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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

fill in the blanks

This was actually close to the last stop, at an Ozark store.
A family was trying to get a picture of it or I wouldn't
have seen the little lizard.
I had put the pictures and nothing else in this post when I left this morning with Becky. The title went with the post at that point, not this one, but you're still welcome to fill in blanks.

I left David and Dezi's house, ran by the neighborhood post office to mail a book, and got on the road about nine Tuesday for the more official start of the Odyssey. Garmin took me to the Dallas North Tollway, then to highways 75 and 69 most of the way through Oklahoma. I stopped first in Checotah, Oklahoma, at an Amish store, expecting to find something for the decor of my apartment, but they had almost exclusively food, with some quilts. She did have a little bit of decor, and told me of another Amish store I would see later on the drive. I did see it, but at that point I wasn't inclined to stop, and went on. I stopped for a few bathroom breaks and got coffee or cokes, necessitating other bathroom breaks. I tried to get out of the car every couple of hours, and did pretty well on that. I had a not-particularly-memorable lunch at McDonald's then did stop again at an Ozark store in Missouri, where I bought a wind chime, a frog ceiling fan pull, and a diet coke. In general it was an enjoyable trip.

Google maps had predicted 10 hours, 13 minutes, and I drove about 11 hours, 14 minutes with the stops.

I suppose I was surprised at the scenery, both that I didn't get onto a toll road in Oklahoma for a good while and then in Missouri, somehow I expected to be on the Great Plains. Instead, the land seemed to be piled up on itself. The trees and the land just kind of competed to see which could be on top, but the trees generally won.
I turned around and took the picture,
trying to get the name of the reason
for the bridge. Muddy Boggy Creek.
Big bridge, funny name, lots longer
bridge than any "creek" in Texas would
have deserved.
I took this to "remember" where the Amish store was.

Towel dispenser. Ozarks. Denim.
'Nough said?
You'd think I would know geography a little better or that I would have at least prepared a bit more to know what to expect. I actually can picture the map and know that Kansas is on top of Oklahoma, not Missouri there, that I was going more east than north, but I guess that surprised me, looking now at the map. What amused me once I got to Missouri was that mile markers are ever two tenths of a mile. That seems a little extreme, and they happen rather often, of course.

So. What did I learn on this leg of the journey? I listened to Laura Bush's autobiographical Spoken from the Heart. The first part that really got my attention was talking about her mother and the children born to them besides, Laura, children who were called "late term miscarriages" and said said, “In those times, in West Texas, in the 1950s, we did not talk about those things.”
That was where and when I grew up, and we didn't talk about things that mattered. And I have continued to do that, to hold in my feelings, my needs, my wants, my curiosity. It's not a healthy way of being, hiding stuff that might need to be talked about.

As she continued, she talked about her twins, how she and George had wanted a baby so badly and had been considering adopting when they learned she was pregnant, then about the joy of the babies, and certainly I can identify with that and the joy of the twins. I also remember the warm feeling about talking about George's teaching someone else to be a daddy, and thinking how good a daddy my David is, how proud I am of him and his parenting.

I got to Becky's, had a good supper and a great visit, ready to rest up and start the next day of the Odyssey, but that's another post.

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