Almost Beyond Speech

Stardate 08.29.2010

First Officer’s Log

After a wonderful meal of hamburger perfection and blackberry cobbler, a few salty goodbyes (I did alright until the final hugs started, and until I walked into my barn for the last time), and a final check of the cargo, we loaded up and headed out on our plotted course to Texarkana.  Crew morale is high, with the possible exception of Spur who feels it is unfair that she must sit on the floor between the seats instead of in our laps.  She is, however, putting on a brave (or perhaps passive) front, and only occasionally attempts to sneak onto higher ground.  Morale is aided by the soothing voice of Jim Dale reading The Order of the Phoenix, reasonably comfortable seats, and mutual agreement on air conditioner temperatures.

Our journey has begun with no serious hitches.  One near death experience (a truck driver drifted halfway into our lane while we were right beside him) has not tarnished our optimism.  I discovered that in my mad-dash-packing-delirium, I have spread my necessary daily items into three different bags, plus a computer bag, plus a purse.  And then Spur’s bag with her food and whatnot on top of that.  I will be rethinking this packing plan tomorrow after some sleep.  The captain discovered that he neglected to pack pajamas, and has therefore made a late night run to Walmart, where he will be sure to encounter a sampling of various local species.

One thing about long drives–they give a person time to think.  I’ve been careful not to let my mind dwell on things that might choke me up (the cab is too small for that), but it’s impossible to totally avoid thinking of the town and the people I love and am leaving behind.  And mostly, a phrase kept going though my mind, one that I’ve borrowed from the Irish Saint Columcille, and which, I feel, expresses a great part of my feelings about places and people I associate with home:

I have loved [Abilene] almost beyond speech.

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