Thursday, August 8, 2013

It’s true, you can’t go home again…

Kayaking on Lake Union, Seattle.

God I love my blog… a place where I can say whatever I wish!!!


I’ve spend time this summer reconnecting with my kids and their families… at least giving it my best shot.  But I feel disconnected. 


Revisiting places (right photo, house on right, used to live there) I have lived in the past sometimes brings good memories, but mostly bittersweet memories… and really, who needs that?  I’ve spent a couple days in West Seattle where I used to live and found myself thinking about people I knew here, thinking about getting in touch, driving past where they used to live, looking them up online, sending emails to some… but then just parking someplace I felt safe and enjoying the waterfront instead of making human contact.


I was even able to locate on line a good friend of mine from the past (college in Indiana) who moved out here in the 80s? I think, and sent her an email but have not heard anything.  Come to think of it, most of the people that I knew here, I really have nothing in common with, except our lives crossed paths briefly back then.  I guess I am just curious but don’t seem to have any steam to actually follow-through on reconnecting with them again. So here I sit a few blocks away from the lighthouse on Alki Point, West Seattle, just wondering what I will do next to pass the time before my plane leaves for Alaska on 8/19.

Maybe I am just becoming an old hermit or ol’ crone for real?? I had even added some new events, pages, people to my Facebook but realized this morning, that all that just seems to be cluttering up my life, so I am in the process of removing them for now.  I’ve lost desire to be with people who either don’t like me or don’t want me around.  There is no fun in that for me. 


Left: Richard and me in Europe (Chris behind me) in 1968.  Right: Richard in 2013.

My son is so exhausted from overwork and too much partying( to have much time for me, though he has spent some quality time with me and made me feel very good.


Left: Tori and me in 1991.  Right: Tori in 2013.

My granddaughter, Tori,  has shown little interest in me or my life for over a decade now, though I am hoping she will give me some quality one-on-one time before I go to Alaska.  I sent her this message:

Is there any chance of you giving me any one-on-one time before I go to Alaska to kayak? It would have to be fun/good for both of us... and if you think it's something that just can't happen... of course with all that you are doing during your visit, I would understand, I am o.k. either way.

Maybe I have nothing left in common with my own relatives/ descendants except that our lives crossed briefly for a short time????


Kayaking with my son, Richard Bailey,
on Lake Union, Aug. 7,2013 (houseboats in background).

But I am here now, I am available now… my kayak is here now.  All anyone can do is be available… for a short time!  It doesn’t get any better than that!  Others lives seem so structured and they have so many rules to live by… makes me very happy I have simplified my life.

I’m really ready to get on up the road, visit other “vandwellers,” see Alaska, have a nice leisurely drive down the WA-OR-CA coast, visiting more friends and vandwellers on the way and then returning to my winter home in Quartzsite AZ to relax, to make jewelry for the winter and to attend the annual Rubber Tramp Rendezvous there in Jan. 2014 where I will get to reunite with my tribe… people I have developed life-long friendships with, people with whom I do share many common interests.


Left is a ring I made last winter, right is a ring that was my mother’s which I am going to duplicate this winter.  Looking at the two of them, I realize mine is much higher quality than my mom’s.  She probably spent a lot for her ring, but mine only cost about $15 in materials, and I cut and polished the stone myself, and did all the silver work myself.  Once the duplicate is done, I will send my Mom’s ring to my sister in Florida. (My mom’s was not even Sterling Silver and mine is.)

Also this winter, I plan to begin dancing again to get in better shape (I stopped dancing the year my granddaughter was born – 1991, because my knees were so bad and unstable).  I have to begin seriously training for the Arizona Trail which I will hike in 2015… 820 miles from Mexico to Utah.  I am very excited about this next phase of my life.  I feel 20 years young than I felt 10 years ago.

Yes, my feet are itchy again.


  1. Thoughtful post. We really are just a temporary part of one another's lives.

    I understand your situation. Staying busy being busy is no way to live. As I age,I am becoming more introspective and I find I do not need to be entertained. It's a very comfortable place to be.

  2. Interesting thoughts and observations on your family. The family I stayed to take care of because they didn't want me to leave, have no need for me now. Hard to get through my head but better now than later, or I would have been better off much sooner to have learned some human nature.

  3. Awh yes, Page and Dragonfly. But we can still learn and can still move on... forward... to better things, better times, better friends. I don't know who said it, and don't get me wrong I love my kids, but "God gave us our relatives, thank heaven we can choose our friends." Onward!

  4. Hello. I consider you a friend. Even though you don't have any idea who I am. I found you about a year ago and you have inspired me so much. I am 55 and thought there were no adventures for me. Through you I have found cheaprvliving. You have opened up a whole nrw way of life for me and probably many more of us older women. I am so looking forward to your trip to alaska and wish I could go with you. But I will have to wait snd live it through your writings. I hope I can meet you down the road at a rtr. Thanks so much for sharing your life and inspiring me. Nora michigan

    1. Thank you, Nora, you are too kind. I wish you could go to Alaska with me as well... and I am sure we will meet down the road one day. Thanks for tagging along.

  5. Swankie, same here with some family members and old friends. Our paths haven't crossed for a couple of decades, and the older I get the less it bothers me. When there are no common interests and shared values in life, there really isn't much point in trying to resurrect dead relationships, which will only disappoint again.

    I've followed you for a long time. I admire your commitment to living your life your way.

    Best wishes for Alaska. :)

    1. Thank you for following along. Welcome indeed. I very much look forward to Alaska. Only four days to departure.

  6. Charlene. Have a great trip. I am anxious to see your photos and hear all about it. Nora

    1. Hi Nora. I did it. But I got sick and had to cut my visit short, return to WA state and my van and my bed. When I feel better I will post my photos and write up my Alaska adventure, as short as it was.


Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.