Saturday, March 31, 2012

Where There's Smoke . . .

We pushed forward into Thursday.  Now the Sun was fully out but ahead looked like smoke.
It was very dark. I hoped it wasn't a home.
The closer we got, the more it looked like brush.   From the brush piled in several fields and the limbs cut off of trees along the highway we deduced that the extremely mild winter had allowed farmers and road workers to cut much more brush than normal years.
Burning brush must be a very satisfying thing to do.  You work real hard cutting and piling the brush and when you are finished, people can tell you have done something.  
Burning a brush pile is more than just hard work. There is a skill to it. Maybe even an art.  The limbs, branches and other matter must be stacked just right in order to have the pile burn completely away. All debris around the edges must be cleared in order to keep the fire from spreading.  Also, you shouldn't light the fire then just watch it burn.  As it organic matter is consumed, a good brush burner uses a pitchfork, and shovel to push brush from the edges onto the fire, usually laying it on end whenever possible rather than across the fire. Remember fire burns up more readily than across.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ohio to Omaha

If you read the last post then you know that this day started in the dark.  2:00 am, Thursday morning, was when we started.  Daylight came in Indiana. For a mountain girl, Indiana is awful flat.  The interstate is built up above the surrounding fields. For  a girl (yes, I will stick with that fantasy, "girl.") from the hills and hollows of West Virginia, those fields were large. Very large.  
Field followed field. Each was as brown and sterile as the last one.  The best part was the hedge rows along the edge of the interstate.
With colors fit for Monet, the border smiled pastel pinks from Redbud and Crabapple trees, pale green offered by Wild olive bushes and scattered white from Hawthorn and Osage orange trees.
More surprising were the tree nurseries growing right along the interstate.  I have left these photos as I saw them, with blurry foreground or guard rails and cars whizzing past and often with the oversize UHaul mirror in our way. (Remember you are traveling along with us.) 
My favorite were the Redbud trees . . . 
. . . peeking upon the road as we flew by.
Next stop, Illinois, then Iowa. For now, more than 800 miles from Waverly and twenty-one hours later, it is time to sleep.

Back to Tahoe

In Darkness we are rolling across pavement away from home toward our children.  We share the road with only a few trucks. Even truck drivers are asleep, their trucks filling rest stops and lined up on exit ramps. 
We chose to cover familiar landscape in darkness. Morning will find us crossing new land as we head West. 
What is is store? What visions await us? Hopefully no troubles.  Our first gas fill-up is depressing. This U-Haul truck got nine miles to the gallon. We are moving the innards of a house across the country - delivering a home. In our truck we carry Grandma’s sheets & towels, Great-Grandma’s cookware, Aunt Mary’s furniture and Lisa’s passed down school supplies. This truck is loaded with love. 
Through the days ahead I’ll post updates on our trip, both the interesting and the mundane but for now, the music is great, the traffic is low and the smell of chocolate chip cookies fills our cab.  With the rising sun still far behind us we drive on, due west all the way to Reno.