Sometimes it’s good to get a little perspective. I’m sitting here in my “Cell”, bundled up and snuggled down into blankets and shawls, with a cup of tea and a small electric heater – and a flush toilet I can access without going outside. I’m not sure how cold it got last night but Inside my bedroom it was 36*F at 9:30 this morning. (One of the frustrations of poverty is that we’re spending more on heating because we can’t afford to adequately insulate – and the more we spend on heating the less we have available for insulation. Right now I am blessing the green indoor/outdoor carpeting that Saint George brought home from the city dump for the fireplace room. The ladies who’d lived here had laid down all those layers of linoleum we tore up and got rid of for a Reason!) It rained hard yesterday and coupled with the cold the ponies got extra rations to help them stay warm from the inside out – calories are a valuable source of heat for mammals!
Meanwhile my folks, up in NY, have been getting snow and sub-zero temperatures for weeks now and this morning my mom said they didn’t expect it to get above 30*F, night OR DAY, at least through the end of this month. Their house is a bit more winterized than mine, but they also go outside (and drive around in all that snow and ice and slush) much more often than I do.
And then there’s Sarah Outen, who is on a Bicycle in Ohio right now. I first found out about Sarah while I was on the ponies riding across the United States and she was in a tiny boat called Happy Socks, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. Anybody who thinks of me as any sort of brave adventuress? Check out Sarah Outen. 150 days alone Rowing Across an Ocean! This woman rocks, and rows, and pedals and kayaks – she’s making a human-powered Journey around the Planet Earth! “London to London via the World” This winter found her bicycling across Canada and states like Minnesota and Wisconsin. Absolutely mea culpa for not alerting you to her Journey sooner but she’s now pedaling her way into areas that I rode through and it finally occurred to me because I remembered how much it meant to me when somebody drove up with a thermos of something hot to drink, or a fresh-baked muffin, or an offer of a place to come in and rest and get cleaned up, words of encouragement, or “how can I help?”
If you want to check out her blog she’s at http://www.SarahOuten.com and there’s a “Where’s Sarah?” mission tracker here: http://www.sarahouten.com/the-mission/journey-tracker/ where you can see on a map where she is within an hour or two. Bicycles are FAST compared to ponies. She’s covering in a day what took me a week!
So – perspective! I’m working away on Chapter 8, cozied up with not a thing to complain about – and never mind that there are icicles hanging from the outdoor shower. We all make our choices in life, bound by pragma and priorities, and grateful I am for the path that’s led me here. Because camping in a house is rather posh compared to a lot of places I’ve spent the night and electricity is really handy for the current project of book writing. Nobody is starving and the roof is holding up. And while maybe some people don’t mean it quite exactly as a compliment when they refer to me as “that travelling woman”, if that puts me in the company of women like Sarah Outen, Mesannie Wilkins, Katie Cooper, Basha O’Reilly, Lucy Leaf, Bernice Ende, Isabella Bird…
May I travel to the end of my days!