He had a 1964 ford panel van. It was great for camping. By October he had decided to stay in town instead of moving on because of me. He moved in a few weeks later. We were so happy never had a fight or a cross word. I had never had a man who made me feel so complete. My Grandmother adored him and so did all my friends. My mom however never met him because she said her husband refused to let Dan in his house. Not because he was a bad man but because he felt that anyone who would want to be with me must be a loser and he wanted no part of it. Whatever! Just gave me an excuse not to go to her house for the yearly Thanksgiving ritual. Anyway, during that time I also quit my job in the trauma unit and Dan and I decided to take to the road. It was 4 months of adventure and travel.We left town right after Thanksgiving and travelled along the gulf coast to Florida. he had relatives in the keys and we stayed with them a few nights.
We left Florida and headed up to Oswego, new York where he was from. We stayed there thru the holidays and then continued our trek across the northern part of the US going into Canada a few times too. We did it all in the van and believe me it was camping in the wilderness with nothing but a little burner to cook on and keep warm by. We had a little bed in the back with these cute little granny square curtains to partition the front part of the van from the back. We would stop in the mornings at ranger stations or park stations, just wherever we could get cleaned up. Once, when we were in the Grand Tetons Dan got up early one morning and left me sleeping in the bed. he drove to the ranger station and got out to do his morning toilet. I got out too in my flannel nightie and fuzzy slippers with my toothbrush and soap and went to the Ladies room. When I came out the van was gone! It was below freezing and i went to the ranger station and got some coffee to wait on Dan to come back.Dan, in the meantime had gotten back in the van and lit up a fatty and went merrily along down the highway. He drove along admiring the beauty around him for a couple of hours and began thinking he should wake me up to see the sights. he pulled back the curtains to find me gone! he had to turn around and come back to the last place he thought I would be! in the meantime, I am sitting in the ranger station with the guy saying "are you sure he is coming back?" I was beginning to wonder the same thing myself until I saw him drive up with a sheepish look on his face! I was thinking how was I gonna call mm Mom and ask her to send for me.We went all the way to the pacific coast and drove the coastline down to California.
By that time we were both out of money and tired of the road so we headed back to my town. After that we came back to earth and settled into the routine of daily life. I got a job working as an agency nurse doing private duty and then went to work at the dialysis clinic. Dan started doing house painting. We were busy and didn't see one another too much. I was going in at 4am and off by 1pm. I was in bed by 7pm. He would get off at 6-7pm so we missed each other. We had gotten 2 little mutt labs-girls,Donna and Amber. I came home one afternoon and lay down to take a nap. I would nap and then get up when he came home and have dinner and spend a little time with him. I woke up about midnight and he wasn't home yet. This was before cell phones and beepers were for pimps and drug dealers.I was confused. I looked in the closet and the drawers and he was gone. I also noticed that one of the puppies was gone. Well, I had noticed that before but just thought he had taken one with him to work. He did that sometimes. I was frantic. I got in the car and drove out to the lake where we used to camp. Sure enough, he was there. I asked him WTF? I cried and he must have freaked out because he ended up coming back home with me and holding me and petting me all night telling me how much he loved me and how he would not leave again. I fell asleep in his arms, got up and went to work at 10am that morning. I had a bad feeling all day and sure enough when I came home that evening he was gone. Both dogs were home and he had left me a note saying he was just not the kind of man who could settle down. He said he loved me but if I could just understand that he was a traveller.It broke my heart. Again, I was left abandoned. I couldn't eat,sleep,think,nothing. All I could do was work and man did I do that. One good thing about being a nurse is you can always lose your problems there. Everyone has bigger more emergent problems than you and you can actually fix their problems,unlike your own.
I remember Nancy was so worried about me that she came and spent the night with several times but that just made it worse. Not only was I unable to sleep but I had to be quiet because I didn't want to wake her up. He wrote me a letter about 1 month later with a picture of him at a campground playing his guitar. He ended up in Oswego,New York. That was his home town. I lost contact after he called and said he missed me and would come back but the van had busted and he had no money to get here. So, yeh, I did, sent him western union enough money for a plane ticket. Guess what, I never heard from him again. When I tried to call his family's house I was told to leave him alone that he didn't want to talk to me.
I loved him so totally and completely that to this day if I think about him very long I can well up. I remember telling the next few guys I dated that I would leave them in a heartbeat if he came back. So, if anyone out there knows Dan Jennings from Oswego,New York age 55 0r 56 now,tell him I said hey asshole I am finally over you. We were together for 9 months. It seemed like a lifetime.
They say it is better to love and loose than never to be loved at all. I wonder about that. I wonder how you know if you are loved. I mean, maybe he was just hanging out with me and got tired of the domestic life and just wanted to be a roamer. Did he love me? Seems like if he did he wouldn't have left me. They always leave one way or another. Everyone I love or who loves me ends up leaving me.