Thursday, December 10, 2015

I Got Home (17 months ago, but whose counting?)

Dear Uncle George,


My name is Valerie and I am your great grand niece.  It is true.  We have met before a couple years back, but you know, you are dead.  I don't know if time is really an issue for you dead folks, but here in the land of the living, it is a commodity.  I am guessing that being dead really isn't too hard or time consuming, so it may be that too much time on your hands is hard for you.  As hard as it is for the band, Styx.

Blogging seems to be pretty much a dead activity (no pun intended) nowadays.  With Facebook, the king of two sentence comments and stupid memes, nobody has the attention span to write, little lone read, anything of length.  If it doesn't have some picture of flying horses or poorly dressed folks at Walmart, ain't nobody got time for that.

But cat memes?  That is another story.

As a matter of fact, blogs are so old school that the only ones who seem to be doing it are radical Al-Qaeda extremists.  It appears that terrorist work is sporadic and kind of hard to come by.  By the looks of it, they have too much time on their hands, too.  I don't follow their blogs, but it seems that they like to use theirs to brag about the evil doings of their organization.  Nobody's got time for that, either.

I have been out of pocket for um, yeah, the last 17 months.  I am only able to connect with you now because the UPS guy has stood me up for the last 7 hours and has forced me to stay home.  I never stay home for 7 whole hours in a row except when I sleeping.  And the sleeping is up in the air when Mr. Fun's snoring is flared up.

I hardly know where to begin.

Let's start with that I drove around a lot in summer 2014.  Over 6,100 miles as a matter of fact.  I drove from KC to Nauvoo, Illinois to start the trip west.  I was gone for five weeks and saw a lot of stuff.  It was super freaking hot in the desert of Arizona.  And I thought I might get kidnapped in Dodge City, Kansas.  Which, of course, gave me the opportunity to literally say "Let's get the hell out of Dodge," as Joe Popper always says.  There was no us in the "let's" but I said it, anyway.  I am rebellious like that.

I fell madly, truly, deeply in love with Nebraska.  It might be because they are "nice"...and they even tell you in their state slogan.  I got to ride in a combine with some guy who looked pretty freaked out some strange woman was basically sitting on his lap.  I ate Nebraska corn.  I stayed in a Microtel which was the tiniest room ever.  I wore my "Nebraska" Big Red t-shirt so I looked like a local. I made a boyfriend named...I have forgotten.  He is of Swedish decent like everyone else there.  And I went to the Pioneer Village in Minden, which I hear is full of heathens who equate Jesus Christ to Chris Angel.  Because they both can walk on water.  All good Nebraskans know that.  Of course.

Southern Iowa is actually really beautiful, despite what their Nebraskan neighbors say.

Wyoming, on the other hand, totally sucks.  Or more aptly put, "blows."

Dear Wyoming, you are the worst place in the United States.  I am positive.  And since I have been everywhere, I can judge you.  Go ahead and try to redeem yourself.  You can't.  I didn't know I could like a place less than New Hampshire.  But I can.  And it is called "Casper."

Oh yeah, you tried to talk fancy to me with your lack of speed limit and your poser Autobon road, but I saw right through you when the hotel desk clerk told me I would have drive another 100 miles to get the last hotel room.  Or drive to Denver.  Or sleep in the Mini.  Alone.  In the Walmart parking lot.

And don't even get me started on the city water.  Or that damn wind.  I thought I was done with you but alas, the Church asked me last week if I would go back to Casper to photograph Martin's Cove in the winter.

Karma.  I am reaping it.

The trip started to blur together after I entered the Salt Lake Valley like my man, Brigham.  I cried.  I taped some signs on the Mini.  I took a selfie.  Official "trek" over.  As unceremoniously as it began.

I drove on to California to see my folks and swim in their pool.  I touched the ocean in San Diego.  In Arizona, I had a drink at the saloon in Tombstone.  Got hit on by a old cowboy from Nebraska (he must have felt my honorary Nebraskan vibe) who moved to Tombstone to "slow down."  From Nebraska living.  He invited me to move in with him, but he lived outside of town.  I declined.  I mean, who wants to deal with a commute anymore?

I got scared in Oklahoma when the car just got tired and stopped going.  There isn't a Mini dealership in the entire state of OK.  Or Nebraska.  I know that because I almost got crushed by a semi in Ogallala and it ripped off part of the windshield.  Ogallala.  Stupid "Lonesome Dove" made it look like a rural nirvana.  Nope.  Smelly, dirty, and no internet.  But I got a t-shirt there that says something witty like "I like red meat."  I bought it for my brother, but kept it for my greedy self.  Never to wear it.  Good thing I found another way to waste Mr. Fun's money.

Speaking of Mr. Fun, as always, he stayed home to pay for all my "gallivanting" as my mother calls it.  Whatever it is called, I did it.  And he paid for it.  Oprah calls that "multitasking."  I call that "winning."  For me.

I mean, come on.  Five weeks I didn't have to make dinner?   How is that not a win?  I ate $1.00 chicken sandwiches from McDonalds and whatever granola bars I found on the floor of the passenger side of the car.  And those Gushers...mmm.  That is a love affair for the ages.

This rambling has gone on long enough. I was going to insert pictures but eh, I am too spent.  Besides, the UPS man finally showed so all bets of staying home any longer are off.  There is a Mini to drive and Fun's money to spend.

Some things never change.

No worries, Uncle George.  I am back.  Really back.  :)

One more thing I learned in Nebraska is how to spy a lazy farmer.  If you don't know how, well, I can't help you.  Bless you and your ugly corn field's heart.