Last night our daughter was so annoyed with us, with everything. Her poor brother was the scapegoat. No matter what happened, she kept telling Zane to shut up. This went on all evening. She cried herself to sleep from the ridiculousness of this entire trip that she cannot wait to end. (Can you imagine being stuck in an RV with your parents and brother for months when you were 16? Ugh.)
Today we are at the Grand Canyon which is our last official destination in the Taco Smurf. Our trip is ending soon and, unlike my children, I am sad for its curtain call. Marvin woke up early of course, so I took him outside and then made breakfast for teenagers who wouldn’t be up for hours. Maybe because of all the emotions from last night, I got choked up watching the kids sleep (right beside me cooking), thinking about our trip together being almost over. It needs to end. And I’m sorry it’s ending. Both are true.
Now that they are taller than me it seems my kids’ lives aren’t my department any more. Jeff and I have taught them what they need to know (for now). So we are just here to provide groceries, personal supplies, and occasional hugs. No more advice is needed, nor will it be listened to or taken, thank you very much. Once we get home they’ll retreat to their rooms. They won’t be sleeping in the kitchen anymore, which is nice. But also bittersweet for their parents. Because even when my baby birds peck and scream at me, they are still my babies and it’s so hard to think about them flying away. Every time their little wings get stronger another piece of my heart breaks off.
I am in no rush to leave this beautiful place. Staying multiple nights in one spot is the best. People using an RV for a vacation don’t get this luxury because they are on a timeline. Without a looming checkout time, our days can be slow and thoughtful. Right now I’m cutting vegetables for our chili — cooking at 1:30 in the afternoon after our long hike. It’s 69* outside. Our windows are all open. I’m Listening to Emmy Lou Harris radio, thinking of things to write to my friends about.
Zane saw another model of a Winnebago pulling up in the spot beside us yesterday. He said, “Oh HO! It’s a Winne-bro!”
It’s crazy for me to think of aaaallll the times I flew over this part of America when I was a flight attendant for Delta. I mean it was probably 4 times a week for 7 years or so! I never knew all of this was down here. I knew the grand canyon was here, but I didn’t know it well. I had never seen Bryce Canyon before this trip, or so many parts of the Green River, the Snake River, the Big Wood River. (so. many. rivers.) The country is so big! I want to keep going and see more places.
I think the same is true for me regarding my knowledge of the people who live in the middle of America. My best friend in St. Louis told me that we really have no idea what the country is like when we stay in Los Angeles. I knew this was true. I knew farmers and small towns existed of course. And now I know a little more about them.
If you live in a rural area it may seem like you know what city-folks are like from watching the news and reality shows or even movies. But you don’t know us at all. Just like we don’t know you! The only way to know a person is to listen to them. And most people don’t even listen to their own family.
If the landscape of our country looks so much more beautiful up close, imagine how much depth and beauty there is when you look at a person up close. I found a great way to do this without leaving the house, since there is a pandemic on. Try reading the interviews featured in Humans of New York. I follow that account on instagram. It’s so interesting! (and of course you can follow on facebook if you prefer)
I’m thankful to have had this trip to be introduced to many new parts of the West. Once the virus slows down and we can hug each other and eat together I hope to be introduced to many new people as well. Long Beach is home to over 400k people!
We’ll be there soon enough.
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