Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mysterious Ways

This past week has been one of the best on our RV Adventure so far, and I want to tell you why. Like every week so far, there have been some low spots – in fact the lowest of the low spots happened last Monday. At that moment, I thought that everything was falling to pieces, but it turns out that things were actually falling into place, and the only thing falling to pieces was ME.

That day was the third in a row of pouring rain from the Northeaster that hit. And, nothing was going right with regard to the receipt of parts or the arrangements for our repairs on the levelers and our slide-out. I felt tired from a night of rain pelting the roof, and emotional from the wonderful family reunion we’d had with RVPainter’s family the day before. The tiredness combined with the emotions and my anxiety about the repairs to create the Perfect Storm for a Colossal Meltdown. Just ask RVPainter - he'll tell you!

Well, it’s Sunday and we’re still in Salisbury, MA instead of up in Damariscotta, ME where we were scheduled to be. But it’s okay – in fact, it’s GREAT! Now I can see that everything worked out just as it was supposed to.

The levelers were replaced and so far, so good, knock wood, they are working much better than the first ones. Our appointment to have the slide fixed isn't until next Tuesday, so that’s why we stayed put here instead of moving on.

Because of the leveler and slide-out problems, we thought we'd have to forego visiting up in Wolfeboro, NH with a wonderful lady RVPainter and I both worked with for many years at a bank. But staying put allowed us to drive up there to see her.

Staying put allowed us to have a wonderful day up in Kennebunkport, a place we love. And yesterday was the most perfect beach day in the history of beach days. Today is looking good too.

And, I had the most WONDERFUL time talking with 4th and 5th graders at the Matthew Thornton Elementary School in Londonderry, NH. I read from my book and we talked about how to make the images come alive in writing. There were really into the story and we had a blast!

But most importantly, yesterday was RVPainter and my 28th wedding anniversary. And, we got to have our anniversary dinner at the York Harbor Inn in York, Maine – the place we were married 28 years ago. That wouldn’t have happened if we’d stayed on schedule.

Last night at the York Harbor Inn, 28 wonderful years. Wish I had pictures of us back then, but they're all in storage.

The other wonderful thing that happened was that we got to spend time in and around York, and realized how much we both love it. It’s where RVPainter and I first lived together and it was time of great happiness and contentment, even though we didn’t have much in the material sense at the time. We both felt that joy and connection return instantly.

I’ve always been very attached to “Home” and that’s a reason the transition to the road life has taken me some time. There are several places I’ve been very attached to in my life, such as my hometown of Andover, and the town of Boothbay, Maine. But I know they aren’t “home” in the sense of a place I’d like to settle whenever we decide to come in off the road.

But I realized that York IS the place of my heart and it IS the place I’d like to settle – for the summers. We’ll look for a warm place for winters because we need to keep RVPainter warm :).

So I think that God took good care of us this week. It started out badly, but only because we were fighting against the obstacles that were being put in our way – or at least I was. Once we relaxed into it, said, “hey, what’s a little delay?” and realized that the delay would allow us to enjoy our anniversary at the very place we were married, we could see the magic in how everything played out.

God gave us more time in a place we loved together so we could remember that it’s Our Place. Besides being a beautiful beach town with the most famous east coast lighthouse – Nubble Light – York is close to RVPainter’s sister and her family, it’s not too far from my sister, friends from my hometown live less than an hour away, two airports are less than an hour away, and the wonderful towns of Portsmouth, NH, Newburyport, MA, Ogunquit, ME and Kennebunkport, ME are just next door. York’s got a good hospital – and now it even has a real grocery store – we used to have to go to Portsmouth to shop. For me, this place is the "Home" that my heart longs for. It had been calling to me in recent years, but it wasn't until we were there again that I really listened and KNEW.

So I am putting it in my heart that I want us to have our summer home in York, Maine. It has to be oceanview, so it’s a big dream and challenge that I’m putting out there. But I really feel like this dream is blessed, because God led us back to it and gave us more time there to remember what we loved about it. So I’m going to do what I had trouble doing last Monday, and give this one over to him to find a way.

Life is filled with rain and delays and the unexpected. But life on the road can feel very ungrounded at first, and the unexpected and the unknown can make you loose your footing more easily. I know that part of my learning and adjustment is to deal better with the unknown and with things "going wrong."

For this next year or so, "home" will be wherever RVPainter and I go together. But it's nice to have that image of the place where home once was and can be again, as a kind of guiding light. It helps me keep my footing a little better.

