In 8 hours and 15 minutes — yes, I’m counting — I must leave my house. Ellen expects me at her doorstep at 6:15 a‑m. Wake-up for me comes one hour before.
At least it’s a makeup free drive. We agreed.
A nine-hour-plus drive to Amarillo dictates our early departure. Land after 6:30 a‑m on any Bayou City roadway, especially US 59 heading to I‑45, and the asphalt clogs up. RoadBroads don’t do slow.
I digress again. My apologies. Look up there at the trashy picture. Can you figure out what’s not yet done?
But wait. Turn around, leave this room, look to your right. You’ll spot three piles of dirty laundry. Head down the hall, you’ll find an unfinished stack of June-due bill payments. In the kitchen rests a week of RoadBroad blog papers to sort and file. Intensifying the growing overwhelm is the June family calendar: two birthdays followed by Father’s Day times four.
All awaiting these diminishing overnight hours, and this blog post.
At least, Mother Nature cooperates. Boulder weather shows 88 degree highs and 56 degree lows. Amarillo temps for tomorrow mirror Houston, less the coastal humidity. From my childhood I remember the dry heat of the Texas Panhandle. Translation? Manana, even in an air-conditioned car, demands less. Tank top and shorts. Less equals cooler. For this post-menopausal chauffeur and her human cargo, cool matters. As in non-negotiable.
This begs what may be my salvation tonight. Hot weather means fewer clothes equals less to pack. Or should I pack more outfits because wet and sweaty demands dry and cool?
When did I get too old for this kind of silliness? Mind mania has set in, my god.
My brain hurts. I’m tired. And I’ve got miles of things to finish before I sleep. I can’t pull a Scarlett, either. Tonight and Ellen dictate action and completion. So off I go to take care of all the silly busywork a 19-day RoadBroads adventure demands. Who knows when it’s lights out for me tonight. Besides, I’ll probably go all “journey proud,” as my grandmother used to say, and not sleep a wink.
We’ll see. Instead, I’ll leave you with what I saw on my morning walk.
The trio of deer lolled in the Full Moon morning, the sun insisting this day belonged to the animals.
I hope to observe similar vistas in the road days ahead. Amarillo or Santa Fe or Taos or Denver or Boulder.
I just read Melanie’s blog post about her experience at the Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I went to the same exhibition and, even though I went early in the morning before all the school children arrived, I still needed help solving the crime puzzle. Obviously I need to hone my skills at observing the details.
My life has been so hectic in the past few months, I am proud just to say that I am keeping up with everything. Yet, here I am heading for a long road trip where I can slow down and look. We are going through Santa Fe, New Mexico. The home of my favorite artist, Georgia O’Keefe!
Again, for those of you not familiar with the art of Georgia O’Keefe, please Google. Again, I will wait for you. She painted a lot of big flowers and a good deal of the landscape around the Santa Fe area.
One of my favorite quotes of O’Keefe’s is the following:
“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.”
An artist like Georgia O’Keefe sees the beauty in the detail and gives us a painting to help us see. Doesn’t a writer do the same thing? Take an event, a moment or a thought and give it words so that the reader can read and understand.
Going on this road trip means that I will completely change my surroundings. I am a city chick. I like a big city and the energy it produces. The sounds of the city relax me and I feel a part of the big scheme of things. Now I am going outside the big city to cities that are much smaller and further apart. I want to see everything.
More than 20 years ago I traveled to New Mexico. I drove between Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Abiquiu (toured Georgia O’Keefe’s home). I remember pulling over to the side of the road just to admire the beauty of the mountains all around me. After living so many years along the flat Texas coast, the mountains are a miraculous sight.
I also practice mindfulness meditation which helps me to stop in the middle of all of life’s craziness and just be. Sometimes it is just best to sit down and be quiet.
In advance of this weekend’s kickoff of the summer vacation season, Bloomberg published a glorious photo essay of what it called “the-10-best-global-road-trips-to-try-this-summer.”
My reaction came fast and hard: go local, not global.
Think of all the things you can see right where you are. Or within a few miles from where you live. Or after a few days on the road.
This time next week, Ellen and I will have driven across the cityscapes of Houston and Dallas on into the rural grasslands and canyonlands of Texas before driving high into New Mexico’s mountain lands then leveling out over Colorado’s dry grasslands, ending two straight days on the road in the flatirons of Boulder.
That’s 16 hours of a one-way trip only two days from home.
From the coast lands to the mountains, we’ll see beauty everywhere. Because we’re looking. Really looking. And that’s the point this Memorial Day weekend, the kick-off of the summer vacation season.
Look where you travel.
Of course, this comes from the RoadBroad who wrote in her bio that she’s determined to spend the night on all seven continents.
As an old newsman I adore told me once, “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”
This blog came to life, courtesy Ellen, who prefers road travel to soaring skyward. She suggested driving to a Colorado-based writing retreat in June, 2018.
Melanie answered with two words, one of which can be repeated in mixed company. Young children, however, would probably be confused. C’est le vie — it wouldn’t be the first time either of us has been misunderstood.
Post-writing retreat, we contemplated life sans RoadBroads. Should we continue this blog? We both proclaimed a loud two-word answer, identical to Melanie’s reply to Ellen’s initial query. Amazing what happens when two women writers get to know each other on the road.
We’ve dialed back the blogging to one post each per week. Periodically, we’ll post a guest blogger — another woman writer, on the road — reporting some kind of trip and what she’s learned.
We can all learn from each other.
Looking forward to the lessons offered via observations, discoveries, and experiences. The good. The bad. The ugly. Adventure is all this, most especially the ugly.
It’s only roadtrips. With two broads and some special guests.