Once Upon a Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon, the shop in Padanaram Village in South Dartmouth, MA

The Strawberry Moon is one of the names for the Full Moon in the month of June.  This year on the Full Moon in June, I approached a metaphysical business about doing Tarot readings at their stores.  The name of the stop happened to be:  Strawberry Moon.

The shop, Strawberry Moon has two locations with a third on the way.  They are located in Padanaram Village in South Dartmouth, MA; and in the historic Ansel Gurney House in Marion, MA with a third location being born right now in Warren, Rhode Island. 

The owner, Andrea Berry-MacDonald is a multi-talented lady with a love of crystals which she carries in all of her stores along with jewelry that she makes as well as clothes, tarot cards, metaphysical books, and lots of lotions and potions.  Each store has some unique features which are worth checking out. 

Mythic Tarot Readings by Donna

The Tarot readings and workshops are currently taking place at the South Dartmouth location which is where I read the Mythic Tarot cards on Wednesdays from 11 – 5 pm.  There are readers every day of the week so it’s worth stopping by the shop on different days to sample the variety of readers. 

After a year and a half of doing my alternative counseling work on-line, I was ready to get back to some in-person work.  This has been a great way to begin to move out into the world once again.

If you live in Southeastern Massachusetts, or travel to the Cape, please stop by and check out these unique shops, and have a reading in South Dartmouth with one of the gifted Tarot readers.  Hope to see you there soon. https://www.shopstrawberrymoon.com/

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2021

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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Home Sweet Home…Once Again

After leaving California 7 years ago, my life’s journey has been about being on the move.  Jim and I sold our California home in June, 2014, and then drove across country to Massachusetts with our remaining belongings to sell family homes, and settle estates before heading out on the first stint of Full-time RVing which lasted exactly 3 years.  Then, we built a home in Wareham, MA where we lived for almost 3 years, still traveling south for the winter in our Bighorn RV.   Then, in August, 2020, we sold our home, and returned to the Full-time RV life which we have been doing now for 7 months, and will be until October, 2021 when we will officially move into a new home near Asheville, North Carolina. 

When we count all the months we’ve spent Full-time and Part-time RVing since 2014, it adds up to almost 5 years, living in our Bighorn RVs.  If anyone had ever told me that I would be living in an RV for all those years, I would have never believed them!  The Full-time lifestyle has been a journey of learning.  Some of the lessons include:  to be flexible, to be in the moment, to be open to new adventures, and to be constantly letting go of people, places and things as I leave each campground and town/state behind.  I’ve also had to release many ideas, beliefs and expectations about life on the road.  

Now, we’re at our final campground for this second stint of Full-time RVing.  We made reservations for 6 months to stay near Cape Cod to see family and friends, and also do some part-time work.  Jim’s Handyman Business is still up and running, and keeping him busy while I hope to find a part-time job for the summer/fall. 

When we made our reservations last fall, it was for a quiet, family campground called Shady Acres, nestled next to cranberry bogs, and a small pond with woodland trails all around.  During the winter, we received an email, announcing the sale of this lovely campground to the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort now calling it Cranberry Acres!  After the shock wore off, we looked into other camping options in the area, but there weren’t a lot of seasonal options close to Wareham, and the area where most of Jim’s work takes place.

The funny thing is that throughout our years of full-timing, we have never been to the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Parks.  We have stayed at KOA Kampgrounds, and many other campgrounds that cater to families, but Yogi Bear was not on our list.  To end up in one, not by choice, gave me something to ponder.  We’re also in Site #1 – right near the entrance of the campground, and behind one of the playgrounds where a Yogi Bear statue greets all the campers.  So far, the campers have been arriving slowly. On week-ends, there are more children around, and more noise at the playground, right outside our door, but, luckily, it’s been a slow build-up to the busyness of summer.   

Some of my thoughts about ending up in a campground that we avoided in our travels is that there must be something to learn from this experience as well.  Perhaps, it is a chance to get more in touch with my inner child, to be more playful, and to be around children more.  Not having children of my own, I haven’t spent a lot of time around them.  I do have nieces and nephews, but most of them have lived far away from us when they were growing up.  I only saw them sporadically, and have only spent more time with two of them.  I’m a lot more familiar with pets, having had nine cats over the years that I took care of as long as they lived.  Bella is number 9 cat in a long line of black cats, but even she is a little skittish around children, hiding behind the couch when they show up.

And now, I’ll be ending my second Full-time RVing stint which only lasted a year at one of the Yogi Bear parks.  I guess I had to experience all kinds of RV parks which I have as well as boon-docking, and camping at Wal-Mart.  They are all part of the life of a Full-time RVer.  My experience was different from the real-life actors of the movie, “Nomadland,” but I am honored to have shared the journey with them.  Until next time, I will take a break from the road later this year.  Safe travels to all the Rvers who are Living the RV Lifestyle (also the name of my book on Amazon).  

 By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2021

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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Messages from the Road

Lonely girl with suitcase at country road.

This winter, I am RVing and using my Google Maps quite often.  Sometimes, it’s just to find the nearest grocery store, or coffee shop, or plan the next leg of my trip.  Recently, I arrived at my next destination, and a message appeared on my phone.  It was one I had never seen before.  Most days, I would just close the map without looking at it.  This time, I didn’t do that right away, and this is what I saw.

A symbol of the Earth showed up on a completely white screen, and the message read:  “You’re a long way from your regular route.” At first, I just stared at the message, and then I laughed out loud.  After two months on the road, that message was very true.  I’m obviously a long way from my regular routes and my usual routines.  But I also started to see the message as something bigger for me, and maybe, you as well.

With all the changes on the planet, all of us are being stretched, and moved away from our regular routes.  I would imagine that most of us who try to keep up some kind of routine are being challenged on a daily basis.  Even with making plans with others, I have noticed that you can make them far in advance, but be ready for them to change at the last minute. Plans change from moment to moment.

What I have discovered even more from living on the road is that you have to live and love being in the Now.  The Now is all we have anyway, but lately it has become even clearer with every passing moment.  I’ve been traveling for two months, and at times, it feels like it has been a lot longer.  With each move from campground to campground, and from state to state, I feel a huge shift in time, and even my space.

Right now, I am past the midpoint of my trip.  I have no idea what it’s going to feel like to return home to Cape Cod. Some days, I look forward to it, and other days, I know I’ll miss this time of traveling once again.  If I start to daydream about the past lately, or look ahead to the future, I find myself being pulled right back into the present.  Perhaps, that is the gift of this time period.  We are living from moment to moment with the changing news stories, with the changing weather, and with our changing ways of working and living on this planet.

Just this week, I visited an island off the coast of Georgia – Jekyll Island.  The whole island is basically a state park with museums, hotels, restaurants, shops, and homes of people that do live there.  Since it was my first visit there, I toured around the island, spending time visiting beaches, the historic district, and restaurants and shops.  By the end of my time there, I felt like I had stepped into some kind of time capsule.  The heyday on the island was in the early 1900’s.  Back then, it was a slower way of life – strolls on the garden paths, sitting on porches sipping cocktails, and formal English teas at the clubhouse.

