OnTheGoWithAmyO.

"Live The Life You've Imagined." ~Thoreau

Archive for the tag “adventure”

A True Story: Four friends, an old Cajun man, a Hanging Tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

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Last Saturday, we found this little dog all alone in a rural cemetery halfway between Seguin and Nixon, Texas. He sitting in front of a tombstone as still as a statue. It was pure luck (or serendipity!) that we found him.

So grab some popcorn, and settle in for a true short story about four friends, an old Cajun man, a hanging tree, some vultures, a rural cemetery, and- a dog!

It all started when Lorelei and her friend Kim drove from Waco to Seguin last Saturday since they had tickets to an evening tour of a haunted hotel. Since they were so close by, my friend Cheryl & I drove from San Antonio to meet them for an early dinner at Tavern on the Creek in Seguin. (So delicious!)

Apparently an “old Cajun man” told Lorelei and Kim about a haunted Hanging Tree on a dirt road near the town of Nixon that was a must to visit if you wanted a genuine hair-raising paranormal experience.

So, with a couple of hours to kill (no pun intended) before their evening haunted hotel tour, we decided to drive in search of this Hanging Tree. (Which in itself is a big deal, because I tend to stay far, far, far away from all things haunted, but for whatever reason I was game for the adventure… anyway…)

As we turned down side roads, traveling farther and farther away from town, we saw a couple of vultures! But Lorelei assured us vultures actually have a positive connotation* (see footnote), so we all took deep breaths, shared a few nervous laughs, and continued on.

A few minutes later, I spotted a Texas Historical Marker sign and asked if we could stop at it. (In hindsight, don’t horror movies always start with someone saying, “Hey, let’s stop”?!)

Lo and behold, the marker was in front of a small, very quiet, gated cemetery in the middle of nowhere with large oak trees that I’m sure look spooky at night.

As we read the historical sign, I saw what looked like a stuffed animal in front of a headstone. “Is that a dog?” (Famous last words to an animal rescuer, ha!)

Yes, it indeed was a little dog. All alone.

He was very scared, and didn’t make any movement until we got close to him, then he crawled submissively to us and rolled over on his back.

We whistled in case maybe there were other dogs or puppies (there weren’t). The little dog had a few fleas, but otherwise looked to be in excellent health.

So we loaded up the pup, and – with fingers crossed for luck – went looking for his family. We drove a quarter mile here, a quarter mile there to see if any neighbors recognized this little guy. No luck, so we ditched our search for the Hanging Tree and headed back to town.

Since everyone else had a husband or boyfriend saying, “Cute, but NO!”, the little dog went home with me.

I named him “Spud” and he is a wonderful dog! He’s about a year old, potty-trained, crate-trained, doesn’t bark, doesn’t whine, doesn’t chew things up or scratch on the RV bathroom door. He’s friendly, walks well on a leash, and all around happy (but like a magnet to me).

I took him to Banfield on Sunday morning for a microchip scan, and since there was no chip, he got a collar, dog food, flea treatment and dog bed at PetSmart thanks to a farewell gift card a couple of months ago from my Waco rescue friends, Michelle, Fallon, Julie, Dot, Kim, Danielle and Casey.

On Tuesday, I took Spud to a Vanguard low-cost vaccination clinic for full vaccinations, heartworm test (Negative! Yay!), heartworm prevention and dewormer. I have requested an appointment from the local low-cost spay/neuter clinic for neuter and microchip. Hope to hear back from them soon.

Spud gets along “like peas and carrots” with my rescue dog Sofie Darla, and people keep asking if I’m going to keep Spud. For now, my answer is “I’m keeping him until he gets neutered, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

I am still checking lost/found pet sites near the area, just in case anyone is looking for him, but I know the odds are low.

On the bright side, this whole experience has spurred a couple of new short story ideas about puppies in the cemetery… paranormal is not my usual genre, but I’m always open to new ideas, especially when there is a happy ending for a little dog.

By the way, I wonder if we were to go back to look for that old Cajun man if he’d still be there. Maybe he was that little dog’s guardian angel. Or maybe the little dog saved us from paranormal ambush at the haunted Hanging Tree… We’ll never know. (Insert Vincent Price evil laugh here!)

#PhotoJournal #WriteOn

* Vulture Animal Totem: The Vulture is the symbol of death and rebirth, the mother symbol, and represents purification. For those with this totem, you will be noticed more for what you do than how you appear… The Vulture promises us that no matter how difficult things are at the moment, rescue and change are imminent. (~http://linsdomain.com/totems-t-v.htm)

Goodbye for now, Mustang Island.

♫ TIME TO SAY GOODBYE ♫

After an amazing seven months at various locations here on gorgeous Mustang Island, it’s time to hitch up the RV and move on down the road.

One of my personal goals for 2016 is to haul the RV outside of the Texas state line, so this is a step in the right direction!

While I’m sad to leave Port Aransas, I’m equally excited about the new adventures yet to come…

Here are a few final photos from Mustang Island, 2016… See ya down the road!

