A Heartbreaking Detour

Cabrillo National Monument / July 2016:  Exploring seaside with Grammie

Two months ago today, we found ourselves embarking on a detour. We were uncertain of the outcome, but confident in our course of action.

As you know, we live full-time in our fifth-wheel. In early July, we found some significant water damage in the floor boards of our pass-through compartment (the main storage bay underneath our unit). We located an RV Dealership with a service center in Northern Idaho and discovered that the repair, combined with some final warranty work that we needed, would take up to three weeks.

The most significant part of this news…was that we could not stay in the RV during the work. Aside from a major defect that we had with our unit last summer (we had to be out of it for four weeks)…this was the only other time that we have had service and not been able to stay in the unit.

With that, we immediately knew that we should venture down to Southern California and see my mom-in-love. You see, we had not seen mom in a year and we were in need of a good long visit! In fact, our plan was to help ease her into the next phase of life. At 83 years young, we thought we were finally convincing her to sell the house and live with her kids. In fact…we were looking for property in Idaho…with a guest house…so that she could stay with us. We had decided to pause our travels so that we could help care for our Mama.

Long story…short version…Chris had flown down with the girls and Brendan and I were driving down to San Diego. We left the RV in Idaho for service and we were headed to see mom…1400 miles away. When Chris was about two hours away from San Diego…he received the call.

This life-detour was not about the RV or travel…it was so much bigger.

The call…mom had just passed away.


Life is uncertain and our days are numbered…but this was so unexpected!

This woman that my children call Grammie…Chris’s mom…the woman who hugged me 19 years ago as I walked through her back-door…I was just a kid, in love…and I grew up before her eyes. I had just spoken with her that week and we were both so incredibly excited to see each other. We had big plans…to catch up and visit…and to make plans for the future.

Eight weeks later, the words still will not mesh. As you can imagine…it is not so easy to just start blogging and adventuring. I cannot just pick up where we left off.

We had the memorial service and we have spent the majority of the time taking care of family business in San Diego and catching up on life that does not stop when these major life events do.

Chris and I did decide that we needed to have our home with us, so we flew up to Spokane and picked up the Swoosh (our RV) in Idaho and drove it back down in a record 48 hours! That was at the beginning of September.

So we have been lingering in SoCal. The place that was once our home. Our plan from eight weeks ago…it is out the window. Now we find ourselves lingering…waiting for moms house to sell and contemplating our future. We ended up cancelling all of our remaining plans for 2017. We are starting from scratch.

Last week Chris was working out of the Los Angeles and Orange County areas…so we were catching up on life as we sat in Newport Beach. Definitely a sweet spot to pause and start writing again. This week…family vacation! We definitely needed to break away and catch our breathes. So here we are, in Zion National Park…processing the last two months and reveling in some time with our kids…and guess what?! This detour brought us to state 39. We have now had a Barry Good Time and stayed in 39 states.

I guess you could say that our detour is still in progress.

Dear friends…wether you are a fellow traveler, parked along the road…or parked on your couch reading about our story…be mindful that there are always detours down the road. What an abrupt reminder this is to send our love to family members young and old…and to seize the moments with one another. Memories are a gift and I am so truly blessed that we had so many lovely memories with Mama Lita.

Here are a few memories of Mama Lita with my crew:

December 2002:  Grammie meets Lexi
August 2005:  Grammie loving on Angie
San Diego, CA / August 2007:  Lexi & Grammie at the Del Mar Fair
DSC00223 2.JPG
Mammoth Lakes, CA / July 2009:  These boys get their patriotism from Grammie
San Diego, CA / August 2014:  Grammie teaching Angie to make her famous Surprise Cakes!
September 2014:  Grammie loved watching my kids on the soccer field
Ventura, CA / September 2014:  Dinner & Sunset with Grammie
Carpenteria, CA / September 2014:  Nature journaling & drawing lessons from Grammie
La Jolla, CA / July 2015:  Enjoying La Jolla Cove with Grammie
Sedona, AZ / November 2015:  A Barry Thanksgiving

Cabrillo National Monument, CA / July 2016:  Picnic in La Jolla



10 thoughts on “A Heartbreaking Detour

  1. I’m so sad to hear of your loss, especially to hear about it while driving to see her. This serves to remind us that life goes on, even if you are not in a house anymore. Take your time to do whatever you have to do and treasure those memories.


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