Magical Reality Photographic Art

I felt myself slipping into that time period.  I felt time slowing down, almost as thick as molasses.  I walked at a leisurely pace, and lingered at a café table by a water fountain.  After four hours on the island, I felt sleepy and dreamy.  I wondered how I was going to deal with crossing the bridge, back to the mainland and back to that busier pace of life.  Luckily, I am still in Georgia so the shift wasn’t as extreme as landing in New York City.  That would have been a huge shift in time.

The experience on Jekyll Island did give me something to ponder.  Perhaps, I was experiencing the expansive qualities of time – how it can stretch further than we imagine, and other times, how it can zip right by.  During these changing times, many speak of choosing a timeline to live on.  Now, I have an inkling of what that could be.  I chose to slow down to a timeline of the early 1900’s, and really experienced that Southern lifestyle from the past.

Now, I am considering what other timelines I can choose.  It’s a matter of focus.  Where do you focus your attention?  Do you dwell on not having enough time?  Because then, that’s exactly what you’re creating for yourself.  Imagine having all the time in the world. Perhaps, you could live on that timeline whenever you choose.

I know I have come a long way from my regular routine.  It also seems that I have come a great distance from my regular thoughts as well.  Perhaps, those seemingly simple messages that we receive have a lot more depth than we initially realize.  This coming month, I hope you’ll find yourself away from your regular routine, and try a little of your own jumping timelines. Who knows?  You may find a timeline that suits you perfectly.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2019

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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A Tribute to Zeus: A Traveling Cat

Zeus on his perch at Holiday Hills

This spring, I have been going through the last days of my cat, Zeus’ life.  He’s lived longer than any of my other cats to the amazing age of 19.   I thought it would be great to have a cat that lived that long especially when my outdoor cats only made it to age 10 if they were lucky.  It has been great, and also harder to say goodbye to such a beloved pet.

Born in Hollister, California, Jim and I adopted Zeus, and his brother, Apollo from a friend whose cat had a litter.  When we came to see the kittens, Jim noticed a small gray kitten hiding under a bush.  He literally had to drag him out from under that bush.  That was Zeus.  His brother, Apollo was a striped white cat, looking like an Egyptian Mau.  Zeus looked more like a long and lean British shorthair.  Both cats were domestic cats with no fancy breeding papers.  Though, they did look like they came from more exotic places than Hollister.

Zeus lived with his brother, Apollo the first 4 years of his life in the San Francisco Bay area, and then moved three hours northeast to the Sierra Nevada foothills in Grass Valley, CA where he lived for 10 years.  That’s where Zeus and his brother went from being indoor cats to semi-outdoor cats.  They first ventured out on our 15 foot high deck which gave them a bird’s eye view of the trees, and the yard below.  Then, they both learned at age 10 how to walk on a leash, and had semi-weekly walks around the yard, and my neighbor’s yard.  This was their first taste of the outdoor cat life.

When it came time to leave CA, that’s where the incredible life for Zeus really began.  It turned out that Zeus really enjoyed traveling, sometimes more than me.  We drove cross-country back to Cape Cod, MA, staying in hotels along the way.  Zeus just went with the flow, getting out at rest areas and walking around with all the other pets who mainly happened to be dogs.  Zeus didn’t see anything wrong with being the only cat.  But that trip was only the beginning of his adventures.  (In the Excerpt below from my RV book, I write more about Zeus’ RV adventures.)

I’m not sure what moment I realized that Zeus was not your normal cat.  He never seemed to care for hunting, leaving that sport up to his crafty brother, Apollo who was only too happy to catch a bird on our deck, or even a small gecko.   Zeus was more content to observe and watch life while Apollo engaged life, sometimes recklessly.  Zeus was more mellow with a calm presence.  Only after Apollo passed away at age 12 did Zeus come out from under the shadow of his bolder brother.

Zeus seemed to miss his brother at first, but then he adjusted to being the only cat.  He almost seemed more content to be by himself.  Of course, once we stated moving around with our RV, Zeus was never really alone for long.  He was our constant companion on the road.

Even this winter of 2019, Jim and I traveled the southern states with Zeus in our Bighorn RV.  Zeus was right there exploring the campgrounds.  He didn’t always walk as far as he had in the past, and was more content to stay in the RV and sleep away an afternoon.  I sensed he was slowing down.  He was beginning to show some signs of aging.  When we arrived back home in April, I started to notice more signs.  It was hard to face that Zeus might be nearing the end of his life.  He celebrated his 19th birthday on April 28th.

I wanted to write this tribute to Zeus while he is still with us.  I wanted to remember all the joy and companionship that he’s given me.  I know there won’t be another cat like him.  All cats have their unique personalities and special traits.  Right now, I don’t know if there is another cat in my future.  I am going to take a break from pet ownership.  For almost 37 years, Jim and I have had pets – from fish to cats, but never a dog.  Zeus is number 8 in a long line of great cats which included Sylvester, Thomasina, Angelica, Romeo, Juliet, Black Diamond, and Apollo.  Someday, I look forward to seeing them all again.  I know I am the lucky one who got to experience the special relationship that you can have with a cat.  Blessings on Zeus’ journey home when he’s ready.

Zeus, the tree climber

The excerpt below is from Chapter 7: Traveling with your Pets in my book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road which is a combination of practical advice on RV living as well as personal stories from life on the road, giving you an idea of what it’s really like to live the Full-time RV life.

Pet Adventures – Traveling with My Cat, Zeus, the Road Warrior

Like John Steinbeck with his dog, Charley, Jim and I were fortunate to have a traveling cat – not just a cat who tolerated traveling, but who seemed to even love it, more than me at times.  In California, I never took my cats with me on vacations, or even on road trips.  I always called up a friend, and later a pet sitter to keep an eye on my cats while I was away.  I didn’t think of bringing them with me because I usually stayed in hotels or resorts that didn’t allow pets.  I didn’t realize that that was why many people traveled in RVs so that they could bring along their pets on summer vacations and week-end getaways. 

When we finally sold our home in California in June 2014, we decided to drive back to Massachusetts, and take Zeus on his first major road trip.  We had taken him away for a long week-end once, and he did well.  But traveling cross-country was the big test.  Zeus did better than I could have ever imagined.  Most of the time, he quietly sat on my lap, or on the back seat, only getting antsy when he needed to eat or take a bathroom break.  I even got out his leash, and walked him at rest areas if he wanted to go outside.  At most campsites, Zeus couldn’t wait to get out and sniff around just like all the dogs we saw at the campgrounds. 

Eventually, we did see other cats.  But most of the time, they stayed in their RVs, and slept in the big  front windows of the Class A Mobile homes, or peeked out of windows in the Airstreams.  Zeus also claimed his favorite spots in our RV – sitting atop his scratching post next to the dining room table, or on the back of the recliners, and even in the cubbyholes of the RV.  He liked to try new spots so that he could have different views of the outdoors. 

