Monday, May 14, 2007


The highway has missed me. I can feel its longing for my car's tires. That longing calls to me in my sleep and during my busy, exhausting days.

The poor lonely highway even sends me mental images of those long straight stretches of open road laid across the ranchland south of here. Those images haunt my days and nights too. Wide open road with only a car or two for company... cup of steaming fragrant Earl Grey tea in my hand... box of cookies on the seat beside me... stuffed monkey Monk poked into the space in my steering wheel. Monk is my traveling companion.

So I found an excuse, and am preparing to embark on another long road trip! Two days of driving blissfully across prairies, past mesas and buttes, past herds of camouflaged antelopes, singing to the radio, enjoying the peace, soaking up the sunlight. I'm headed to Sedona Arizona to join with my sister to celebrate my brother's half-century of life.

This time I'll have a human traveling companion too. I suspect she won't be much like my husband when it comes to traveling habits. He loves to drive and get there fast, without stopping spontaneously to enjoy random sights and mysteries along the way. We haven't discussed this aspect, but I'm sure our drive will involve more fun than just driving. (Not sure if I'm allowed to mention names, so my companion shall remain nameless for the moment.)

I am SO EXCITED about this adventure! The confinement of constant work can be wearing. Lack of work can be just as wearing, but in a different way. I am grateful that people want what I have to offer, and benefit from it, are appreciative, and pay me. But I am SO EXCITED about laughing, resting, swimming, hiking, and eating things that are bad for me because I don't have to be in top shape for any clients the next day!

My batteries need recharging, and they're about to get it.
See you all in a week! It's time for this willow to get wandering again!!!!!!
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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hope Smothered In Reality

Damp, heavy snowflakes the size of silver dollars fell between the raindrops yesterday and landed on my bright new pink tulips.

Hope, covered with a dose of reality.

My Mom is undergoing chemotherapy during these few months. After a lifetime of a strong, healthy constitution, an aggressive cancer suddenly struck. She is 80 years old. Even after three doses of chemo, she still feels good. No nausea. Her hair is gone, but she has a little fringe at the front, so when she wears her pink ball cap, it looks like she still has some hair. She and her pink cap drive around town, doing volunteer work and visiting friends. The wake-up-call of cancer reminded her to love everything, enjoy everything, be glad about everything, and to say so to her loved ones. She had to put off taking a cruise with some friends, but plans to take a cruise after the chemo is done.

I struggle to balance my elation over her steadfast health, with the fact that it is, after all, cancer. Our family has always had a silly joke about the number 81 being a bad number somehow, so I really want her to be 81 years old. I want the chance to harrass Mom about being 81, as we were able to do for a whole year with Dad. And then I want her to be even older and even healthier, for as long as she wants to be.

Hope, coated with a dose of reality.

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