OK, I'm confessing ... I brought the computer after all. I realized that there would be a few times, like tonight, when I would have time to stay in touch. And I'm glad I did. I'm staying in a MicroTel for the first time. I like it. It is small, compact but ample enough. It seems to be clean. There is no TV (the only room on the first floor has a broken TV, but I wanted here because of the dogs), something I can live without, except, for the first time I can remember, I didn't bring a book or magazine to read or crossword puzzles or sudoku ... nothing!! So having the computer is very good! I ran across to a service station only to find they had no magazines, so I wound up buying a couple paperbacks. A nice thing about MicroTel is free long distance anywhere in the US. Nice! Let's see how many calls I can make this evening!!
I made good time today. No, I wasn't speeding, other than a few times to get around someone, I was right at the speed limit all the way. But I went a lot farther than I anticipated. I figured I might stay tonight at my brother's house in Texas (I didn't "reserve a room" because I wasn't sure about how far I'd drive today), but I was at the turn off to their town long before I was willing to stop for the day. I drove almost 200 miles farther, making it almost to Oklahoma City. I stopped here because I didn't want to stay in a big city. I'm developing a real aversion to cities. If you'd told me six months ago that I would do this, I would have laughed in your face!! But I've become a hick! Today I drove about 525 miles and I have about 400 to do tomorrow. Not bad.
The pups are traveling really well. The herbal calmer-downer, or as Allan calls it "Ali's nerve tonic," has done wonders for my boy. He is withstanding this trip like he used to before all the familiar parts of his life began to disappear from him. He sleeps a lot of the time, and when he is awake, he simply gets up with his paws on the arm rest and looks out the window for a while. Occasionally, he likes to crawl on the big console between the front seats and stretch out for a while with his head near my arm. There is none of the whining, howling, or trying to escape the new "ugly blue monster beast of a car" like he did for the first couple weeks. China, as always, just crashes and is content until it is time for a rest stop. Then they both want to get out and run and sniff and pee and sniff and have a drink and sniff. other than that, they sniff a lot. It is good to see Ali acting like the frisky little guy he always has been.
During the drive, I was struck with the amount of green I saw. You know that early spring greening of the trees, where the leaves aren't fully out, but there is a green cast to them. And there is a lot of grass that is very green. The pastures along the way were full of mamas and babies, cows and calves, nannies and kids, ewes and lambs, mares and colts. I laughed out loud when one rambunctious little kid ran up to his mama and butted her udder so hard (why do they do that?? It must hurt!!) that it lifted her hind legs off the ground! By golly, I think spring is here!
I used the air conditioner most of the day, with temperatures as high as 79. A beautiful day for the long drive, and beautiful scenery for the most part. Driving through the west side of the Panhandle of Texas, I was reminded that it is cattle country. There are so many towns with "cow" names ... Bovina, Hereford, etc. Also there are stock yards or feed lots were everywhere. That is when I turned the AC on at first, with the "inside air circulation" to minimize the smell. I am amazed at the homes that are right in the middle of or just to the side of those places. Ugh. I couldn't do that. Or more correctly, I would refuse to.
Oh, I almost forgot! I wanted to report in on the water filtration system. It was installed in under two hours, and is working great! I had to run a lot of hot water to clean out the water heater. By last night it was running clear, and I took the best shower I've had in a long time. The water was nice and soft, and it felt wonderful! The drinking water is delicious. I had a reverse osmosis system and drinking water faucet put on the sink, and it is so nice to run a fresh glass of water rather than the bottled stuff. I had bought about 10 gallons in the big jugs to get me by for washing dishes and drinking, but that tasted odd to me. Life is good. Again!