At first, Zeus didn’t mind moving around every week, or two.  But by the end of our first grand circle of the country, he started to grow tired of the constant moving.  I could usually tell when he was sleeping on the bed, and opened one eye in the morning, and gave me a look on moving day.  “Like you gotta be kidding!  We’re moving again.  Didn’t we just get here?”  Okay, maybe, that was me speaking through Zeus.

I think Zeus was as happy as me to arrive on Cape Cod, and stay in my sister’s driveway for a couple of months.  Now, we’ve been staying in more places longer which gives him a chance to really get to know the campground even if the neighbors and their pets keep changing.  At each campground where he’s stayed longer, Zeus has created his walking routine which varies slightly, but most of the time, he checks out the same spots, usually ending up on the picnic table, waiting for a brushing.  I guess cats are also creatures of habit.  Right now, as I write about Zeus, he’s waiting for his nightly walk.  Morning and night, and sometimes mid-day, he ventures out, ready to see the new arrivals at the campground, and to check out the local birds. 

Zeus’ presence on this journey around the country has been a calming influence at times, and comforting when I’ve been moving around so much.  His constant loving attention has been reassuring especially when I left behind many of those creature comforts that make up a home.  Living more simply was one thing, but living without Zeus was never an option.  He’s made the trip more entertaining even with his challenging moments.  Zeus began this trip at age 14, and is still going strong at 17.  I’m hopeful that Zeus will be with us into his 20’s.  Traveling wouldn’t be the same without him.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2019

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

 

 

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Tales from the RV Lifestyle: No Wrong Turns by Donna Fisher-Jackson

rv

This winter of 2019, my husband, Jim and I got back on the road with our Bighorn RV for a trip to Florida.  After full-time RVing for three years, we had taken a break from the road, and built a home on Cape Cod.  We had been away from life on the road for over a year.  I had started to forget about the mysteries of the road, and how time and events can seem almost otherworldly. The second day of this trip was about to remind me of the synchronicities of the RV lifestyle.

After Christmas, we headed out with a host of holiday travelers, driving down the east coast.  We knew we needed to head to the Southern states right away in case some wintry weather showed up.  On our first day, we planned a shorter drive to get back in the saddle again.  But on the second day, we hoped to put some distance between us and the northern states.

That morning of the second day, we woke up to heavy rain that had begun overnight.  It was raining steady, and foggy alongside the highway.  We left Pennsylvania, and planned on making it to Northern Virginia that day.  We had to drive around Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. – two cities that are never easy to navigate with a 39 foot RV, but especially when it’s rainy and foggy.

Driving my own car, I followed behind the Fifth wheel RV driven by Jim.  With the stormy start, I questioned my decision to bring my car along.  In our three years on the road, we had discovered it was nice to have a car to drive around especially when we spent longer periods of time in different areas.  That way, we didn’t always have to drive the large dually truck, the tow vehicle for the RV.

Now on the second day of driving, I felt tired after the holidays, and a bit intimidated by the long drive down south.  With the rain pounding down, my head started to ache especially behind one eye.  I knew I was in for a long day on the road.  Zeus, my beloved cat, slept in the passenger seat.  At least, he tried to sleep in spite of the constant rain.  Zeus had always been an adaptable cat, but, today, his patience and flexibility were going to be tested.

Zeus on his perch at Holiday Hills

As the hours piled up, I lost Jim on the road at one point when I had to stop for gas.  His truck had a 50 gallon reserve tank so he had enough diesel to go for miles.  We talked on the phone on and off, but I ended up choosing some different routes including an express lane for Cars Only around Washington, D.C.  Saving some time, I ended up only a few miles behind him as we neared our exit for the Prince William (P.W.) Forest Park in Northern Virginia.

After about 7 hours on the road, I was ready to relax at the campground.  The drive had been a lot longer, and more tiring with the inclement weather and the holiday traffic.  As I took the exit, Jim mentioned on the phone seeing a Subway Restaurant on the other side.  Now, it was quite dark, but I also glimpsed the same restaurant on the opposite side of the divided highway.  I decided to do a U turn, and circle around.  I thought there would be an entrance at the front of the plaza, but it turned out it was only on the side.  As I turned into what I thought was the front entrance, I ended up back on the highway once again.

And so the wrong turns began.  I was back on Highway 95 heading south again.  Glancing over at the north side, I could see a line of traffic.  I knew I didn’t want to end up back on that side.  My trusty Google Maps told me I could take the next exit, and there would be another way to get to the campground.  The campground was in the P.W. Forest Park which appeared to be like a state park – the only slice of green on my map in a busy cosmopolitan area.  I took the next exit, and started driving away from the highway.  Quickly, the road grew dark with no homes or businesses.  I noticed one large driveway, and I turned in to check my phone once more.

As I drove up to the entrance, I noticed there was a large, brick church with a massive stained glass window, lit from within.  The church looked so inviting.  I wished I could stop and rest.  By now, I had been traveling for almost 8 hours on the road.  Tired and hungry, I told myself I needed to keep going.  Still on the phone with Jim, I turned back onto the dark road.

Tree-lined driveway

As I drove, the road twisted and turned with woods on both sides.  It seems that I had entered the P.W. Forest Park from the other end, and now had to drive all the way around to get to the campground.  Jim had no idea where I was exactly.  He had made it to the campground, and was setting up the RV.  Luckily, the rain had stopped, but now misty fog drifted across the road.  I thought I was in that musical, Into the Woods except there were no other characters except Zeus and I, and an occasional car that came up behind me.  The other cars navigated the road with more familiarity.  It was probably their version of a short-cut, but for me, it had turned into a long way around.

As I drove around one woodsy corner after another, I felt lost and afraid.  I felt like not continuing.  Like stopping and calling for help.  Jim tried to reassure me to keep going that I would make it eventually.  As I approached the initial road where I had first taken the wrong turn, I saw the sign for the correct road, but again, I took a wrong turn, and ended up on a Dead End road.  I went by one house at the beginning of the road behind a fence with a long driveway, and another home off the cul-de-sac where I turned around.

Frustrated and tired, I told Jim how I had turned one road too early.  As I headed back to the correct turn, I slowed down to check my phone once more.  The next second, I looked up to see a streak of white followed by a loud crash.  I looked over on the other side of the road to see a white car in the woods, abruptly stopped by a tree.

I yelled to Jim on the phone, “On, my God!  A car just went off the road.  I have to call 911!”  I hung up, and made the call.  As the operator coached me, I went over to check on the person who had now crawled up the hill, and was leaning over by the side of the road.  I still didn’t know exactly where I was so I walked up to the corner, and checked the street sign.  Amazingly, the house set back from the road had a stone pillar with the street number and name.  I told the 911 operator, and she asked more questions about the person who turned out to be Jacqueline, a young black woman.

As I did my best to reassure Jacqueline that help was on the way, the operator did her best to guide me.  In a few minutes, a fire truck showed up, and then an ambulance.  By now, Jacqueline had sat down on the stretcher, complaining of her head aching, and a pain in her leg.  She was still in shock, and functioning, but fading rapidly.  The fireman in charge told me that she was lucky I had been there. On a dark Dead End road, she may have collapsed and no one would have found her until daylight.  With no police on hand, I didn’t need to answer any more questions.

