June 13, 2014


Happy spine - happy human.

The diagnosis? Herniated disk in the fifth lumbar vertebra.

Doctor's advice? Stop.

So for now, Linda and I are living in beautiful Nelson, BC Canada with my mother (who is one year shy of her 80th birthday). As far as being stranded somewhere along our route, this is the ideal scenario.

After the 'Angels in a Blue Bus' incident, in which the universe delivered an accessible van to our front door while simultaneously taking our truck away, it is hard to believe what has been delivered to us this time.

Best of all is I get to have an extended visit with my mom. While she was the first official stop that we planned, we weren't sure how long we would stay. Now it looks like mom will get to take care of her boy longer than expected. I am fine with that. These are precious moments.

My dear mom Margaret is being very generous, and when I apologize for invading her life with our chaos she says that our need gives her life meaning and purpose. She is caring for the caregiver, enabling me to take it easy so I can continue to take care of Linda.

So I get to spend day after glorious day sitting with Margaret and Linda, my two favourite women on the planet, conversing, laughing, crying, eating, and enjoying each other's company.

Another of my favourite women, my sister Kathy, also lives near Nelson. Her and her partner live the kind of life I aspire to live one day. Perhaps not as soon as I expected, but some day I would also like to live in a beautiful home surrounded by nature and powered by solar panels.

It is wonderful to see them, their chickens, huge garden, and their 4 gentle, intelligent and unique children who were raised on 'the mountain'.

Grandma lives in a suite in a small house in downtown Nelson. And who of all people should occupy the space on the main floor of the house?

A doctor. A doctor who is a back specialist. Just what I need - someone to help me make my back happy again. And all I have to do is go upstairs and rest a while on the decompression table.

In the meantime the blue bus is resting happily in mom's back yard. We are resting happily inside the house in mom's warm, loving embrace.

We are stopping. For now.

"Where's the fire? What's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out.
You got so much to do and so many hours in a day."

- Vienna, Billy Joel


  1. It sounds like life is happening as it should be.

  2. Anonymous6/13/2014

    Enjoy this precious gift of time with your mom and time to recoup in such loving care.

    I've had to take on more of the role of caregiver with my mom lately. (Even though I didn't think I would be able to do so if and when the time came) I relate to how your mom feels, it's given me a new sense of purpose and strength I didn't know I had.

    It does seem that all has come together, just as it was meant to be.

    1. Miss Marla,

      It is amazing what we can do when challenged. I do believe it brings out the best in us.

      You are wonderful. Take care and hi to your mom.

  3. I read this and can relate. I have had the same herniated disc this year and have pretty much fixed it with great massage, reiki, meditation and visualization. It slows you down for sure but then as someone mentioned it is how it meant to be for now. Threatened with medical intervention and surgery I was having none of that so am glad it is not what I need now as are you.

    I lived in Canada for 20 years and have returned to my native Australia. I cannot think of a lovelier place to be than Nelson :)

    May you heal soon,

    1. V.E.V.,

      Congratulations on fixing your back problem. I did the same about 25 years ago, and am determined to do so once again.

      I guess what was meant to be was for me to stop completely. I really was messed up and everything I did was painful and difficult. It was all I could do to continue caring for Linda, and the whole thing was pretty scary.

      But I have passed the turning point and my recovery is under way. In the meantime, Nelson is one of the best places between the west and east coast to stop for a week or two. How nice that you have been able to enjoy this location.

      Thank you for your good thoughts - sending some right back to you.

      Stay strong.

  4. Hi Gregg,

    it sounds as though you are taking good care of yourself. How lucky that you are spending time with your Mom, and that you don't have a high-pressure job you're meant to be showing up for!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,


    1. Madeleine,

      I tend to be a very independent person that doesn't often ask for help. This time I had no choice. My lesson to learn is that no one does it alone - we all need people, and people need us.

      When it comes down to crisis time, you better have people because 'The State' surely won't take care of us. We need each other.

      Thank you for your good wishes.

  5. Sounds like you landed right where you should have. Hope you are resting and healing. :)

    1. Gam,

      Thank you - I am feeling better every day. I can't remember the last time I stopped quite like this.

      Now I need to get strong - six pack here we come.

  6. Anonymous6/14/2014

    Hallelujah! Your post reminds me again of how things work out when we let them. I'm sorry about your back problems (I've had my share), but you are doing everything right, physically and emotionally. How wonderful that you have this time to connect with your family, rest, and enjoy your time with them. Very best wishes to you for a completel recovery and I know that many fantastic adventures await you and your wife on your journey. And, as the Germans say "Der Weg ist das Ziel" - the journey is the way. Happy resting and happy trails!


    1. Sophie,

      Back problems are unfortunately very common. Unfortunately they can also be quite crippling, at least for a few days or weeks. No fun.

      Spending more time than I expected with my family has been a bonus. It has been a long time since Linda and I left Vancouver Island.

      I love "Der Weg ist das Ziel". So very true.

      Thanks for the good vibes. Good journey to you.

  7. Anonymous6/15/2014

    When the unexpected happens, isn't it so much better when we are able to allow it to be resolved moment by moment with unresisting acceptance? Bonus if we like the place we are in and the people we are with.

    Duh, no wonder the first leg of your journey was so difficult at times. A herniated disk sounds quite painful. So much more work when you first get on the road not to mention the extra lifting, bending, and maneuvering you have. It must have been quite challenging sometimes.

    I researched Nelson. It sounds like a picturesque spot on the planet. Charming too. Wonderful place to be holed up. Best to both of you, Terri

    1. Terri,

      That is a very nice way of putting that. I like the idea of unresisting acceptance and letting life happen. It can be quite magical to simply stop fighting what is, and let things take their course.

      Starting our journey with excruciating pain kind of sucked, but the excitement of being on the road for the first time in almost a decade made my discomfort fade into the background. Front and centre were me and Linda getting to know our new blue bus while traveling one of our favourite highways. We had perfect weather, too.

      We are more free and unfettered now than ever before, and it feels great. And yes, Nelson is a beautiful, funky little place tucked into picturesque mountains surrounding Kootenay Lake.

  8. e.a.f.6/22/2014

    Nelson is a nice spot to stop, you don't even have to move from there. great lake, nice town, lots of trees, what more could one want. Its been some time since I've been there, but perhaps it is time to leave the island and travel to spots such as Nelson.

    1. e.a.f.,

      Nelson was beautiful, and best thing is it is outside the earthquake zone. We would have stayed if it was affordable, but alas, like so many other nice spots, it is ridiculously expensive.


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