Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Yesterday afternoon I sent to see a friend I used to work with --she's my age or a little younger. Her husband worked there too until he had to quit because of worsening COPD, and then she had to quit to stay home and take care of him. He died over the weekend -- he was my husband's age. All this sort of thing always happened to "older people," but suddenly it seems the future is the here and now! As I started the car, I heard the exquisite harmony of the Eagles singing live: There are stars in the Southern sky/Southward as you go/There is moonlight and moss in the trees/Down the Seven Bridges Road and suddenly it was May 1981 again and that song was playing constantly on the radio as we trekked out here from Oregon by way of Los Angeles. What a trip that was, caravanning, with R driving the U-Haul, me in the car with a squirrly 4-year-old (although he took turns riding in the various vehicles, thank God), and my parents pulling a pop-up camper trailer. How stunningly beautiful it was coming into Albuquerque at dusk with the hills in the background lit up with the setting sun. And the scary time trying to find fuel for the gas-guzzling U-haul in a little town in Oklahoma that had rolled up the sidewalk at 7 p.m. And what a surprise Oklahoma was -- so green and beautiful and so many trees. And then the first night we were here, pulling in at dusk, exhausted and exhilarated and happy to have finally arrived and then... and then... just before we left to find some food in town and to sleep at the small motel, the fireflies came out. Oh my. Our jaws dropped. It took our breath away. None of us native California folk had ever seen real fireflies (Disney tried at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride). We had no idea. Whew. The motel has been torn down and is now a Sonic. A Korean couple owns the A&W where we ate dinner and serves Chinese food. We told everybody in Oregon we we were moving to the South. We were wrong. This is most definitely the Mid-West. The South is about an hour's drive away.