Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

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The strange year that is 2020 continues. However not everything has changed. I’ll be loading the van tomorrow, pointing it toward Wyoming where I plan to wallow in mountains, horses, and relaxation plus a bit of family time with our daughters. We don’t have internet in the mountains, so I’ll be incommunicado for at least several weeks. In the meantime, stay healthy and happy and know you’ll be missed.

Tell me you don’t notice color (skin or hair or eyes), size, gender, etc. and I’ll say you’re being disingenuous. Tell me men and women are alike, I’ll say stop being ridiculous. (And heavens, why would we want them to be?) We do notice those things and that’s fine. Differences exist, they do matter, and that’s generally good. How boring it would be if we were all the same!

Where we really need to be is the point at which those obvious differences are only some of many characteristics of that person and they don’t, as Martin Luther King said, define the content of their character. If someone asked me how they would identify a friend of a difference race, why would I not mention color as one of the characteristics? Why wouldn’t I be called white? I am (and trying to stay relatively that way in Arizona to avoid possible skin cancer!!)

Let’s stop asking for the impossible and the ridiculous and start thinking about the inward person. We won’t move past all the nonsense going on now (and no, I’m not saying everything is nonsense, so just relax) unless we spend time with people who are different in situations where we can both/all meet as just people and not members of “groups” or “parties”, but people who may have more in common than we thought and talk civilly with each other. Then perhaps we can regain some measure of sanity. It’s easy to scream, blame, call names, and cause destruction. The hard part is actually talking to and listening to people who are different. The hard part is trying to actually do things that will deal with the issues and start helping to solve the problems while realizing it won’t happen overnight.

But it will only happen if we acknowledge that differences are fine and that people are generally just people, people to be treated with civility. Let’s be radical and give it a try.

“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”
― Bill Clinton

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We’re supposed to be in or around our homes as much as possible these days, so let’s take a look inside our new one. I love that the bedroom has enough space for me to have a sunny corner for my rocking chair. But this isn’t just any rocking chair. This was my mom’s grandmother’s, making it an antique and a beautiful one that has to be over 100 year old.

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Started from Springfield, Missouri at 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs of spring were everywhere: green grass, trees in bud or even with leaves, cattle grazing in green fields, even a long stretch of yellow forsythia.

Gas prices kept dropping, to as low as $1.43. Made filling up an absolute joy. Much of our drive takes us near or next to the iconic Route 66. I saw this gem on my first trip but couldn’t get a photo. I thought this frame gave a feel of an old time postcard.

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Nothing like good friends when you have no beds or furniture on general.

Note to self: clean fridge more often! General note: cleaning a fridge isn’t fun at the best of times. Cleaning one when you want to just get done and on the road is excruciating!!

Having lots and lots of things you need to have someone pick up when there’s a shelter-in-place order is impossible. Garbage men will only take things in bags. (Ever tried bagging a hammock? Didn’t think so. Just know it does NOT work!) and the junk-picking-up companies aren’t now. Dear owner: things in the garage aren’t as bad as they appear. Really!

Bit of COVID-19 humor. My husband got this prize in the local grocery store Monopoly game. I challenged him to go back and try to redeem it.

Gas prices are amazing right now. Filling up for $1.79 a gallon doesn’t even hurt at all. 😊. There are a lot less cars on the road, even in St. Louis during rush hour, although it was still hectic enough. And the virus hasn’t had an impact on construction.

The sunset tonight was beautiful, an enormous orange ball. Unfortunately, it was right on the middle of the road for at least three days…or seemed like it. Eventually we went in a different direction, literally, but there was still beauty as you can see from this (very carefully taken) shot. Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for the smushed bugs on the windshield. Well, maybe I am in a way, but Hey, I didn’t force them to fly into the glass..

That’s it for tonight from Springfield, Missouri. After the last few days and six hours of cleaning this morning, the 7 1/2 hours on the road was pretty much just fun. 🤪. Bed is going to seem so good tonight and that’s where I’m headed. TTFN. More tomorrow.

Phew!

Posted: March 25, 2020 in Personal
Tags: ,

Long day (yesterday) but the most downtime for a long time while someone else works. 😁

Great moving crew

Van finally loaded and we’re off to overnight with friends.

Lovely dinner and friend time!

Cleaning up tomorrow and and heading for Arizona.

Bedtime

The adventure begins.

P. S. Anyone else getting forever-dry, cracked hands from all the hand-washing??

For many weeks, I’ve been doing a morning walk with Jo, but she’s taking a break and we’re getting ready to move, so we’re not having an official walk. Our city has a shelter-in-place order, but we’re still allowed to walk outside, but I don’t have time right now AND we’re getting the last snow we’re likely to see for a long time, considering we’re moving from the Midwest to Arizona. 🙂

But a few days ago I was at church, delivering some donations and I spotted these harbingers of spring. In our yard, the daffodils and tulips are up, but not flowering yet, so I especially rejoiced in these. I was hoping to get one last walk in the park, but it’s not to be. So enjoy these!!!

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These days I don’t even like to go on Facebook (not so sure I like it most days, but that’s another story) or listen to the news. It’s all coronavirus and depressing. Yes, it’s a problem; yes, we need to take precautions (most of which we should have been doing lo these many years; no, we don’t need to hoard toilet paper; no, the water supply is still good so leave the bottled water on the shelf.

Life seems to look like this…

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I pray for each of you that this next year and next decade will be filled with joy, peace, contentment, love, wonder, health, beauty, and so much more. May God richly bless you in 2020 and beyond!

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