Monday, January 6, 2014

Drama in the Desert

This morning we ran into some trouble.  Back in Corvallis Jenny had given Amy a nice collection of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s.  Well this morning while I was getting the Honda loaded up 8 Ball got into the chocolate.  Unfortunately, dark chocolate in even small amounts can be very toxic to dogs.  We had to take him to the local veterinary clinic where they gave him activated charcoal to make him puke in case he had swallowed any of the stuff.  Thankfully they said he was going to be ok though the last of our travel funds were sorely impacted.

As were getting ready to finally roll out of town and get on the road to Winslow I got in a verbal altercation with the kids and yelled at them.  There I said it.  It’s embarrassing but you should know, dear reader, that I have a bad temper at times and I often don’t have as much patience for our little ones as my dear wife does.  There’s never an excuse for someone so large to yell at someone so small but looking back I realize the chocolate incident was still weighing heavily on my mind.  I took out some of my unresolved financial frustration on them.

I think too I realized how little of our trip there was left.  Ruminations about bills and the specter of unemployment loomed up in my subconscious and roared out when the right preconditions were met.  But children can’t be expected to understand these things nor should they be.  What they know is they have enjoyed the uninterrupted time as a family with both their mom and their dad, seeing amazing places instead of just hearing about them, and beginning to grasp just how large the United States really is.  Ava, Sullivan, and Juniper have never lost sight of what this trip was supposed to be about.  I’m sure they were very confused about what on Earth I could be so angry about.

Afterward I felt lonely and angry at myself, like an alcoholic after his 50th relapse.  Ashamed.  Frustrated.  15,000 miles and I can’t get away from the things I want to change about myself.  The unforgiving scenery matched the way I felt.  Within a half hour of departing Henderson we were surrounded by isolation in every direction.  Rugged, barren mountain ranges where things die in shadows that veil them beyond even a rumor of their passage.  We perish on this earth like autumnal snow on the peaks, trickling away overnight to leave no trace behind.

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