Posted by: zephaniah317 | February 19, 2007

J & N’s Excellent Adventure – Day 6 – Texas!

Greetings from – drum roll, please – Plainview, TX!  Woo hoo!  We made it.  2116 miles and 421 iPod songs on shuffle mode later, we rolled into town about 4:30 this afternoon, and got all of Dad’s stuff into his new digs, but not arranged yet.  He’s down the hall in our motel this evening taking it easy.  More on that in a bit.  First, some more cool things from my Dad today, along with other stuff:

– We drove past a small tourist trap in NM this afternoon, and my Dad, on one of his rants, wished that some of these small burgs would put up a sign with their name on it.  Continuing that thought, he wondered if someone “had a dream” when they started the tourist trap.  He then uttered a pretty good profundity:  “I guess the dream doesn’t die, the dreamer does.”  I asked him if he came up with that himself, and he said yes.  Wow…

– I called LP’s hubby on the car cell phone this afternoon when we hit the Texas border.  (it’s got an OnStar thingy that comes with cell phone service for a certain fee a year – alas, Verizon’s not about the network in NM, I couldn’t use his cell phone, so I used the car’s, which runs on satellite.  Two notes here:  Nextel (my cell phone) has no service whatsoever in CA or AZ or most of NM, and Dad had been bugging me mercilessly for miles to use the car cell phone, so I finally did – pretty cool).  Anyway, I dialed the number vocally, and there was a long pause, probably 10 or so seconds.  My dad, apparently not realizing that the lady who asked me to “say the phone number to dial” is not a real person, yells at the top of his lungs “ARE YOU STILL THERE?!?!?!”  Dang near scared the crap out of me.  I asked Dad to relax, the phone started ringing, and I eventually had a discombobulated conversation with LP’s hubby as a result.  Just ask him.  😉  Good times.

– I have never in all my years been able to figure out my Dad’s taste in music.  I think he just listens to it as white noise for some kind of comfort, but…On Day 3 of the trip (I think), we had stopped to get gas, and Kutless was on the iPod (not blaring away, but not inaudible, either – and not the worship album Strong Tower, it was Hearts of the Innocent).  I turned it off as I turned the car off and prepared to exit the car when my 83-year-old Dad says “Hey, son, don’t turn off the pretty music, leave it on for me.”  My dad, the rocker…never ceases to amaze.

– This morning, I got on BA’s blog, and his post was titled, “Loss of Wisdom”.  I read the blog, and in the serious place that I was this morning, went WAY DEEPER than I should’ve.  I commented on the blog that I was confused what the title meant.  Was it concerning the advil he took for weeks and how he postponed his…uh…WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION?  About 30 miles down the road this morning, I realized what the title meant, and I’m sure I’m getting a blog-ful on his site.  I’m afraid to look.

– I realize now what the saying “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey” means.  Of course, having the ability to blog every night has actually given me something to look forward to, and as usual, a place of release for what I’m learning on this trip.  Neverthelesss, I have yet to catch myself looking at the clock and, as Bart and Lisa Simpson said once, then twice, then 100 times until Homer popped, “Are we there yet?”  The travel has been absolutely enjoyable, seeing places I’ve never seen, and seeing places that I saw when I was under 10 years old when my family took trips to the western part of the country.  I would’ve liked to have seen more, but I’m not much of a tourist guy.  I like the driving, the easy feeling, the ability to think freely and view God’s creation, albeit tarnished by commercial capitalism in a lot of places.  The only thing I would’ve wanted more of would have been the ability to stop and take pictures rather than while driving.  More on that in a bit, too.  By the way, J spent a couple of hours on the phone with Mrs. J today again.  Love, true love…I don’t think he’s enjoying the journey quite as much as me.  We’ll see.

