As the notorious Samwise Gamgee once said, after that nasty Ring was destroyed and all was said and done:
“Well, I’m back.”
Back in two respects: Back in Colorado, back on the blog.
When one encounters sudden or unwelcome change, it is natural, I think, for one to tuck into oneself for a spell. To ponder the new situations. To adjust, or readjust, to new or new-old scenarios or places. That has been me, the last couple of weeks, and explains the silence. My emotions ate my words. Or, rather, I’ve had to plow through the emotions in order to find my words again. Hence the silence here, save for my last entry, whereupon I realized I had something to say about the fact that I was surrounded by fire.
Anyway, J and I made it safely, and quickly, back to Colorado. Since then, we’ve settled in with the fam, been job-hunting, and have seen a majority of our CO friends a couple times (so far). Now, I start part-time work tomorrow on the retail side of a nearby restaurant, for which I am excited for two reasons. One, hurrah for income, as that will remove some of my Black Pit of Angst, thereby allowing me to feel a little more relaxed and like myself, which will, I hope, allow me to be less anti-social because (despite some disconnect that I am currently exploring) I will not be sitting there fretting all of the time. Two, because I am truly and genuinely excited to be gaining more recent retail experience, as that, I think, will make some things easier once we return to swampland (3 months, 25 days, but who is counting). I also have another part-timer pending. And J has interviews tomorrow and next week. Things are looking up, slowly but surely.
I am digressing. At any rate, I’ve been walking through, and slowly emerging from, the Black Pit of Angst. I’ve been rediscovering my words. And now I am ready to write again. The delay in writing has also been due to the fact that, during our last week in New Orleans, J and I did a lot of things. And I documented them all. Which led me to discover, on the other side of five states and a camera-dump, a massive pile of photos to work on and prepare and organize, and and and. This blog will more than likely confuse the casual passer-by, when they stop in and wonder, “Wait. Is she there? Or here? Or where?!” My New Orleans material didn’t end when I left, that’s for sure. Thus, there will be more of that in the weeks to come. I also realized I have enough surplus to start two new regular weekly entries: Menu Mondays, and French Quarter Fridays. In and among that, of course, will be current things, projects and quests that I already have a mind to seek out, document, and share.
I am digressing again! I am here, really, to recap the journey from New Orleans back to Colorado. Since this one wasn’t quite the pleasurable cruise that the trek out was, this is mainly done in photo form, with some notes in there along the way. Which will more than likely get rambly, since that seems to be my theme this morning.
For the most part, I shot in black and white, as that was the nature of my brainscape regarding the whole situation. However, I felt that the hues of my Looziana should always be seen, and later I calmed down at least a little, so the Wizard of Oz black and white to Technicolor to black and white thing seems to have happened in this set.
Okay, okay. Here we go. It’s a long’un.
The Hoodoo Hound, our new road mascot.
(The Blinged-Out Hoodoo Hound was a gift from our Irish Pirate buddy, given to us the day prior to our departure. It was not originally intended as a going-away present. Rather, he procured it upon conquering a claw machine, thought of me, and there we are. However, by the time we finally ran into each other in the French Quarter again, it was with the news that we had to go away for a while, so there we are again. Road mascot. He lives on the shelf next to our bed, where all my other hoodoo stuff is, until such a time as he becomes a road mascot once again.)
The dawg insisted on driving the first shift. Unfortunately, he could not reach the pedals.
Waiting to depart. Mirroring the day we unloaded the truck in Midcity, albeit less beamy.
(It was fascinating, actually, what a mirror-image the morning of our departure was to the morning we moved into The Room. Upon our arrival, we waited in the Uhaul for an eternity, in the pouring rain, waiting for the office to open so we could check in. This day, we waited in the Uhaul for a slightly shorter eternity, in the pouring rain, waiting for the office to open so we could check out. Life is funny and weird.)
(The Zapp’s have long since been consumed, although we have saved the Crawfish Tater bag, because it smells like homeland and we can’t help it. I need to eat my Hubig’s soon, before it gets fusty.)
Zooming into the Atchafalaya Basin.
(I was glad, at least, that it was daylight, so that I could see the Basin this time. On the way out, we rolled through this spot in the pitch-black and it was pure torture, being unable to see it.)
Through Baton Rouge. The Horace Wilkinson bridge.
Somewhere outside Natchitoches.
(After a silent and rather dreary departure from Louisiana, we plowed through Texas, Oklahoma, and then into Kansas. It was in Oklahoma that our ears started popping, in response to the altitude change. Ears popping. Because of altitude. In Oklahoma. After three months in the lowlands, I felt like a highland rookie! That was the first time I genuinely laughed that day. We made it to Wichita, KS before deciding to roll off for some rest.)
I felt it necessary to document this room as, after the sh**hole we lived in for 3 months, this place literally felt like a palace.
(The next day, prior to rest, I realized I was starting to perk up a little. The Road always intrigues me, no matter the situation. And I was starting to get excited about seeing the fam and friends again. The next morning as I checked us out of the Wichita motel, however, I experienced a minor emotional setback. See, in the lobby of that particular Days Inn, there is a rather lovely display in the alcove above the entrance that has a bunch of well-kept fake plants. The fake plants were Magnolia trees, which I recognized right off the bat, seeing as how I’d been enjoying their blooms down in da souf all spring. Sometimes, ridiculously, it’s the small and random things that can break your heart all over again. Wasn’t a good way to start the day. However, I think we might be staying there on the journey back, at which time, they will undoubtedly make me grin instead. Again, life is so funny. And weird.)
Kansas was eternal and flat and bleak, as usual. When the wind farms came up on the horizon, happy to see something interesting, I got excited and a little obsessed.
(MAN did Kansas feel dry. I could feel, as we continued to journey west, my skin shrivel as I sat there in the cab of the Uhaul, and was utterly convinced that I would, upon our arrival in Colorado, resemble one of those shrunken-dried-apple-face dolls they used to sell at county fairs. Oh, the horror!)
(Somewhere along there, the County signs started getting on my nerves. And then a sudden passing-by of a “Median closed” sign set me off and got me to fondly thinking of Parishes and Neutral Grounds.)
See? Told you I got obsessed with these things. I always do, they’re just so…neat.
Like an old-school nerve tonic, I tell ya.
(This stuff was interesting. See, somewhere out there in the flat wasteland, Black Water came on the radio – “Old black water, keep on rollin’/Mississippi moon, won’t you keep on shinin’ on me…” – and I promptly burst into tears. It was time to chill out, for the love of pete. I came across this stuff during a pit stop and got curious. It’s got all this stuff in it that I typically consume in tea form prior to bedtime…chamomile and lavender and the like. It did the trick.)
That was the last of the photo-taking on this jaunt. We got stuck in Denver traffic, of course. I made plans via text to meet up with some of our good peeps at the ren faire that coming weekend. We were happily reunited with the folks. I unpacked my stuff while streaming WWOZ from my phone. Truck was once more unloaded. And, that brings us up to now, really, and here we are.
Onward, onward, ever ever on.