Sunday, February 16, 2014

where all roads lead

So many miles traveled to end up where I started.

Why on earth do it?

The speed limit in Utah is 80, yet there I saw more people pulled over on the side of the road getting tickets and more troopers lying in wait and that makes one think.

In Colorado, snow.

In northeastern Colorado, good radio, and in Nebraska a dusting of snow and black cattle standing chest-deep in dry amber waves of grain. At a gas station a man told me I was there a day too soon. The forecast for the next day was 50, maybe 60 degrees. Right then it was blustery, in the 30s. I agreed. A day too soon.

Between Des Moines and Ames, Iowa, cars stranded on all sides of the road. There was a bit of snow, and the cars were stuck deep at all angles. The motel clerk in Ames told me there had been a weather event just that morning. Not a ton of snow, but enough. I stayed on in Ames for a day coddling my illness, the cough that lingered, that came and went, but mostly giving in to a pervasive fatigue. I watched Joan of Arc with Ingrid Bergman. Later, I found Magic chips at Walmart. The 8-ounce bag only cost $1.

It was mild and sunny. In the parking lot, huge slushy puddles.

The next day I had to leave, but not before I watched The Old Man and the Sea with Spencer Tracy. I longed to stay and watch A Star is Born, the original, the one I have not seen, and then Days of Wine and Roses, but I insisted on leaving. It was snowing. Under a cover of snow in the parking lot was ice. Pulling open the side door of the van the physics worked just right and my feet flew up and I took my first fall into soft, fresh snow.

Oh, how I could have stayed on in Ames, watching movies, eating Chinese food.

A little up the road I stopped to look at some old graves.

Eventually, I arrived home, where, now, for the moment, the sun is shining.

And Elliott chases mice in the kitchen.


  1. Oh my gosh, I can't believe you're back home! Somehow I thought your trip would be quite a bit longer. Had a feeling you might not be anxious to return. Can't wait for your next update on what's new and what it feels like to be back at ol' Pea Pickle Farm. I am glad you're back safe and sound, but with the amount of snow the UP has had, you may not feel the same way! We are having a small heat wave (60's) and I think it's too early for that. I appreciate all the seasons and the changes they bring, but winter here is just too short. It sounds like Elliott was a good boy on this major road trip. I'm quite impressed with the little fellow. Never heard of a traveling cat before. ~ P

    1. I expected my trip to last longer, but my expectations and reality always seem to be at odds. Elliott, though, did far exceed expectations--he seemed content in every motel room, in the house with the dog, in the house with the cat, even in the van, as long as he could hide by my feet. Now he's content to be home.

      That 3 or 4 feet of snow I had to dig through to get to the front door ... hmmmm.