View Full Version : Lessons from the Road ;-)

Samantha Lucas
September 16th, 2008, 07:00 PM
or things I've learned so far anyway.

I have a terrible problem with vanity
After three days in a van, vanity can go fuck itself! :p There are just more important things than what your hair looks like or if you're wearing make-up or not! Like sleep!!!
Dale and I get along better then I thought people could. You'd think by now (and trust me, I've had a couple of stellar bitchy days) he'd be sick of me or grouchy at the very least! The man is a saint...ok, so lets not go that far, but he's truly the most wonderful man I know and I love him more every day we're out here.
The Liberty Bell needs to be more accessible to the people. I was thinking a rolling street cart so I could have seen it from the car!
I don't like truck stops too much, but their showers ROCK!
I am more capable than I give myself credit for.
There is a LOT of water and even more trees in this country!
I can handle about anything but heat and moving...but that's not really fair coz I knew that already. :p
The Woman's voice on the Garmin, we have named her Nancy :)
And I miss my kids more than they'll ever understand

My friend Shonna sent me this fwd today, it hit me where I'm living at the moment, so I thought I'd share.

There was
a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She
hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always
there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see
the world, I will marry you.'

One day,
someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages
came off, she was able to see everything, including her

He asked
her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The
girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The
sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected
that. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life
led her to refuse to marry him.

boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her
saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before
they were yours, they were mine.'

This is
how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who
was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a

before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't

you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone
who has nothing to eat.

you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone
who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

before you complain about life - Think of someone who went
too early to heaven.

whining about the distance you drive Think of someone who
walks the same distance with their feet.

And when
you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the
unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your

And when
depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on
your face and think: you're alive and still

September 16th, 2008, 07:09 PM
You're learning a lot out there! I'm glad it's going better for you. :biggrin:

I got sent that email and I cried when I read it. It made me really upset for the bf that gave his eyes for her and she rejected him because she couldn't look at him like that. It's making me cry just typing about it and I can't explain why. Maybe it's because I've felt crushed the same way he was crushed. Okay, I can't type about this anymore. It hurts too much.

September 16th, 2008, 07:11 PM
That is lovely Samantha i try to remember how bad things can get and that even at my lowest there where people who's life was harder it helps gte through a lot of things

Samantha Lucas
September 19th, 2008, 08:42 AM
I am learning a lot, and I intend to put together a more serious post if we ever sit long enough for me to put it together. lol

I'm sorry the story upsets you Dani. :( But I do understand. It breaks my heart to read it too, and then of course makes me want to write them a story where she learns from her foolishness and they live happily ever after!

...can't help it, hopeless romantic, hopeless optimist. :kittydance:

September 19th, 2008, 04:29 PM
That would be good! I'd probably cry when she screwed up, but to see it end wonderfully would make up for it. :biggrin:

Samantha Lucas
September 19th, 2008, 07:51 PM
I know, but those are my favorite kinds of stories. I LOVE TO CRY!!!! Every time I get a review or a reader or publisher tells me I made them cry, I get all giddy. LMAO

September 20th, 2008, 11:38 PM
Sick, you are just sick and twisted. Laugh it Up fuzball I'm just kidding with you. It's always nice to have people react to your books like that.

Samantha Lucas
September 21st, 2008, 11:36 AM
No, you were right the first time! LMAO

But you have to take into consideration that it was after reading Catherine Anderson's Blue Skies (and balling my eyes out) that I knew I had to write romances. I don't know, I think we go through a lot of life sort of numb, I want to make people feel and I guess crying is a good indication of feeling. Laughing's good too, but that's so much easier! lol

Samantha Lucas
September 25th, 2008, 11:42 AM
Well, today I'm in Illinois, about 20 miles outside Chicago...which is a REALLY huge city btw! SHEESH I had no idea. Coming from L.A. our buildings can't go that tall, earthquakes and all you know, so they spread out a bit more, but Chicago, omg there was skyscraper after skyscraper!

How many freaking people are there in this country!!!

Seriously I keep seeing all these industrial plants and skyscrapers and houses and shopping malls and the reality of how many people there are is really starting to dawn on me. It's just seeing it is so much more tangebile than some random number, you know?

I actually got a little overwhelmed by it all yesterday. I mean how and when did life get so complicated? We have water treatment plants and office buildings and airports and...Do you have any idea how many trucks there are on the road every day filled with stuff coming and going? Do we really need all this stuff? I don' know, but we have it.

Dale and I have dropped off springs and flavorings and air compressors and even car seats for a new Camero. We've been to New Jersey, West Virginia, Kentucky, spent LOTS of time in Michigan, then Indiana and now Illinois. Sometimes we are in the middle of nowhere, where things are quiet and peaceful, and others we are in cities and me being me, I find people fascinating, so, everywhere we go I try and find out something about someone.

I'm meeting all kinds of people. People who are all pissed right now over the buyout thingee sheesh, but anyway, I can't entirely explain it yet, but it's changing me, it's making me far more aware of life and home and community and I think I'm longing more and more for a quiet piece of land in the country. Somewhere I can grow my own food and live as simply as possible. I want to leave as small a footprint on the planet as I can, I want to save animals, and I want to be healthy, in spirit, mind, and body.