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SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

Following “A Feeling” – Saving A Life

Do you ever just *feel* like you’re supposed to be someplace, and even though you initially resist, you go anyway, only to realize there was definitely a reason for your being drawn there?

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Earlier this week, I went in search of a new location to take photos of the full moon rising.

First stop was the Marina, but I didn’t like the view of the horizon. Next, I drove to a pier, but it was too crowded.

Instead, the “feeling” led me down a deserted side road with a great view of the horizon, but after setting up my tripod, I kept hearing rustling coming from down in the gaps of the large red jetty rocks. Upon closer inspection, I spotted a scared, injured trapped seagull.

Fortunately, the renowned wildlife rescue facility on Mustang Island was just up the road, so without hesitation, I ran to get help.

The professionals came quickly, and it was an easy catch for them. They said the injured seagull’s wings were sorely battered, where s/he had probably been trying to get out of there all day. Luckily, they expect the seagull to make a full recovery after some TLC & rest.

There’s no doubt “Intuition” led me to that deserted spot this evening, and there’s one lucky little bird with one heck of a guardian angel.

After all, angels have wings, too.

By the way, here is one of the photos I got of the full moon, complete with a pelican may have witnessed entire rescue scene.

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Throwback Thursday

‪#‎TBT‬ ‪#‎ThrowBackThursday‬
Big Thicket National Forest (near Livingston, Texas)
March 2015

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Upon my return to Deep East Texas in the early Spring of 2015, I enjoyed exploring the Big Thicket National Forest during a weekly ritual I call my “Sunday Morning Gratitude.”

This focused quiet time allows me to reflect on my blessings, express thanks for the special people in my life, and stand in humble awe of God’s majestic creation.

One morning, I took a back road and ended up at this place. It was so breathtaking and grand, yet incredibly still and silent.

A perfect setting for reflection and giving thanks for abundant blessings.

Hope you have a blessed day today.

AmyO.

Photography Opening A Whole New World

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These small ordinary white flowers had gone unnoticed by me for the past few weeks.

Today they caught my attention, so I stopped to take their photo. I never realized how delicate and colorful they are.

My renewed passion for photography is helping to “open my eyes” to the beauty that is surrounding me, if I’ll simply slow down to notice it. I feel like I’m seeing a whole new world!

#PhotoJournal

Is this your Grandma?

02162015_SweetGrandmaFor three months, my RV was happily parked in the charming Gulf Coast town of Port Aransas, TX.

One morning about a month ago, I met a sweet, soft-spoken lady in her late 70s/early 80s walking on the beach.

She was ever-so-slowly collecting shells to make a hanging shell display for each her two teenaged grandsons.

I didn’t realize that her reflection was in the photo of this shell at the time, but when I offered her the shell for her project, she accepted.

As I left the beach about an hour later, this dedicated granny was still there, so I snapped the three photos from afar.

I wish I could get these photos to her grandsons so they could fully realize how much effort, work & love are going into their future gifts!

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#‎MadeWithLove‬ ‪#‎GrandmaOfTheYear‬

Trip #2: Livingston TX to Waco TX

TRIP #2

Date: Sun., Nov. 09, 2014

Depart: 11:22 a.m.

Arrive: 4:11 p.m.

Traveled: 188 miles

State(s) Travelled: Texas

Gas Stops: 1 (Took 3 tries!)

New Experiences:

  1. Unexpected Detour
  2. Construction cement barrier
  3. Busy Gas Stations

Incidents: 1

Exiting the gas station, spare tire scraped the sloped ramp. No damage to tire. Minor bend to metal secure bar. Oops!

 

Here we are in Livingston, about to hit the road.

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And upon arrival in Waco, TX! My awesome rescue dog, Sofie-Darla, was sooooo happy to be out of the truck.

11092014_LivingstonToWaco_PhotoOnlyYes, what normally should have taken about 4 hours took 5 hours. I had to go at the speed in which I was comfortable, so that meant going about 55 mph on I-45 while other cars were whipping past me at 70+mph. No one honked at me, at least that I was aware.

I have to admit that the stress-factor of the long drive was pretty intense! At one point, when I was instructed by police to detour around Huntsville, my jaw was chattering so badly that I’m sure I looked like a crackhead, or really, really cold. I couldn’t make it stop either! Fortunately, I didn’t give a darn at that point… I just wanted to hurry up and get to Waco – in one piece!

There was a lot of self-talk going on, “You can do this. You can do this.” At about two hours into the drive, I thought, “You know, Amy, you’re not ‘trail-blazing’ here. There are a lot of people, and a lot of single ladies at that, who do this. If it’s too much, you can always go get an apartment.”

WHAT?!?! Yes, the thought of an apartment was enough to snap me out of the “fear.” Later that night, after I was set up in Waco, I wrote a note to myself that included the phrase, “This kind of fear will NEVER stop me!”

The confidence I gained from RV Driving School played a big roll in my driving abilities, and Trip #2 was a huge milestone!