Shaking and on the verge of tears, I slipped into my car and sat for a moment.  I called Jim, and told him what had happened, and finally headed to my final destination for the night.  This time, it was only a short drive around the corner.  Since it was the quiet season for the P.W. Forest Park, there were no guards at the gate at this hour.  I just drove in, and found the campsite.

As the reality of what had happened sunk in, I felt like all the delays and wrong turns had literally led me to that moment in time.  Driving through the dark woods, I had finally seen the light.  I was exactly where I needed to be to help that young woman.  I started to see even more clearly how guided we always are if we can have faith, and surrender to the moment.  We always have self-will and can choose in each and every moment, but there are some moments where it’s clear what you need to do.  At least, that’s how it was for me.  I knew I had been divinely guided there to help this woman, and that’s what I needed to do.  In the future, I hope that I can have that kind of clarity again.  I did learn what being in the present moment felt like.  It was being here right Now.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2019

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  Her latest book is about the RV life called, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  She is also the author of the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.

 

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The Saturn Return: A Turning Point in the Life Cycle by Donna Fisher-Jackson

Turn of the Seasons

The Fall is a perfect time to write about the Saturn return, an astrological transit that we all go through during our lifetime.  It can be a time of harvest.  It all depends on what you’ve created over the years. The more you can learn about the planet Saturn, and the timing of its return to the same point as when you were born, then you can go through this time period with more awareness, and even reap some of Saturn’s wisdom.  If there is one phrase that applies to Saturn, it would be:  “If you do the work, then you can reap the rewards.”

The Saturn return is an important turning point in each person’s life whether it’s their first return between ages 28 – 30; or their second return around ages 58 – 60.   Even people who don’t follow astrology may have heard of this transit.  The Saturn return is certainly a maturing transit where you can be faced with all those lessons of Saturn especially the ones you’ve been avoiding.    The planet Saturn has a way of reminding us of our responsibilities, and has often been called the planet of “reality checks.”  If you’ve been putting off some major decision, or holding onto the past, a Saturn transit can help you with the decision-making process.  If you’re holding on too tightly, it may not be accomplished in a gentle manner, but more like getting knocked over the head.  It doesn’t have to be a rude awakening.

In our society of quick fixes and taking the easy path, Saturn can be a hard lesson to learn.  If you’re willing to persist at a task, develop a discipline towards a goal, or take on the responsibilities of your life, then you can be richly rewarded by your hard work. I have observed many a person aim for a long-term goal, only to leave it by the way side because they didn’t want to do the work involved.   And yet, if you can stick with that goal, it can be an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you reach that mountain top that you’ve been striving towards all those days, months and years.

The Saturn return is one of those times when it becomes very clear what we have been putting off, or not willing to look at in our lives.   With the Saturn return, we can find ourselves leaving jobs, ending marriages, and making big moves especially if we’ve been hanging onto situations that no longer work for us.   The first Saturn return at ages 28 – 30 can be the first time when we really get serious about a career, a relationship, or starting a family.  At this age, it’s important to choose a path that’s true for you even if it doesn’t go along with mainstream society.   It may mean that you have to break away from your own family of origin’s wishes, and choose a career and/or a relationship that’s more in alignment with who you are as a person.  

In the recent news, I have noticed a disturbing trend of young celebrities at this age of 28 – 30 who are committing suicide.  In the news, it appears that these young men and women “had it all,” but obviously something was missing for them, and they didn’t feel they had any other option.   I wish they could have known about the Saturn return, and perhaps, if they knew that it was a transit that only lasted for a short time in the bigger picture of life, then they might have been able to make a different choice.  If you personally know of anyone in this age category who is struggling, please encourage them to see a counselor especially a professional who has an understanding of the cycles of adult life; and even better, if they know about the Saturn return.  It can make a huge difference in their life.

The second Saturn return at ages 58 – 60 can also be a challenging time especially if you haven’t made those changes in your 30’s, or even in your early 40’s when we all go through the mid-life transits.  Then you can be faced with having to make radical changes in order to live a life that is true for you.   If you’ve made those changes in your life, the second Saturn return can be a different experience.  It can be more of a harvest time where you get to really enjoy the fruits of your labor from all those years.   Some people retire under this transit, or even begin new careers, if they feel ready for a change in their lives.  It can be a time to integrate all of life’s experiences in order to move to another level of awareness.  Many people at this age also begin to share their wisdom with others perhaps by teaching, leading groups, or in their daily life.

With an awareness of the ages of this transit, then you can plan more accordingly on how you would like to navigate the lessons of Saturn.    Who knows?  You may find your Saturn return to be one of the most rewarding times of your life, and worth the hard work after all.

 By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2018

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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Insights from my Spiritual Retreat: Finding Home within

The Tower at Glastonbury Abbey - March 2018

To celebrate the arrival of spring (at least on the calendar), I went on a spiritual retreat on March 19 – 22 to a new place – the Glastonbury Abbey, a monastery in New England.  Every year, I like to go on a retreat and take time to be still, and do quiet practices like journaling, meditative walks, reading spiritual books, artwork, and just being.

In the past, I have gone to favorite retreat centers in California more than once, but lately, I have been going to new places.  Last spring, I went to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia which is a Trappist monastery.  It was my first experience at a monastery in the Deep South where I had a very inspiring and worthwhile visit.

This spring, I traveled to the Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, Massachusetts, just south of Boston.  After driving through the historic town of Hingham with its stately New England homes, I arrived at the abbey which had once been the summer home of a wealthy family.  Now the monastery is ensconced inside the old stone mansion with the addition of a new chapel.  As I drove up the hill to the front entrance of the abbey, I was struck by this tall, stone tower off to the right.  Instantly, I thought of the Tor in Glastonbury, England which I had once visited. The grounds of the abbey, and the other stone buildings made me feel like I had stepped through a portal into the original Glastonbury Abbey in England.

After I checked in, the Abbot guided me to my retreat house.  At the time, I didn’t know he was the Abbot, leading the other Benedictine monks at the abbey until the next day when I attended Mass in their chapel.  Dressed in his formal robes, I now recognized the man who had guided me to my home for the retreat.  As he showed me around the three story house, he told me that I would be the only retreatant there for my three night stay.  A group of Buddhists monks were arriving at the end of the week, but until then, I was the only one in this rather, grand home.

The Abbot even mentioned since I was there by myself that I might as well choose my own room on the second floor.  The third floor rooms were smaller, and the first floor rooms had been closed off for the winter.  As I peeked in each room, I chose a room with more windows, and on the back corner of the house.  I thought it would be quieter than on the street side.  The room was also Room 25 (in numerology a # 7) which seemed perfect for a retreat experience.