– Lastly, I nearly strangled my dear old dad this evening.  Just kidding.  But, when we arrived at Santa Fe House and started moving things in, we got out his recliner first so he could relax, and, uh, watch J and I do the work.  No dice.  Every trip into the room was another complaint and worry about where things would go.  The room is about 1/2 the size of his room in Oregon, so it’ll be a neat trick, but not impossible.  Finally, I realized that he was stressed and basically no help at all, and took him to the motel before I killed him (again, just kidding).  I went out to eat Mexican with J and my cousin M from Plainview and his daughter, and a good time was had by all.  Dad’s resting comfortably in his motel room, but I’m not letting back in his assisted living room until we’re done with it.  I’ll kill him (again, just kidding).  😉

– Ok, that last note wasn’t as lastly as I thought.  I’m at dinner with my cousin, his daughter, and J this evening, and my cuz tells me a story.  His wife is a home care specialist here in Plainview, and she was at Santa Fe House the other day, talking with the director about my dad moving in.  One of the residents (female) strolls by, hears the conversation, and asks, “Is he married?”  They say, “no”.  She says, “Does he wanna be?”  Oh, boy…we get in there today, and sure enough, the entire hallway that Dad’s room is situated in is nothing but female neighbors.  This oughta be fun…

Now for some pics:

First there was Albuquerque:

No wrong turn here…

Is that Snow?

Yep, snow

New Mexico Rocks!

Then some mountains:

Just Beautiful...I love mountains

...don't you?

Then a casino on Route 66…

...haven't played hold 'em in days...I'm starting to go into withdrawal...

One of the joys of traveling this trip is:

heh, heh, heh

But then in Texas:

Aw, man!  You mean I gotta go 77?

Ok, this one’s blurry, but, I kid you not, it’s 10 cars buried hood down in the pasture!

man, they grow all SORTS of stuff down here




When that regular liquor just doesn’t have that right…uh…taste:

I mean...forget who would want to drink it, who would want to NAME it such a thing?!?!

…and just before we reached Plainview, a town that described my overall emotion for the day (to that point)…

Now really, who wouldn't want to live in Happy, Texas?

Thanks to everyone who has commented and encouraged me on this trip.  Without y’all and your perspectives, it would’ve been a lot more…well…confusing.  No travel tomorrow, most likely.  J and I have to get Dad’s stuff situated, we have to do laundry, and Dad has a doctor’s appt. with his new local doctor at 1 pm.  Hopefully I won’t kill him (again, just kidding).



  1. Hey Bud…

    S.R. sent me this blog at work so that I could track your progress.

    I’m happy to hear that you’ve all made it safe to this point, and I’m also glad to hear that you are growing in The Lord.

    I would like to offer one comment, that may or may not help you….

    Never forget that both you…and your dad….are human…

    What does that mean?

    Well, remember that while we live on this planet, we will never be perfect. Although Christ washed us clean, we are still living in a sinful world, and we still have sin in our lives…all of us.

    Praise God that we can have family, even though that family may test us, and tempt us, and stress us…

    I hope all continues to go well, and that you are J can make it back to your homes, and your friends and loved ones soon!

    Your Other Friend J. 🙂

  2. I loved that your Dad called Kutless pretty music. That was sweet. There are a lot more ladies in these homes then men so yes, they are going to swarm around your Dad. That is too funny!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us and all the cool pictures. Have a safe trip back to freezing NY!! 🙂

  3. Laurel and I have gotten a kick out of
    prose and pix. Thanks for calling and pointing
    us to this.

    Say hi to “J”.

    Have a safe trip home.
    Bring some warmer weather with you!

  4. Thanks everyone, and thanks for the encouragement, JB. I guess I’m realizing that anything my Dad or anyone else has ever done to me has not really been intentional. I had a post a few weeks ago that asked the question, “do we ever really mean to hurt someone else, or are we just reacting out of our woundedness?” I now have the answer. I can’t say I feel as good as I should about it, but I know it’s true. My Heavenly Father is the only one who can do that, anyway.

    See y’all soon.

  5. Great pictures and comments.I have been thouroughly amused. Thanks for sharing : ) Travel safe and give my best to J

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