Texas girl in the middle of Kiwiana

Amy Boatman

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Day Six – Home At Last

Alright, I know this is a day late but I was just too tired to blog last night.

Day six started off pretty well. I’d had some sleep. R.J. digging in the litter box woke me up and I had to go move him out. But other than that, I slept. Pachelbel woke me up earlier than I planned but hey, it was my last day on the road so getting an earlier start couldn’t hurt.

The first thing I had to do before I could leave town was get gas. Luckily someone in California had told me that you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon. I find this really odd in our self-serve society but hey, what ever keeps me warm and dry in my car is a good thing. Turns out, there’s a $500 fine for everyone involved if someone is caught pumping their own gas. In Texas, it’s just a given that people do everything themselves. We’d get a might pissy if told we couldn’t do something ourselves, lol. So, anyway, this really nice young man pumped my gas. I feel so old calling him a nice young man but he couldn’t have been more than 16 or 17. What the hell, maybe I am getting old, lol.

I took her outside so she could pee and it was still cold and rainy. Now, I was in a weird state when I packed for this part of my journey. I had already packed all my clothes except for some t-shirts and shorts when it dawned on me it wasn’t going to be 80 degrees the whole time. So, I opened up a box and pulled out some pants and a pair of sweats. Why grabbing a sweater or a jacket didn’t occur to me, I have no idea but it didn’t. So, yesterday morning when I went out to walk Pachelbel I was in a short sleeve t-shirt and sweat pants. I was quickly damp from the drizzle and very cold by the time Pachelbel had done her business. Getting everybody out to the car was easier than before because I had finally had the bright idea of putting them in the same carrier instead of carrying around two big carriers. Why this didn’t occur to me before the last day of my trip is probably the same reason I was freezing my ass off. My brain was pretty much mush.

It rained pretty much the entire day. Sometimes, it was coming down in sheets so thick, I could barely see the road in front of me. Once or twice, I COULDN’T see the road. I found myself sitting up close to the windshield hoping that would help me see the road better. Yeah, that extra foot made everything just so much clearer, lol. Most of the time, though, it was just a drizzle. The truly astounding part was the rainbows. I saw more rainbows in one day than I think I’ve seen in 10 years. There were rainbows on the mountains and rainbows between my car and the one in front. I felt like I could just reach out and touch them, they were so close. It was amazing. I took it as a sign that I was headed down the right path.

When I hit the Washington state line, I still had 150 or so miles to go. That was probably the longest 150 miles of my life. It just seemed to go on and on and on. Finally, the real countdown began. 40 miles, 30, 20, 10. I was so close, I could taste it. It was at this point that I missed my exit off I5. I totally flaked. Yep, I watched it go by on my right with no hope of making it. Luckily, I was able to make a u-turn at the next exit but still it added 10 minutes to my journey which honestly at that moment felt like an hour, lol. After getting turned around, I was 10 minutes from my house. As I pulled onto the street, I started whooping and Pachelbel whooped with me. I pulled into the driveway and Rhonda ran out to meet us. It was wonderful! I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. I bet I hugged her five times in as many minutes. I knew I had missed her but damn, I hadn’t realized how much until I saw her again. We both agreed that doing that again was a bad idea.

The book continues but a page has turned and this chapter of my journey has ended. What began six weeks ago, for me, has come to an end. I never realized how long and how short six weeks could be. It seemed to take forever before I saw Rhonda again and then again, it seems like only last week I still had two weeks left at work. I learned a lot about myself during that time. I really can get everything done that needs doing. I may wait to the last minute, but I get it done. I can drive 2600 miles with three cats and a dog and not go crazy. Podcasts are the most wonderful things on Earth! I am stubborn as the day is long and I will not be defeated by anything. Rhonda is the most amazing woman I have ever known and I don’t ever want to be apart from her for that long again. And most importantly: It’s not hot in Seattle!!!!!