A few impressions...

It is thundering and pouring rain this morning. The storm sounds like it is hovering right above the motel. Indiana thunder has a sharp clap and cracking to it. It is a new sound to me. I have always noticed how rain and storms differ from place to place. In Mexico the thunder is a deep and voluptuous rolling bash. Mexican raindrops are huge and you can hear a heavy plop when they slap the ground. In West Texas the thunder is a booming wave that travels low across the sky.  It seldom cracks. The raindrops are tiny, at least compared to Mexico.

I am listening to Mike Nesmith and watching what looks like medium sized drops drench the motel parking lot. As I listen to my favorite Texan I think of how different parts of the country are from Texas. It is lush and green here with a tropic like humidity. The sunsets are these fiery pink events that ignite the corn lined horizon minutes before 9pm. The highways are curvy and rarely will you find an empty field, or livestock. Every possible piece of land is dedicated to a brimming corn or soybean field.

The houses all have basements here and look like the homes I have seen my whole life in movies. There are a lot of Colonial Revival with more American Foursquare than I have ever seen in Texas. There are also some impressive and well preserved examples of the Second Empire and Romanesque styles, all new to my eyes.

Yesterday I discovered a small Mexican community on the edge of Washington, IN. The tiendita was just like the ones found in Mexico. I bought cactus, mole and horchata. I have only a hot plate, pan, pot and microwave but would love to make chicken mole. There are quite a few Mexican restaurants here, all very good but also limited. You won't find horchata or agua fresca here. Mole has either never been on the menu or had to be removed because no one ordered it.

I really love Bloomington, Indiana. I walked away with the impression of a sleepy college town with friendly smiles. So much of it reminded me of my first few weeks in Austin back when Austin was nothing more than a small college town I had yet to discover.  It is funny to find old feelings again, not just the memories but to relive an entire experience. I didn't think that was actually possible. It was a pleasant moment.

"Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry."  Jack Kerouac

We left Texas last week and drove through Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois to get to Indiana. There was much record hunting along the way and plenty to see. We drove down Route 66, something I have always wanted to do. While in Tulsa, OK we had the most delicious Mexican food for lunch at Gallo Loco (truly the best ever). We arrived in St. Louis, MO minutes before midnight and just in time to see the Gateway Arc before the lights turned off.  The Mississippi river sparkled in the moonlight as we walked through the park, we had it all to ourselves. It was hard not to stop at the vintage and antique stores in between the corn and soybean fields along the highway. We rummaged through records in Illinois, and had the best beer ever in New Harmony, IN (New Harmonie Bier).  It was the best way to spend three days, mid-week.


Durable, like cast iron

Using cast iron in the kitchen is something I love. We have a dutch oven and skillet and have found it is really all we need to cook.  Everything just tastes better when cooked in cast iron but, for me, the real appeal lies in it's durability. We have all seen those cast iron pieces in antique stores and vintage shops that have long outlasted their first owners and sit, dignified, awaiting new lives. 

The idea of longevity, resiliencestrengthsturdiness all stir me.  Forever.

Does anyone listen to the radio anymore?

There's no place like home...

Traveling around has really made me think of what a home is and what is home. Home use to be where I lived and where I had my things all around me. It's permanence was comforting and safe. Home is now a person.  Home is my Sweetheart. Where ever I find myself  always feels like home so long as he is there. 

I have never challenged the concept of a home. I have always been able to call a place, a structure my home.  When I went away to school the first time I was very quick to turn the dorm I shared with my best friend into a home even though we were only going to be there only eight months. With much enthusiasm we began sewing curtains, hanging beads and throughout the semester had our parents bring us significant and important pieces from the last place place we called home to make our new home feel more like a home. 

Last week when I found myself in a hotel room for several days, I found that I had no desire to make any part of it my own or make it home.  The room was just fine as it was.  In the past I would have at least looked at the place as a temporary home. It was a comfortable place and I very much enjoyed watching old movies and knitting while I was there.  It was the first time I realized that lately I haven't really been trying to make a nest for myself anywhere.  I also realized how much I haven't missed my things, my possessions, those relics that I once displayed and thought brought me so much happiness to see daily.  Perhaps the walks through antique and vintage stores have managed to satisfy any void of knick knacks I might have in my life. There is more of a focus on experiences than possessions right now.  I still have possessions, they are just crammed into a 5x7 space and tower high above me. I don't miss them though.  There is much I would like to have still, like a  cool Polaroid Land Camera and extras but the desire to own one seems to end at the website.  The feeling is like I just can't eat another bite of my favorite dessert.

When I had an address, and while away from it on vacation, I use to wake up in the middle of the night confused and not knowing where I was for several seconds.  It was a confusion I could count on. I expected to experience this much more often but I have yet to wake up not knowing where I am  because I feel I am always home.