a brief homecoming, and pour yourself a warm beverage

I'm back from my trip and have been since last week. I meant to post an update but unfortunately the day after I returned I got sick. This past week has been filled with me consuming gallons of chicken soup and cough syrup shots. Yeah, good times!

So now about my trip. I had a great time seeing family, friends, and the road trip that bookended it.

[the family]
Getting to see my nephew turn one was priceless. A group of about 60 comprised of friends and family turned out for the little guy's first. The best part was when everyone gathered to sing happy birthday. He started looking at everyone wondering what the hell was going on. When the song ended he broke down in tears. It cute, funny, and sad all at the same time.

Me and the little guy playing the ukulele.

My niece is growing into a remarkable young woman. She's also got my sense of humor according to my sister. Getting to spend time with her is rare, I got to spend about a third of my time there with her. She's always been very busy due to all of her extra curricular activities. I got to spend the kind of quality time with her I've not been able to since I left CA. We went shopping for her baby brother together and I got a chance to make up for the Xmas gift shipping snafu.

My parents are now officially retired. The mom was working but was recently laid off. The dad was laid off but took up a new career in real estate. In CA, yeah I know how shitty the market is there. Still, he's got himself into a niche market. The man speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin (along with lots of other Chinese dialects) to which has made him superior to his younger counterparts in the same business. He took this up after mastering two other careers and taking them both to their end.  My mom is busier now than when she worked. I wish I could say more about the woman, but when I finally catch up to her, I will. What I can say about them both is that they're sleeping in past 9am in the morning. This is the very shit they used to rail me over. Not to worry as I got my revenge. My beagle adores them both and I snuck her into their bedroom every morning after the first one. The beagle got a steak for it.

[the friends]
I wish I could say all my friends were doing well. Most weren't but are surviving. Sadly I didn't get to see the bulk of them but I did manage to make time for those who were in the most dire of situations. I'll shorten these because of the volume of friends I saw on this trip. My best friend is in marital mayhem at this time. Being able to be there in person for him did help, and we were even able to muster a group get together between us and his wife (a dear friend also). Another friend of mine is in the same boat with his girl. Sadly, they have never married in the course of their relationship. I only recently reconnected with them both very shortly before my arrival. Their circumstances are infinitely more complex due to the longevity of their relationship. Regardless of how things work out for them, I do wish them the best.

My sister and I share many of the same friends (even tho I'm  years her senior) and I got to see many of them during the nephews bday party.

The friend of mine who was trying to set me up with her coworker. Yeah, I made up my mind and told her before I turned out that I didn't want to go through with the the meeting. She took it well given my reasons. My reasons are based in moving outside the confines of what's considered traditional life, whereas her's are steeped in them. Long story, trust me, I asked.

[the road trip]
this part is my haven. ok, it's the second half of my haven. my trailer is the first half. since I didn't bring the trailer on this one it wasn't. the drive out was great. I made all kinds of stops to the various places I'd amassed on my list. Some from my own curiosity, others from some of the blogs I've read. They were everything I'd read about and more. On my trip back to TX I made another stop in Quartzsite. On this trip I got to meet one of the Fulltimer's who runs a website which assisted me on this path. Point blank, whether he knows it or not, I owe him a debt of gratitude for putting up the website which helped me flesh out what i thought was a longshot into a lifestyle. Thanks Bob!

I would post more but I'm still a little bit sick and am about to down (what I hope to be) my last bowls of boiled flightless bird in a while.

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