After the treacherous storms and "excitement"of tornado warnings in SD, MN and IA, we finally arrived back in Brian's home state of Indiana. Our plans were to spend a couple weeks (lot docking) on family's land while we attended a family reunion and got reacquainted with the area we used to live in some years back While the weather was on the warmer side with a bit of humidity, we still enjoyed getting outside and taking our segways to discover local trails and parks. We didn't know what to expect or what we'd find, but the effort was totally worth it when we discovered covered bridges, rustic/restored parks, waterfalls, corn fields, suspension bridges, tow paths, canals and "fairy gardens" (Shawnna's term).
In two afternoons, we discovered more in this small town of Delphi than we ever saw during the two years we actually LIVED in Indiana. We'll attribute this to having the gift of time and the desire to explore and find adventure.
Time to explore is one of the biggest gifts we've gained by living the RV Lifestyle.
It wasn't more than a week after arriving in Indiana, that I (Shawnna) got the call that my Mom was seriously ill, in ICU, in a hospital in Arizona. I immediately flew out to be by my Mom's side, along with my Father, Brother and her grandchildren. Mom had been battling stage four liver cancer for almost four years and after her last chemo treatment, her body was unable to overcome the chemical assault. She spent almost a week in the hospital when the family made the extremely hard decision to bring her home with hospice care. We rallied around her bedside, day and night for 4 days. In the early morning of the 5th day, Mom passed away, leaving behind a legacy of exploration and adventure. You see, the biggest gift my parents (especially my Mom) gave to me was the notion that girls can be/should be adventurers.
Mom (and I) rode dirt bikes & ATV's together and got our faces dirty and our hair completely tangled. We water skied and snow skied till our legs were like rubber and we had bruises on our butts (and other places) from falling down. We hiked and camped in tents with no running water or composting toilets at our disposal. Mom was an avid fisherwoman, boater, RV'er, hot-air balloon rider and parasailer. We're both self-proclaimed tom-boys with a penchant for girly-girl dress up. We both made shopping a sport and delighted in finding a "super bargain". In that regard, she also taught me to be a frugal shopper.
As my Dad and I were looking through photos of my Mom for her memorial slideshow, I was amazed and proud of how many pictures depicted my Mom as an adventurer. It was then that I realized how much like her I turned out to be and how thankful I am that she bestowed this gift upon me. What a wonderful legacy!
Thank you Mom! I love you and will miss you dearly.
Valerie Acklin - Mom & Adventurer Extraordinaire!