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Posts Tagged ‘Taylor’

Taylor Timm

April 1, 2011.  As we ‘re about to pull out of the driveway, fully loaded, provisioned and raring to go, Taylor (sweet old gentleman cat) has another medical emergency.  We’re already a month behind schedule on this southern trip because of his recent surgery and complications, so we worry that this might be the end of him.   We switch vehicles and head to the the emergency vet with heavy hearts.  It’s hard to imagine traveling without him – he’s the reason we bought this motor home, no more leaving him behind.  And after test results come in later in the day, we don’t have to!  It’s a minor issue, treatable with pain meds and antibiotics, so we just postpone our departure to give him a little recovery time and leave on the 3rd. No more April Fool’s jokes.

We drive from Madison, WI to Effingham, IL and what’s usually an easy trip turns into a major driving challenge.  We’re fighting winds of 40-60 mph.  We’re buffeted about on the highway so much that our vehicle stability system comes on, determines that we’re not driving safely and reduces our speed. Sometimes, the best we can do is 40 mph.  But we make it to the Effingham campground,  order a pizza delivered to our campsite (we’ve got our priorities), make an appointment with a Sprinter dealer in the morning and spend the night in howling winds which make us rock and pitch like we’re at sea.  I get up and sit with a cowering Taylor for several hours during the middle of the night, he’s pretty terrified by the thunder and lightening and pounding rain.  The comfort was mutual.

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The morning of our 34th wedding anniversary started precipitously around 4:00 in the morning.  I wake up to see Dick’s worried face, bathed in the eerie glow of his computer screen.  There’s a big, bad thunderstorm heading our way and we’re in a campgrounds at Florida Caverns State Park, with a two and a half mile (under construction) entrance road that was muddy and almost impassable on the way IN, because of previous rain.  We’re worried that we may not make it out if we wait until morning.  So, in the black of night, we hurriedly throw on clothes, get ready for take-off, soothe the panicked cat who hates thunder,  unhook power, stow away blocks and as the rain begins to pour down on us, snake our way out of the campground onto the dreaded road of muddy ruts, potholes and stretches of primordial ooze. There’s rising water at the point in the road that the sign reads, “NO SWIMMING.  ALLIGATORS.”  We bounce up and down and skid from side to side,  huge fans of muddy water rise to the windows of the cab.  We are going to be filthy. But we are, after quite a few heart-pounding minutes, triumphant. We make it to the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center, and bed down there for the night, without the slide out, power, etc.  We’re just thankful for a safe “trip”.  And 34 years. 🙂

When real morning comes, we briefly visit the Visitor’s Center, then head to Tallahassee, and Chris and Emily. We put the Navion into a campground near their house – they pick us up and the weekend begins!  Great dinners, beautiful hiking, San Luis Mission,  alligators and birds at St. Marks, an introduction to “Modern Family”, lots of laughs, good conversation.  Throughout all of this, the cats dominate our attention.  Isabella, the young, but patient and gracious hostess, who somehow managed to control her natural exuberance towards Taylor;  and Taylor, our old scaredy cat who somehow, sometimes managed to control his fear.  So there was for the first time, nose-to-nose contact. And many minutes of staring into each other’s eyes. A little chasing, a little hissing – no fights.  The humans enjoyed it all.  We never hiss or fight.

Taylor, below, regretting his missed opportunities, when we hit the road again.

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First time underway, with Feline Greenies for comfort

First time underway, with Feline Greenies for comfort

DSCN1096 I have been messing around with text for awhile and can’t seem to get it lined up with the appropriate pictures – so I’m just going to let the pictures tell the tale. With the introductory note that Taylor began the trip sitting in his bed in the pilot house instead of cowering in the head.  From that point on, he just got braver.  Well, given his extremely timid nature and shy disposition, he got braver…

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Yes!  Our own Taylor Timm.  We’re here at Mohican State Park, in what has been the least private campsite we’ve ever had.  And Taylor is having the time of his life.  And giving a little joy back.  

Here’s the campsite situation.

Mohican State Park - our campsite

Mohican State Park - our campsite

 

There’s a lot going by outside our door.   People walking by with dogs, babies in strollers, bikers, an occasional car or truck.  We’re only feet from the “road”.  We have the screen door open and Taylor is digging it.  He’s been perching there, bobbing and weaving to avoid being seen there for awhile, but his curiosity gets the better of him, and he’s spotted.  

Dick and I are aware that’s something’s happening outside, but we don’t connect it to our cat.  There will be a murmur of female voices, but we don’t make out the words.  Then, later, we hear things like, “Oh, look at that pretty cat.”  We soon realize that Taylor is holding court, albeit shyly. Taylor, being courageous

Eventually, the nice people across the way ask for his name.  And now, he’s a little bit of a cat celebrity.  On this little gravel path in Mohican State Park.  People walk by and say, “Hi Taylor”.  And he ducks down a little, but his ears prick up and he stays at the door.

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3377027012_da47807139_mWow. A few weeks ago, I would have said, “yippee, give me the key!” Unlimited hot showers, no turning the water on and off while you suds up, big sinks and mirrors – and beds, big regular-shaped beds with duvets and lots of pillows, plenty of room to move around, no little RV chores/routines to do before bed-time, or in the morning.

So, when we checked into the Mountain Creek Inn last night, one of the on-site hotels run by Callaway Gardens, an attraction we were planning on visiting anyway, I wasn’t prepared for this. I was not ecstatic. Neither was Dick. We were homesick.

It started when we grabbed our toiletries for the night, clothes for dinner and the next day, and said goodbye to Taylor (sweet old cat). And locked the door and walked away.

It didn’t get better when, after a nice Italian dinner, we feel like coming back for games or a movie. Some popcorn? But, we walk past the Navion and head to our room.

Taylor’s not there and most of the stuff we immediately think we might want is not there- another book, some hot milk, some anti-itching cream for the bug bites we get while hiking, a different pair of glasses?

But most of all, it doesn’t feel “cozy”. Cozy is a word I love. It’s what my Mom and Dad used to call each other, instead of dear, darling, honey. To me it’s everything safe and close, kind of like everything you need is in one, not very large space, never far from you.

So, our little Navion 24J, is cozy. And I have my cozy (husband) with me. And we are cozy in it with our Taylor, and glad to be back on the road.

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Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia

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