Pennsylvania and Yes, Tina’s Breakdown…

Pennsylvania and Yes, Tina’s Breakdown…

“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough” – author unknown. I am currently living my
dream and it scared me this week!

We crammed as much as we possibly could have, including dumpster diving for retainers and the start of
football season (Go Utes!), into our two-week stay in Harrisburg and Gettysburg!

Cicada!? Have I been living under a rock? You are fascinating little tree crickets! I LOVE the music
you make. I love the creepy shells that you leave around, that, according to friends, were worn as a
badge of honor when they were children.

Some of the great places we were able to see included:

Gettysburg Battlefield (aka Brian’s Disneyland). Let’s be honest, I didn’t see Brian this week. He was
living on the battlefield and in his own personal heaven. I may have a future Gettysburg Park Ranger
on my hands, folks! Ha! It was nice having our own personal tour guide. If you ever get a chance to bike
your way through the battlefield, I would highly recommend it. It is a humbling experience to be in such
a beautiful (and now peaceful) place knowing the death and destruction that took place here literally helped
to hold this country together. It certainly adds some perspective to the current political and social
climate we live in now. Side note; the girls loved bouldering all over the Devils Den, a place of fierce
fighting 150 years ago but so much fun to play on now! Oh…and that’s where we met “Tennis” the over-weight
ground hog. (Zoe named him…no explanation).

Gettysburg Ghost Tour- Thankfully, I found a Groupon and saved 53%. It is more like a walk with a theater kid
telling ghost stories, but, one of those things that you do once.

When in Hershey, Pennsylvania you visit Hershey’s Chocolate World. It is more entertaining than one might think!
Took a trolley ride that included Hershey Kiss shaped street lights, a brief history of the grounds, and details
about Mr. Hershey himself. Then, you head to the main building where you learn how to properly taste-test chocolate,
watch a 4D movie, see the manufacturing process, and more. Then, you eat chocolate, you create your own chocolate
bar, and then you eat MORE chocolate until you are so disgusted with yourself that you mourn by purchasing even
MORE chocolate. Lastly, we went to see Zac Brown in concert at Hershey Stadium, definitely not the best venue.

Our first experience near a tornado. Luckily, we weren’t too far from home, just playing at the park when the wind
gusts became so intense that we heard branches cracking and falling. We started running back to the motorhome as dust
cyclones formed and then it started dumping rain all within seconds. Two RVs in the park we were staying in were
destroyed, thankfully no one was hurt. The main thing I remember is Zoe’s terrified face. I feel like this experience
is what trigged my breakdown…

It finally happened…I knew it would. I had my “WTF am I doing” breakdown at the 90-day mark. Social media has a way
of painting life as a fairy tale for everyone. I have shared both highlights and lowlights as this is also my personal
“journal” of my sabbatical. This week I had, what I would consider, my first real breakdown. I say first, because
I am sure there will be more. Life’s pressures were heavy, I couldn’t sleep as my anxiety was high. I got up and just
started typing. The condensed version of my thoughts that night: Are we able to keep the girls safe? Am I doing what I
can to keep everyone healthy? Are we all gaining too much weight(stupid Hershey)? Am I setting us up for a lifetime in
financial ruin? The girls miss their friends, am I permanantly damaging them socially? Is my family truly happy? Am I
screwing up Brian’s career? Am I screwing up my career? And probably the biggest concern, the health of our loved ones
back home. I was having my own internal tornado and at the time, unable to process these thoughts individually so I just
cried.

Luckily after many tears (and long talks with my angels), I found peace in the positive things that have happened and
continue to happen along the way. So, I put on my big-girl pants and pushed forward. The next morning, after discussing
my crazy night with Brian and talking with the girls, I was reassured when they stated that they were still “all in” on this
ride. Life has a way of taking control when you need her to. As the morning progressed I had a message regarding career
opportunities, Brian’s office needed a couple extra days of coverage, the girls were really excited about touring the
Gettysburg Battlefield as part of their school day and the coffee was amazing! While our concerns over our loved one’s
health are still prominant, the reality is these medical issues would be the same even at home. I never want to give the
impression that things are always easy, but I appreciate every experience we have had along the way. I feel that the universe
was simply keeping me humble and grounded and for that I am grateful!

Onto the next state…

Tina
Boondocks & Bliss

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