Sunday, October 16, 2011



I have sat here at my keyboard for awhile tonight gathering my thoughts on what, if anything, to say about the last 4 days.  Should I talk about the depression that had a hold of me or should I just cover that up with ‘happy smiling thoughts’.  Some folks choose to talk about that ‘half empty glass’ and some do not.   I have a habit of writing about that side of things here in the blog from time to time because the empty half of the glass is just as real as the full half.  And, every bit as important.   Maybe….even more so.


It has been 4 days since I last posted, turned off the computer and never turned it on again until tonight.  No blogging, no blog reading, no checking the weather report or latest news items, no email reading, no Google or Map searches, no nothing.  I had no idea I would be completely away from the computer this long when I shut it down.  In fact, it has been the longest time away from the computer since we bought our very first Pentium 2 back in 1997.  I didn't plan on a 4 day absence, it just happened. 

Many years ago in the 'not so good old days' I had problems with depression but over the last 32 years or so I have managed to get a controlling handle on that for the most part.  Aside from a day here and there it has been rare for my old Nemesis to wrestle me to the ground for more than a few hours or a day at a time.   However, over the past 6 months I'm afraid this wrestling match has gone back and forth between us for too long and my old foe did manage to get me down for a good pummelling these past 4 days.  Relieved to say I awoke this morning with a clearer mind, regained control of the situation and battled my way back up onto my feet again.

I think my age coupled with my ever present restless personality and my lack of purpose and challenge at this stage of life have conspired in a type of overall ongoing frustration that I have been having difficulty dealing with.  Couple that with some of life’s usual weighty stuff and the canoe gets a little low in the water sometimes.  And yes, I have to admit this last change and delay in our travel plans has added some challenges to that frustration as well.  I still have no idea when we will get on the road.  For a 'hitch itch' fellow like myself, sitting on the starting line with engine running, map in hand, one foot on the gas and two eyes on the horizon it's been a real stretch to keep a lid on my patience.  


Also wanted to add that despite what my ‘anonymous commenter’ may come back with this time I did not drop out of these past four days to purposely attract attention to my blog, gain sympathy for myself or fish for a whole slew of additional comments.   I do thank the folks though who expressed concern over my short absence.

Ok, so what has been happening the past 4 days.  Well, basically not much.  I watched a lot of television and practically wore the remote out flicking through the channels trying to find some interesting programming.  No easy task I can assure you.  Watched way too much depressing news and found it difficult to find any kind of intelligent humour.  If it wasn't for biographies, documentaries, and the history channel there would be absolutely no reason for me having a television.  And why sit in my recliner day after day watching television?  It just seemed that was all my mind was capable of doing for those few days.

It was one year ago today we here in Blog Land lost two of our own.  Margie and Bruce Mallin, fellow RV’ers and bloggers tragically lost their lives while out for a quiet morning walk.  This is a link to my post when I found out the news a year ago on October 17th…..WE HAVE JUST TRAGICALLY LOST TWO OF OUR RV'ING BLOGGER FRIENDS.   This is a LINK to the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and the sentencing of the man responsible for their deaths.



A fellow RV'er, blog reader and occasional Blogger himself, Alex (RUNNING LINER) from Guelph Ontario had emailed me awhile back saying he would like to get together for a coffee sometime.  Friday morning I met Alex at a Tim Horton's coffee shop in downtown Goderich.   Of course always a lot to talk about and Alex brought his older mint condition Leisure Travel Van for me to have a look at.  Alex is another one of those fellows who can do anything he turns his hand to and of course has made many great renovations and improvements to his rig.  I managed to install a towel rack in ours once.  We spent a couple of hours talking about things and then Alex surprised me with a gift. 


