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My Home Away from Home

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Hi again, my intent for this blog was to detail our travels and all the fun and excitement we have while traveling. However, I've found that life is not all Unicorns and Rainbows. In our previous post, Darin and I were in the midst of a wonderful trip up the west coast and heading for Port Orchard WA for a little family time. I wanted to be with my father on the one year anniversary of his wife's passing and I knew Darin would bring some needed levity to the visit. Once we arrived, I knew something was a bit off. Darin only stayed with us for a couple days, he flew home to get back to work and I stayed for what was to be a 2 week visit. After dropping Darin off at the airport and returning to my dad's home, it was only a matter of a few hours when we were headed to the hospital.

This became my home for almost three months, the streets in downtown Seattle right outside of Swedish Hospital. As it turns out, my dad had every intention of passing on the one year anniversary of his wife's passing. He missed the mark but he persevered nonetheless. While at Swedish he required 2 major surgeries, had a stroke, a heart attack and he refused to eat. After nearly 2 months in the hospital he passed away while holding my hand. I'll never forget the kindness and wonderful care he received while there. They did everything they could but his will to be with his wife was unbreakable.

During this time I bonded with our van and became acutely aware of how simple life needs to be. My new VanLife had its ups and downs during my stay in Seattle. I was fortunate to have regular texts, emails and phone calls from loved ones. My uncle sent me the addresses of the homes that my grandfather built many years ago in Seattle, here's a picture of one.

The van related downers were few but included electrical issues that had to be resolved, a leak around the MaxxAir fan, numerous 3-hour round trips to check on dad's home and let's don't even discuss the sadness of the reality of the situation. Thank goodness for West Marine in Seattle and the auto-parts store in Port Orchard for having the items I needed for repairing the electrical. Flex Seal to the rescue for a quick fix around the MaxxAir fan that leaked during the famous PNW rain. I really wish I had pictures of the electrical issues and the leaking problem but instead I have a great picture of my dad and my son from 30+ years ago that I found while cleaning up and closing out the house.

Thankfully my younger brother came in and helped with handling dad's affairs and putting the house on the market. I think I mentioned in a previous post that dad was a 'collector', needless to say we had our hands full. At this point I had been away from my husband and home for about 3 months and someone had to do something or I may still be there. How I ended up with such a wonderful son, I'll never know, he came in and took charge and literally drove me home. We saw a few sights on the way and of course stayed a couple nights in San Francisco. The drive south was sad for a couple of reasons, one was that the Camp Fire in Paradise CA was happening so the air quality was awful. Once we arrived in San Francisco we were shocked at the amount of smoke in the air, the Golden Gate Bridge was barely visible. The next day, the bridge had completely disappeared as you can see in the next picture, my son, my uncle and behind them is the bridge. Trust me it is there!

Time to hit the road and get home to my husband! The drive south was uneventful, destination HOME! I'm so thankful for my son and my husband for being so supportive during such an emotional period. They are my heroes.

Now that the van was back in Oceanside it was time for the long awaited roof rack and solar. Aluminess did a great job for us and I highly recommend them.

Our travel plans for December were by air instead of van to NYC for holiday time. The city was beautiful and our visit was awesome! March brings us to San Francisco again, did I mention I love San Francisco? More coastal beauty on the way up and an overnight stay in Prunedale (Thanks Duane for the driveway spot).

I do hope you come back for more, our next adventure is a drive to Texas for some skydiving excitement and a trip or two down memory lane. Until then, here's a shot of the van, again!

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