Donna O'Klock | 1010 Park Place

— Archives —

— Life —

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For the first time in months I’m warm without triple-layers, mittens, and shearling boots. I’m barefoot. My legs are freshly shaved. I’ve met our zany neighbors… I’m one happy camper!

We are in Bisbee, Arizona, a place we knew nothing about two weeks ago. The drive here from Santa Fe led us south to the U.S./Mexico border, through miles of beautiful desert, an oasis in the San Bernardino Valley and back up into the mountains. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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For almost 35 years as Christmas approached, I worked my derrière off as I listened to clients stress out and complain about the holiday season: In-laws they didn’t like yet had to host; parents or their new spouses they didn’t like; kids that were challenging; presents they were obliged to buy; not enough time or money and no idea what to get anyone on their long list.

After six weeks of listening to this, I was Grinched out and in a “Merry Effin Christmas” mood, myself.

Now that I’ve retired, the last two years have been completely different. My shopping is simple. I buy something edible and Texas-authentic for each of my sisters. I give my son one gift I know he’ll love, and my partner and I plan a special trip – this year to Mexico. We spend our time with people we love, doing what we love, and this year it was all packed into a whirlwind 72 hours!

We began our holiday weekend by driving to San Antonio for lunch with a very dear friend. We took her to one of our favorite restaurants on the outskirts of the city where we ate, drank delicious Dirty Martinis, and talked non-stop for a fun-filled, three-hour lunch! Although it was the first time she and my partner had met, it was as if they were instantly old friends!

The next morning was Christmas Eve, and my sweetie’s daughter came to our motorhome for brunch before leaving to hike and camp in Big Bend. That evening we had dinner with his son’s family, where everyone ate gluten-free lasagna… just for me. It was delicious!

We also attended the annual pot-luck Christmas Party our friends have hosted for the past 10 years. A decade of fun, food, and frivolity! My son met us there, and since his Dad was in town, he was invited to join us, too. Having just lost one of our group to cancer, I noticed at this year’s bash everyone has begun saying, “I love you,” more earnestly, looking into each other’s eyes. And there were a lot more bear-hugs as everyone parted company.

Maybe age gives us wisdom and perspective after all, because loving one another is ultimately what the season is about.

XO, Donna

 

— Life —

ON BENDED KNEE I BEG YOU TO RETURN THIS. I LOST EIGHT OTHERS ALREADY AND IF I LOSE THIS I'LL JUST DROP DEAD! MARLON BRANDO
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There are four people on our phone plan, including my grown son. Last week I called him to let him know we were getting ready to change carriers so we could have better wireless service as we travel.

As it turns out, it takes just as long to accomplish this, as to buy a new car.

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— Life —

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I ordered a bottle of hand lotion from Amazon but forgot all about it until it arrived. That’s so unlike me since I view their deliveries as the equivalent of Christmas morning, all-year-long. I unwrapped it and studying the label, wondered why I ordered it… but as soon as I pumped some onto my hands, the scent brought it all back to me.

I used it in the elegant restroom at The Peabody Hotel in Memphis. We’d experienced lots of cold, dry weather and my hands were paying the price. Sitting beside the basket of plush hand towels stood a bottle of Molton Brown hand lotion. I applied some and absolutely swooned.

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— Style —

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This trip to Nashville was amazing in more ways than I could have imagined. A visit to the store, Two Old Hippies, was a revelation. Their elegant, super-groovy, rock ‘n’roll chic was the style I wanted to achieve for my life-on-the-road. Continue Reading

— Life —

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Our RV lifestyle has enabled us to see some wonderful parts of our great country. Recently we decided to drive up the Natchez Trace, an historic forest trail that goes from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Our first stop was Natchez where we stayed on the banks of the Mississippi River. We watched huge barges, pushed by tugboats, that carry goods from port-to-port. And like they’ve done for more than a hundred years, they leave a muddy wake behind them.

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. Mississippi was my first “big” spelling word, as I imagine it was–and still is–for many children. Continue Reading

— Relationships —

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At our age, when it seems like we have worked hard and should now get to relax and enjoy the fruit of our labors, many of us find ourselves caring for aging parents, an ill sibling or life-partner, or even a grown child who is sick and unable to care for themselves. We hadn’t counted on this twist of fate. Continue Reading

— Life —

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I first heard about ‘Sisters on the Fly’ this spring when we were camping at Lake Georgetown, TX. It’s one of my favorite spots because there are sites where you can watch the sun rise and set over a beautiful lake and never have to move out of your lounger if you’re so inclined.

We noticed a trickle of vintage Airstreams, then and all manner of sweet little trailers, some decorated extensively, coming into the park… all driven by women! We may never have met any of them if not for the fact that a woman knocked on our door to tell us we were in her spot.

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— Life —

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In the face of the disaster in my home state of Texas, I was hesitant to post about my great trip. I reflected on what made it so wonderful, and it wasn’t the places we’ve visited or the great food we enjoyed…

It was the people, both cherished friends and new friends, even a complete stranger, that made this trip as memorable as it has been!

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— Life —

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My mother always told me, “Don’t tell people your problems; half won’t care, and the other half will think you deserve them! Yes, this RV lifestyle can be an escapist’s fantasy – but sometimes it’s less fantasy, and more horror show! Continue Reading