(Note: I've been reading a book called, FindingSerenity in the Age of Anxiety by Robert Gerzon, and it's been a tremendous help to me! He takes a spiritual approach to channeling anxiety in positive ways. I HIGHLY recommend it!) 

If everything had stayed on track this past week, we wouldn’t have had these two incredibly beautiful sunny days here at the beach. We wouldn’t have had our anniversary dinner at York Harbor Inn, and we might not have had our conversations about York as a place we want to return. Next time things seem to be going wrong, I’m going to remind myself that maybe – just maybe – they are going exactly right.

Salisbury Beach State Park, where we sat all day yesterday and hope to do so again today :)


  1. isn't that had to hit the road to find home

  2. Happy anniversary! I'm glad everything worked out so perfectly for you. And another great beach photo - keep them coming :-)

  3. Melissa, first of all, Happy anniversary and what a gorgeous pair the two of you are! And thank you so much for sharing this piece of your spiritual journey because it's such an important lesson to go with the flow and don't try to row upstream. Finding home is so important. I hope you can find a way to make the RV "home" for the next year or so.

  4. Plink...plink...tink, clink, PLINKPLINKPLINK!

    That's the sound of my tears hitting the metal keyboard as I read this...Melissa, this a beautiful love story.
    Happy Anniversary!

    Never been to York, though I'm envisioning Boothbay Harbor right now...great place to visit!

    And thanks for the book suggestion...sounds like something from which many of us can benefit.


  5. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Dick and Melissa!!!
    Wish you both the best and many many more of happiness!!
    Great photo, you both look Fabulous!!

  6. Hi Melissa .. many congratulations on 28 years together .. and what lovely photos - so pleased you've found your home - or summer home ... that's a relief, especially as you're near everyone .. JR's family and your own .. great reading about your journey .. and funny how things turn out .. cheers Hilary

  7. I can see why a little anxiety could work its way in....traveling sounds fine but I'm sure it can get old too... stay off the caffeine that will help with the anxiety.

  8. Happy Anniversary to you both! I have learned a long time ago that things happen for a reason, sometimes we thought we were late to hit the road only to discover there was a huge accident on the road and many other happening, so whenever something delays me now I take a deep breath and remind myself of this ;) Will look out for the book you recommended!

  9. Happy anniversary! I definitely believe that there's a purpose to even the most annoying and frustrating things in life. Looks like you're having a great time and I'm glad things are working out.

  10. Hi everyone - have wifi for a moment so sending one reply to all - thank you for the well wishes, kind words and support. It means a lot! We head off today into Maine - hope to check in later in the week.
    Love to all,

  11. A very happy anniversary to you!!! So glad you are loving life!

  12. This post just made me smile and smile. I love that one door closing led to another door opening. And you couldn't look happier and more at peace in your anniversary picture. That one is a treasure that needs to be framed.

    1. Lynn, this journey is so full of growth and revelation. And that relaxed look is what a day at the beach always does for me - it's where I belond!

  13. Lighthouse paintingS in the summer and palm tree paintingS in the winter - I'M ON-BOARD!!!!

    1. It sounds just right, doesn't it?

  14. That is absolutely true. When it seems like things are going wrong, often they are going right in the long run. You're not on a rigid timetable. You have the luxury of being flexible and adapting to whatever is happening. What wonderful things came out of it. :):)

    1. Hi Rita, yes - they did! It's still hard for me to "go with it" when we're in the midst of something "going wrong" - I know this is what I need to work on :)

  15. I am so glad that things just fell into place for you. It does sometimes seem that as soon as we stop struggling this is what happens.

    1. This has been very true for me in the past and I'm not sure why I can't quite seem to learn it once and for all! :) Part of my journey I guess, and one I hope I can get good at - the letting go part.

  16. Dear Melissa, I truly can't tell you how much your posting said what I needed to hear right now. I am struggling with whether or not to move back to Minnesota. And I'm also struggling because the Universe doesn't seem--from here within me--to be helping me make this decision--at least in the way I want to make it. But you here help me remember to let go of the need to control and to go with the flow and to be open to possibilities--unseen, unexpected, surprising. Thank you.


  17. This was a wonderful post that told me you have learned so much during your life. Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and let go, just like the rainy days will pass, so will our negative feelings and thoughts. I have been to York, many, many years ago. I remember it as a lovely place and I wish for all your dreams about settling there eventually to come true.


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