Ever hear the Rascal Flatts song, Mayberry? Well I think I have a whole new understanding of that song, and maybe it's just coz I'm getting older, but the more I see of this crazy world, the less I want in my personal life. I'm becoming more and more interested in faith and love and giving and being kind to people, and less and less interested in the big house and the trips to Italy. lol

I love meeting new people, I've met nice people, grouchy people, funny people, hurt and broken people. It's been so amazing so far and seriously, I was telling Dale last night, as today marks 2 weeks out here, it feels like about four days!

The time is buzzing by and I've adapted far better than I would have imagined. I've even been developing a new life philosophy. It started on my birthday, as I really sat and evaluated how I live my life. Then seeing all these people and businesses and the craziness life is, then yesterday I saw a sign that said...

"Today is a gift. Otherwise why would they call it the present?"

I think I've heard that before, but yesterday it hit me at exactly the right time. I spend far too much time in the past and future, when really the present is all we've got.

Dale's teaching me a lot about being more relaxed about life. He's amazing, ok he does get irritated with stupid drivers, but I've decided to ignore that, lol but otherwise, he's so laid back. Not in a bad way, not like I'm just gonna lay here and let things come what may. More like, I'm going to work my ass off, do the right thing, and let God handle the results. It's really a cool thing to watch and being with him is allowing me to relax too. I'm not worried about the next catastrophe falling, I'm taking in things around me and not worrying anywhere near as much as I used to and even though I'm not stressing and micro managing...
the world has NOT ended!!! :jawdrop:

It boggles the mind. I love how much we laugh together too, that's a totally new experience for me and it's beyond nice. I've even been writing! I'm about 3k into a new series. I honestly didn't think I'd get any writing done out here, but when it comes down to it, there aren't any distractions. It's a huge blessing, but to go along with my new "live in the present" attitude, I'm not plotting how many books I can get done before I come home, I'm just writing everyday, thinking out each new scene then putting it on paper (so to speak) when I'm ready.

Life on the road is teaching me so many things, maybe I'll write a book about that some day! Laugh it Up fuzball

September 25th, 2008, 11:55 AM
It is a scary thought at how many people actually live in the US alone, not counting the rest of the world.

It's wonderful that you're getting to write. You're right about their being no distractions. Unless you want to people watch on the highway. LOL! I get some of my best reading done when I'm traveling in a car (and not driving of course... LOL).

Samantha Lucas
September 26th, 2008, 01:58 AM
I can't read or write while the van's moving, it makes me nauseous! :sick: But I am getting some done while we stop for fuel, when we're being loaded or unloaded and of course while we're stopped waiting for a load.

I started a new series, a loosely based sequel to A Garden in the Moonlight, mostly just because I loved the second man in that book, but this is real tame stuff. I'm thinking of subbing it to Harlequin when I'm done.

Ooooh! That makes me nauseous too!!! :sick::sick::sick:

Plus I'm playing a fabulous game of Sims2 where I have a vampire warlock and the high priestess witch married, but he's holding a human chick in a tower as a sex slave!

I'm SO twisted. Laugh it Up fuzball

September 26th, 2008, 04:32 AM
You can do that on sims 2 i need to look into this game i've never bothered with it

Samantha Lucas
September 26th, 2008, 08:51 AM
LMAO well, game play may vary by user, and I'm just overly sick and twisted. :P But yeah, with the latest expansion, we got witches and a book case that becomes a secret entrance. Like I have the bedroom with the coffin for my vampire blocked so the only way into it is through that bookcase and you have to know the secret to get in.

It's so freaking cool, all that's in that room is a coffin, his cauldron, and a violin....He's a master musician too! LOL

I may be legallly insane...just a warning. ;-)

September 26th, 2008, 10:56 AM
Laugh it Up fuzball You are so bad and now you're getting Hollie deeper into it. She'll never come up for air or chat if she has that Sims2 expansion pack!

Oh, and I like sick and twisted sometimes, so you're in good company!

Samantha Lucas
September 26th, 2008, 06:45 PM
LOL I have to admit, I get that way sometimes with the sims. Three days can go by before I look up and then I'm like what? where? how? Huh? Did I miss something? Laugh it Up fuzball

It's a great stress release though. :)

September 26th, 2008, 06:47 PM
I need i need i need ok so i don't have time to play it but i could ....erm oh i don't know but i need :tt2: It's not going to work is it :sofa:

Samantha Lucas
September 26th, 2008, 06:55 PM
LOL Why all of a sudden do I feel like the devil leading the innocent astray??!!

Because I want to say "Oh but you HAVE to get it! It's SOOOOOOOOOO much fun!!!!!!!!!!!" :devil:

September 26th, 2008, 07:32 PM
You are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAD!!! Laugh it Up fuzball

This should be you for telling her that ~~~>:smokindevil:.

Samantha Lucas
September 26th, 2008, 08:23 PM

I can't help it!

