Sunday, March 9, 2014

Where I Found "It"

Black and white. That's how I see the world by the time March rolls around here in eastern Washington. Welcome to seasonal affective disorder. If you have it, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't have it, I am ever so happy for you. 
Just got back from a Sunday drive that took seven days and 3,065 miles to complete. It was a trip quickly planned at the last minute when I found a ticket (just for me) to Fairbanks for a couple of days was going to cost more than a week on the road with my honey bunny. While I would have loved going to Alaska this time of year to visit family and the area's bright blue sunny skies, time spent with my husband trumped. I'll save Alaska for another day.
We rolled out last Saturday morning, driving 16 hours that day to get to Reno. It wasn't planned but the availability of rooms in Susanville was not good and Reno was only another two hours down the road. That's how it is out on the road. It is futile to make plans for how many hours and miles we'll drive. When a second wind arrives, it is hard to stop. Not to mention it was raining. I'll admit 16 hours is probably the longest I've ever driven in one day and I don't recommend it. In retrospect, we were driving away from gray weather with the promise of blue skies ahead.  We would not be disappointed.

Hitting the hay in Reno, we got up early for breakfast at a little 50's style restaurant. It was Sunday morning and the old regulars were there having breakfast and a discussion in bovine scatology. Our waitress was far past the age when one should be working. She, along with 95% of the others we encountered, looked like she had been hard done to. Downtown Reno is interesting that way. People are very weathered and the working ones look like they have to keep moving or they'll quit breathing. It's hard to explain. We got out of there quick. Just too damn depressing.

We made it to Vegas that day. Just finding registration and our room took one full hour, but the sky was blue so things were looking up. A short stroll down the boulevard found us at an indoor/outdoor Mexican food stand where the cooks barely spoke English. Can I just say the food was a nice surprise and the only reason I'd care about going back to Vegas.

Yuma, Arizona saw us pull in late in the afternoon. We checked in and found a street vendor for some carne asada about 9pm. The next day we took a quick trip over the border for fish tacos and some medicine for him. We stopped at my old work place and that's where I started to find "it".

I got to visit a little with some peeps I worked with 7 years ago. It seemed as if time stood still. The lovely, heartfelt reception I received from every single person I used to work with was like having sunshine injected straight to my heart. Those girls will never know how much their smiles and taking 15 minutes from their busy work day to "catch up" meant to me.  Never. Ever.

Two of my old work mates were gone that day but as it happens, my friend Esther's mom made tamales for us and I went back into the office to pick them up the next day and got to see those other girls. If my trip had ended that day, it would have been enough.

That afternoon, we visited my uncle, who lost his wife (of 50+ years) less than a month ago. My cousin is there taking care of things and changes are in the air. We didn't talk about that. We talked about everything else. Pure joy and heartache at the same time. A quick visit to other friends (Evie & Gerald) for a cup of coffee and cookies made the day complete.

I was ready to come home when we left Thursday morning. Going was long and coming home always seems longer. But I got a super nice surprise text from my cousin who lives in Bend, OR, asking us to "stop in and spend the night". So we did! And "it" was there.


It is this super fluid, sunshiny kinda love that lasts me a really long time when I seek it. It freezes and dies when the gray skies come. The only way I can get it back is to actively chase it down.

I found it in the big bag of candy we passed out to children and street vendors while we were in Mexico. I found it in the way our waitress heated up my thermos before she poured hot coffee into it for our long day.  I found it when a total stranger shared a table and conversation with us over tacos. I know it is always there but this disorder suffocates it slowly and surely every winter. I recognize when I am about on empty and am glad to report I am filled up now.

If you've read this far, I thank you. Do you get low at certain times?  What do you do to fill up?

love, susan



  1. Although I know the sun shines even when we cannot see it, and I love dove gray days, I am affected by the absence as well. Everyone is affected by the Earth's rhythms. It's all about the relationship between our eyes and sunlight.

    My sleep rhythms are off so I visited the wise woman on Friday. Today I feel slightly better, my sun-craving is not as strong as it was a week ago. I attribute the difference to knowing the cause of my "dysfunctions" and having a remedy at hand.

    I have formed a habit of walking one or two miles for days in a row. It's like medicine. Missing three days in a row set me back this weekend. I know how you feel. Thanks for this post. (I miss my camera. It got me outside every day. I filled up with My Therd Eye!)

    1. I actually walked around the block yesterday. With three dogs now, I have to sneak out the back door with one of them because I can't take all three. It's a hassle!

  2. Oh my! I've been taking B&W photos with the much-hated Canon. LOL. I pray for a Nikon BEFORE my birthday. :)

    1. Oh, keep me posted on the new camera when you get it!!! I love my Nikon!!!! So many pics to take, so little time.


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