Since I was the only guest, the Abbot also informed me that I was invited to have lunch, and supper with the monks at the monastery.  For my breakfast, there was a kitchen and dining room in the retreat house with all the necessary supplies including coffee, tea, breads, cereals and juice.  Each morning, I ate breakfast on my own schedule in the old, paneled dining room with brass candlelight sconces on the walls.

Stonecrest Retreat House at Glastonbury Abbey

The Stonecrest retreat house had the elegant details of crown molding along with leaded glass windows, and antique wooden doors with the crystal doorknobs, and brass keyholes.  I felt like I had stepped back in time into a grand era where homes were built to last and meant to be passed on from one generation to the next.  The home also had an extensive library of religious and spiritual books on all kinds of subjects including even more alternative schools of thought.  Each night, I sat on the leather couch in the library, selecting books to peruse, drinking in the wisdom of the writers.  Looking around the library, I thought I might have stepped into my own slice of heaven.

The Library at Stonecrest

As retreats often do, the time slipped into timelessness.  I filled my days with solitude and community.  I spent mornings, afternoons and evenings, mainly by myself, only venturing out to attend some of the services and to have meals with the monks.  The monks had their daily schedule of prayer which varied with different special events especially since it was the season of Lent.  One evening, I ate with the community of the monastery at a Lenten supper.  The soup and bread were simply delicious, followed by a talk by one of the parishioners.  The community was welcoming, and curious to find out what led me to this retreat center.  After leaving the presentation, I walked back to my quiet home, feeling quite safe and protected in the large house.

Even though I was alone, I didn’t feel lonely or afraid.  I felt quite comfortable, tucked away in my second floor bedroom.  I did lock my bedroom door at night, but it didn’t seem to be necessary since I was the only guest.  I thought I might hear some ghosts roaming about in such an old home, but I never encountered any wayward spirits.   During my stay, I only had a couple of visitors.  The librarian came by the first morning to shelf books, and the maid arrived on my last day.  In between, I was woken up one morning with work men, scrambling on the roof, nailing down shingles.  Another Nor’easter was coming on the last day of my stay, and they were preparing again for a windy, March storm.

As far as the meals with the monks, I felt like an honored guest to be invited to share in their meals in their own dining room.  A Grandfather clock ticked in the corner of their dining room, reminding them of their next scheduled service.  From 6:30 am Vigils to 7:45 pm Compline, each day was a series of services that brought them together throughout the day and night.  The public was always welcome to join them in the chapel.  The monks didn’t live a cloistered life set apart from the world.  They shared their sacred life with the local community, just like they shared their meals with me.

The meals were usually simple and healthy with salads, fruits, vegetables, and some kind of main course with meat.  They had their own cook, Francois, who made their meals for them while they each took turns serving the meals.  The last evening was a special dinner in honor of St. Benedict, their patron saint since they were Benedictine monks.  I had no idea what awaited me that evening.

When I arrived late at 6:35 pm, the group of monks were waiting for me.  I felt a little guilty at keeping them waiting, knowing they had such a strict schedule to follow.  They seated me in the middle of the table for this last supper.  Surrounded by eight men, all dressed in their black robes, I wore black as well to honor their humble life.  The ninth monk who turned out to be the Abbott served us the special feast.  First, he brought out salads for us to enjoy, and then, the main course, a homemade chicken parmigiana with pasta, and bread.  This evening, they had wine for dinner – the first time I had seen them drink wine.  As we talked and ate, relishing this feast, the Abbott told us to save room for dessert that he would be bringing by the dessert cart next.  I thought he was joking until he wheeled the cart out of the kitchen, loaded with delicious treats from a nearby bakery.  There were tiny cakes, pies, and the one I picked – cannolis, loaded with rich cream cheese and chocolate.  As we drank coffee and tea, we indulged in our decadent desserts.  I thought these monks really know how to celebrate a holy day.  I wondered what they might partake of at their Easter dinner.

After that amazing night, I left with such a feeling of abundance and warmth.  And lastly, but not least, a feeling of coming home.  I felt so at home at the abbey, and in my grand home from the past.

Now a month later, I still carry that feeling of home within.  It felt the strongest when I first left the monastery, and now, it’s a seed that has been planted within me.  I feel like I can now move around more easily, knowing that I am always at home within wherever I may be living.  Thanks to the Benedictine monks of the Glastonbury Abbey for their hospitality and warmth in making me feel quite at home in their sacred sanctuary.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2018

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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Staying in touch with people, near and far

Pen to Paper

In the sea of information that swims around all of us in today’s world, how do you choose which email, what newsletter, what blog, what video, etc to read, listen to, and watch?  Almost every day, I open my computer to this overwhelming sea, and wish that I could read all the emails that show up – at least the interesting ones.  I wish I could see all the postings of my Facebook friends, and to respond to each one of them.  I also miss talking to those friends on the phone, over coffee, at ladies nights, and in women’s circles.

In the midst of all these ways to communicate and stay in touch, I long for the face-to-face meetings.  I miss those intimate, in-depth conversations with people.  I don’t want them over the phone, or even in an email or on Skype, I prefer them in person.  I want to see the person’s eyes, their mannerisms like the subtle tilt of their head as they reveal how they really feel.  I want to see and hear their giggle at a story that we both share.  I want to take the time to linger over coffee, or a meal, and not rush, but really see and hear that person across from me.

I believe our world with all its ways to communicate is becoming more impersonal in the process.  Many people stay in touch now through texts and social media. Those communication tools leave me feeling distant and cool to the touch.  I do realize that many of my friends live faraway now, and that some of these tools are the only ones left right now for us to stay in touch.

Even with this distance between us, I wonder if there are better ways to stay in touch.  Maybe the lost art of letter-writing will make a come-back.  It could be a short note, a card, or even a post card.  Mailing a letter through the post office sounds so old-fashioned, but how many of us miss receiving those letters in our mail boxes?  We now send birthday greetings on Facebook, but what about selecting a special card that captures your relationship with that person?  Or maybe sending a card or letter for no reason, but just to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Paul Spangenberg 1843-1918 - What's in the cards 1911

“What’s in the cards?” 1911 by Paul Spangenberg

These brief missives being sent out in the mail could be the beginning of more love spreading around the country, and even the world.  As a young woman, I had pen pals in many far-reaching places, from England to Australia, and everywhere in between.  I wrote to people on a regular basis, and waited for those air mail letters to make it to my home.  I wrote to many of them for years, and now over the years, the letters have been lost through all my moving.  I wish I had those letters once again, and I could look up those long-lost friends, and perhaps, meet them in person, and let them know how much their letters meant to me when I was a young girl.  At that time, I felt a connection with more people than just the ones living in my small hometown.  I felt a connection with the world through those letters.

Perhaps, it’s time to reach out again through letters, and connect and re-connect with others.  Who knows where it could lead?   I am still yearning for that one-on-one connection with friends.  Perhaps, I will find that again in my new/old hometown on Cape Cod.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2018

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

 

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A Timeless Love Story for Valentine’s Day

Lovers by Karkabi, Irina Vitalievna

Lovers by Irina Vitalievna Karkabi

With Valentine’s Day this week, it’s the perfect time to reflect on relationships of all kinds especially the romantic kind.  Being a Type Four, the Romantic, I spend more time than most on the subject of relationships.  It has certainly been one of my favorite subjects to write about, showing up in two of my books. 

