Thursday, December 21, 2006


Today was a Wednesday of rest. Sunshine and I were up early to repack the car before she headed several more states on down the road home. I headed back into the hotel. She arrived safe in Kentucky around four pm. My goal for today was to be as lazy as possible while everyone else was unavailable during work hours. I want to add a last note to the saga of our México to North Carolina drive: just after Baton Rouge there's a junction I-12 bypassing the hour-long dip in I-10 curling south into New Orleans. It was nice out, and the trip was already taking three days, so we avoided this shortcut, and drove instead through the Crescent City. Nearing nineteen months after hurricane flooding destroyed inadequate federal levies, there's more devastation apparent in New Orleans, from the highway, than evidence of reconstruction. Houses are still tipped, caved-in, ruined; signs and streetlights twisted, one after another, out of commission down the highway. This is not the time to move along to other concerns America: remember millions of people continue to suffer in a city still upside-down. Today's post is at half-mast, please observe a moment of silence.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


We arrived safe in my hometown of Greensboro, NC at five thirty. Now we've caught up with a couple of friends, had a couple of beers, and slowly the long road trip has begun coming off us. Our trip worked like this: we drove eleven hours from Monterrey, México to Katy, Texas on Sunday. Our tire blew out just outside of San Antonio and we had to unload all of our things to get at the mini spare. Those things wouldn't all fit back in on top of the flattened full-sized tire. Sunshine rode almost to Houston with extra luggage in her lap before we finally got nervous enough about the overloaded little mini-tire and stopped for the night. In Katy we could make use of a convenient garage mom located for us online. Monday morning the tire center replaced all four of our tires by eight fifteen. Then we repacked all of our stuff into the trunk during heavy rain and drove thirteen hours to LaGrange, GA--seventy miles southwest of Atlanta--and spent the night in a surprisingly nice Jameson Inn. The Cat, in a coma of bitter stoicism during her long and caged days, was beginning to really enjoy the nightly string of pristine hotel rooms. Today we made the six-hour drive to Greensboro in seven and a half because of a longish stop near Charlotte to abandon that poor creature at my mother's house. So: thirteen hundred miles I'm certain I could have driven in two days. That's how it was supposed to work. Instead it worked like this because of one popped tire. I was pretty irritated by things at first. But the silver lining was that we made the Louisiana run during daylight, and winter in the bayou is witchy and beautiful. [Cavin]

Monday, December 18, 2006


Surprise. I had no idea that I'd be posting tonight, but here I am in the small world of Katy, Texas. If that sounds about thirty miles on the wrong side of Houston, that's because it is. All of this is a surprise. When moving from one country to another, there comes a time when everything one owns must be crammed into the back end of a little tiny Toyota Echo. Some large, crazy-heavy suitcases only fit when wedged together in a certain way. These have little wheels that stick helpfully out. Some pairs of colorful little shoes get jammed here and there. Between these extremes there's a DVD player, several cardboard boxes, a tool kit, pillows, book bags, and half a bottle of Haitian rum. When the trunk is finally completely loaded, there's a satisfying twang as the poor clasp finally relents and holds the lopsided thing shut. It's good: because we had to hold things stacked inside this space as we slammed the lid--when we open it again, things shoot out like sprung snakes. Beneath this quivering payload, all the way in a recess of the truck's pressurized bowels, there's a mini-spare tire. Surprise. Earlier today, we had to unload all this stuff onto the soft shoulder of I-10 beneath the sweltering December sun. Our tire blew out near San Antonio in Sunday afternoon traffic. The jack in the tiny Toyota? Too small to raise the car all the way. I expected to clear Baton Rouge tonight, spend the night in the bayou, and then on to North Carolina in a spirited drive tomorrow. Instead, I was surprised. The decrepit mini-spare lasted us another hundred twenty miles to Katy. Near the local chain store tire center, incredibly, there's a Super 8 with free wireless. Surprise. [Cavin]

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Good afternoon. So far today: I've wrapped something like forty Christmas presents (packed is more like, many have bubble wrap, cushioning material, etc), packed a suitcase, cleaned a refrigerator, and suffered through our last ever housing inspection in México. We did well, by the way. From now on out: we will pack the car (tightly), take out the remaining garbage, eat for one final time in Monterrey (at our esteemed La Casa de Maiz, and followed, I hope, by cappuccinos at Feel Gr@w coffee shop in the Barrio). When we come home from dinner, we pretty much have to go to sleep immediately since we are lighting out tomorrow morning so early that I would normally regard it as the night before. All we have to do is wait for daylight--several people made us promise. On into the future: we will hit the border sometime before ten am, I hope, and it will take us less than an hour to cross it because it is early on a Sunday, I hope. Then we will take I-35 to San Antonio; take I-10 to Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Mobile, take I-65 to Montgomery; take I-85 to Atlanta, Greenville, Charlotte, and Greensboro. Somewhere in there we will spend the night, I suspect. All of that will be done in the packed-tight car with The Cat who would very much like you to know she is not thrilled to be in a cage. So this is it, then. The end. Not only is in my last Update entry from México, it is possible that the entries themselves will be wildly sporadic from now until I have a real home again sometime in February and somewhere near DC. I'll do what I can to keep this space updated occasionally, though. [Cavin]