I mean I get sucked into a lot of those time management games if I get bored, but the only computer game I really love is Sims2. I mean, really, it's just Barbies for grown-ups...BUT I LOVED BARBIES!!!!!

Oooh and Sims3 comes out in six months!!! Bouncy Icon Smilie

September 26th, 2008, 10:28 PM
Shhhhhhhhhhh! Don't tell her that!! She'll be wanting that version next. Laugh it Up fuzball

Hollie has some excellent news she shared with us. Here's the link to the thread. http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/showthread.php?t=6643

Samantha Lucas
September 27th, 2008, 10:09 AM
OMG I watched a little clip on the making of sims3 and all the people making it are SO FREAKING YOUNG!!!!

The lead guy, who was totally hot btw, if I met him on the street, he'd be all "Here granny, need help crossing?"

SIGH I remember the days when guys still wanted me...

When did I get this old??????????????

September 27th, 2008, 03:17 PM
OMG, you are so NOT OLD!!! Get that through your head before I have to pound it in there. Laugh it Up fuzball

Besides you have a man sitting beside you that loves you to death, so why do you care about that anyway? As long as he's happy and loves you, what anyone else thinks shouldn't matter. :biggrin:

Samantha Lucas
September 27th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Oh believe me I know! It's just this weird shift that's been going on and I'm not sure I like it. :P

September 27th, 2008, 03:46 PM
I believe it's called hormones. I'll be nice and won't say it's the start of the M word, but that could be a possibility.

September 27th, 2008, 04:51 PM
M word i wish it would solve a lot of my poblems

Samantha Lucas
September 27th, 2008, 06:11 PM
I believe it's called hormones. I'll be nice and won't say it's the start of the M word, but that could be a possibility.

Oh gee thanks! No I feel even older!!!!!!

Bring on the rocker and the afghan. EmbroideryMaking

September 27th, 2008, 11:10 PM
Oh gee thanks! No I feel even older!!!!!!

Bring on the rocker and the afghan. EmbroideryMaking
Well, I didn't mean it that way! I was just giving an honest opinion about what it could be. Some women start that early and some don't.

Besides, if you need a rocker and an afghan now, then I'm gonna need a cane to start helpin me walk. Laugh it Up fuzball

Samantha Lucas
September 29th, 2008, 07:25 PM
LMAO I don't know what I need...a lobotomy maybe?? :D

Samantha Lucas
September 29th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I've learned that there are a lot of teeny little whole in the wall type restaurants out there that serve REALLY good food!

I'm weird, I like the familiar, so when given the choice, I'll gravitate towards the McDonalds or the Ihop, but Dale pushes me to try mom and pop type places, like tonight.

We ate at the Crossroads Tavern here in Syracuse, smilies/beer1.gifand I'm not lying when I tell you, on their sign, it says "warm beer and lousy food"!

But we'd been sitting here all day smelling it, so we went in and had a couple of burgers and OMG they were good. It was real food, not frozen pre-made perfectly cut and measured food. It was like someone went to the store, bought food and cooked it!

What a novel idea.

I have this weird problem with my adventurous side being overtaken by my shy side. I wish my adventurous side would learn how to kick my shy side's ass!!!

September 29th, 2008, 11:44 PM
If you want good food that's REAL always ask the locals where the best place in town is to eat. Usually they can give you quite a few ideas. :biggrin:

September 29th, 2008, 11:46 PM
I know where some of the best food is served where I live. We went out to dinner last night to this place called The Pig and Whistle. Food was brilliant there.

Samantha Lucas
September 30th, 2008, 05:59 PM
Oh I LOVE that!

I love places with cool names, there's this bar down on Ferdinand Island in FL call The Frisky Mermaid. I always thought that was such a great name. :)

Samantha Lucas
September 30th, 2008, 06:00 PM
If you want good food that's REAL always ask the locals where the best place in town is to eat. Usually they can give you quite a few ideas. :biggrin:

I've noticed it's usually a good idea to follow a trucker too. I tell you they know all the little hole in the wall type places!

Samantha Lucas
October 2nd, 2008, 09:46 AM
There is no curing this animal thing I've got going. I've had it all my life and you'd think I'd be over it by now, but I'm not. I more than just love animals, I need them, I need to help them. I want to save them all! It's the same feeling I had at five and it doesn't matter how old I get or how much my head knowledge tells me there's no way to save them all...I WANT TO!

I'm now trying to rescue two little gutter kitties I found last night at this truck stop. One needs veterinary attention and I can't just leave it like this, but they're both so skittish. They're about four months old, I'd guess, and the one has two bad legs, probably hit by a car or something.

Please hold out good thoughts, I know it may sound crazy to a lot of people, but I can't turn my back on an animal in need, but I don't have the luxury of time here. I know, I can call the authorities and all that, but I also know that process and what will most likely happen to these kittens if I do that. So please, just keep good thoughts. addmilk.gif

October 2nd, 2008, 09:52 AM
Awwww, poor babies. Sending good vibes your way!

