On my return trip, I was able to see the landscape of Oklahoma and Missouri which, on the way down, was shrouded in freezing rain and freezing fog. What did I miss in Oklahoma? Cattle. And range land. And more cattle. Along with dirt a shade of red I’ve never seen before. Reservation land always saddens me, and I thought of the Trail of Tears every time I read the signs: leaving Chickasaw nation; Entering Osage nation.
If you’re a con man driving a minivan and you approach a woman at a gas station asking for money because your laptop was stolen and you need to get to your grandfather’s funeral (huh?), and she politely tells you she can’t help you as she gets back in her car (after she notices your distinctive drinkers nose …) , it probably doesn’t help your case if you call her a bitch. I’m a firm believer in meeting ‘angels unawares’ but I doubt an angel would use such language. Just sayin’.
I lost my bank card in a gas station restroom–only discovering the fact a couple hundred miles down the road. On a whim, I checked the transaction online, looked up the address on Google, and found the gas station. I called. A big shout out to Kelly who is mailing my card to me. In fact, it just might beat me home. There are good people in the world, dear Reader. When your paths cross, remember to pay it forward.
Audio books. I’m just not sold. My son and his wife gifted me an Audible credit to bulk up my pretty skimpy Audible library. I tried. I really did. But I listen … and then look out at the countryside … and then my mind is off and running, and I have no idea what has transpired in the last fifteen minutes. Turns out I am quite comfortable with my own thoughts. How is it that I don’t get bored? I have no. idea. But driving seven hours a day, alone, with only the radio for company, is quite satisfying to me.
I’ve heard other Northerners say that the desert–with its sparse vegetation and dust and grit–lacks beauty. How far from the truth. It is different from the lush green of the Midwest, to be sure. But it’s different, is all. The desert is spacious and the plant life is startlingly beautiful. It teems with all sorts of critters and creepy crawlies: bobcat and javelina and roadrunner and jackrabbit and ground squirrels and lizards and birds, birds, birds. The quiet is astounding. And the sun in the springtime is a delight.
There is no greater joy than walking with a Little who stops to look out over that desert and declares, “I never pass up a beautiful view” or who pleads for yet one. more. game of Go Fish to “see who is the champion.” After 345, 689 games, I can assure you there is no champion in Go Fish.
Sometimes is it just as sad to return home as it is to leave.