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    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 27, 15 at 11:33 AM
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The SilverBee and her Six Birds Go A-wandering

For three and a half years I've rested among loved one in Tennessee, enjoying a quiet life. Now that my health seems to have improved and the lure of the road is calling, I've decided to pull up stakes. At least my sis agrees I can maintain my legal residence with her while I wander for a while before returning to take care of business and other incidentals. I figure three months at a time will about work.

My Ford F-150, a 1995 model, needs some maintenance, which it will receive during the next six months. I'm on the lookout for a reasonably priced travel trailer which I'll have to modify to make a built-in cage for my six cockatiels. I'll need to outfit the trailer with electronic gear to allow for Internet connection, email, phone, computer, etc. And I'll make a few plans of possible routes and search out stops I want to make along the way.

I'm not wealthy--or even moderately situated--but with senior passes, careful routing and watching the budget, I think my social security benefit will support me. I am looking into some editing, ghostwriting, or other telecommunicating jobs but not counting on them at this point. I published a teen/youth adventure novel last year and have another in progress, so I plan to do some marketing along the way. It occurred to me just this morning that I might find other self-published authors in the same boat (hate to market/not selling many books) who would like to have an agent on the road.

My history for this kind of leaping out into the wild included this: At 43 I set out on my first-time-ever backpacking trip, alone. Who cared that I missed the first turn in the trail out of Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe? I just returned down the mountain to the campground, sent a bunch of heavy stuff home at the general store, hung out for a couple of days until I met a kid from England heading the same way. He and I hit it off well enough to decide to walk together, and 15 days later we stepped out onto the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite. Thanks, David Adams from London, England! Sure wish I could connect with you again.

Then, in 1983, my new husband Tony and I left California in a Ford F-250 and a 40' fifth-wheel trailer and crossed the country stopping at to hike and backpack at Zion, Valley of Fire, Grand Canyon and then landing consulting contracts on the East Coast. It was a hoot. Then came cancer diagnosis for Tony and back home to California with ten years of cancer treatments for him and seven years of Alzheimer's decline for my Little Mother. Then I was alone again--until my sweet sis invited me to Tennessee. Now I need to free her to make her own decisions and plans. I'm feeling chipper and reading for an adventure.

My first trip will be south (good move in January, I think) and the first stop will be to see my adopted Little Brother who has Smith's Body Shop in Sulligent, Alabama. He was in MP training for 16 weeks with my own Little Brother. They became fast friends, with personalities so similar, but became separated when they arrived in Vietnam in January 1968 at the time of the TET offensive. Jacob didn't make it home, and after years of his own grief, Danny found me and we adopted one another. (smile) He's a comfort to me, so I'll see him first.

From there, I have only vague ideas so far. There's a village in Georgia where one can ride a steam train. (Hmmm, but will my birds be okay while I gallivant?) I guess as long as I parked where there were electrical hookups, the birds would have air conditioning or heat as necessary. Also, does anyone have information on whether caged birds, kept inside at all times, would be barred from any of the parks?

Okay, as you can tell, I'm excited about the prospects--and open to any and all suggestions.

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