So I work part time for a relative, (gotta pay the bills), and that sometimes means travel, in particular to Utah. So earlier this month I went on a little road trip, took care of their business and came back. I feel like I am finally digging out of the accumulated personal items, blast giveaway and residual things from my trip. Unfortunately when I’m away I can’t check this blogsite easily because I have an old laptop with a dead battery so I only take my nook. =| Would love a new laptop, but I have other expenses first – it’s near the bottom of my list, (after a new dishwasher =( ). Unfortunately I also couldn’t log in to Goodreads either; for some reason my stored password wasn’t saved and the resets I finally realised were going to junk mail! Such is the joy of traveling. =P

Whining aside, I actually love road trips, to be honest. It is amazing to see the scenery change as you travel across the US, the different businesses, (like restaurants), the attitudes. I love the climate in the PacNW, the trees, the ocean and mountains, but some of the people, especially in Seattle, I find frustrating. I’ve run into a lot of passive aggressive people, (particularly drivers!), and being originally from NJ I am a more direct person. There are also a fair share of people who have a chip on their shoulder because they live *IN* Seattle, (or whatever), and it’s a bit off-putting.

I’m a little cautious and suspicious too because of my origins, and in parts of Utah, (and other places), there is still this innocence that is both maddening and heartening. Maddening because there are bad people out there and you worry someone might not be prepared for that, but heartening that there are still places where things have been safe enough that people have a higher level of trust. I remember as a teen that for over a month one year there was at least one rape within a mile radius of the Pavonia station in Jersey City, and I worked at a mall, Newport Centre, and grabbed the Path train to it from Journal Square and got off at Pavonia. That was my experience as a kid.

I still haven’t eaten at a Cracker Barrel, which I think might be my next rite of passage when I have to make that trip. =) Although I hate being away, it is a bit of an adventure. I much prefer driving too, so I don’t have to hassle with the TSA, and if things take longer, I only have to worry about a hotel and not changing a flight.

Plus, the journey is important, isn’t it? Getting out in Eastern Washington on 221 to take pictures of the wheat fields as they wave in the wind, the large Valley watering arms spraying crops in the late afternoon, the droplets glistening in the warm sun… life is full of simple beauty, peaceful vistas and magic.

I remember when I was driving back from Texas in a Penske truck filled with my mom’s stuff; I was alone, in mourning, tired and emotionally wrung out. I had my Blackberry and maps to get me home, and I was driving unfamiliar roads. The first day of driving I stopped in N Texas to get gas; it was still a little early but dark, (it was April), and I went to get a drink and saw a cat by the side of the convenience store, looking for food. Alone, I had been berating myself for missed opportunities, mad at my mom, (how could she not go to a doctor for years? She always told me to!), and it was difficult to break out of it. When I saw the cat, I went back inside and got a can of food and carefully put it where they could see it, and when I walked away they pounced on it. It helped me get out of that mindset I had gotten into.

And as impossible as it sounds, the next day it happened again, at dusk somewhere in Colorado or New Mexico, when I went and got gas. It really pulled me out my funk, made me focus on something outside myself, and think about all the surprising moments life can hand you, how it is good to care for others and not get wrapped up too much in yourself.

So I like roadtrips. Although I hate being away from home, from my cats, my lovely man, there are beautiful things to see out there.