McDonald's, Camilla, Georgia
I'm having my afternoon Senior Coffee at McDonald's, which has become a tradition now when I have a driving day. Decent coffee at a decent price (81 cents here), plus a free refill and free wifi, usually an excellent connection--you just can't beat it.
Yesterday I finally completed my easterly travels along I-10. I have driven this Interstate off and on for the last 3000 miles of my journey. I first got on I-10 east of Los Angeles, on my way to the Palm Springs area. I got off it to head to the northern parts of Arizona and New Mexico and later to head down to parts of the Gulf of Mexico that are not on the freeway. But some days have been completely freeway, especially the last few weeks.
Rather than head northeast to Georgia a few days ago, I did a couple hundred extra miles on I-10 in order to visit my friend Cindy Mitchell in Tallahassee. Cindy and I have known each other for years from playing Babble online. For the uninitiated, Babble is a clever word game played by a bunch of really smart, funny people who have known each other since the earth cooled and the Web began. It's sort of like competitive refrigerator magnet poetry on steroids. It's what got me to surrender my resistance to joining FaceBook, the world's biggest time-waster, because I didn't want to be left out when other Babblers were talking about the cute pics of their grandkids that they'd just posted.
I am so glad I kept going east so I could finally meet Cindy in person, as well as her sweet husband Michael and their delightfully nutty youngest kid, Morgan. I just loved them. They welcomed me with a fabulous vegetarian meal and then we went for a walk around a local lake and took a drive downtown so they could show me the capitol. We had wonderful chats that could've gone on a lot longer if I could've stayed and they didn't have to go to work and school today!
Well, now that I've gotten so close to where my petsitting gig is (southeast of Atlanta) and I'm here early, I can get off the dang interstate and just explore. So I've spent today tooling along the backroads and stopping in small towns to look at their antique stores and thrift shops. I'm taking a meandering route up the west side of Georgia so I can visit Plains, the home of Jimmy Carter, the first president I ever voted for as a young adult, and Andersonville, the Confederate prison where over 13000 Yankees died during the Civil War. Clearly I must also try some boiled peanuts while I'm here.
Thank you, my dear readers, for the positive feedback on the manic quilts I've been making when I'm in the woods by myself. My new sewing machine isn't as heavy duty as the ones I've owned in the past, but it does the trick. I constructed one more quilt top this past weekend at a campground near Pensacola on my way to Cindy's. Between the three quilt tops I made before leaving Oregon and the ones I've made along the way, I think I'm up to nine or ten now. I'm going to start putting the backs on and tying them over the next few days so I'll have some ready to sell at the farmers market in Serenbe. And I plan to keep making some while I'm there, too.
Now that the push to get to the East Coast is done, not only can I take back roads, but I can also start concentrating on some parts of my life that I've kind of put on hold for a while as I traveled. I'm going to sell more on eBay, diversify my investments, buy some new health insurance (my old coverage will end soon, six months following my divorce), pay off my new engine and other credit card debt, etc. My goal is to solidify my financial position so I am debt-free and can make a fresh start as I enter the next phase of my life.
I'm planning to use Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, as my home base starting in the fall. My intention is to arrive in New Mexico ready to hit the ground running--I'll definitely re-start Soaring Sun Studios, my mosaic business, among other goals. It won't be the end of my travels--New Mexico is too hot for me in the summer, so I'll keep exploring with the Guppy. But hopefully my travels will have a less frantic pace to them once I've relocated, and I'll have more to share in my blog about my artwork.
In the meantime, I'm heading to Serenbe for my three-week pet-sitting, quilt-selling, and egg-distributing gig ("Egg-distributing?", you ask? Stay tuned!) and then will meander wherever I darn well please on my way from Georgia to Minnesota, where I'll spend the summer visiting family and friends. I wonder if I can avoid interstates completely for the rest of my travels?