Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

South for the winter — The continuing saga

By Trena Eiden
Posted 3/10/20

This is the continuing saga of our adventure going south for the winter.

The first night, we stayed in the camper at a truck stop where it was 11 degrees outside and equivalent inside. We could …

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Remember Your Roots and Keep Them Colored

South for the winter — The continuing saga

Posted

This is the continuing saga of our adventure going south for the winter.

The first night, we stayed in the camper at a truck stop where it was 11 degrees outside and equivalent inside. We could have stayed at a motel but I felt we had a camper, thus, should camp.

And C is for crazy. Our first year of marriage, we camped without heat but we loved each other then. After the whole day in the truck together, not so much. It was spine-chilling getting through Denver and obviously other vehicle’s inhabitants felt the same way. Did you know people use hand gestures in heavy traffic? I think it was the American Sign Language, like for the blind, which is a little weird since we can see.

For supper we had leftover chili and hot tea. It was so cold the plastic spoon I used to pry out the honey broke in half. Happily, it was too cold to do dishes, so that was a win. There was an abundance of homeless folks, which shows why they’re homeless; how dumb do you have to be not to keep moseying south when it’s 11 degrees? (About the same as a woman who says, “It’s not that bad, let’s camp.”)

I texted our kids, “Dad’s cough is worse and after the day with me, I think he’s hoping Jesus is coming tonight. I told him he’s not perishing till he gets me through Dallas. Since he’s really bright and does math and everything, if he dies, I’m selling his brain to buy gas.”

The next morning, I shivered as I fixed breakfast but recited, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I know for a fact Ben Franklin never stayed in Pueblo, Colorado, in a trailer, so shut up, Ben.

A friend texted that several places on our route had gone from high 70s to single digits overnight. I whined, “Are we bringing the freeze?” Being a cold hater but a movie buff, Gar replied, “They’re coming. And they’re bringing hell with them.”

The second night we stayed in an RV park that doubled as a ranch. That’s how it’s done. When you start going broke ranching, send Ma to a town job and put an RV park in the south 40.  It was in Childress, Texas, home of the road sign, “Don’t pick up hitchhikers. They could be escaped inmates.” Gar would have willingly swapped an ax murderer for me.

At bedtime, I texted our kids, “Dad is lying beside me reading his Kathy Reich’s book and thanking God for his wife. I made up his thoughts.”

The next morning, we woke to a rooster crowing and as I rolled out and looked at my holy cow bedhead, I asked “Hat day?” Gar got that look men get when we ask if our hips are too big. He barely nodded so he could deny doing so if I rose up.

The park had an honor system drop box and right beside it a hen had laid an egg in the grass. We were delighted. Something about small minds.

We plotted a course around Dallas/Ft. Worth to keep Jesus from putting cotton in his ears but the Google girl on our phone wouldn’t let us. Instead, she routed us STRAIGHT THROUGH like I’d said, “Ft. Worth or bust; please make it dead center.” It takes strong stomachs and brave hearts to get through that and we have neither. We got divorced three times, then turned our wrath on the Google girl, but we couldn’t stay mad at her. She was our only hope.

I told Gar, “We can’t blame the truck, it’s just following orders, and we sure can’t blame the camper. It’s as dumb as we are, following us around.”

We made it out alive after six to eight interchanges and began speaking to each other at some point. I mimicked to Gar, “Go to Florida, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.”

That night, we made it to Alexandria, Louisiana, where God felt so bad about playing checkers while I was near death in Dallas that he lined up a gas station, a Cracker Barrel and a Hampton Inn, all in a row. The hotel clerk said, “Wow, it was $189, but with your AAA card, it brought it down to $99. I’ve never seen that.”

I said, “Well, it’s usually only $10 off, but when Jesus is trying to get back on my good side, he’ll part the waters.”

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