Euphoria (March 11-18, 2019)
noun noun: euphoria
a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness
I hadn't felt that way in a long time. A few things happened this week...and perhaps by the end of the post, it will be revealed why I felt euphoric.
The night of March 11, last Monday, we had some impromptu dinner and drinks with new friends. Azlan had two beautiful little girls to play with, and the adults had a nice time chatting about adventure, parenting, challenges and successes.
Tuesday, March 12th - on our way out we stop at the upcoming National Vietnam War Museum and Adios Mineral Wells, TX!!! Over 7,777.7 miles listed on the odometer and Hola Purtis Creek State Park! We get set up in our site (which is not a FH but we knew it was coming and prepared accordingly - grey and black tanks empty for this 2 night stop). Azlan and I showered before we leave Mineral Wells and Ted gets his washing done on the road. We set up the Glamper in the daylight and drive immediately back to Dallas in the Jeep so I can see an old friend. Our reunion is lovely. I experienced so many memories and it was nice to see that he still has the adventurous heart I remember. Have fun in Machu Picchu!
Wednesday, March 13th - We spend the morning getting groceries to include a pit-stop at the Funky Junk store. I find a few gems inside I like and we get a surprise selfie with Mojo, the #skydivingdog and meet his humans, Wayne and Linda. This evening we are going to meet one of Ted's old soldiers' mother. We have never met her in person but back when the boys were deployed in 2010-2011, she 'Friended' Ted via social media. Since starting our trip, she invited us to stop by and see her during our travels. We finally made it happen. She showed us her GORGEOUS home, fed us some spectacular dinner, let us feed her cows and roll around on her shimmering grass. We enjoyed this first time 'reunion' very much.
Thursday, March 14th - While normally we try to roll just once a week, we moved again. However, not before we went for a lovely hike in #purticcreekstatepark. I am enjoying the #texasstateparks tremendously. The trails are peaceful and full of opportunities to reflect and explore. We are getting Azlan pumped for real #camping...not #glamping. So, after I give a skull a kiss, I get behind the wheel and we drive down to Houston. Unbeknownst to us, Google maps doesn't automatically know that we are in a 60' rig and don't have any special toll tags or gadgets that send air payments to their scanners when we drive by. Instead of chancing it and getting a ticket, we figure out how to properly avoid tolls without reading the instruction manual. Speaking of, when was the last time you opened up a directions manual? Mine was about 3 months ago...I had to learn how to operate our convection oven after I stopped being scared of it. I digress.
We pull into Houston Leisure RV Resort. My first impression is not good. When looking at Houston on a map, it has a ring structure, like a target for example. If you take the target and then draw a vertical line through the center and a horizontal line through the center you now have 4 quadrants. We were beyond the outskirts of Houston almost directly East of the city, in San Jacinto Oaks (I enjoy looking at maps and am learning about US geography as this trip unfolds). Back to the RV park, many of the units near the site entrance look run down, unkempt, and poorly cared for. Before we even check in, we call around to some other places that might be closer to the city center...this place is a bit far from where our friends in the area live. No luck since it's spring break and most places are full, including the one we are sitting in front of. So, I take a big deep breath and try to put what I am feeling into words. I go to the bathroom to try and process my thoughts and feelings into something Ted can understand. I open the door, look down, and there are pubic hairs (or beard hairs) on the floor and counter....like the freshly trimmed type (gross....I have no idea who's they are). When I get back into the store, the bill is paid for the week and we are staying. Time for acceptance and reflection. Judgement was passed and I felt ashamed. I have no right to judge anyone, much less anyone who's story I don't know. Shame on me...no time to wallow though, the pipe connection into the ground at our site snapped in half. The RV park immediately gets someone to fix it and they bring us a picnic table #poundwinning! At the same time, I'm meal prepping #fixatechili, opening up packages I received and unpacking #theglamper for The upcoming week. My friend sent me a fabulous cup in Glamper color, with sparkles, boasting "I don't give a sip". Just in time!!! I did not give a sip this night. #mentalhealthprogress!
