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Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Explanation You've Been Waiting For!

A while back, I promised you an explanation.

Why did I go mostly silent on facebook and twitter? Why was I only reading books under 200 pages... many times under 100? Where in the heck are all of those Goodreads reviews that should be live? 

What in the world is going on???

Today I deliver on that promise. 

It wasn't laziness, nor was it procrastination. Rather, I was trying to juggle way too much during a short period of time... and I have to admit that I'm pretty proud of myself for managing not to turn into a quivering mass of stressed out, gelatinous ooze.

See, my husband managed to get a rather spectacular job... but he was expected to be there about 4 days after he got word of employment. That wouldn't have been a big deal, but we lived South of Minneapolis MN... and the job was 

In the Greater Seattle area!


This meant that after we loaded up a truck with as much as we could, I was tasked with staying behind to pack myself, my daughter, two scared and confused dogs, and everything that was left behind into an SUV, then head up to meet him.

We had too much left over to fit inside a vehicle, so people got a lot of free stuff that I placed onto the corner over a period of a few days. But I got it done, and it felt good to give things I loved to people who would use them. In the end, that's what really matters.

As I told you, the next step was to head up to Washington... but that didn't happen. I got word that my grandfather was in his final days. If I was lucky, I'd get there in time to say goodbye. I asked my mother to tell him to wait for me, and headed off the next day, destination: Northern Minnesota instead of Seattle, Washington.

He waited for me.

I was able to say goodbye before his soul drifted off, and I'll be eternally grateful for that. 

My grandpa, smiling as he so often did.
My grandpa: Judging by his features in this photo,
as opposed to others, I'd guess this was taken in the mid 1950s.

Much of who I am today came from my grandpa. 

He taught me patience. He taught me to accept people for who they are, rather than who I want them to be. He also taught me that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. He worked to see the good in everything and everyone.

Most importantly, though, he taught me all of these things without having to say them. He had the ability to teach through example. While I'm not sure if I succeed, I try very hard to do the same.

Without my grandfather's influence, Undiscovered Tomes would be a very different site... if it existed at all.

The day after the funeral, I drove for three days, until at last getting to my destination.

So how was the trip, you ask?

Well, my dogs hated the drive, which meant that any break we took lasted at least thirty minutes, since I had to coax my 90 pound dog back inside. Stress caused extra shedding, as well, so I was swimming in dog hair.

The scenery, though, was amazing!

Western North Dakota is actually quite beautiful. I had been led to believe that all of North Dakota was a barren wasteland. This is not true. Don't believe me? Drive off to Theodore Roosevelt National Park sometime. What should have been a simple 'potty break' turned into an hour long stop to gaze at the beauty!

Montana reminds me a lot of New Mexico. It's gorgeous but dry, mountainous, and has a lot of curse burrs that get stuck in your shoes. Curse burrs are prickly, thorny seeds that you can't remove without cursing loudly.  

(Yep. I totally stole that term from Piers Anthony, 
and have used it since about fifth grade. It's a perfect description.)

The thin Northern tip of Idaho was my favorite. There were tons of Runaway Truck ramps, and driving through those beautiful, curvy, and steep roads felt like being on a roller coaster ride. I was overcome with a mixture of terror and giddiness. And the water, greenery, and terrain? Exhilarating!

I found most of the drive through Washington to be terribly boring. There was nothing there, and it was flat! Thankfully, once I neared the Seattle area, that changed. It was green, hilly, wooded, and gorgeous.

So now I'm back!

I'm in a new home, surrounded by new and wonderful people, and I'm happy. I apologize for my near silence lately, but life took me on quite an adventure that I'm finally able to relax from.

And WOW!

That was one long explanation. Oopsie!

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