Highway driving is boring. Especially on the long, straight, and mostly level, well sometimes level, highways of the south.
One of the reasons I wanted to make this trip with my daughter is that it gave me a chance to talk with her. This might be the last time we are going to be together for such a long period of time. She’s going to be starting a new life and we might not have an opportunity to talk like this again.
So, here are some of the things we talked about.
Why Texas? She started talking about it, or maybe I started listening, about 2-3 years ago. She started thinking about it almost twenty years ago. This is a young lady that can keep a secret when she wants to. She’s always been that way.
So, why Texas? She has cousins down there that she is very close to. Mrs. EMS Artifact’s sister and family moved down there in the early 1980s and have stayed ever since. They all look on my daughter as their “baby cousin” and have acted accordingly. She also loves hot weather even though she can get a sun burn in moon light.
She also knows how fast the Austin area is growing and that there are job opportunities galore.
Her boyfriend is down there, but that’s coincidence. Speaking of keeping secrets, she’s known him almost 10 years and it wasn’t until last November that she told us about him. At that, it was only because she changed her relationship status on Facebook and didn’t want us to find out that way. Did I mention that she can keep a secret? A couple of years ago I half jokingly mentioned to Mrs. EMS Artifact that some day she was going to show up with a husband and baby and surprise us. That didn’t quite happen, but it was a surprise. He’s an nice young man who clearly loves her. I just hope he’s ready for her because she has plans for the rest of his life.
Her plan is to be a social worker, for which she has a passion. Her grades reflect that, as do her references from everyone. Her job search will start when she gets settled in and has taken the license exam.
We talked about her relationship with my son, which wasn’t always great. Typical childhood stuff and now they are very close. Which makes me happy. She talked about her relationship with her mother, Mrs. EMS Artifact. They love each other, but two adult women can’t live in the same house. At least not those two.
We talked about where Mrs. EMS Artifact are planning to live when we move. Well, if we move. I think it will be Texas as I love it as much as my daughter does, but for different reasons. Or maybe some of the same. There are a lot of moving parts to that process and it might never happen.
We talked about the south and how green and beautiful it is. This is her first road trip down south and like a lot of northerners, she had some preconceptions. Which of course were wrong.
The Roanoke area is beautiful. Well, in reality all of the Blue Ridge Parkway area is beautiful, but somewhat remote. The eastern part of Tennessee is beautiful too all the way down through Knoxville and Chattanooga. I could probably live happily there, but it’s far from where my kids and their kids (actual and future) are going to be.
We talked about how my son had settled deep in Alabama and how I had taken a similar ride with him when he moved his two cats down. My daughter in law took their son and flew down. My son and I drove from Baltimore to the Mobile area non stop. Well, we stopped for fuel and food, but it still took almost eighteen hours.
So my daughter asked if I ever thought that both of my kids would end up in the south. The truth is that I never imagined that they would although I knew that my son hated the cold winters in the northeast. It’s funny how life goes sometimes. As my mother used to say, “Man plans, God laughs”.
So here, Tuesday night I sit in a hotel room in Pearl, MS. Thanks to my friend who lives in the area, we didn’t stop in Jackson which apparently is somewhat like downtown Kabul in terms of gun fire. It’s nice to have friends who know the area when you travel.
Wednesday, we’ll be up and on our way early to complete our journey. It will be 2,000 miles, more or less, in 2 1/2 days. I’ll try to finish up this travelogue Wednesday evening. Thursday is the day we go to retrieve her furniture and other stuff and move it into the apartment. That should be fun in the 90 degree heat of Texas.
It would be nice if the cat could help with that, but I’m not holding my breath.