Being involved with the aircraft industry for many years he has traveled extensively and been a part of the buying and selling side of things.  Helicopters being one of them.  In that sales oriented hi tech business there are often perks that go back and forth with sales and one of those perks Alex had at his disposal were YUKON DIGITAL NIGHT VISION Ranger devices.  Although looking like binoculars they actually have an electronic screen inside and are used for seeing in the darkness of night.  You sometimes see versions of this type of technology on soldiers helmets.  How nice of Alex to give me a pair of these and they should be great for spotting ‘activities’ in the darkened desert nights this winter:))

IMG_1066 IMG_1065

While I had dropped out of Blog Land for a few days I noticed upon returning tonight we have two new Bayfield Bunch blog followers.  A big welcome to RV Travelers as well as Gene, Judy and Peanuts the cat from BLUE ROADS TO HIKING TRAILS.  Thanks for your interest folks and appreciate you taking the time to stop by.  Also just noticed a third follower but I’m afraid I do not understand any of the language on the blog so I do not know what the website is about.  Welcome WS.


GROANER’S CORNER:((  Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a conference. At the station, each of the three lawyers buys a ticket while the three engineers buy only one ticket.
"How can the three of you travel on one ticket?" asks a lawyer.
"Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer.
Aboard the train the lawyers take their respective seats while all three engineers cram into the restroom and squeeze the door closed behind them.
When the conductor comes around collecting tickets, he knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket, please." The door opens a crack and a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on.
The lawyers are impressed with this clever idea. One the way home from the conference, they decide to copy the engineers' technique. At the station, they buy a single ticket for their return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers don't buy a ticket at all!
"How in the hell are you going to pull this off?" asks a lawyer.
"Watch and you'll see," answers an engineer.
They board the train. The three lawyers cram into one restroom and the three engineers cram into the other restroom.
Shortly after the train departs, one of the engineers leaves his restroom and knocks on the other restroom door. "Ticket, please!"

-Tourists see the world, travelers  experience it.
-Until one has loved an Animal, their  soul remains un-awakened.
The only thing better than right now  will someday be the memories of
right  now...AL.


  1. I've been there. Thank you for your candid post. I'm so thankful you're back. There's lots of strangers that really care about you.

  2. Welcome back! Hey, it is great to see you are human just like the rest of us. We missed you and can certainly relate to your experience.

  3. Sometimes it's good to change things up a bit, come off the tread mill of life for a while and step back to re-calibrate.
    Once you get back on the road, you will find your happy place once again. We all have our bad days or weeks. Even those that believe the glass is half full.

    Welcome back.

  4. I've been on that roller coaster myself a couple of times. Mostly now I feel myself slipping and talk myself out of it. Nobody else will.

    I thought of you this weekend. We were on our first trip, and took a walk along a sand path in some dunes. Much of the plant growth was dead or going into winter mode and relly looked quite dull. I told Craig if al was taking pictures of this he would make it all glow!

    You see a different, beautiful world.

  5. Glad you are feeling better, I think we all have times when we just have to step away from the rest of the world.

  6. Looks like Al, Sounds like Al, Must be Al ! Welcome back.

    Hopefully your travel plans can be firmed up shortly.

    When I have a down day, my way out of it is to get physically active. Exert yourself and the problems fade into the real pain of exertion and not the supposed pain of the problem. Accomplish something and you will feel better sooner.

  7. Good to see you back, I for one missed your ramblings.

  8. Al,
    We’re glad that you are back. I was concerned that you might have been in a wreck or something. I think we all understand that sometimes you just have to get away and clear your head. We are all your fans and are rooting for you. Hang in there. In a short time you will be out hiking in the southwest.

  9. Hey Al... it won't be long and you will have the big wheels rolling again... our scheduled departure is Nov. 1st this year. Here is hoping!


  10. Depression is an incredibly strong foe. I've lost my battle with him a few times in the past and I know he will show up again someday in the future. So I have learned to really enjoy those days when I'm the one winning. Maybe that is the reason I want to be on the move all of the time. And I know that's not going to happen this year. Staying still is going to be one of the hardest trials I'll face. But you have faced your demon and you won, once again. I will follow your example. It's hot down here in the desert but oh how wonderful it is.

