Thursday, December 06, 2007

As we watch the weather beat up the West Coast, and with temperatures plummeting to 20 in Spokane, I'm feeling a little guilty about temperatures in the 80s predicted for Jackson, Mississippi as we move east to Philadelphia, adjusting our route to accommodate the weather.

I feel relieved to hear from friends that all is well, despite horrendous winds over 125 mph on the Oregon coast. The flooding along the I-5 corridor in Washington near Chehalis is enough to dampen anyone's travel spirits.

What else is new? I'm feeling rather at loose ends as former colleagues sweat out the last of Finals week back home. The weather and culture here conspire against a sense of reality -- southern accents sometimes hard to decipher, Cajun food, everyone called honey, dear, or sugar; welcoming smiles suggest genuine Southern hosptiality, grits at breakfast, my first sight of the mighty Mississippi, broad, blue and under a sunny sky; road signs that really say MOM'S DINER or BUBBA'S BAR-B-Q, and endlessly straight freeways through flat lands and fall leaves everywhere (fall leaves in December?).

I'm thinking of the many beautiful cactus gardens we visited in Tucson (including this one from the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson), and the tremendous natural diversity we've seen on this trip. Perhaps I will adapt to retirement life -- and the discipline of writing every day. Make it a good week! Beth

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