August 16, 2011

21

Into the sunset

A year ago today, I pulled out of my parents’ driveway in Athens, Ga., Rennie behind me in Roxanne, because he was not yet riding shotgun all the time, and my mom and sister standing on the curb, waving at us both through the windshield. It was the beginning of my Facebook Tour and I had no idea what lay ahead of me, other than open road. Three-hundred and 65 days later, here we are, about 2,700 miles away from that starting point but if you’ve been following the adventures since then, you know that it was not a straight path to get here. There were boats to row, mountains to climb, doggies to mend, axles to fix, axles to snap, new wheels to procure, Mexican visa processes to endure and, of course, lots of wonderful memories to make.

But I still have no idea what lies ahead.

I guess we never do. We may think we do but so often, we don’t and if I have learned nothing else on this trip, I am at least wiser to the ways of circumstance. Think about how the whole journey got put on hold for a month before it even got started, and how I was then able to go to events that I would have otherwise missed, and how that allowed me to meet people I would later see again, farther down the road, or how different everything could have been, had Jugo and Bruce not been the two truck drivers behind me on that afternoon when my wheels flew off, coming to my rescue and making sure I got to my next stop safely. It’s like the movie Sliding Doors: you either make the train or you don’t, and the two scenarios that result from each ending are so completely different.

Basically, I guess, timing is everything.

Now it’s time for me to try to turn this project into something, if I can. I debated extending the Aug. 16 ending point, because I had experienced so many delays and detours along the way and it seemed like it had taken away from the point of the project, but in the end, I decided that that’s just life; that’s what happens. You set out to do certain things and you might accomplish them but it will probably not be in the clear-cut manner that you had originally planned. I said I was going to try to see as many Facebook friends as I could in a year and that’s what I’ve done. Of course I didn’t expect to have to go to Mexico twice and naturally it came as a surprise when my rig broke down not just once but two times and well, no, it never occurred to me that I would be switching horses midstream, which incidentally, is not always a bad thing.

So, how many people did I see anyway? Well, at first count, it seems it was exactly 200 people and while most of them were Facebook friends, a few of those were friends of Facebook friends, or even friends of friends of Facebook friends, because not everyone in the world uses the social network. A lot of the visits were home stays but some of them were just meals in a restaurant or walks about the park. Most of them were in the U.S. but there were some in Mexico and Canada, as well, and actually, if I counted the total visits and not just the faces, the number would be higher, because I saw a lot of people more than once, sometimes three times, and in different places on each occasion. That is: I was not the only one on the move here.

I’m still working on the mileage count. When I have it, I’ll tweet it, which incidentally, is how you’re going to be getting all updates from me from here on out. Maybe I’ll post a new entry, if I get, say, a book deal that you should know about but until then, I am going to be mostly offline, working with my word processor. Where exactly I will be is still a mystery, too. One thing is sure, though: when I do settle down somewhere, I am going to owe a lot of people a lot of guestroom space.

Before I go, though, I just want to say Thank You. It sounds almost glib but it’s not; I truly mean it. Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you just for being here. Whether your presence was virtual or physical or both, I could not (I repeat: could not) have done this without it. xoxo

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mindy
    Aug 17 2011

    I’ll miss your adventures and stories! Guess I’d better start going on Twitter from time to time again!

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      Ha! I don’t tweet that terribly much, so I am sure a check per week will give you all you need to know. There’s still Facebook, too. xoxo

      Reply
      • hillary
        Aug 18 2011

        Will your tweets still be linked to this page? Please say yes! Dead websites are sooooooooo sad.

        Reply
  2. Mary Anne
    Aug 17 2011

    I feel like I have been holding my breath for a year!

    I will miss your posts and pictures very much. I have to admit I was doing a little vicarious adventuring.

    I don’t do Twitter, so I guess I will get my “Margaret news” from Carol and Peter.

    Happy trails!
    Mary Anne

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      Are you breathing again? I will miss them, too. Thank you so much for your vicarious adventuring. It meant a lot to have you there.

      Reply
  3. hillary
    Aug 17 2011

    aw, I feel a little sad. I too will miss the flit flitter real time adventure.

    Reply
  4. Aug 17 2011

    aw, i just got a tear in my eye. i will miss keeping up with your journey. i’m so thankful we met while each on our own adventures & then were able to catch up again when you came through austin. good luck with your book & the next step on your path.

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      Aw, wipe that tear away. There will be more adventures. I am so glad we met when we did, too, though and yes, I need that luck.

      Reply
  5. Aug 17 2011

    Oh…it’s over already? Sigh. I’ll miss your posts and stories.

    Reply
  6. Momminerd
    Aug 17 2011

    I remember our driveway pizza party in Roxanne the night before you took off on your grand adventure. Can that have been a year ago? Your loyal readers will miss your posts, Margaret, and thank you for letting us in on your travels. Now we have to ask: If Margaret drives a hundred miles and has adventures no one reads, have they really happened?

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      I remember that pizza party well and no, it does not feel like a year ago. Thank you for your loyal reading. And if you only knew of the hundreds of undocumented miles.

      Reply
  7. Cathey McHam
    Aug 17 2011

    don’t forget to give the farewell wave when your journey has ended. We all will wave back! Thank you for the memories – it was like I was there!
    Catz

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      Aw, will do. And thank you for being there.

      Reply
  8. Leigh
    Aug 17 2011

    Wow… I was kind of thinking you would continue on and hit all 50 states… but it’s good you’re sticking to your time line and now will be able to focus on your writing. I will miss your blogging! Thanks for letting us be a part of your year!

    Reply
    • Aug 17 2011

      All 50! That would have required more logistics than Rennie could have handled. Well, I am not sure I would have been up for it, either. Thanks for being a part of it : )

      Reply
  9. Steve Broin
    Aug 19 2011

    What? No triumphal return to drive down your parent’s driveway one more time?

    Sad to have missed you in Vancouver. We would have torn up this town :)

    I’m betting manuscript massaging begins in Oakland ;)

    Reply
  10. MIK
    Aug 23 2011

    really? this is it?
    Well that isn’t true. I have a feeling your adventures have only just begun.
    I will stay tuned.

    Reply
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