Somewhere in Missouri, or possibly Ohio
Traffic ground to a standstill approaching Saint Louis (If memory serves me correctly), and I was able to get this shot.
I'm quite pleased with this photo... of all the memories of both our drive to California and our drive away from it, the twilights are what I remember best.
There's a nagging voice in the back of my head that insists this photo was taken in the vicinity of Mansfield, Ohio, where we also encountered some traffic - but since I labeled the original file 'missourisunset' within a week of our arrival in Massachusetts, I'm inclined to trust my previous judgement.
Somewhere in Texas.
Luckily, we stopped here just about 10 minutes before closing and were able to stock up on nut rolls and praline pecans.
Somewhere East of Flagstaff, Arizona
No cross-country trip would be complete without seeing the world's largest something or other.
We've been living in a fugue for the last couple of weeks... the prospect of packing/selling/throwing away all of our earthly possessions (Which are significantly greater in number than the U-haul trailerful we brought out here with us) is sufficiently daunting that we've put it off in favor of laying around, complaining about the heat, and playing Grand Theft Auto instead of doing serious packing. I put in a few hours at work over the last week, but with the move laying so heavily on my mind I don't want to do the hospital the disservice of wasting my time or theirs if I can't concentrate on the more involved tasks at hand; since I'll be continuing my work once we arrive in Massachusetts, some of those tasks can wait.
Kim and I have both been sleeping funny hours... she's been on an overnight schedule lately anyway, but we've both found ourselves sleeping in half shifts, or getting up for an hour or two here and there only to get back into bed. It's probably the weird sleep patterns contributing to that pervasive sense of unreality more than anything .
We finally started packing in earnest yesterday, starting with the books. We have a number of shelves' worth to pack yet, but we filled enough boxes to feel that we have actually accomplished something. As the saying goes, 'Well begun is half done,' and I think we're in good shape with the seven days we have left to pack. Our worst problem at this point will likely be keeping ourselves supplied with empty boxes, but I think we have enough sources that we won't need to pay somebody for them.
Thinking back six years to the last couple of weeks before we left Rochester, New York for the smoggy climes of southern California, I remember a similar malaise but I don't remember it being nearly this strong. I'm not sure why that is, especially since I hate Los Angeles with a burning passion, and I can't wait until the San Fernando Valley is in the rearview mirror for good. I've tried to be civil and politic for a long time; I know plenty of natives and transplants alike who call greater Los Angeles their home, and there are certainly things I'll miss about Los Angeles, but now that we're really, finally getting out of here I want to shout it from the Hollywood sign. I hate this place. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I hate the smog-brown horizon, I hate the triple digit temperatures, I hate the fact that all $250,000 will get you in the shitty parts of town is a run-down, poorly built two bedroom ranch house from the fifties with no attic, no basement, and a lot the size of a postage stamp, and I hate being looked at like I'm some kind of a-hole when we tell people we're moving to Massachusetts. "Why would you want to move there? It's so coooooooold! It snows all year round up there, doesn't it?" People take it personally, almost as though they're annoyed with you for reminding them that there is a whole, giant country east of Las Vegas and north of Santa Barbara that couldn't care less about their Luxury SUV or their Beverly Hills-adjacent condo... and all the only defense they can muster for Los Angeles is the weather.
I had no similar ill will for Rochester, and that's why I'm puzzled at my greater uneasiness. I guess I can chalk it up to six years' experience in "The Real World," and the added responsibility of making sure all of our animals get back with us safely. When all is said and done I know we'll be fine, but I do wish there was a way to bypass the whole packing, loading, and driving part of of the move.