So now that life has settled down some, I'm going to endeavor mightily to get back to my soul-nurturing rituals of drinking coffee, petting my cats, driving around with Lori, and puttering around the yard.
So here's some pictures from my trip...but none of Robbie, who's apparently in the Witness Protection Program and can't be photographed, or he'll have to move away and create a new identity.
This was the rainy, dingy beginning of the trip...Missouri or Arkansas or something like that. I've decided that Arkansas is just bad. We drove through Arkansas on the way here a year and a half ago, and we found people to be unpleasant and useless. All the people in service industries that we encountered...watresses, clerks, hotel front desk people...seemed exceptionally sullen and dumb. A deadly combination.
Apparently nothing has changed in the last 18 months. Service people are still sullen, dumb and rude in Arkansas.
In sameness, there is strength.
I stopped for a Sub sandwich in Sulpher Springs TX, and sat on the tailgate, eating my sandwich and people-watching a little bit. The sunset was pretty over the truckstop skyline, and Texans talk funny, but truckstop people are truckstop people no matter where you go.
My original plan was to sleep somewhere around Dallas, but the traffic ar 11 oçlock at night was so intimidating that I thought I'd better press on to a more traveler-friendly town like Abilene.
In far West Texas, I stopped to pee, admire the scenery and take some pictures. Included in my Texas landscape is a little peek at the prettiness of my crappy eBay truck. I could like Texas if I could stay in the part where there are no actually Texans. I'm all about the scrubby desert and the no-people-for-200-miles part of Texas.
I went about 1400 miles in the first 24 hours, and then finally stopped at a Holiday Inn in Deming, NM at noon on the second day, where the clerks were both kind and competent and I got a jacuzzi in my room. It felt like a fair reward for my noble traveling.
The next morning, I got some breakfast and then went out in search of Lori's mom's gravesite in Deming. She was from Deming, and after she died Lori and her sister returned her to her ancestral home.
I had to hunt around a little to find her, but a bunch of nice young maintenance guys with excellent tans helped me, and eventually we tracked her down and got some pictures.
By the time I got to Tucson, I'd pretty much put away the camera and gotten down to the task of moving. Robbie came over and helped us pack and move, and nervously told me he'd changed his major from Medical Technology to Mechanical Engineering. He was mightily relieved to find that I don't care what he does for a living as long as he doesn't dread getting up and going there every day for the next 40 years.
He's a nice guy...and he looks like a man now. It's funny to keep slipping back and forth from, "this is my son...he's a part of me" to "this is a free-standing autonomous man I know." Maybe that's part of the conflict of having your children grow up.
I don't have any pictures of the trip home, but try to imagine three adults, two cats, and a U-Haul trailer. For 1600 miles. In three days. And you'll see why the objective was to get home more than it was to sightsee.
I'm sure there's more, but this is a good start.