  11. Missed you and your ramblings, Al. I can't imagine trying to think of something to write in a blog everyday and can sure understand needing time to yourself. Glad you're back. It won't be long before you'll be on the road. Hang in there!

  12. Glad you were able to work your way out of the funk. I am currently battling against falling into the same funk. With constant pain issues it can drive your emotions to the brink. I have my bad days and good days and can understand where you are coming from. Enjoy seeing the world again through fresh eyes.

  13. I also have been fighting clinical depression for over twenty years. It can be a difficult opponent. Congratulations on winning another bout.

  14. I think most of us go through these periods of depression, so we understand what is going on with you right now. I sometimes look forward to my surgery (still don't have the darn thing scheduled) just so I don't have to turn on my computer for a few days. Hang in there - you know things go in cycles and it won't be long that you'll be on top of the world, and hopefully traveling south!

  15. I too have bouts of depression and sometimes it will get me down for days. I am 66 years old and have been having them on and off for 8 years.

    It is really nice that you are honest about it. It helps all of us to know other people have the same problems.

    Thank You,


  16. Welcome back Al. Missed your comments and photos - and your "Groaners"...

    Depression has touched many of us so you do have friends who understand. Thanks for your honesty. We care.

  17. Anything active will engender endorphins, the "feel good" stuff athletes feel after a run or a mighty effort. That's why getting out and walking helps, though it won't cure clinical depression. My hubby drinks milk at night as well as makes himself tired during the day. Both help his depression. No matter what, it is no light task in dealing with CD. We certainly understand, Al.


  18. I missed you too Al, glad you are back and starting to feel better! Your pics are so beautiful, I miss them when you're not posting, but I am glad that you took some time to take care of yourself! Hopefully you will be on the road soon - I know that will perk you up!


  19. I have read all the comments before mine and I agree...we all have faced the dark demon side of depression..some just crawl into themselves and others get out there and talk about it!..glad to see you back talking about your silence..talking things through is a great way to deal with the issues at hand!..hope you are feeling better in the morning..have a great Monday!!!

  20. Al, I'm glad that you took some time away from things, and are feeling a bit better now.

    I have just the thing to cheer you up even more. We're going to buy a whole bunch of Jif peanut butter and bring it to you when you're settled in somewhere warm. Tell Kelly to bring some jam, and we can have a PBJ Fest, or Feast! :))

    Sounds much better than so-mores, doesn't it? Whatta ya say!

  21. Hi Al
    I like to call it hunkering down for awhile. Just had a round of it of it myself a couple of weeks ago.
    Welcome back, you of the beautiful photos.
    Elaine on Vancouver Island

  22. Al,
    Glad to have you back online, I missed my mornings with the Bayfield Bunch and coffee....

  23. Glad you're back, Al. Depression definitely hurts. Glad that little bout is over and you're on top again. Just remember--all your fans are in your corner.

  24. Great to see you back Al. I'm glad you found your way back from the depression slump.
    On another note, Google Chrome translated into English your new follower. "WS" is a German web site for White Chocolate. But I have to admit, they have good taste following your blog!
    Looking forward to your future posts.

  25. Oh Al, you are not alone. My daughter and brother both suffer from clinical depression and take meds for it. Those meds really made a difference for Terrie. She was REALLY bad with post postpartum after Peyton was born..scared us. At least you face the demon head on...
    As I age, I start thinking about the end of life and that can be very depressing...I find that the walking we do every day sure helps pep me up...Keep up the walking with your furry friends, deep breaths of fresh air...and keep on talking about it...You are NOT alone!