 

NEXT UP: TRIP #3… Waco to San Antonio

 

 

Trip #1: Move to The Hills + RV Driving School

TRIP #1

Date: Oct. 31, 2014

Destination: Glicks’ private property to Rainbow’s End “The Hills”, Site #68.

Mileage: Less than 1 mile.

Challenges: Nerves! And luckily, Mr. Glick backed the rig into its spot.

Incidents: NONE (whoo hoo!)

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NEXT UP: Private Lessons with “RV Driving School

DATES: Nov. 4-5, 2014 

11052014_RVDrivingSchool_PhotoOnlyPrivate Lessons, RV Driving School.

(Notice my instructor Glyn didn’t even wear a helmet!)

This was me on Day 2, after backing up *perfectly* 3 times in a row.

The Day Before, A Freak Accident: One of the thick metal pieces on my new Equalizer kit snapped!

Luckily, I was already slowing down to make a turn into an empty church parking lot when we heard the **BOOM**!

West RV said they’d never seen this happen before, but they got me fixed up fast and back on the road for my lessons.

I had a LOT of fun with the parking and backing up.

Freeway driving is a little nerve-wracking, but everyone tells me I’ll get used to that “air suction” of the 18-wheelers as they pass along side of me to the left.

I also did okay driving on the main street through town.

Residential driving, I hope I never have to do it! Streets are too small.

 

Thank you to my brave RV Driving School instructor, Glyn! I’ll shout from the mountaintops that RV Driving School was worth every penny!

 

TRIP #2 INFO (Livingston to Waco) COMING SOON!

 

 

 

 

 

MLB Ball Park #5!!!

I love spontaneous adventure. Love, love, love it!

To those who know me well, it should be of no surprise that yesterday morning, I hopped in my car on a whim and drove to Houston to catch an Astros/Rangers game.

I’d been “meaning to” get around to a game at the Minute Maid Park so I could check another MLB ball park off my list. It was time to turn that “someday” into TODAY!

08312014_RainCropped2Sporting a red t-shirt and ticket in hand, I started my adventure; but less than a minute on the road, the skies unleashed *major* rain.

At first I wondered if the pouring down rain for the entire drive to Houston might be some kind of “cosmic sign” that I should turn around and go home. In hindsight, the torrential downpour was simply an obstacle.

How many times in Life do we let an obstacle interfere with the bliss that awaits us?

How can someone tell the difference between an obstacle and instinct?

I firmly believe that when I’m quiet and willing to “listen,” the answer presents itself.

As I made my way down the highway towards Houston with the flow of traffic at a whooping 50 mph, I confidently assessed that what I was feeling was NOT a “bad feeling.” Trust me, if it had been a “bad feeling,” I’d have made an abrupt U-turn! I totally and completely trust my instincts.

With my awesome $16 ticket in hand (thanks StubHub.com!), I made my way to the upper level deck.  I actually prefer the upper level deck to a lower level seat. I get to see all the action on the field, just the way I like it! Perhaps it’s from my days as a Sports Editor for a weekly San Antonio newspaper and watching games from the Press Box. Or maybe it’s merely a personal preference.

PhotoBox2Happy to report that I had an amazing time, and met some really nice folks in the seats around me. I wandered the lower levels during the sixth inning and soaked in the “buzz” of activity at the concession stands and concourse area.

It was a really good game with some spectacular plays on both sides. Unfortunately, the Rangers lost to the Astros, 3-2.

Attending yesterday’s game at Minute Maid Park makes it the 5th Major League stadium where I’ve watched a game:

  1. The Ball Park (Globe Life), Arlington
  2. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
  3. Chase Field, Phoenix
  4. Angel Stadium, Anaheim
  5. Minute Maid Park, Houston

Only 25 more MLB parks to go!!! (Courtesy photo)

Major_League_Baseball_team_locationsMake it happen,

Amy O.

Rain Chasing!

For the past couple of weeks, rain has eluded me.

I’ve watched it on weather radar tracking closer, closer… only to skirt around me at the last minute, or rain itself out before it gets here.

So today, for the third day in a row, there were some pop-up rain showers in the area.

08102014_RainChasing_1027Was this rain headed my way? Of course not!

So I loaded up my 9-year-old rescue dog Sofie-Darla, and hit the road.

If rain won’t come to me, I’ll go to it!

Thirty minutes later, I pulled over on the shoulder of a wooded back road, listening to the melodic patter of light rain on the hood of my vehicle. I could smell the fresh hydration of summer green leaves on nearby trees.

Overjoyed, I stood in the rain, letting the raindrops dampen my hair, arms and dress.

It was heavenly!

Shortly thereafter, I got back in my car and drove away… happy, smiling, content.

On the way back to my RV some 30 miles away, I realized it didn’t bother me one bit that I was returning to a blistering sun, with no breeze, and a heat index of 104.

I chased rain today… and caught it!

I’m a happy girl.

Make it happen,

Amy O.

 

 

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