26 December 2008

Longwood or Bust

Moving day has come and all my worldly belongings were boxed and packed like sardines into a shipping container bound for storage somewhere in rural Arkansas. The shipping company charges by the linear foot and I was dismayed to see my stuff sprawled to the 12' mark. And that was after divesting myself of a refrigerator, microwave, television, dining set, and two couches! How does one person amass so much stuff!?

~we interrupt this post to bring you a word of thanks from our author: To Andrew and John, thank you for helping with the piano and stove!! We couldn't have managed without you! Hugs and Kisses to you both!

Those things I deemed too important to live without for two years were stuffed into my little pick up and wrapped in a tarp to ward off rain and snow. I felt like Steve Martin's character in The Jerk as I kept putting things into boxes:

"And that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair."

After much editing and repacking, we finally said "see ya" to LA and headed east. My dad and I alternated driving and sleeping, stopping only to gas up and once to indulge in that great American culinary repast, the truckstop breakfast. The road was pretty uneventful but I was excited to be able to observe some Fouqieria splendens in their native habitat:

As seen at 80mph! We also spied some awesome Saguaro cactus in Arizona and NM:

And now, only two days from home I'm already homesick, thinking of the things I wish I'd had time to do before I left. At least I was able to enjoy a farewell breakfast at my favorite Saturday morning spot, Julienne (omelette with cheddar cheese and bacon, fruit instead of potatoes, rosemary raisin toast, and coffee. It got to the point where the servers knew what I would order!).

And the weather kindly obliged us with a hint of real winter by raining on us as we left town. We even had snow on the mountains outside my front door and actual frost on the lawn weeds!

But of all the things I feel homesick for, it's the friends I left behind that I miss the most. I can live without lots of things, even my books (and that's saying a lot), but my friends gave me the strength to go on this adventure in the first place. I don't need anything else, except for them. And this book. My friends and this book, that's all I need. And this sherpa lined coat...

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