I know how you feel. I just took in a kitten (about 6 months) about 3 weeks ago. He'd been coming around for the last 2 months or so and he looked so thin and tiny and I couldn't stand it. I'm trying to catch my big male's girlfriend because she comes around too. I feel bad when animals don't have a home and I want to take them home.

Here's my little guy (Sebastian) right before we caught him. He was still getting used to us being so close.


Samantha Lucas
October 21st, 2008, 02:00 PM

And that's the first time I've thought that in years.

One thing I can say, is I'm feeling more settled in my soul, if that makes sense.

I'm learning that life is rarely easy, often a pain in the ass, never fair, but also never more than I can handle.

I'm learning, or remembering, to breathe, to relax, to stop trying to force everything into the box I want it in.

My kids are good, in fact I see oldest really changing through this. I'm a babier, I have to admit it, so without me there, he's really having to stand on his own, and he is! I'm so proud of him.

The youngest is too funny, he's like don't you come back till we can afford something nice, I'm tired of living in dumps. LOL

I'm loving spending all this time with Dale, and I've even started writing again. I enjoy most every minute of every day and I can't remember the last time I said that.

I'm trying to calm down, smell the roses, stay in the moment and all that. I'm trying to assimilate on a soul level that I only have to answer to myself for my choices, if someone doesn't like them, or understand, I can't change that and really need to stop investing so much of my time trying to make them understand. Most times, when someone doesn't understand something, they have something invested in not understanding it, and that's a much bigger battle than simply explaining yourself.

Anyway, I'm feeling more peace, more balanced, at least for today, which is in Ohio for the record. lol Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but isn't that the point? ;)

October 21st, 2008, 02:09 PM
So how's Ohio? I've never been past Tennessee and North Carolina. One day I'll make it up further. LOL!

Samantha Lucas
October 21st, 2008, 02:26 PM
Ummmmm, shoot that's so not fair, coz if I have to compare, it's sort of average, Indiana too. I LOVE New York state, New Jersey and PA so far the best.

this is where I want to live though.


I'm so in love with this place I can't even tell you!

October 21st, 2008, 02:35 PM
I went to Holland once but thats not far by american standards

October 21st, 2008, 02:38 PM
Oh that's a very pretty place!

October 21st, 2008, 04:20 PM
yes it is I was on holiday with a friend and her family when i was about 12

Samantha Lucas
October 21st, 2008, 06:40 PM
I went to Holland once but thats not far by american standards

Oh I'd LOVE to go there!

Samantha Lucas
October 22nd, 2008, 03:30 PM
Ok I saw a town in Ohio last night that was completely adorable! All decked out for halloween, omg it was cute!

I'm finding, I really like small towns with old houses and little downtown areas that look at least fifty years old. Americana maybe?

Who knows, but I love it!

Samantha Lucas
October 22nd, 2008, 03:43 PM
I'm sitting in a truck stop in Chicago working on my current book. It's a kidnap/bondage/menage unlike anything I've ever written and I'm LOVING it!

Alex and Maurice are very complex men and Charlotte is kinda kick ass, yet ready to surrender and let someone else take care of her for a change. These people are not necessarily nice people, all of them have killed in the past, but the combination of the three is absolutely combustible.

I have no idea where this story's going, I'm at 17k of what I thought when I started would be a short 15k story...surprise! lol Regardless, I'm loving the ride it's got me on, so this all has me thinking, as one of the things I've been quietly trying to work out while out here on the road, is where my writing is going.

It's hard to stick to one genre, one heat level, one type of story, yet I've been told repeatedly you don't want to write all over the place, it discombobulates readers. You want to make sure they know when they see "Samantha Lucas" (and yes that is my real name :P so I have NO anonymity) what kind of story they're getting.

So I've been toying with the idea of pen names. One for my more erotic stuff, one for main stream, one for women's fiction which is the other genre I really want to write.

Ok, but then what about all the sci-fi ideas I have and the YA stories I'd love to do some day...OMG is everyone like this????

Thing is, with this story, I'd sort of like to go with a pen name, because it's very different, very erotic (for me :p) and I was thinking if I went with a pen name, I'd not be as likely to hold back, which I have done in the past, knowing my family would know I wrote this! :eek:

I'm completely torn. I've lost a lot of momentum this year, so in a way I feel as though I'm starting from scratch anyway, maybe now is a good time to split my name, erotic/mainstream at the very least. Then I look at all the books I've done and I hate the idea of "dumping" them so to speak. I wish I could just pick out my favorites and switch the name on the cover. lol


Anyway, I'll ramble this topic on for ages, anyone with suggestions is more than welcome, I think I've annoyed the hell out of all my friends trying to figure this one out. LOL

October 22nd, 2008, 03:59 PM
Sweetie what ever name you use they will know you wrote it don't be ashamed of what you write and don't hold back be yourself and if they love you they will still be proud of what you have acheived

Samantha Lucas
October 22nd, 2008, 06:24 PM
Sweetie what ever name you use they will know you wrote it don't be ashamed of what you write and don't hold back be yourself and if they love you they will still be proud of what you have acheived

Well you have a good point, and they don't love me, so really what's to lose on that front? lol

I think I'm coming to a point of acceptance and being okay with the whole my family hates me thing. It sucks, but it could be worse. :)

October 22nd, 2008, 06:29 PM
I only have the smurf, the kids and my mum. My in laws didn't even come to the wedding

Samantha Lucas
October 22nd, 2008, 08:00 PM
Awwww :( I wish my mother hadn't come to my wedding. :p But you live and learn.

