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July 30, 2003
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Getting Home - Mile 4706

Today actually started on Tuesday, not my fault the calendar doesn't actually show what I feel like. Tuesday, daytime, was so hot (102 in Eastern Oregon) that we decided to just drive on through the night. We assumed that Jet would sleep through the night, but he didn't sleep more than an hour and a half, though he was content to be in his chair for a lot of his awake time he wanted the attention of the person that wasn't driving, so none of us got much sleep. I'm still a mite headachy.

Tuesday morning was great. Johanna got up with Cian, and when I finally got up and showered, she made bacon and French toast for us. Jet refused to eat anything, as usual, but did deign to sip some smoothie. It was a very good one. The food was very welcome. We left when they left for an appointment, and started heading East.

John took the first leg. Jet slept for forty minutes and then he and I talked for a while until we stopped at a lake side park with sandwiches from the local grocery store. They weren't very good sandwiches, but we still had lychees and Jet got a bag of Cheetos and he ate every one. We had pop, too, and a playground by the lake. So Jet ate, then played, while John and I nibbled fruit, drank our iced teas, and enjoyed the shade. A lady there, with her daughter talked with John about the area, why people were there, and what they'd come for. There was a 22,000 acre poplar farm, which was raised for paper and plywood. We got to see it o our way out and it was mildly surreal to see thousands of acres of forest in neat rows in the midst of desert and golden farmland.

John and Jet watched "Lilo and Stitch" while I drove the next leg, and then, when the movie was done, Jet fell asleep, so I just kept going until the tank nearly ran out. We got gas, somewhere in Idaho, found a park, and Jet played there. The lawn there was filled with mosquitoes, but they steered clear of the sand play area. One little boy was just covered in mosquito bites all over his legs.

Three Mexican kids decided to include Jet in their slide games, calling it choo-choo as they all piled on each other and slid down the slide. They got impatient with how slowly Jet got up the high stairs, so they hauled him up themselves. He didn't seem to mind that much and when they got a grip on him, he'd lift his legs to make it easier. He loved playing choo-choo, and started calling the slide "the choo-choo track" and kept doing it with them as long as they would have him. Eventually they had to run off to eat cake at the picnic they were at, and when left, Jet didn't mind leaving when he head the sound of a train whistling in the distance.

We did say that we'd find the choo-choo, so his sense of betrayal when we tried to take him into a restaurant is understandable. John took him outside and they looked at all of the big rigs, close up, and that satisfied him enough for him to come in and drink some milk in the booth while looking out the window at all the trucks that came by. One milk truck really fascinated him. It was shiny and wonderful, and had two tanks.

John ate breakfast. I had a "chicken and broccoli casserole", which turned out to be a piece of fried chicken breast cut up into chunks with big chunks of nicely cooked broccoli all on rice. It was topped with a cream sauce and shredded cheese and served with a slice of garlic Texas toast. It was surprisingly good. I ate nearly all of it. Yum.

John got coffee. I took out my contacts, brushed my teeth, and put in my toothguard. Then we headed out. I assumed that since Jet had drunk his milk that he'd fall asleep. I was wrong.

Jet got to see Stitch, all the way through again. Then he got grumpy about being in his seat. Finally he just asked to nurse. Given that both John and I had spent a huge amount of our childhood summers loose in the back of station wagons or cars, we finally decided to just keep driving and let him nurse.

He nursed, and finally fell asleep. So I went to sleep, too, and was very surprised when Jet woke up an hour and a half later, crying. He wanted me there, not on the pillow. He wanted to hug my pillow. He wanted to me to give him a car. He wanted this and that and everything and didn't go back to sleep when I nursed him when he asked. He pretty much stayed awake until we ran out of gas, and had to get a refill and John and I changed place.

John sat up with him, and they talked, and Jet sat again in his chair. I turned on some music and hour into my drive and a little while later, he fell asleep. John fell asleep, too. Yay! I saw the dawn. Then I saw it several times as I went behind various ridges, and each time when we came out from behind a ridge the sun was higher in the sky. I think I saw the sun 'rise' seven times. I wonder if that means something?

The vanilla Coke I got at the gas station helped me out a lot in keeping me awake. An hour and a half later, Jet woke up again, and John held him in his lap and they slept another hour. By then I was having to shake my head to stay awake.

So I traded with John, and instead of holding Jet in my lap, I set him on the floor of the van, right next to the build-in cooler, so he'd have support if we had to stop suddenly. He sprawled out on the pillow and snored away, happily. He was finally getting tired of his car seat, and I couldn't blame him.

I went to sleep, too. John took us home. 4706 miles, all told. I woke up ten minutes before we got home. Jet woke up when we stopped and helped unload the car. There was a lot of stuff in the car. We mostly just got it all out of the van and didn't bother with putting things away.

John was awake. I tried to go to sleep, but failed. So I got up and helped with gradually unpacking a lot of things. Jet and I wandered out to look at my tomato plants, and there were actually a few ripe ones! I recognized them from when we'd left, so I don't actually think the neighbors picked any! The First Lady 2 plants were going gangbusters with fruit everywhere. Most of it was still green, but there were a few getting yellow/pink. The current tomatoes proved to have one yellow teardrop shaped one, one medium sized red one, and one tiny red one. We got a couple off each plant, and they were sweet and delicious.

At noon, John showered, and found that he could go to sleep. So he did, until 3. Jet kept showing signs of being tired, but he refused to nurse. At 3:30,we all went to Safeway to get something for the empty refrigerator. We also stopped at the Post Office and got a whole box of mail! That was very cool, especially since it had my replacement Oakleys in with it all. Jet fell asleep on the way there, and we pushed his car seat around in the grocery store. He woke up as we checked out and refused to have me do anything but hold him. So we got help going out to the car, picked up our Papa Murphy's pizza and went home.

I finally got my shower in after we got home. My shirt was stiff from all the sweat of the last 48 hours. Yuck.

It felt good to be clean and even better to eat my first solid meal since seeing the dawn. The pizza was yummy. Jet stayed up kind of late, enjoying his house, his toys, and having us to himself again. We finally went to sleep at 11, all of us.

I am amazed to be home again. It's so delicious to so such simple things like putting dishes in our dishwasher, to throw the trash out. To have a clean and only sparsely filled fridge. To have a thousand books to choose from when thinking of something to read. It's so nice to have all our things again and better yet to know that I don't need them.

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