  26. Glad you are back Al, we missed you!

  27. Hi Al
    We missed your posts and you had us worried for a time.
    Sorry to hear that you were down.
    You mentioned you felt you had no purpose in life. We all have a purpose in life whether old or young even if we don't realize what that purpose may be. Just meeting other people and having a conversation may in someway change the lives of others or ourselves.
    We may not see what that purpose is but it is there! You have a gift you write beautifully and inspire many people. You may not be aware of this but there is always something that others can take from your writing.
    Keep up the good work.
    Have a happy day!
    Kathy & Rick Rousseau
    Tecumseh, Ontario Canada

  28. Welcome back from the edge, friend.

  29. Welcome back....we missed you!
    There is not much I can say that the others on here haven't already said. I will just say "ditto."

    Since Mike and I stopped full-timing and decided to part-time (due to finances, Mike's health as well as some issues (huge) our son was having) it has been very hard on us. We both understand the "what is our purpose" question. We know we did what was right and what we HAD to do but it hurts....bad!

    It's your blog and you should express whatever feelings you want. We are your friends and we'll read and care! Hugs to you and Kelly.

  30. Welcome back, Al! Loved your Groaner this morning!

  31. As someone who suffers from bipolar disorder I know where you are coming from. You have suffered some losses and are probably still grieving your furry buddies.

    I know it sounds trite but just try to keep your spirits up - when well, I make a list of things that I can do to help turn my mood around - walking, watching a funny movie, teaching a dog a trick, going for a drive, meditate (look up smile meditation) - simple things.

    Good luck. Laura

  32. AL,
    Glad you're back. Even if we don't give 'down time' a name, it's something we all face sooner or later. When it hits me, I try to remind myself of all of the good things and good people that are in my life, and look forward to those still ahead.

    Keep rolling!!

    Selene, NC

  33. So sorry to hear about your depression, but glad to have you back. As for the blogging, I look up to you for blogging every day like you do. I find it very difficult to keep up that schedule when I don't have much to say.

    I am sure all will change once you hit the road.

  34. Glad you made your way back to the computer, your blog buddies do worry when you are away. Depression is a formidable foe, glad you are fighting your way back.

  35. Anonymous said:
    When I have a down day, my way out of it is to get physically active. Exert yourself and the problems fade into the real pain of exertion and not the supposed pain of the problem. Accomplish something and you will feel better sooner.

    I would have told you the same thing is so many words but I'll put my name with the thought. If you can force yourself to TV surf then you can force yourself to be physically active. Glad you made your way through it! ED

  36. Howdy Kelly & Al,

    HOORAY, YOU WON ROUND???!!!!!!!!!

    It ain't easy old buddy...

    When you get 'bucked-off', get right back on!!! That'll show him!!!

  37. Hi Al, Glad you're getting some energy back to do the things you love doing. Depression is the pits. I'm thankful for good medication. I'm finding my world a little lighter now that I've done a bit of work letting go of my inner child that sits there trying to run things that a child has no business running! You take care.

  38. So glad u are back, worried.... It is good to 'surface'

  39. Hey Al, welcome back to blog land, and a vacation for what ever reason is way more than acceptable.

    As you mention Goderich, I couldn't help but wonder how they are getting along post tornado. Grab one of the cameras the next time you go and give us a little news about how things are being put back together!

    Is there loans available from the Fed or Province to help these folks out? And how is the Salt mine coping with their dilemmas?

    Is the morning Bureto run still effected by road closures and such?

    Just curious about how things are in your world.


  40. Glad to see you back -- I was worried but as a fellow sufferer (is that a word?) I am happy you are feeling better! Take lots of happy walks with the Pheebs and keep enjoying the lovely autumn foliage!! -- Martha

  41. Did notice your absence from blogland only when I stopped my "cross-country-run" in Saskatoon.
    Good to have you back. Were worried a bit re. reason. I saw you wondered about your new follower WS and the language in the blog. Well, WS was meant to mean "WEISSE SCHOKOLADE" = White chocolate in German, and that seems to be the blogs topic.

  42. Funny thing, Al, is that when you don't post, I get depressed worrying about you!!! Love your photos - they are awesome - even the simpliest of things - looking at them picks me up again! It won't be long and you and Kelly will be on the road again. Take care!