I really have great friends in Mark, Kevin, and Shonna, I have Dale and I have my boys. Seriously, I'm finally at the age where I see that as blessed rather than sad. :)

And as far as the writing goes, I was listening to a sermon from my old pastor today, of all things, and it made me see the missing piece I'd been trying to grab for months.

A reviewer wrote this about me once...

Samantha Lucas is what great storytelling is all about. Ms Lucas writes with realism and heart and displays this in her characters. If you are hungering for an exceptional contemporary erotic romance that will stay with you long after the book is closed pick up her books today!

I don't care what genre or heat level I'm writing, what's important is that people feel that way about whatever story of mine they pick up. I'm a story teller, I want to make people feel. There are a lot of different emotions out there to explore, I think the important thing is just to write the best story I can in the time I'm writing it, and not worry about the rest.

My hope would be to always improve my skill, so in theory, cringing at some of my older stories, should be expected. The key is to stay focused on what I'm working on. To paint the story with every color I have available, and to blend them so the end result is a rich tapestry of flavors and colors that stays with the reader and hopefully touches their heart.

I think my new goal is that whatever I write, to write it with integrity and respect for my readers. I may not be the best writer I can be, YET! But I do put my heart and soul into everything I write. I hope that counts for something.

October 22nd, 2008, 10:04 PM
I agree with Hollie. You have to do what you're comfortable with and give it your all no matter what.

October 23rd, 2008, 04:48 PM
the only thing you can ask of your kids is that they do thier best.

So why do you expect more of yourself?? be kind to yourself sweetie then you can be happy with where you are in life and we are (me and dani) always here to whine at on or off group

October 23rd, 2008, 07:06 PM
the only thing you can ask of your kids is that they do thier best.

So why do you expect more of yourself?? be kind to yourself sweetie then you can be happy with where you are in life and we are (me and dani) always here to whine at on or off group

You got that right! I'm used to hearing about other's worries.

Samantha Lucas
October 23rd, 2008, 07:40 PM
the only thing you can ask of your kids is that they do thier best.

So why do you expect more of yourself?? be kind to yourself sweetie then you can be happy with where you are in life and we are (me and dani) always here to whine at on or off group

I totally agree, it's just taken me a lot of years to really internalize that. I used to be in a much better place, than I've been the last few years. The split just really knocked me for a loop, but as of today (my 6 week anniversary of being on the road) I'm feeling stronger and healthier (emotionally) than ever.

It's been a very exciting journey, I never would have expected. I was truly afraid when I took this leap, it would push me back. Instead, it's propelled me forward at an enormous speed and I'm beside myself giddy at where I see my life going and at how settled in my soul I feel these days.

It's positively fabulous! :D

October 23rd, 2008, 07:48 PM
That's all you can ask for. :)

Samantha Lucas
November 1st, 2008, 07:58 PM
Last night, we drove passed the St Louis Arch.

http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/%3Ca%20href=%22http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/?action=view&current=StLouisArch.jpg%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3 E%3Cimg%20src=%22http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/StLouisArch.jpg%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22Photo bucket%22%3E%3C/a%3Ehttp://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/%3Ca%20href=%22http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/?action=view&current=st-louis-arch.jpg%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3E%3Cimg%20src=% 22http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/st-louis-arch.jpg%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22Photobucket% 22%3E%3C/a%3E
of which I tried to include a picture here, but I couldn't get it to work. :(
http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/board/%3Ca%20href=%22http://s135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/?action=view&current=STLOUISARCH-1.jpg%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3E%3Cimg%20src=%22h ttp://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q150/samanthalucas/STLOUISARCH-1.jpg%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22Photobucket%22% 3E%3C/a%3E

First, it was night and the way it was lit, was amazing. It almost looked ethereal. An alien spaceship perhaps. Anyway, it was just one of those rare moments where you really get taken aback by something, so I googled it today, and thought I'd share with you some fun facts I learned. :D

From Wickipedia...

It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eero_Saarinen) and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannskarl_Bandel) in 1947. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall, and is 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base, making it the tallest monument in the United States.<sup id="cite_ref-nhlsum_2-1" class="reference">[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch#cite_note-nhlsum-2)</sup> Construction of the arch started on February 12th, 1963 and was completed on Oct. 28, 1965. The monument opened to the public on July 24, 1967.

One of the things I found interesting was the dilemma they faced trying to figure out some sort of elevator system that would work on an angle.

