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Coming In Hot...

The Wine: 2020 Winslow White (Yakima Valley, WA)

The Winery: Fletcher Bay Winery (Bainbridge Island, WA)

The W(H)ine: Coming In Hot… (Home, Sweaty, Home)

“[I] Let the desert air burn inside my lungs.”

Son of the Sun -by Dierks Bentley

If the Great Wide Open opened wide my soul (Read here), then Reclamation Roadtrip’s final forty-eight hours bore a hole to the Core of my Being.

What else is there to do driving without cell coverage, radio, or shotgun rider??????

As Pearl navigated the ever-expansive Wyoming plains, I not-so-delicately dumped unanticipated buckets of buried grief across the many miles until at long last, prairie passed and mountain sighting brought blessed relief.

What the Badlands started; the Desert heat stifled. #cominginhot

Utah’s crossing paired a most welcome emotional dry spell with an equally unwelcome fire-induced detour as the desert dryness spawned dust, ash, and distraction from prior open road.

The irony of a brewing external firestorm after just having navigated a profound internal tempest was not lost on me.

Often, the storm comes before the calm. Sometimes the other way around.

Sometimes one storm leads to another, and another, before any sense of serenity settles.

What I know for sure is that both storms beckoned my immediate and undivided attention.

The first to ungrieved losses I failed to recognize, let alone grieve, until this trip’s traverse.

The second to the astounding human capacity to move from expressive emotion to fierce cognitive focus. Through both, my nervous system wielded its internal wonder.

For one whose sympathetic nervous system spent decades – yes, decades – in flight, freeze, fawn, or fight response due to toxic stress environments and biological hardwiring, I took note of a new depth of emotional agility, of neurological balance, of access to my both my parasympathetic nervous system (that’s the part of us that invokes rest, digest, and calm) and prefrontal cortex (used to intelligently guide thought, action, and emotion, including the inhibition of inappropriate thoughts, distractions, actions, and feelings).

Halle-effing-lujah! What a TRIP…

Arizona’s beckoning, albeit short and sweaty, reminded Pearl & Me we were almost home, as on the horizon green faded and brown overwhelmed, while our cabin’s air conditioning system felt suddenly taxed to its max.

Holy heat!

Never-have-I-ever claimed to love Vegas; and navigating Nevada this time changed my opinion NOT one iota as temps reached 108 scorching degrees Fahrenheit and my middle-aged female hormonal heating system added flashes, because that’s a thing.

Then The 15 closed.

(On the West Coast, for reasons I have not yet figured out despite five years living here, “The” appears in front of any designated highway number. Kind of like THE Ohio State University after winning a lawsuit.) But I digress…

Ten hours in, the very real possibility arose I wouldn’t get home as planned. Forget the plan, as NEEDED. We are 25-days done; read: spent.

When overtaxed, I burn…


It’s not pretty. But it’s so very human.

My insides feel on fire, and anxiety sounds off varying alarms, including panic, worry, over analysis…a host of “What If’s?” race through my stressed-out brain…

As Pearl and I found ourselves Coming In Hot to California… a few key interventions saved my exhausted ass and kept Pearl purring all the way home:

· Nitro Cold Brew Thank you, Vegas Starbucks, for the worthy Charge! For some, caffeine stimulates more anxiety, but my brain finds focus and centered energy, much like Adderall to the ADHD sufferer. Go figure!

· Death Valley Sign Even in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, there is Power in recognizing external influences contributing to internal angst, knowing what one can and cannot change. Not one thing we could do about the desert heat. So…

· Phoning a Friend To the Family, Friends, & Followers who travelled along…at the End of this Day, the Reclamation Road Trip, and literally My Weakened Wits, THIS CO-JOURNEYING COMMUNITY GOT US SAFELY HOME.

I write the end of the last trip while traveling home from the next. How human of me.

We imperfect creatures rarely reflect on what is or what just was until we find ourselves in new places or spaces to do so…OR…

Or get tripped up by the same old shit on the next Trip…But that’s another blog…Stay tuned!


Why leave on your next trip the same as you did on the last?

Process old shit.

What new internal space will you hold when you visit your next novel place?

Pick improved ways.

How will you spend time reflecting on the journey before all the days and miles pass you by? Plan purposeful time.

Finally, what interventions might you implement when you find yourself coming in hot?

Propose one now.

Here’s to Coming In Hot AND recognizing old patterns crying out for reflection, reclamation, and reinvention.

We. Got. This.


#Reclamationroadtrip #whineonthevine #lisamaaca #cominginhot @lisamaaca @whineonthevine

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