"Holly: "I know what things are good: friendship and work and conversation. These I shall have. - Rupert Brooke."
Those things I did have. Nothing is more satisfying then sitting at Kristin's kitchen table or on Brooke's couch or Jaclyn's outdoor swing and having conversation. We talk about everything. These conversations (and many others!) I look forward to and relish when I'm having them. Every time I'm with my friends I realize just how great they are - every one of them.
"Holly is lovin' on my nephew this morning."
After spending the weekend grieving, birthday partying, walking, talking, eating, dog training and just generally hanging out, I headed to my best friend's house to spend this past week with her and her new little family. Baby Vinn was born two weeks ago and being the son of my best friend, he is my nephew. That's how we roll. He is the best snuggler ever and we did lots of it! And he smells good (bonus!) and even when he's crying, he's still precious. I loved every minute with him.
He was such a trooper too. His mommy and I enjoy shopping together and eating and lounging on the couch and talking and cooking and watching marathons of Snapped....we did all those things, just with a 7-pound 'football' nestled in the crook of one of our arms.
I got to tell him in person how amazing his mom is and how much she loves him and how he's so lucky to have her. He was crying when I told him that but I'm confident he registered the info.
"Holly has a new journal and I can't wait to use it."
It's true. All of it. And on the cover it says, "A girl's gotta doodle what a girl's gotta doodle," which is completely fitting for me since I have to doodle...on something...anything...especially when I'm engaging in serious conversation. This knowledge is so prolific in my family that prior to a serious discussion, my mom will hand me a napkin and a pen. Or a marker. Or a piece of paper because really, who wants to doodle on a napkin? But I'll take whatever's handy. If I'm not doodling, I'm breaking toothpicks or sprinkling salt on the table or tearing the napkin into microscopic pieces. It's just much better if I have a pen and a piece of paper handy.
"Holly is certain of many things right now: 1) I love road trips; my body does not 2) I'm very glad for improved use of my right pointer finger 3) my GSD is super great 4) my friends are even greater 5) I've been at this rest stop before 6) I wanna salsa dancing in El Paso 7) I"m looking forward to bed tonight."
I wrote this yesterday about 7 hours into my 18-hour drive home. Yes, I had been at that rest stop before. As a matter of fact, I've been at most of those rest stops and gas station exits along I-40 and I-30 in the past five years. They feel familiar to me even in Arkansas, which is just wrong. Because I really (REALLY!) don't like Arkansas.
And again, true. I love road trips...everything about them. But, unfortunately, my back, neck, hips, knees, elbows and arms do not agree. Actually, they protest very loudly. And that makes me sad.
My finger is much, much better! I'm actually typing with it right now for the first time in almost two weeks. Glorious!
Skye went with me to Kentucky. She's a good traveler and I enjoy the excuse she gives me to get out and walk. I also like the fact that people give me a lot of space when she's next to me. She doesn't prohibit conversation (Exhibit A: random guy at the rest stop) but she turns into a beast when she feels we're threatened.
I "snuck" her into my cheap hotel room last night in Garland, Texas. I desperately just wanted a bed. But I forgot the other amenities you get when you stay at a non-cheap hotel (Marriott, oh, how I love thee!) Things like a remote to the TV, a power and volume button that exist on said TV. Oh, and NO PARTIES NEXT DOOR. They got started about 10:30 p.m. and the noise just escalated. Pounding (POUNDING!!!!) music, shouting from two floors down, scraping against MY door and window...ugh. Finally, around midnight I called the front desk and complained. They quieted down but it didn't dissipate. I thought about calling the police to drive through the parking lot but I couldn't remember what exit I was off of and that was the thought I finally fell asleep to.
Skye, in all her awesomeness, was on full alert, pacing in front of the door, alerting when the sounds got too loud, never barking or growling, just watching...and waiting. She finally settled on the double bed next to mine and I guess fell asleep.
Salsa dancing, yes, and other types of dance, mainly swing and ballroom. I've recruited my brother. Well, in all honesty, I commanded him to go with me. He said he doesn't like to dance but I finally got an admission over dinner that he would go with me. Ah, the power of persuasion.
"Holly is always courteous to truckdrivers. I am not courteous to Honda Accords who get in the fast lane and brake to 40. And drift. And whose driver is rummaging on the floor. I honk at them."
I take my Interstate driving very seriously but I'll be the first to say that during the last leg of a long trip (this one being 18-hours) I get cranky and exhibit road-aggression. I won't call it rage because I'm in control of the vehicle at all times but SERIOUSLY, dumb lady driving the Honda Accord. FORTY?! In the fast lane? There's a reason it's fast and there's a reason why you should never drive on the Interstate again. So yes. I honked at her. And then passed her from the right. Actually, I did that a lot on this 2,710-mile trip. If riding your ass for .2 seconds doesn't give you the impression that you miiight want to get over, I will go around.
"Holly is back in the land of no radio stations. HOME!!!"
You guessed it. It's true. There are no working radio stations here. But that's okay because that means I'm home safely (no accidents, no tickets, no driving in the wrong direction) and that means I get to sleep in my own bed (JOY!)
I do miss my friends tonight, my community of family in a West Kentucky town that suits me.
I spent a portion of my trip home devising early retirement-to-there plans.