Sunday, April 3, 2011


Last week was intense. Leslie’s oral surgery on Tuesday was more difficult than we thought. The infection spread and the doctor had to traumatize much of the flesh around the original tooth to clean it up. Of course, we didn’t hear about this until her post-op appointment on Friday, and a large bruise had blossomed across her chin. By the time yesterday rolled around, she was more than ready to hit the road. Elizabeth bounced off the walls. Birthday money burned a hole in her wallet, so to her this is an extended shopping trip. Yesterday was all about prep for me, i.e., getting ready to leave. But it’s been years since we just took off like this, and I was eager for it, as well.

As we left the concentrated Bay Area, Jack (the big dog) got visibly worried. Our bags were packed, and to him it meant going on an airplane, which is his least favorite thing. There are monsters in the belly of an airplane, you know, and they are very, very loud. We made plenty of room for him and Daizy in the back of the van, but he categorically refused to use it. Instead he kept himself rolled into a tight donut on the passenger seat next to Elizabeth. We got our groove on, as the wheels turned beneath us, and Elizabeth found the perfect road trip music by an artist who has “really good hair”.

A lot has changed on Highway 5 since last we drove this stretch 10 years ago. There is so much development, grapevines that weren’t there, and cell phone reception all the way down the line, too! We bumped into a group of macaws making their way home from San Mateo. The scenery passed by, lush and fertile green hills speckled with cattle, sheep, and spring lambs. I found it soothing. Harris Ranch was an olfactory treat for the dogs, and Jack sat up and lifted his nose straight into the air. Livermore Labs was a curious combination of technology and agriculture. Elizabeth was fascinated. Leslie is always happiest when she is moving forward.

I’ve had a rough year and a half.

To me, being on the road felt like freedom.

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