Eero Saarinen died from a brain tumor four years before the Arch was completed; prior to his death he had decided to incorporate a power lift system to obviate the need to climb the 1000-plus stairs. But the shape of the arch would have made a standard elevator impossible. After approaching several elevator companies who failed to come up with a viable method, Saarinen hired parking-lot elevator designer Richard Bowser to do the job. Skeptical city leaders gave Bowser only two weeks to submit a design, but he succeeded. By 1968 a unique tram system that combined an elevator cable lift system with gimbaled cars functionally similar to ferris wheel gondolas had been installed.

ok, a couple of weird facts I found were that the base of each leg at ground level had an engineering tolerance of one sixty-fourth of an inch or the two legs would not meet at the top.

During construction, both legs were built up simultaneously. When the time came to connect both legs together at the apex, thermal expansion of the sunward facing south leg prevented it from aligning precisely with the north leg. This alignment problem was solved when the Saint Louis City Fire Department sprayed the south leg with water from firehoses until it had cooled to the point where it aligned with the north leg.

Crazy you say?

Oh no, not yet, meet Kenneth Swyers.

Now I know, it's not nice to speak ill of the dead, but I just have such a hard time when I hear stuff like this, I mean what was he thinking??!!!

Here's the link (http://www.nps.gov/archive/jeff/adhi%20Folder/adhi2-13.htm) if you want this whole story, but below is the gist.

On Saturday, November 22, 1980, at approximately 8:55 a.m., Kenneth Swyers of Overland, Missouri, "was seen parachuting above the Gateway Arch. It appeared that Swyers landed on top of the Arch and that he was thrown off balance when the wind caught his parachute. Swyers' parachute deflated and [he] fell down the North Leg of the Arch. Approximately [half-way] down Swyers attempted to deploy his auxiliary parachute, however it failed to open and Swyers landed on his head on the concrete terrazzo. Swyers was pronounced dead at the St. Louis City Hospital at 0950 hours." [2 (http://www.nps.gov/archive/jeff/adhi%20Folder/adhi2-13n.htm#2)]

The 33-year-old Swyers requested permission to make a parachute jump in the vicinity of the Arch on August 21, 1980, which was denied by Charles Ross, special assistant to the superintendent. Swyers watched a television program the night before his death which showed daredevil acts of parachute jumping. Swyers was himself a parachute enthusiast who had made more than 1,600 jumps, and on the morning of his death, he left a note for his wife to come to the Arch to photograph his jump. Few park employees or visitors were on the grounds before 9:00 a.m. in late November when Swyers made his jump. Park Technician Lisa Hanfgarn, hurrying to get to work on time, thought she saw an object fall down the North Leg of the Arch as she entered the doors to the complex. She reported this to Seasonal Park Technician Liz Schmidt (of the law enforcement division), who was monitoring the north entrance doors. Schmidt went outside to discover the body of Swyers lying in the midst of his parachutes, and immediately radioed to law enforcement rangers requesting assistance, an ambulance and the city police. Two St. Louis city policemen, who witnessed the jump from Wharf Street, arrived on the scene and documented the fatal injury to Swyers. An ambulance was on the scene by 8:59 a.m. Mr. Swyers' wife was on the grounds at the time of the accident and saw her husband fall to his death. She came forward at the accident scene, viewing her husband's body and eventually covering his face with his parachute. A large crowd gathered, composed of visitors, police and medical personnel. Park Technician Schmidt later testified that the weather was blustery, cold and windy, and that it was not a good day for a jump, near the Arch or elsewhere. The FAA was immediately notified, and an investigation eventually turned up the pilot who ferried Swyers over the Arch to make his fatal jump. As a result, Richard Skurat of Overland, Missouri had his pilot's license suspended for 90 days by the FAA in December 1980. [3 (http://www.nps.gov/archive/jeff/adhi%20Folder/adhi2-13n.htm#3)]

So there's some interesting tidbits I discovered about the St Louis arch, something which I truly did find an awe inspiring sight, if you ever have the opportunity, it's worth seeing. ;)

November 1st, 2008, 09:52 PM
Samantha, did you know that the Arch sways in the wind too? The Arch sways a maximum of 18" (9" each way) in a 150 mph wind. The usual sway is 1/2". This is from the Arch's website (http://www.gatewayarch.com/Arch/info/arch.fact.aspx).

Some of my friends went up in it on a trip to the FFA National Convention. One of the guys was deathly afraid of heights, but they got him to go up anyway and he said that when he realized it was swaying he was ready to get out. He also kissed the ground as soon as he got out of there. Laugh it Up fuzball

Samantha Lucas
November 1st, 2008, 11:39 PM

I bet!!!!

I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling from a height! It was a thing of awe, but I never never EVER want to go up in it!!!! LMAO

November 1st, 2008, 11:47 PM
That's the way I am. I have a fear of falling from high things. Even thinking about it makes my palms start to tingle and sweat. *shivers* Okay, enough of that talk. LOL!

