I watch), and play together. I get familiar with the surroundings and the routine. Then, I have to leave–usually for months. It makes me feel desolate.
  • Backing up a trailer is possible–sort of. I can hitch up the darned thing by myself. I can drive it with some minor anxiety. I’m slowly learning to back it up–badly.

    Yes, I backed up this little hill.

  • I think I made the right decision. I say this hesitantly, but maybe that’s because I just left some good friends and my home state and spent the night at a truck stop/gas station in Leesburg, Indiana, where the temperature dipped to near freezing. At least, I was near freezing. For a middle-aged woman and her very aged dog, this seems to lack dignity. At least the dog thought so. “Get over it,” I told her. “This won’t be the last time.”
  • To Pray. Not as in, “Oh, God. Get me out of this bad situation,” but every day so I can move on peacefully, mindfully, and with faith that “all things work for good for those who love God.”

Autumn scene in tiny Leesburg

Autumn in downtown Leesburg

So, the reasons for this journey still hold. I still believe in them. I haven’t crested the mountain yet, but I can see the light from the far side.

Come with me. Let’s see what happens.

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15 Responses to One Small Step…

  1. Barbara Mull 9 February, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Hi, Kate. I just discovered your blog after looking up The Slabs. And I look forward to reading it all. You are brave, bold and full of life and I applaud you. My own venture was much “safer” and less of a stretch – volunteer campground host for 5 months at several Washington state parks near where one of my sisters lives. I have been so surprised at the peace the experience brought to my soul. Though I’ve returned to my home for the winter (and caring for a new grandson), I am eager to return to the parks in April. Perhaps our paths will cross some day if you decide to travel to Washington or North Carolina.

  2. Kate Benn 8 November, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    Loved reading this Kate! Can’t wait to read more!

    • Kate 10 November, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

      I love that you found me and are reading my blog, too. It’s so fun to stay connected with people I don’t ordinarily run across.

      All the best with your new little one!


  3. Justin "J" Kukalis 31 October, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    Happy Trails Kate! By the time you get back to Scottville for a visit, you will be an “expert” in backing up your rig. Stay safe!

    • Kate 31 October, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

      Thanks, Jay. Sure hope so, otherwise my rig may not make it back to Scottville!

  4. norma darr 31 October, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    hi there, i met you on the megabus and was wondering if you had started your wandering…your blog is great…i look forward to following you…what a great experience. norma

    • Kate 31 October, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

      Hey Norma,
      Glad to “connect” again. Happy trails to both of us. (That seems to be the theme on this message board.)

  5. Marianne Wysocki 31 October, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    Awesome! I am loving that you are doing this. It has always been a dream of mine to do this. I am looking fwd to following your physical and spiritual journey. <3

    • Kate 31 October, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

      Yet another way to keep in touch. BTW–congrats on your recent anniversary. Loved the FB “announcement.”

      • Marianne Wysocki 1 November, 2010 at 8:52 am #

        I have friends who saw my post about you and they want to know how to keep connected with your journey. Is there a place to “join” or will you post to FB to keep us posted? Have fun! I told some people about what you are doing and they all said, but what about her family? I said they have all flown the coop and so has Kate!

        • Kate 5 November, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

          We’ve all flown the coop, and I’m trying to fly to each of them.

          Thanks for passing the word along. I’ll get a “subscribe” button up soon. I’ll also try to post to FB. Still working out the technical kinks. Yuck.

  6. Jim Schroeder 30 October, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Kate, I find it warmly appropriate that your pilgrimmage has met with introductory struggles and difficulty. Isn’t that the way it should be? When the Creator and Giver of Life designed this pilgrimmage, I know He intended it to be this way! May the mountains we have to/choose to climb be difficult enough to make a powerful impression on us. May we struggle enough in the climbing that we can learn to treasure both the climb and the summit! How slow of us all to have had climbs and pilgrimages with their own kind of struggles and not to have seen the adventure and the wonder in them, too! Lord, open my eyes and make them watchful of the miracle that is my trek! It was St. Augustine (that North Star, theologically speaking, of Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk who managed to make a difference and discover wonders in his trip into the history books) who said, “”Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee, O Lord” May the Good Lord trouble the waters of our life so that we might grow in sight and in joy. May we see the wonders of where we are and what we’re doing! My the Lord bring us ever another adventure! May our nights be warmer and our hearts be gladder! Happy trails to you, ’til we meet again! (Roy and Dale were wise ahead of their time!)

    Jim et Claudia

    • Kate 31 October, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

      Ah, James, of the golden tongue (and keyboard). Thanks for the encouragement and insights. May I indeed learn to value the challenges. Tomorrow I head south to Oklahoma, so Roy & Dale–I’m comin’!

  7. Kate 27 October, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Haven’t hit anything yet! (Knock on wood, stone, cement, or anything handy.) Thanks for posting–and reading!

  8. Marcia Davis 27 October, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Kate, I’m looking forward to following your journey. I’m impressed you can back up a trailer! Be safe and take lots of photos.