The first leg of our journey around the country has begun — almost.
There’s one more load of last minute items to drop off at the storage unit, then a car to reload with what Ace and I will need for our month, or two, or three, on the road.
A few hours from now, Ace, who has been stressing out with all the packing up and furniture moving, will jump in the back of the Jeep, and settle in for the nine-hour drive to North Carolina.
For the past two weeks, he has known something is up, generally going into his crate or the backyard and assuming a position — head between his paws — that seems to say “Harrrumph, I’m not sure I like this.”
When I disassemble his crate about an hour from now, he’ll grow even more disconcerted, up until the moment he jumps into the vehicle and we get rolling. Then he’ll stick his head out the window, suck in some fresh air and be fine with the world. I’m hoping I will be too.
A few hours from now, I will either be feeling liberated, or thinking “ohmigod, I don’t have a home … what have I done?”
The plan? Well, there’s not much of one. After a stop in North Carolina to visit Ace’s grandma, we’ll push on to Alabama, for my son’s high school graduation. After that, we’ll meander west, eventually hitting Arizona. In other words, we don’t really know where we’re going, but we hope to have a good time, find some good dog stories and sample some dog friendliness as we make our way there.
Basically I decided to stop paying rent for a while, and — the book that has kept me busy for the past year being done — catch up with family and friends, all while reporting for ohmidog! from the road and continuing the job search.
How the latter goes will determine whether we return to Baltimore, which a big part of me is sad to be leaving — even after the city left me two goodbye notes, in two days this week, both slid under the windshield wiper of my car, which I’d parked on the illegal side of the street for moving purposes.
Thanks to all of our friends for helping us get on our way — to Dan and Marite for taking my fish, to Diane for the oatmeal cookies, to Don for helping me move the heavy stuff, to Tamara for far too many things to mention, to Tobey for the send-off party, and to all the humans and dogs at Riverside Park who were Ace’s friend, and mine.
With some trepidations (I’m pretty sure I packed the trepidations), we depart. We might get a little misty as we pull out of town, waiting for that feeling of liberation to kick in. I predict that will come once we get south of Washington. If it doesn’t, if we get that far and still feel sad, we know what to do:
Stick our heads out the window, take a deep breath and let our ears flap in the breeze.