Sunday, New Slang Philosopher came over for Easter. She was one of the many guests, which included her two kids, another family we know, her soon-to-be-ex-husband*, Squeaky Clean Poet, and Planet Politico**. We had an egg hunt and potluck, replete with tangerine-glazed ham, vegetarian lasagna, and a delicious asparagus/strawberry salad***, potatoes and rolls and dessert items. It was a wonderful time, and we hung out in my kitchen filled with miss-matched and broken chairs, and played music, and the kids shelled their eggs in the front room and made a giant mess.
I love parties.
At some point, as I was telling Thing Three how it was unacceptable that she had told her younger guests that there was no Easter Bunny, I noticed New Slang Philosopher was taking my picture. And taking it with her beautiful—and large, and intimidating—camera. I tried to keep my face stern, but it was impossible knowing that she was about to capture my image. I kept breaking into a grin, or outright laughing.
I realized that this is something I’ll have to get used to. NSP is a photographer, and she’ll be documenting our epic road trip this summer with many photographs. I tried to imagine my way into the kind of lazy boredom I’ll have with the camera at the end of the summer, and I couldn’t quite muster it, yet. I still wanted to smile for the lens, and I was painfully aware of its presence.
Which is, in some way, how the initial planning is going.
Right now everything is flat, devoid of life, an atlas marked by pencil and pen, and nothing I can do can force it to become real any faster than it already is. I try to imagine eastern Montana, but it is just lines on a page, neat letters in small font. I want both to understand where we will go and to be surprised by the places and people we come across.
The general plan is to travel to Seattle and Vashon Island first, then head due east. We cannot decide if we’ll stop in Pennsylvania, or if we’ll make it all the way to New York (though I’m quite hoping we’ll make it to NYC). We’re stopping in Chicago, certainly, since NSP has family there. After we make it east, we’ll head south along the coast, hit the Carolinas, and the Florida Panhandle. Then we’ll head back west, through the southern states, New Orleans, and then up through Missouri. We’ll stop in Utah and Colorado, before snaking through California, and finally home.
*New Slang Philosopher is one of the few people I’ve seen who has been able to keep her divorce, and her relationship with her husband, decent and kind and amicable. And I admire the hell out of both of them for that.
**A new cast member! Who is über-smart about politics! And is a OS regular. Know who?
***Spinach, roasted asparagus, strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette, and chevre.