Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vacation Creep

We've hit that point in our vacation where our luggage, so small and firmly-packed and neat at the beginning of the trip, is now spilling and bulging all over the vehicle threatening us with avalanche with every twist of the road.

Part of it is the Davidson Pack Rat Factor, which compels all of us to bring items we think we're going to use but never do. My frivolity this trip is a pair of jeans I bought more than a year ago and finally took the tags off of just prior to the trip. I haven't used them at all.

For the kids, this tendency is worse. At first, they wanted to bring no fewer than three bags of coloring books. We talked them down to two, and they haven't cracked the cover of any of them since we left. Add to that the backpacks full of toys that they haven't broken out because they got souvenirs and other stuff on the trip and we've got a fair amount of clutter threatening our lives from the back of the car.

Then there's all the stuff we bought, from Legos to t-shirts to sacks of random Wal-Mart stuff including a loaf of bread that has served the same purpose as bowling alley bumpers in the back of the Pilot. Add to that the enormous bag of dirty laundry that is threatening to go critical even though Michelle's done three loads of laundry while on the road this week and we're a pretty frightening-looking crew.

But we have seen some fun country. Two nights ago we drove through a torrential downpour and pretty brilliant lightning storm in northwestern Missouri as we plied the back roads to avoid flooded interstates. And today -- also avoiding flooded interstates in Nebraska -- we got into some pretty open and desolate country filled with field after field of corn and cows swimming in the ponds where they're supposed to be drinking. I have enjoyed driving through this rolling country, seeing the little churches in nearly every little town and wondering what it would be like to live in some of the places we've seen on the way. I'm sure in some of them we'd go out of our freaking minds because they're so far from civilization, but there are a few we might actually like to live in, if there were such a thing as a decent job to be had there. For a time I contemplated what it would be like to be the sole missionary couple at Far West, Missouri -- they don't have anybody there full-time now, but it might be fun -- as long as I could toilet paper the Community of Christ church across the way and get away with it. But that wouldn't be all that nice, would it? No. So forget I even said it.

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