The wind has been strong for the past few days. When I left on Saturday morning the wind was still blowing and very, very cold from the night before when it snowed and sleeted. I had to scrape my windshield which was covered with packed sleet. Fortunately, it came off very easily. That, however, was the least of my problems. I made three trips to the truck to put traveling gear in, and in those trips, I was chilled through and through. The temperature was 29, and my guess is the wind was blowing 15 to 20 with gusts higher, perhaps 30 miles per hour. That combination makes it bitter.
After getting the pups and myself in, we took off. I encountered few problems as the roads were wet but didn't seem icy. I didn't push it because as hard as the wind was blowing, there could have been icy spots that would have given extra "umph" to the driving challenge. I had driven about 30 miles or so and by this time, the roads were clear, when some emergency vehicles came from behind, two sheriff's cars, an ambulance and a small fire/paramedic unit, so it was obvious that something had happened ahead of me.
A few miles down the road was an 18-wheeler overturned. It was just at the place where the valley I drove through was changing into the less hilly, high desert terrain in Eastern New Mexico. Wind in such an area is always treacherous, and we were dealing with bad stuff. It appeared that the truck had been coming toward me (going West) and was hit with wind at an angle. The truck had spun at least 180 degrees, and from the skid marks, I'm guessing a full spin (360) PLUS 180!! He was coming out of the rolling hills and flat terrain, and would have been bucking right into the wind on a fairly straight road, so he might have been unprepared for the gusts that whip in the valleys and foothills combined with a sweeping, downhill curve of about 90 degrees. And he was possibly speeding. Anyway, it was a real mess as the truck was laid out on its side across the east bound lanes and into the shoulder with the tractor pointed almost East. The emergency crew were climbing all over the cab, which was badly banged up (not crushed, but as if it had been slapped on the highway several times), obviously trying to get in to the driver. I haven't heard about his condition.
From there, I had the benefit of a tail wind and relatively straight roads. Nice, because I got nearly 24 MPG on that leg of my trip!! Wahoo! Bad, because when I got into Texas I found that all the fields had just recently been plowed for spring planting. NOTE: Word of advice. Never plan a wedding in Lamesa, Texas, or any farming community, the week of field plowing!!! The freshly turned soil was fair game for those strong winds! I drove for about 75 miles in conditions that were reminiscent of story my parents told about the Dust Bowl days in the 1930s. They owned a farm in the Panhandle of Oklahoma, just a few hundred miles north of this same spot. Anyway, I could barely see beyond the hood of the truck much of the time. Had it not been for the painted center and side markers of the highway, I wouldn't have been able to be sure I was on the road! I just kept praying that oncoming traffic was proceeding as cautiously. It was not a fun experience, believe me! It did make me appreciate what my parents and older siblings lived through, but not in a fun way! BTW, I was in a new, fairly tight vehicle, and had only minimal dust inside, but I remembered Mother telling about getting into the car and then taping the windows and doors to minimize the dust inside. Yuck.
The wind continued to blow through the evening, so all of us went to the wedding looking, well, slightly windblown. I kept trying to "fix it," but as soon as I'd get it decent, I'd get hit with wind again, so my hair was just not nice. Between the wedding and dance, we had time to go back to the motel and rest a bit. I decided to try washing my hair again and starting over, and the nastiest brown-red crud ran out into the sink! The winds were calming a little by this time, so the rest of the evening was gentler on the hairdos.
Have you been to a Mexican wedding? Great fun! Well, actually, it is the reception and dance that is fun. I love two cultures for their customs around dancing; Mexican and Cajun people really know how to enjoy getting the family and community together and cutting loose. And don't think badly about "cutting loose." No. But the party includes everyone. Wee small children dance in the arms of adults; grandparents dance with their grandchildren ... or great grandchildren; aunts and uncles dance with nephews and nieces; and cousins; and friends; and ... and ... and ... it is just so much fun because everyone is involved! Very much family events. Many dances don't require male/female couples or partners at all, so everyone just dances! One style is much like a promenade, free-style steps around the room, and you often see whole families together, holding hands and dancing around the room together, teaching the children the steps. If you can't dance when you arrive, you will when you leave! And you will have had fun, I guarantee!
One of the fun parts of the evening was watching my 18 year old great-nephew blossoming. He has had a lengthy maternally-imposed separation from this, his father's, side of the family. Seeing him reconnect with us and absorb the rich culture from his new step-family was just delightful. He is a sweet young man and has had limited social interactions, but he put his heart into experiencing the feast and fiesta of family life that was available for him. His new step-sisters welcomed him into their group of friends, and he just beamed! We've missed him being with us and hope he and his siblings will join us frequently.
My trip home was uneventful except that I took the long way home. I drove to my sister's home in Odessa and got the microwave to bring to my house. They don't need it since they are now with my niece and her family, and since it was fairly new, I don't have to buy a new one. However, the side trip to her house made my trip about 2.5 hours longer. I was a tired puppy when I got home last night. I ate dinner, and I was in bed shortly after 8:00. I'm nicely rested, thank you very much!
Today, I'm off to buy paint!! YAY!! I get to start painting this week!! YAY!! I'm also going to establish a deep and personal relationship with the people at Lowe's and Home Depot as I begin asking questions about a bunch of upgrades I plan to do in the house. These folks are gonna know me by my first name very soon, 'cause I'm gonna be a "frequent flier" at their stores! Do they have "frequent buyer" bargains?
OK, I gotta shower and hit the road. Yippppeeeee-skippppppeeeeee! Later!