It’s what I do. I don’t settle in well, so living for the same place for the last eleven years can feel incredibly claustrophobic. Over the last year or so, I haven’t been able to go anywhere other then small day trips that never seem to last as long as I want them too.
Taking care of the family is a constant priority. One that’s made me stick in the same place for much longer then I would have liked.
Anyway, my mother is the same way. If she had it her way she’d be living out of an RV somewhere traveling every other day.
So there comes a point, be it after a poetically heartbreaking experience (yes, poetically), or just a week of monotonous work, one of us will look at the other and say
“Hey, Lets get out of here,” and so we do.
The day before a road trip is always the busiest. It’s also the day the dogs enjoy the most. Seeing as we never have much time planning our trips, we don’t run out of food stuffs. So the dogs get everything.
Today it was about seven pounds of various meats, left over mashed potato’s, an egg, and a pound of egg salad. It may sound like a waste, but we’ve found it’s much better then leaving it and taking a chance of it going bad, or taking it with us and wasting it on the road.
Teah’s our dainty little lab who thinks she’s a socialite. She’s loud and bossy and has enough attitude for four or five dogs her size. But she’s great on long trips and very much enjoys the hotel life.
Uma, my sixty pound German Shepherd, who’s trained to take down a six-foot-three body builder is always a welcome travel companion.
Packing light is essential. Although, my mother hasn’t quite gotten it down yet. I can live out of a backpack, with my laptop, DSI, various note and sketchbooks. She...can live out of a suitcase...with a briefcase for her electronics.
We usually rent a car for these excursions, simply to save wear and tear on our older Jeep. There’s also something about getting into a completely detailed fresh smelling car that adds to the overall adventure.
Then again, you can never rent an SUV at an affordable price. So we’re stuck in tiny, cramped cars. It doesn’t help that, when driving in anything smaller then an SUV I am completely convinced that death is around the corner. Have you driven in some of those cheap little rental cars? One word: Cardboard.
But we manage.
The dogs take up the entire back seat, and the trunk is left for our luggage. We make it work.
At home, before we leave I put all of our Cat food and Litter out into my front hall for whoever is going to take care of them, having given various friends keys long along for this sort of thing.
As we pack Dora, our Alpha-Kitty watches us, completely delighted that we won’t be home to stop her antics for a few days. Sometimes I think they’d all be happier if we never came home at all.
I clean as much as I can. Which isn’t much. I throw the trash out, sweep, straighten what I can. But I often joke with people when they come over.
“Come on in, excuse my mess of a life,”
It’s only a half-joke though, because more often then not my life is in some sort of shambles. Besides, with the life I live, it takes hours just to make my house presentable when guests come over. Never mind “clean”.
We throw our luggage in the trunk of the small, white rental car, and the girls hop in. Teah, dutiful as always, pushes her way into the drivers seat, it’s where she belongs.
Driving around the block, we stop at home one last time to pick up whatever we left this time. (Coats, keys, cell phones chargers) and then we’re off.
On the road I call various friends and tell them I need to get out of town for awhile and can they watch the cats?
It’s not a lie.
There are some places that you need to get out of. You get out or you self destruct.
They agree. It’s not much work anyway.
And then we’re gone. For however long that may be. Going wherever the heck we want.
This time, the plan is Virginia for various reasons. My time limit is August 10th. Because I have concert tickets that I’m insanely excited for.
So there’s thirteen days to learn, see, meet and heal.
I’m on the road again.