Samantha Lucas
November 2nd, 2008, 10:07 AM
LOL but I know exactly what you mean. People think the fear of falling from a great hight and fear of heights is the same thing, but it's not. I like heights a lot, so long as I feel secure in them, but if the thing was swaying!:scardey:

OMG Large buildings in L.A. do that, coz they're made that way for the earthquakes, ACK! I can't stand it!! :dizzy:

And there was this bridge Dale and I went over in Philidelphia and all I thought the whole time was "DO they really need to make bridges this tall??!!" :nono:

November 2nd, 2008, 08:41 PM
You should go over the Skyway Bridge here in Florida. OMG, is that thing HUGE!

Samantha Lucas
November 18th, 2008, 05:42 PM
I haven't blogged much lately because so much has been going on, it's taken me a while to assimilate it. It's very possibly my journey out here may end in the next few weeks though and I wanted to take a moment to make a physical imprint of where I'm at now.

Overall, there aren't words to truly express all my feelings about this time in my life. I was terrified when I came out, I've experienced some truly black moment, but for the most part, I've enjoyed the journey immensely.

I've seen things I would probably have never in my life seen...The St.Louis Arch, The Toledo Glass Skyway, The vineyards of upstate New York, Skaneateles, even NYC. I feel beyond blessed by the people I've met, a few I've even been keeping in touch with. I've heard stories that have humbled me, been with my country while we elected our next president, I've fed stray cats and I've collected small memories from every state we've been through.

It's truly been a journey of a lifetime, but all that aside, the real blessing here, for me, has been what this has done to my relationship with Dale.

I am a strange woman, I'll be the first to tell you this. Many people don't like me, don't like my views on things or just blatantly think I'm weird. I've been hurt incredibly deep, by family and people I've allowed close and those wounds have left walls. Walls that make it very difficult now to build any relationship. If not for this road trip, so to speak, I'm honestly not sure things would have worked for Dale and I long term. I think from the beginning I was waiting for him to dump me. If that's what you believe you only give so much of yourself, but now, wow, now I can see Dale and I in those rockers on the front porch at ninety.

I'm not sure I've ever been closer to another person and that includes, sadly, my ex. I'm a broken spirit in places and as I said I have walls, but being out here has forced me to trust Dale in ways I just never would have otherwise. I couldn't be little miss independent all the time and that was exactly what I needed. I've learned first hand how much I can trust Dale. he's never once disappointed me or left me to struggle on my own. We've had a couple of fights, one was...it was bad, but they last like a heartbeat and we make up...another bizarre concept for me. I've never known anyone who wanted to make up, who was willing to say I'm sorry, who wanted to make sure we were solid again after. It's the most incredible thing.

The of course there's the obvious, spending two plus months with someone in a van, you learn an awful lot about that person. LOL I mean everything from how and where he grew up. He was the Sheriff's son which I've come to learn is the equivalent to the preacher's daughter. lamo He was WILD! I've learned about his first jobs, his first loves and the strangest place he's had sex. I've learned about his sense of humor and what kind of foods he likes, and omg we like the same food! We go to a restaurant and he orders better them me! Trust me, that's shocking lol I am so not used to that. I've learned we meld into each other perfectly. I love him, he's passionate like no man I've ever met. He makes me laugh constantly. He's trustworthy and solid like a rock. I don't know what more I could ask for, and yet, there was this one moment about two weeks ago that crystallized everything for me.

We were in a truck stop in Kentucky, and as I've written before, there are always little stray cats around in truck stops. I'm alwasy feeding them of course. :) But anyway, that aside, this one night, we'd been there a couple of nights actually, and these two kitties in particular were getting used to us, However, they surprised us both, when they climbed up into the van.

Now they wouldn't let us touch them, but they settled right down. As amazing as that was in and of itself, it was Dale that really took me by surprise. He went about setting up a spot for them to be more comfortable and feel safe. Then when one, or both, would get spooked and take off, it was Dale hanging out the van doing the baby voice "here kitty"

I just thought to myself in that moment...OMG I truly have found the one. :D

It may be silly, but it's that moment a million more like it that have just cemented the man in my heart. :)

Anyway , there are big changes on the horizon and I'd appreciate, as always, anyone who holds good thoughts or says a prayer in our behalf. We've met angels out here, I'm telling you. This has been a once in a lifetime experience I won't ever forget. Thank you all for sharing it with me this far. ~Samantha

Samantha Lucas
December 11th, 2008, 03:59 PM
In the movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the end always made me roll my eyes. I mean itís a movie, just get to the happily ever after! However, recently, Iím going through my own metamorphosis in much the same way as Juliaís character does at the end and itís given me a new perspective.

Thereís nothing like a three month road trip to make you learn a whole lot about yourself. lol I have discovered that I love the sound snow makes when it crunches under my feet. I donít like french fries near as much as I thought, but I do love breakfast foods, especially omelets. :) Iím far more adaptable than Iíve ever given myself credit for. I love New York state. I donít need much, materialistically speaking, to make me really happy and I used to be far too vain for my own good! lol

Read the rest of this post today at the Samhain blog (http://samhainpublishing.com/blog/2008/12/11/lessons-from-the-road-and-what-the-future-holds)!

