Summer Calendar in Review

16 September 2009

My summer is over. I finished the very last of my packout by just after noon, helped Sean with some of the winterizing he’s going to do for me, and after all the goodbyes, I was ready to hit the road with the cat in the car by about 1:20 p.m. That’s when I realized that my truck battery was dead. Literally ready to start a ten-hour drive, and the truck won’t start.

Now, I always have jumper cables . . . but when the truck is fully loaded for one of these cross-country semi-annual trips, those cables are in a box at the bottom of the heap! So, knowing how much time I’d lose in the unpacking and repacking of the truck, I went on a quest to borrow a set of jumper cables. Finally successful, thanks to one of our site guys, Skip, Sean hooked up the cables between his jeep and my truck and voila! I said goodbye again, and drove about three hundred yards before I realized I’d forgotten to take this photo of the day. I’ve taken this same basic photo in years past, and it’s a great way for me to capture the memories of the summer. It’s a full schedule we keep . . . a full schedule of hard work and amazingly good times.

As I drove around and circled back to the booth to take this photo and passed in front of our shop, I caught Sean coming out to pull in some final decorations, and took his photo as well!

So, I said my goodbye to Sean a third time, and drove away toward Kenosha where I had two errands to do, and finally pointed the truck west on Highway 50 at about 3:30 p.m.

I drove well for the first half of the trip to Kansas City.  I made it to my favourite travel stop—the Chico’s store in Coral Ridge (Iowa City), just moments before they closed.  But, the hours after about ten p.m. were difficult ones.  I got sleepy and decided to pull off the road and rest, but couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried once in a noisy rest stop.  Once in a mostly empty gas station parking lot.  I stopped for gasoline even when I didn’t really need it.  I stretched every time I stopped.  I ate junk food.   It was a miserable journey.  I got a total of about two hours of pseudo-sleep and it was seven a.m. when I finally crept into my brother’s house and laid down on the little sofa in the family room.  I left the cat in the car, and figured I’d get maybe another hour’s worth of a nap.  Nope.  More like thirty minutes or so.  But, I got to visit with McKenna briefly over breakfast before she was off to school.  And, I had a lively, intelligent political debate with my brother.  At about eleven or so, he and Melanie were headed out to an appointment, so I hit the road at the same time.  In hindsight, I should have stayed and gotten a little sleep.  But, I really just wanted to be home.  So, I decided to push on through the tired, knowing that would be easier in the daylight.  I did resort to the purchase of an energy drink at one point, but ultimately, I made it home by about 8 p.m. 

Home in Texas.  Summer’s over.