Driving across California’s desolate Mojave Desert, making our way home a few days early, it struck me. My life reflects geography. As a little girl I was intrigued with Texas, am not so much anymore, but that’s about to change.
On family outings around Connecticut I would ask my father if Texas was over the next mountain — or hill — that seemed so far away to my young self. Maybe I wanted to be a cowgirl, or I was just a curious kid.
Texas will be be back in my life with Ethan attending graduate school at Rice University in Houston come fall. Although I keep hearing mixed reviews about the city I’ll like it because Ethan will be there.
At this very moment, I’m awaiting word from my adventurer son that he’s safely arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a frequent jumping-off point for his research and writing on Central Asia.
Back here in the Western United States, Dan and I arrived home last night after a 3,500 mile two-week road trip. Our trek doesn’t look like much on the map but there’s a saga to tell. Where to start? Eugene, Oregon, our primary destination where we visited Dan’s 20 year-old son? The lush green overhanging trees, cool temperatures and always anticipated rainy weather? Nah.
Arriving home to a 100-degree Saturday, which I prefer to the Pacific Northwest’s rain, I’ll admit that I like the dramatic. At least when it comes to geography. I can’t say the same about a political quagmire like Kyrgyzstan.
En route to Eugene, seeing the 14,000-foot-plus Mt. Shasta arise out of nowhere was a kick! I couldn’t stop staring. We drove up to 7,000 feet where tons of snow greeted us, and a van full of young Minnesota mountain men readied themselves to head off to the top. Not my game either.
Our trip grand finale was a quick visit to Yosemite National Park. Intrepid rock climbers scale the daunting El Capitan, which rises to 3,600 feet. I was glad that Ethan wasn’t facing that challenge. The poor mamas of those guys, I thought, and yes, I’ll bet those adventurers are primarily guys. Sheer beauty is enough for me.
A long trip always brings some new perspective upon returning full circle to home. Does vacation have anything to do with vacating stuck ideas? Meanwhile, my realm of beauty narrowed — I went for a pedicure.