December 12th, 2008, 03:44 PM
Samantha, do you still have the kittens that climbed up in the van with you? I'm glad that your doing much better on the road. :biggrin:

Samantha Lucas
December 13th, 2008, 12:21 AM
No, sadly, but we did get them a home with an employee that worked at McDonalds. There are feral cats at almost all the truck stops, but if I find any that are injured or not completely wild yet, I've been trying to catch them and get them homes. I'm hopeless when it comes to animals.

December 13th, 2008, 12:46 AM
Me too, so you're not alone in your venture. My big male's girlfriend is pregnant (I think) and I want her to come in on the porch to have her litter if she is, so I can take care of them in the cold.

Samantha Lucas
December 13th, 2008, 02:26 PM

I know, the whole must save them all thing is in my blood. People call me crazy but I have to try, and it breaks my heart the times I can't save one. We had a little baby cat die the other week, it's one I've had since it was born. The whole rest of the litter died and we didn't expect much from this little guy, but gave him all the love and care he could take and kept him alive and I think he was happy for about eight months.

Still broke my heart when oldest emailed me last week to say he died. :(

December 13th, 2008, 05:34 PM
Awwwww, that so sad.

This litter (if she's pregnant) isn't even my male's because he's been fixed since we got him 4 years ago, but I feel bad that they will be born out in the grove in the cold. Yes, contrary to popular belief, it gets cold in Florida sometimes and right now it's very cold.

Samantha Lucas
December 14th, 2008, 10:57 AM
Oh I know! The first time I went to Disney World was in winter...I was there for the shuttle crash actually, but that's one of my biggest memories, I was surprised how cold it got.

I'm seeing less and less truck stop kitties the colder it's getting. I have no idea where they are going or hunkering down, but I'm not seeing them near as much right now.

I hope you can convince mama to have those babies in someplace safe and warm. :)

Samantha Lucas
January 16th, 2009, 12:37 PM
This road trip has been an incredible journey. I'm learning so much about myself, Dale, my kids, and God. One of the biggest things I've learned has been not to judge people, and I mean that in the , "I don't know what they're thinking" sort of way.

For most of my adult life, I've tried to be very compassionate and not judge people's choices. I'm not prejudiced like many people in my life have been, not about skin color or whom you chose to love. None of that has ever mattered to me, if you are a kind person simply trying to live your life, then rock on. ;)

However, all that being said, I've recently realized, that I'm still incredibly judgmental in an everyday sense. When, what I deem stupidity arises, or when I hear a story about something someone did that makes my head hurt because I can't believe anyone would behave that way, or when my ex, or lately it's been Dale's ex, does something that just makes me want to slap them.

It occurred to me, that every single time, I think to myself, I would never do that, that's a judgment and I truly think all these judgments have been weighing down my soul.

I know I know, I'm getting all new agey, but it's true, I can feel it. So now that I'm aware of it, I'm trying to change it and already I'm noting huge changes in my spirit and the way I view myself which is changing my life!

The biggest thing I've noticed is that once and for all, it seems I've lost that concern for what other people might think! I don't know, maybe it's not permanent, but it's not there. And I don't mean, I've learned to get passed it, or to ignore it, it's simply not there.

I've had a very large potential good thing come up in the last week or so and it's one of those things I would have passed right by because people might say this or that, and I honestly can't find myself caring, I've tried! I want this, I believe in this and quite frankly it's my damn life! :D

It's such a strange phenomena for me to be without that feeling. It's been constant for as long as I can ever remember. I don't like upsetting people, I don't like disappointing people, I don't like it when people disapprove, and I've lived a great portion of my life either fighting those feelings or managing my life in a way to only make others happy and comfortable, so seriously, this is HUGE! :D

The other part of this connects to dreams. I think it's finally dawned on me that not everyone in this country has the same dream. You know, the white picket fence dream and all that goes with it. In fact, I'm coming to believe that even those who've done the whole picket fence thing, may not even want it! (Oh you know I'll be working that into a book soon! lol) More importantly though, I also finally get, that not everyone in this country, but me, has achieved their dreams.

I can not tell you why I've felt this way, that I was the only one left out, the only person not at the party. It's ridiculous really, but I did! I realize now, maybe because I've seen so much of the country now and so many of the people, that people are all just pretty much trying to get by, feed their kids and keep their lights on.

Maybe I bought into the media too much, I grew up in Hollywood and Disneyland after all. lol

All this makes me feel more relaxed I think. That feeling of never being good enough, or even acceptable has left me. I've finally figured out that I'm really not doing any better or worse than most people. That I'm just trying to manage my life, raise my kids and lose weight! lol

Maybe the one thing that makes me the most different from everyone else I know, is my need to continually grow, both spiritually and intellectually, but I like that about me. :) So if that makes me a freak in their eyes, so be it, coz that I'm not changing, it's too deep a part of me.

Anyway, my road trip wraps up in a few weeks and though I will miss a lot of things about being out here, I'm so ready to get going on this next little part of my life. Especially since it will be making one of my personal life long dreams finally come true!

I can't wait! And don't worry, you'll be hearing all about it so stay tuned. LOL