My first book, The Healing Path of the Romantic:  Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System highlights the journey of the Romantic in life, and especially in relationships.

My second book, Clara & Irving:  A Love Story of Past Lives is a novel based on the love story of my grandparents, Clara & Irving Fisher – a true story of a Romantic.  Told through the eyes of Clara, and her granddaughter, Danielle, the novel spans their lives from the 1920’s to 2010. The story takes place on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with many scenes at the Zeiterion Theatre of New Bedford, MA.  It’s not your traditional romance novel, but more of a story for those who have pondered the soul connections that we share with others that seem to transcend time.  Since it’s not possible to write a Past Life memoir, I decided to share this story in a fiction format, but many of the events in this novel are based on actual events.  I invite you to take this journey back in time.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.   The excerpt below captures the romantic tales of Clara and Danielle in this novel. 

Both books can be found on Amazon:  The Healing Path of the Romantic  and Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives

Reviews of Clara & Irving:  A Love Story of Past Lives

“Donna Fisher-Jackson has woven an exceptional story into a beautifully written tapestry of the life of her grandmother whom she discovers to be intimately connected with in a past life. This story will amaze you and keep you interested from the beginning to the end, when all the threads get tied together. From the moment the story opens in the graveyard where she and her family finally get a headstone for her father’s mother, Clara, I became intrigued. I love the way she moves from Clara’s life in the early 1900’s to her present life as Danielle. This is a love story you just can’t put down!” Constance S. Rodriguez PhD, Author of “Gifts of the Soul: Experience the Mystical in Everyday Life” Llewellyn, 2007.

“I have read and enjoyed your lovely story of Clara and Irving (and the other interesting characters who touched their lives). Your writing has a clarity of description that I found very easy to follow in my imagination and your detailed attention, particularly regarding nature, weather, the changing seasons and the clothing and appearance of the characters, was very impressive. I loved the dual timelines and the setting of the Z Theatre! It was very romantic, indeed, and with a nice touch of passion…and the eventual clarity, wisdom and understanding gained in the course of all those experiences… I also felt that your book in its’ entirety was excellent and very well-crafted: including the acknowledgements, historical background on the theater itself, beautiful cover and gorgeous author photo on the back with your bio!”  Emerald Alurin Stara: Author, Actor, Intuitive Consultant

cover-front-sm

 

The excerpt from Chapter 21 & 22 of Clara & Irving:  A Love Story of Past Lives

Chapter Twenty-One ~ Clara

Torn in Two

April, 1929

“I don’t know what I’m going to do about F.” Clara wrote in her diary. “I never expected to see him again.” On sunny days on her lunch hour, Clara liked to walk along the Onset Bluff.  Today, she had stopped to rest on a wooden bench high up on the bluff.  In early April, the beach’s only visitors were the seagulls roosting on pilings by the pier.  This time of year, the downtown streets were deserted.  The locals reveled in a leisurely pace at the coffee shops and restaurants.

Clara gazed out at the calm waters of the bay and wrote:  “As soon as I met Irving, I closed the chapter on that part of my life.  Now, F shows up again in my life, and he’s flirting with me as if time hasn’t passed by.   I’m going to stay away from the theatre.  I’m a wife and a mother now.  This is my life.”  Clara closed her diary.

Clara knew she should spend more time in the teacher’s lounge catching up on the latest news, but it all sounded like gossip to her.  She had so little time to herself. She treasured her solitary moments when everyone left the classroom for the day, and she could correct papers and make lesson plans for the next day.  And now that Fred had re-appeared in her life, she spent too much time daydreaming about him.  At least he respected her privacy and didn’t call her at home or at school.  But he had given her his work and apartment phone numbers.  She tucked the numbers in a side pocket in her wallet, knowing she should toss the paper away because she had no intention of calling him.

All week, Clara flirted with the idea of going to the theatre on Saturday.  Onset now had a theatre of its own showing silent movies and an occasional vaudeville review.  Since it was only around the corner from her apartment, she could steal away for a couple of hours while Emma watched the boys.

On Thursday night she rang up her close friend Marie who lived in Wareham.  “Hello, the Richards residence.” Marie answered.

Clara grinned into the phone.  “Don’t you think that’s putting the cart before the horse?  I mean you’re not Mrs. Richards yet.”

Marie let out a peal of laughter.  Clara pictured her red-headed friend holding the phone under her chin while she filed her nails.  Marie said, “I thought I’d give the name some practice in case Pete calls.”  Pete was her fiancé, and they planned to marry the following June when he finished medical school.

“Since you’re still single, how about seeing a matinee in Onset this Saturday?”

“In Onset?  Let’s go see a talkie in New Bedford.  Your namesake Clara Bow is starring in her latest picture, The Wild Party.  Maybe, your special friend can set aside some tickets for us,” said Marie.

“I can only get away for a couple of hours unless Emma can watch the boys longer,” said Clara, twisting the phone cord between her fingers.

“Please say you can go.  You can meet me at the theatre and I’ll do my shopping beforehand,” said Marie.

“You always have to stir up trouble, don’t you?  Wait until you have a mother-in-law and you’ll know what I mean,” said Clara, giving into Marie’s wishes with a sigh.

Clara thought she needed more married friends, but they only spent time at each other’s homes with the children around.  Because she was a teacher, they always asked her for advice on their children’s school work.  But she wanted to talk about other subjects – not just about raising children.  At least with Marie, they discussed stimulating topics such as theatre, art, politics, and of course, men.

Clara finished her call with Marie.  She placed a bunch of daffodils from the garden in a lavender pitcher and set it on the windowsill above the sink.  It gave her something to look at when washing the dishes.  As she filled up the sink, she looked down at her long fingers and her gold wedding band.  Always more household chores to do.  Her heart cried out for something new and exciting – a break from the daily routine.  Fred offered her that break, but it could also break up her marriage.  She loved Irving in spite of his nightly drinking.  Most nights he came home too exhausted to go out to the theatre.  He played with his sons, read the newspaper while he sipped his whiskey, and then collapsed into bed.  She missed the time when it was just the two of them.  After dinner, they would go for walks around town or even on the beach when the weather warmed up.  Those days were now misty memories.  As a young woman, she had high expectations for her life.  Now she wondered if she had settled for less than what she really wanted.  She felt a headache coming on and thought it’s time to go to sleep.

On Saturday, Clara chose a special dress for her afternoon at the theatre.  She slid on a peach sheath dress and wore her gold locket.  She placed a matching cloche on her short, dark hair.  She liked getting dolled up to surprise Fred especially since he didn’t know she was coming to the theatre.

Arm in arm, she and Marie strolled into the elegant lobby of the Orpheum.  Fred stood by the lobby bar talking to the bartender.  As if sensing her presence, he turned and beamed when he saw Clara and Marie stepping across the lobby.

