Day 9 We’re not in Kansas anymore?

We made it home.  We were in no hurry again this morning.  It’s vacation, right?  Our last day of lazy mornings and no need to be anywhere soon.

I started out in the passenger seat.  I wanted one good day to brown my right arm.  Since I do a lot of the driving, my left arm gets pretty brown after a day or so.  It had been too hot from Texas to Iowa to have the windows down.  A/C was a requirement to sustain life.

I got a couple of good hours in before I needed to take my turn at the wheel.  It was also my turn to read one of my books and ignore Rich.  Seemed fair since he was reading his newspaper and playing Sudoku.  By then, we were at the Illinois border.

We noticed right away that it had rained on this side of the river.  And rained a lot by the look of it.  There were flooded fields everywhere.  It had been dry over on the Iowa side.  At least it was sunny now.  We were making good time, until we hit the continuous road construction that occurs on this stretch of 88.  Every time I come this way, there is construction.  I think this is how they occupy those guys in the part of Illinois.

At one point, I thought it was trying to rain on us. I kept hearing what sounded like raindrops hitting the car.  No water though.  Then I realized that I was running into bugs.  As we moved east, the bugs got bigger and there were more of them.  What was that movie some years back about a growing bug population?  Maelstrom I think it was called.  I felt like I was living it.  Once we turned north, the onslaught stopped.

On the road, we had a lot of conversations.  It’s hard to put them down on paper.  It was more than funny billboards and interesting people in the car that we passed.  I like talking to Rich and I think our individual sense of humor plays off the other one.  Probably one of the reasons I like him hang around.  That and he pays his share of the bills.

When we got outside of Dallas, Rich was looking for the Texas roadmap that he had collected when we had entered the state some days ago.  We stopped at just about every Welcome center we hit during the trip.  It was a good place to stop for a break and talk to someone about their state.  Rich would get a roadmap for the state and any brochures that he thought looked interesting.  You never know when you might come back to visit the state.

So when Rich wanted to know something about roads, he would pull out the map of that state and study it for directions.  He was also looking for things we might stop and see.  We like playing tourist.  We will stop for just about anything interesting.

However, on this occasion, Rich just could not find that darn Texas roadmap.  He looked in the glove compartment, the hidey-hole in the console, and in the back seat.  After a while, we started to speculate where that map might have gone.  Did it get thrown out with trash?  Did someone break into the car and take just that map?  Maybe the guys at the repair shop took it.

Then we started getting closer to home.  Maybe Lily was reading it and forgot to put it back.  No, maybe Rose took it because she knew it would drive Rich crazy when he couldn’t find it.  We reached Oklahoma by that time and Rich pulled out that state map.  Our thoughts moved on to other things.

We always have music playing on the radio.  Rich prefers Bluesville to most of the channels we have plugged into the radio using XM.  I didn’t really care.  However, we got the download of the new Trampled Under Foot album.  This meant we had to listen to it on the way back.  We went through that album and several more on Rich’s music player through the Aux input.  It was a change and we got to listen to the TuF album in our own environment.  It was great.

When we first started out on the road, we heard a song called, Butter for My Grits, by Big Bill Morganfield.  Bill is one of Muddy Waters’ sons.  I loved that song.  We decided to make it our theme song for the trip.  I then attempted to get grits for breakfast or other meals just so we could say that.  We heard that song over a dozen times in the course of our driving days.

The song is about a guy who goes to eat his grits and finds that he is out of butter.  He goes to the store, but they are out of butter.  He goes to the neighbor’s house, but they are out of butter.  He just can’t find butter for his grits.  Just not a southern thing to eat grits without butter.

I found out a lot of facts as we traveled also.  Oklahoma raises the most horses and has the most horse related events than any state.  Kansas has a lot of limestone and in the central section where the Tallgrass Prairie is, you can see a lot of stone fences.  We had a couple of people arguing if they were walls or fences.  Apparently in Kansas, they are fences.

OK, I’m winding down here.  We got close enough to home to call Rich and tell him to get the party out of the house.  We do this every time and you would think he would be used to it.  He just gripes at us.  I think I heard something about grow up.  Not sure though.

We came up Oak behind the garage.  Sascha was outside, but couldn’t really see up until we got past the new garage that blocks her view of the road.  She was pretty much just lying next to the house watching the world go by.  Then you could see the thought go across her face, “Daddy and Mommy are home!”  She pushed open the small door as I raised the big door.  She was dancing and barking.

Rich went to get his Husky hug.  I didn’t wait for my hug.  I had some place I had to be and quick.  I got my hug when I came out to help bring in the bags.  She was so excited to see us.  I think she was more excited to see Rich than me.  After we got the stuff all in the house, I brought in.  She attached herself to Rich for the rest of the night.  She was on his feet, touching his foot at dinner with her paw, and leaning against him as he was working on a secret project.

It was nice to be welcomed by one person.  Rick just tells me he liked having the entire house to himself with the dog.  Maybe we could go back out on the road.  However, we did have to pay all of the bills and keep moving money to his account for food and necessitates.

Did you wonder what happened to that Texas roadmap?  I found in with some papers I had stuffed into my backpack.  Oops!

It’s good to be home.

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