Eleven years ago this morning I left my mother’s house and hit the road again. It was nice to see her again, and we did do some interesting things together (including visiting a Christmas bazaar — which was rather odd given that it was 78dF outside and humid, which did not feel at all Christmassy), and I built her a bookcase from a kit to hold still more of her burgeoning paperback collection, and we went shopping for her semiannual front porch plant swap (in the spring it’s out with the holly bushes and in with the geraniums, and in the fall, it is, of course, out with the geraniums — always peach-colored — and in with the holly bushes). But mostly we just sat around and talked. “From the moment I got there till the moment I left, from the minute I came downstairs in the morning till we hugged before I went back upstairs at night. As we always do.”
“So the Visit With Mother is over. It was sort of nice to light in one place for a few days. But I’m tired of being social, even moreso after what I did today. It’s a good thing I don’t have to be social again until California.”
What I did eleven years ago today was drive from Tyler to Dallas, call up a former coworker who lives in Fort Worth, and, as I’d promised when he left Tacoma while I was planning this trip the spring before, spend the afternoon visiting with him and his wife. It was nice to see him again — he’d been one of the people I enjoyed working with most while I was at Tacoma Public Library, and he genuinely wanted to see my photos (he insisted, as a matter of fact).
So we spent the afternoon going through the fourteen rolls I’d had developed in Atlanta, and the three more rolls I’d had developed in Tyler (because my mother wanted to see the pictures of the house in New Orleans). The main comment I remember from his ongoing patter as we perused pictures was in regard to the photo I’d taken of the Logan, Ohio, city gates:
Well, it just happened to be in the way.
They offered to let me spend the night, but I decided to go on to avoid Fort Worth’s Monday morning rush hour, so I spent the night in a motel a few miles past the southwest edge of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
Where I perused maps, trying to decide which way I wanted to go to get across the rest of Texas, and watched a Ken Burns documentary about the women’s rights movement in the 19th century on PBS. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and co. Which brought back good memories of my visit to Seneca Falls.