Friday morning, March 15th, starts off great. Ted does laundry and accomplishes loads of errands the way only Ted can. I give the Glamper a deep clean. We get cleaned up and jump in the #jeep - off to Sugar Land we go! It was a very beautiful and well manicured suburban area. We meet our friend, kids and mom while I anxiously wait for my buddy pal to get home from work. I'm like a little puppy at the door, except I am drinking wine. She finally comes home, YAY!!!! I hug and I squeeze and the euphoria starts to kick in. It was so good to see this strong, glowing woman. I had missed her more than I knew. Long story shorter, I drink too much wine and put my foot in my mouth. Still, that doesn't deter the feeling that (despite not having seen each other in a few years) it seems like we were never apart. Only difference is we have a ton of stories to share. Kids play, we chat, we eat, and we say ‘see you tomorrow’.
Saturday, March 16th, Oh Em Geeeeeee....I'm SO excited. I can't sleep. Some of the most wonderful people I have met, #oldfiends and #newfriends, are coming to the party. As some may know, we have developed a plan that seems to be working. We normally travel once a week and throw a party almost every Saturday. We try to stay in a centrally located RV park so it's not too far to come for a Saturday afternoon (or all night) Condit Bash. Finally 1400 crawls around and people start popping up. Ahhhhhh!!!! Hugs, Headbutts, Cheek licks, Kisses, and just Euphoria in general being expressed and received by all around me. This time, I pace myself so I can stay awake past 8pm (still learning everyday). I recounted the night Ted and I met, we sang, we danced, told secrets, shared tales and basically lived, truly lived for this wonderful moment of life. At the end of the night, we clean up and cuddle. Another successful party and more cups filled, including ours.
Sunday, March 17th, Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Ever so slowly, we inch out of bed....well Ted inches, I jump up and start singing. Life is Good. I finish up the dishes in the sink (I am getting really good at doing dishes manually) and our friends arrive. The original plan of taking a Ferry Ride to a monument and see the USS Texas (the only battleship that was used in both WWI and WWII) were frustrated by a big fire at a oil or gas plant. After about 2 hours of driving around, we opted for steaks at the Glamper and just chilling. I'm actually really glad that it happened this way because it afforded us the opportunity to get to know each other better. There are just so many layers to each person and everyone is so different. I am relishing in the discoveries I am making about life and myself. After a few hilarious games of Uno, we say our 'See you later's and tuck in for the night.
And now, back to the present. This morning, during our fabulous family breakfast at #dennys, I made an observation to Ted about the friendship bonds formed within the military lifestyle. I'm asking Ted to drop some bondage wisdom here:
It's hard to put into words, this bond that is created between people that serve with one another - around the globe, locally, and in war zones. The shared hardship and mental strain of combat certainly adds a layer of complexity that is beyond compare. However, Daisa and I were talking about one of the guys that was here this weekend that I didn't serve with in combat and the bond is the same, as strong as ever. We certainly shared some sweat and tears though! I cannot describe how this trip has made me appreciate all of these warriors and their families, and miss the ones who cannot be here any longer, but await me in the halls of Valhalla. The Army was a fantastic venue for me to grow into a man, and learn more about life. A friend of ours and I were talking yesterday, I had an awesome career that I wouldn't trade for anything and we moved on at just the right time. For me, this trip is the perfect ending to a career serving something greater, I look forward to more reunions and time spent with what is truly important, Daisa and Azlan and family and friends.
And, in closing, due to some beautiful places, great new friends, epic old friends, reunions and newunions - I sign off for the day euphoric and very thankful for this entire experience!
Daisa, Ted and Azlan
P.S. - a quick little shout out on a book I want to recommend:
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis...I'm feeling inspired! Thanks to all my girls that recommended it to me!!!
Here is the link to her website (which I still have to explore as well): https://thechicsite.com/