Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On the road again

I realize that it has been a long while since my last post on this blog, and for that I am truly sorry.. mostly selfishly so since it means that I have not been traveling!

But now I am on the road again. I am in Kansas where I have been doing some remodeling and design for my grandparents and my mother. As some dear friends back in Austin keep pointing out, I only take busman's holidays.. For whatever reason I cannot just sit around very long at all without needing a project, and I even have a hard time breaking away from the businesses I run if I do not have a specific reason beyond my own enjoyment. So here I am working away in KS.

The drive up was unusual in a couple of regards. For the first time in my memory I had no timetable, no plan on being anywhere at a given time. This may not seem to be a bid deal, and I suppose for most folks it isn't, but I was raised with the idea that we travel with a purpose, stop only for gas, and get from point a to point b asap. I have been working on changing that characteristic in myself so that someday I will be able to take off with only a map, some cash, and a desire to get lost for days or perhaps weeks.

The second unusual aspect was that the entire route up, until I got into Kansas anyway, was green. This too may not seem strange to folks who have not spent much time in the great American desert, but this time of year has never been green along US81 in my memory. The very unusual rains this year which have let Austin over double it's annual rainfall with the fall rainy season still forthcoming, which has refilled the aquifer for the first time in over forty years, has also allowed north Texas, and oklahoma to be green and have a look of good health about them. I can only imagine that it must have looked like this when settler's stopped, why else would they stop?

This trip was necessitated by stress. This summer has been very difficult for me with trying to run two businesses as well as participate in a third. The second business has delivered nothing but stress and problems so far unfortunately. My junior partner and my supplier have both been dropping the ball far more often than they have been picking it up. Still, I did not start this blog to go on about work. I mention this merely to emphasize the stress which has left me mentally and physically exhausted. So I decided to get away... and work! I cannot claim that this is the smartest notion I have ever had. Still, the trip has been good so far. My second night here, while still recovering from the drive and the general level of stress, some dear friends had a gathering so we were able to catch up, and I was pleased to see others who I have come to expect to see whenever I am in town. I was not at my best, but still I enjoyed catching up and being with such good people again.

Almost immediately after I started working with my grandparents on a redesign of two rooms and two halls in their house. I was flattered that they would want to listen to my ideas, despite my doing this professionally. As most of us have experienced, family and often friends simply fail to see the abilitites that we have since they often remember those times when we were simply young and stupid.. :) Surprisingly my grandparents actually liked my initial ideas for the spaces, which I feared would be a little much for them, despite being fairly modest. It is all complete now, and even my grandfather who has built his own homes, spent a good deal of time in other homes, and whom I respect a great deal, loves the new look . It is subdued but lends some color to areas which lacked life before.

With that completed I have been doing some general maintenance on my mother's home. Nothing exciting or new, unless I can find some good top soil or garden soil which is reasonably priced so I can add a berm to her front yard. That will change the look of the house and really set it off from the rest in the neighborhood.

But again, I did not create this blog to talk about work, either paid or pro-bono. It is supposed to be about traveling. So I have a few days left here, which I am trying to spend catching up with old friends and making time for any who will have me. I believe that we are too lax with those we know and care about. We tend to take them for granted, often putting them far down our list of priorities and I seek to not live such a life myself. I want to make time for those I know, for those I meet, and for simply living. Why get caught up in the church on sunday, work 9-5 routine? Why miss out on seeing friends when they are avaialable? How will the world change if we miss that one meeting, that one sermon, or take an evening to spend with a drink and a friend (to borrow a line from Rush)?

So a few more days and then I am on the road again, this time headed a bit south and east to the farm in the hills of Arkansas, which are surprisingly and remarkably beautiful. I will be scoping out possible sites and scales of an underground home built into a ridge and overlooks lowlands and onto a ridge across the way covered with a mided wood forrest.

One interesting possibility has hit my plate, I along with one or two others may be putting together a traveling and food blog. As I know more I will share it.

Until then my friends, thanks for following my mini adventures..