When I want to end a love relationship I find it difficult to just say, “We’re over.” I’m too gullible and I find myself back and forth, unable to break the ties for good. My solution, then, is to physically remove myself; basically I flee the state hoping that geographic distance can do what my heart cannot. That’s what happened in 1979. It was time to break it off with Michael but he wasn’t making it easy.
I’ll show him I said. Using what little money I had I purchased a 1970 Willy Jeep truck, a camper that fit over the bed, packed up all my belongings, which included my dog Babe, my cat Natasha, Zeppo my cockatiel, and headed north.
Dogs for the Deaf. Wally Ross, one of my mentors during my EATM years told me that a fellow animal trainer by the name of Roy Kabat had started a program in Oregon and that I might be able to get a job there. That’s all the motivation I needed so off I went.
Getting settled took a bit of doing, but once again things just fell into place and soon I had a job and a place to live. Of course I don’t do things the normal way; my “home” was in my camper (I soon traded up and rented a travel trailer) and parked myself on the Applegate River. The property I stayed on belonged to one Harlan Paige Bosworth, an old man whose land was used for the annual summer jazz festival and who graciously allowed my presence. I literally had the river, a campfire, and the sounds, sights, and smells of nature right outside my front door. It was heaven.
|Can't you just hear the sound of the river?|
|Babe, my constant companion|
Within a year I would find myself packed up and heading south. I would be a wife by summer and a mother by next fall. My year alone on the river would become a sweet memory lost to the years of making a life that was ahead of me.
It’s when I look at the pictures of that time in Oregon that I yearn for the simple life I led; aside from all the emotional turmoil I was in, it really was a year of wonder. And it was all mine.
I'll find my way back there again someday, soon.