For the first part of my journey, I'll be riding convoy style (we've got walkie-talkies!) with Aaron and Brooke as they set out to drive their cars and tow their trailer to their new home in Virginia. I'm so very sad to see them move away for a while, but at least now I'll have a chance to spend some great time with them before we part ways for the time being.
I'll ride along with them as far as Graceland where with any luck we'll manage to snag a room at the Heartbreak Hotel and get spots on a tour of the mansion so we can sigh in amazement at the Jungle Room. It's hard to imagine two folks that would be more fun to roam the corridors of Graceland with. I've long felt that Graceland is a shrine that every single person should be required to visit. Doesn't matter if you like Elvis a whit, that's not what it's about if you ask me. It's about I can so I did. That's powerful stuff, you know.
I've been scurrying about all day today, getting a plethora of things ready for my imminent departure. Mark helped me replace valves and o-rings in my water fire extinguisher that I'll keep near me in the passenger seat. It was one of those tasks that just wouldn't seem to be completed - always one more issue. But we prevailed, and now I'm all hip to fire safety on the road!
I went out to vacuum and clean my car this evening as the sun was going down so it wouldn't be so oppressively hot and when I looked up, I saw with delight that streaks of orange were starting to color the sky. I hollered at Mark to come jump in the car so we could make a beeline to the sunset viewing area and drove like a bat out of hell to get there before the color peaked. We made it just in time.
As I positioned myself at the crest of the hill where I like to sit and watch sunsets, I realized that the sun had already slipped below the horizon, and what looked to be the setting sun was in reality a mere reflection of the sun on the underside of the clouds. The mirage was dazzlingly bright and luminous. Color bathed the sky and all the little puffy and dramatic wisps that hung about were lit in spectacular hues of tangerine. Darker areas made backdrops of violet, making the oranges even more lively.
As I sat and watched the last of the colors begin to fade, I put my hand down on the concrete perch on which I was sitting and was instantly bitten by something small, sharp and wicked. I looked down to find that someone had left a neat little arrangement of beautiful irregular glass chips along the ledge, and one of them had just nipped me unceremoniously at the base of my forefinger. A bright red dot of blood bulged to the surface of my palm and I sucked it away. I retrieved the picture, in my mind's eye, of the bright red smear of blood that covered my palm on the day of departure for another marvelous road trip I took many years back. I wondered, but did not figure out, what the role of stigmata might be in my movie. I love a story, you see. And I've got a particularly good one.