“What a welcome surprise to see you two ladies.” Fred gave them both a European kiss on both cheeks.  He squeezed Clara’s arm with a disarming smile.

“Wait here, I’ll get you some tickets,” said Fred.

Clara and Marie gathered at the corner of the gleaming cherry bar by the velvet ropes and brass poles.  Marie opened up her compact and freshened up her rose lipstick.  Clara gazed in the bar’s mirror, following Fred as he moved across the lobby.

“Here you are, ladies.  Join me at intermission for some punch,” said Fred, as he handed each one of them a ticket envelope, winking at Clara.

Clara touched Marie’s arm.  “I’m going to the ladies lounge.  I’ll be right back.”  She left Marie chatting with Fred about the new talkies.

Once safely inside the ladies lounge, Clara opened the ticket envelope and discovered a piece of paper – “C, Overjoyed to see you today.  Can’t wait to be alone with you.  I’ve some special news for you. Yours, F” Clara’s hand trembled and a warm flush spread throughout her body as she imagined Fred’s sweet caresses.  She hurried back to the lobby.

The ushers led Marie and Clara to their seats and the lights dimmed.  Lost in her thoughts about Fred, Clara could barely concentrate on the new talkie.  At intermission, Fred had their glasses of punch waiting at the bar.  The bartender took out a champagne bottle from underneath the bar and spiked their drinks.  Clara sipped the tingly bubbles feeling light-headed.  Marie giggled a little too much.

When Marie went to the ladies lounge, the two lovers had a moment alone.  Fred whispered in her ear, “You look so fetching.  I can’t wait to unwrap you.”  Clara’s cheeks grew pink.

Clara whispered back, “You make my heart race.  I wish we could leave right now.”

Fred said, “Let’s go.”  But Clara knew he had to stay until the end of the matinee. Then he would have time to sneak away for a secret rendezvous.

The second half of the movie dragged on.  Clara couldn’t wait to see it end.  Marie gave her a quick kiss and ran off to meet her fiancé for dinner.  Clara went the back way to Fred’s apartment, knowing it would take him more than a half hour to leave the theatre.  She rushed up the now familiar stone steps, and withdrew the key from the plant pot on the stoop.  No snooping neighbors so she slipped in the door.

As she expected, the apartment was in disarray since Fred didn’t plan on her coming today.  She tidied it up and searched in the ice box for something to drink.  She found a half bottle of wine, and some soda pop, but not much else.  Clara poured herself some soda and rifled through the bedroom closet for something inviting to wear.  She chose one of her favorite nightgowns – a midnight blue, silk gown with a slit up one thigh, and slid on her white high-heeled slippers.  Clara spritzed on her favorite perfume that Freddie had bought her at Christmas.  She fluffed up her short bob and freshened up her ruby-red lipstick.  When she finished primping, she heard someone at the door.  Clara hid in the bathroom until Fred yelled out, “Hey, Doll!”

Fred met her in the parlor with an armful of early spring flowers of daffodils and tulips.  Tucked under his other arm, he carried a loaf of French bread, along with cheese.  She couldn’t believe he had taken time to stop at the store.  He kissed her lips lightly, handing her the bouquet.

“Picked just for you, Madam,” he said, giving her an exaggerated bow.

Clara reciprocated with her finest curtsey.  “Merci beaucoup, mon Cheri.”

Fred clasped her hand and twirled her around. “Let me look at you.  You’re more swanky than Clara Bow.”  She did feel like the “It” girl with him.  They sat at his dining room table, sipping their wine with slices of bread and cheese.  With Fred, each time was different.  Sometimes they ate first and caught up on each other’s news.  Other times he couldn’t keep his hands off of her.

Tonight, he couldn’t wait to share his news. “I’ve some great news about work.  They purchased five theatres on Cape Cod.  I’ll run all of them including the New Bedford and Fall River theatres.”

“That’s wonderful, Darling,” Clara said, as she nibbled on a piece of French bread.

“That means we can meet on the Cape, and have a picnic on the beach in the summertime.  You can take the train down to Buzzards Bay and I’ll pick you up,” said Fred, caught up in his own romantic plans.

Clara didn’t want to spoil his fun to remind him that she had three sons to take care of in the summer.  It wouldn’t be that easy for her to get away.  By her second glass of wine, Clara agreed with him, caught up in his grand plans for the both of them.

Fred peeked at her over his wine glass. “Ready for dessert?”  He carried her off into the bedroom, where they spent the rest of his free time between shows making love.  This time Fred took his time caressing her until she melted with desire.  Her life in Onset seemed a million miles away.

Chapter Twenty-Two:  Danielle

Music by Midori

May, 1991

One cool night in May as Danielle finished some press releases, she heard the distant strains of a violin.  It must be Midori, the classical violinist, rehearsing on stage.  The lyrical notes of the music drifted down the hall.  After the staff left for the night, Danielle tiptoed down the hall into the technical director’s office. The door to the fly rail stood wide open.  She peered down upon the stage, where Midori feverishly practiced a piece of music over and over again.  She admired Midori’s demand for perfection.  She wondered how someone so young could have such intense self-discipline.

Enchanted with the music, Danielle didn’t hear the footsteps behind her until she felt hands upon her waist.  Not prone to screaming, she took a sharp intake of breath as a man’s lips pressed against her neck.  As his hands moved up her body to her breasts, she recognized the hands and relaxed into Rob as he kissed her more passionately on her neck.   As Midori stroked her violin reaching higher and higher crescendos, Rob reached under her sweater.  When she couldn’t take it any longer, she turned around to face her seducer and kissed him hard on the lips.  Pulling her in, Rob held her tight as Midori’s music quieted down.  Rob whispered in her ear, “Saved by the violin.”

She whispered back, “You’re quite the bandit…sneaking up on me like that.”

Rob closed the fly rail door, leaving only a slice of light.  “So you’re complaining?”

“I’d just like some fair warning for a change.”

“I’m warning you now…I’ve got my eye on you,” said Rob, as he brushed a strand of hair away from her face.

Midori’s music had stopped.  Rob said, “I’m helping Mike out tonight…keeping an eye on the star performer.  Better go check on her.  Be back in a moment.”

Still mesmerized by her music, Danielle gazed down upon Midori as she pointed at a sheet of music in front of her pianist.  The fly rail offered an eagle’s eye view of the stage, but it was mostly used by the stagehands, who climbed out to drop down curtains, and adjust lights.  Danielle hurried back to her office to check her makeup.  She studied her flushed face in the mirror hidden behind the door.  Her blue eyes sparkled.  She found the rush of being taken by storm intoxicating.  But it seemed to be the only way Rob could have a relationship with her.  When he came back from checking on the “star,” she hoped they could talk.  She had some questions for him.

A few moments later, she heard someone coming up the steps two at a time.  Rob strode down the hall back to the TD’s office.   When he noticed Danielle missing, he backtracked down the hall and stopped short at her office.  Holding a Coke and a Diet Coke in his hands, he said, “I thought you had disappeared into thin air.”  Danielle accepted the Diet Coke and took a big sip.

