Tuesday, June 1, 2010

On the Road

It’s Tuesday and I'm posting early. I have my traveling clothes on, because late this evening I am boarding The Empire Builder heading west. I have filled my biggest suitcase -- the one too large to go into an overhead bin on an airplane -- turned all my signing and speaking info into a four-page document, and packed only the clothing I think I really, really need. To show how far down I have culled things, I am taking only one hat. Unfortunately, it is too big to fit into any of my hat boxes and so has to come along in a cardboard box tied shut with cord.

I am going to post this early because the train arrives in Fargo at 3:30 tomorrow morning, and I will go to my hotel and right into bed to sleep until around ten, when Tanya and I will rise and breakfast and be picked up by someone from Nordic Needle around eleven to begin a tour of the city. I am sending my sleuth Betsy to Fargo in the book I am currently writing and so need to have a look around. Then in the evening I will do a signing and talk at the needlework shop, then start the long and tedious wait for the 3:30 Empire Building to come through again and take us to the next stop, in Montana. I will do my best to post something every Wednesday during the next three weeks, and hope I will have something adventurous, or amusing, to say about this grand tour.

Yesterday four of us went to the Mall of America to be pampered in a nail shop -- manicure and pedicure. Because my signing/talking outfit is black and yellow, I opted for yellow fingernail polish. For the first several hours after, I kept thinking I’d somehow dipped my fingertips into mustard. But there’s nothing like bold and fancy treatment to make you feel ready for anything. Today I am puttering and dithering around the apartment, making adjustments to the packing, going through the lists of things I want to bring and that I have to do before leaving, checking the schedule, and worrying. I am a great worrier. Fortunately, I don’t worry about travel until it’s too late to change my mind about going in the first place. Otherwise, I’d never go anywhere and would miss out on some great times.

The cats know something is up. I think they’ve come to understand that when a suitcase is being packed, they are going to be left behind for a while. Between naps they are being whiny and clingy. This is going to be, for them, the longest while I have ever disappeared. But my husband isn’t coming along, so it’s not a total disaster. Actually, a total disaster would be trying to bring them along on a trip. As John D. MacDonald wrote in his book about his two cats, The House Guests, “I would rather burn bamboo splinters under my fingernails than drive three thousand miles with . . . cats.” Me, too


Linda O. Johnston said...

Isn't it great how pets read our signals, Monica? My dogs always know when I'm traveling, too, and mope around the suitcases. They watch for signals for when I'm just leaving for a short while, too, since I always give them goodbye treats. Enjoy your travels!

Julie said...

Drove 1600 miles with cats. Twice. They were in a large dog crate with one of those disposable litterboxes (which they didn't use while in the car) and bowls with a little food and water. I wouldn't say they enjoyed it, but the yowling usually tapered off after the first half hour. My girl Chloe, however, not one of those two, makes noises I thought only a lion or tiger could make when in the car. Taking her cross-country might be a different story!
Have a great trip!

signlady217 said...

My mom's chihuahua always knows when something's up, too. She knows when shoes go on, or if she hears keys rattle/jingle, that someone is headed out the door and she wants to go, too! And she's really good at moping. Crazy critters!

Hope you have an amazing trip!

Anonymous said...

your trip sounds very adventurous to me.
Have fun.

Betty Hechtman said...

I drove from Chicago to LA with my first cat (a 9 month old Siamese kitten) a week after getting married. It was winter and we didn't realize the used car we'd bought had snow tires and we had a blowout going through New Mexico at 95 miles an hour.

Have a great trip and I can't wait to hear about your adventures.