“Now, I’m dying for a smoke,” said Rob.

Danielle held on tight to her soda can.  “Sounds like an addiction to me.  I’m only addicted to love myself.”

Rob stopped playing with his cigarette pack. “Yeah, I can see that.  Betcha have lots of admirers.”

“Is that what you think?  That I have men lined up at my door?” Danielle set the can down on her desk.

Rob backed off a little. “No, but if you wanted to, you could.”

“So what’s your story?  Do you have a woman in every port like Casanova?” Danielle challenged him with a direct look.

He burst out laughing and sat down on the other chair in her office.  He leaned back in the chair with a big grin. “That’s my game.  A woman in every port from Maine to Florida.”

Danielle sensed he didn’t want to talk seriously.  He still basked in the high from their romantic encounter.

Danielle probed some more.  “I’m wondering where we stand,” she said emphasizing the ‘we.’  “Is this only a casual fling for you?”  Danielle pursed her lips, watching him sweat.

Rob dropped his chair legs back down to the floor and slid his chair, backing himself into a corner.  “I hadn’t really thought about it.  I’m enjoying living in the moment.”

Danielle crossed her arms over her breasts. “Sounds pretty casual to me…at least I know where I stand… another woman waiting on Casanova…except this woman wants more.”  Danielle hopped out of her chair, reaching over to hold Rob’s chin.  She gave him a firm kiss on the lips.  “Something to remember me by…It’s been fun while it lasted.”  As she strutted down the hall, she called back, “Shut the door when you leave.”

The next morning, Danielle found a note tucked into her desk blotter.  She unfolded the theatre’s ivory stationary and read, “To the Fairest Woman in any port, I hope we can find a way to be together again,” signed with a flourish of a “Z.”  She instantly recognized the “Z” as the mark of Zorro, another mysterious man.  She could see the resemblance between the two men: both men liked to hide behind a mask, dress in black, and only revealed themselves in the dark of night.  Danielle wondered when Zorro would strike again.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2018

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

 

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Sharing the RV lifestyle with family

Jim as Camp Host with Denise & Jacob Fisher at Holiday Hills RV Park in Coalville, UT

As the New Year begins, Jim and I have been helping my sister begin her own RV journey.  She’s buying an RV for vacations with her son during the summer.  It’s fun to be a part of her excitement about buying an RV, and planning adventures on the road.  We’ll be sharing with her our all-important check lists for the RV.  The lists have kept us from driving away, and forgetting important items behind at the campsite.  In the excerpt below from my book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road, I share a couple of the check lists from my book.  There are many more in the resource section at the end of the book. 

Donna’s latest book can be found on Amazon.com  and as a Kindle E-reader, Click here to go to the Kindle store.

BookCoverImage

Editorial Reviews of Living the RV Lifestyle

“As the title indicates, this is a book with a lot of practical advice and personal experiences gleaned from living full-time in an RV…Her book details how to buy, prepare and afford the RV lifestyle of your dreams. This book would be especially helpful for newbies, but would also serve as reminders for experienced RVers.”

Marcella Gauthier, columnist of, From the Bookshelf in the Escapees Magazine (www.escapees.com)

 “Whether someone is considering a full-timing road trip as a permanent way of life or a temporary adventure, Living the RV Lifestyle: Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road is filled with the author’s many valuable tips for making the most of it.  Trying to balance domestic chores with the RVing learning curve is a challenge for most people. Toss in the need to earn a living while constantly changing locations and the business of learning how to be a nomad turns into a full-time occupation. For anyone who needs to manage all of these lifestyle factors, Donna’s new book lives up to its promise of providing practical advice for success.”

Rene Agredano, columnist for RV Life Magazine (www.rvlife.com)

 My new book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road is a combination of practical advice on RV living as well as personal stories from life on the road, giving you an idea of what it’s really like to live the Full-time RV life.

The excerpt below is from the Resource Section at the end of the book:

Fifth Wheel – Closing Check Lists

Inside List

  • Lower TV antenna
  • Secure TV’s
  • Lower window Blinds
  • Close vents
  • Secure all chairs, kitchen table, recliners, cabinet doors, shower doors, Sliding doors to bathroom and front closet.
  • Lower stove cover
  • Lay towels over bottom shower door track (prevents water from coming out on floor)
  • Shut off water heater
  • Water pump off
  • Fireplace off
  • Secure kitchen faucet handle with Bungee cord
  • Secure fridge door and items inside
  • Remove all items from counters, bureau, vanity and desk area
  • Secure lamp
  • Re-check that all items are secure
  • Close slides Bedroom and others.
  • Kitchen make sure racks are locked in place
  • Large kitchen cabinet place pin in sliding section
  • Retract awning
  • Secure outside steps

Closing and Hitching Fifth Wheel to Truck List

Do Not Get Distracted When Hitching.

  • Do not remove wheel chocks until ready to travel
  • Raise rear stabilizer jacks
  • Dump waste water as needed (add chemicals to black water tank)
  • Fill fresh water tank if not using campground for 1 or 2 days
  • Disconnect TV cable
  • Disconnect electrical lines
  • Disconnect water and remove pressure gauge
  • Raise steps to trailer secure safety rail
  • Raise trailer to clear tailgate
  • Back truck to hitch (make sure trailer pin clears tailgate)
  • Make sure trailer rides up on hitch preventing high pinning and locks (using flashlight make sure trailer pin is locked in hitch)
  • Secure breakaway wire and place lock on hitch handle
  • Plug in trailer wiring to truck
  • Remove wheel Chocks
  • Lock all trailer doors
  • Remove wheel Chocks
  • Make one complete walk around trailer
  • If tight campsite have someone observe that you are clearing all obstacles
  • Check air ride level (Add air only when hitched to truck)

Fifth Wheel – Opening/Set up Check Lists

Do Not Get Distracted When Unhitching

  • When parking check that all slides-outs can open freely (trees, picnic table or post)
  • Add wheel blocks to level as needed
  • Chock wheels on each side of trailer
  • Lower front legs to take weight off truck
  • Disconnect trailer wiring and breakaway cable from truck
  • Pull pin on hitch in truck bed
  • Slowly pull truck out from under trailer (stop and check that trailer pin will clear tailgate)
  • Raise trailer as needed to clear tailgate
  • Level trailer front to rear (using front level)
  • Lower rear stabilizer jacks
  • Connect water hose with pressure valve
  • Connect electrical cord
  • Open slide-outs (check that no cabinet doors opened during travel)
  • Fill water system (before turning hot water heater on) could burn out heater if dry.
  • Open hot & cold faucet to bleed air from water system
  • Check that Fridge is operating in correct mode & temp.
  • Start water heater (if using gas you will need to light burner on stove to bleed air from line)
  • Extend awning
  • Remove straps from recliners, dinette and TV’s.
  • Connect cable or raise antenna (Use antenna reminder)
  • Connect sewer hose

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2018

Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services on the road at http://www.DonnaFisherJackson.com. She has published the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. And now her latest book, a travel adventure book, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.

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