In a flash. In the blink of an eye. Judging by the wide array of descriptors in the American lexicon about the speed with which things happen, I feel rather safe in assuming that the last seven days of my life aren’t really all that unusual.
First, there is the dramatic weather change we have experienced here in Kingman during the past seven days. Last Saturday morning I was wearing long johns, a heavy jacket, and insulated coveralls as I battled a freezing rain, snow flurries and a cold, driving rain.
This Saturday morning I spent several hours working under a blazing summer sun – in April. Forecasters are predicting the temperatures will hover around one hundred degrees by Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, Monday, and most of Tuesday the illusion that I am still twenty years of age had taken full control of my subconscious. I was starting every day at 4:30 AM, with a little reading, a little study, a hearty breakfast, weight lifting, and a walk to work. In the evenings I worked several hours on writing assignments from Auctions America as they prepared their catalog for the legendary spring Carlisle auction.
Then by lunch on Tuesday a headache began in earnest. By the time it came to close the office, fever and chills were making it quite evident that my celebration of making it through the winter without the flu were premature.
Wednesday morning started off on a far different note than those at the first of the week. My temperature was hovering around 102 and, perhaps as a result, the rest of the day was a bit of a blur.
As we were again short handed at the office, illness did not warrant a pass for the day. Not surprisingly, by the end of the day  I began giving some very serious consideration to postponing Thursday regardless of consequence, and canceling appointments.
Amazingly, I awoke the next morning feeling right as rain with the exception of a little light head and extreme weakness! Enhancing the sense of euphoria was the realization I would not have to cancel my long anticipated evening appointment to meet with Lon Haldeman and the PAC tour group riding Route 66.
Okay, the euphoria was a bit short lived as by the end of the day I was as weak as a new born kitten and as tired as a one legged man in a butt kicking marathon. Still, as I was wholly convinced the chance of sharing a bug was slim the appointment was kept even though my discussion on Route 66 was a bit more than subpar.
I am unsure if this group of Route 66 enthusiasts on the PAC tour was inspirational or depressing. After all, the youngest participant was in their late forties and the oldest was in their seventies and they had just ridden their bicycles from Needles to Kingman via Oatman and earlier that morning I had found difficulty in tying my shoes!
As it turned out the informal question and answer meeting was a restorative tonic. Sharing the colorful history of America’s most famous highway, as well as that of the towns and landscapes through which it passes, is something I truly enjoy (hence the writing of several books). As this group was informed, inquisitive, and fascinating the interaction proved to be quite invigorating even if I may have wandered off topic on occasion.
When it comes to summer attire my dearest friend is the normal one in the family as I do not own a short sleeved shirt, and wear long johns or a t-shirt all year under my shirt summer and winter. As a result she has a growing collection of Route 66 and commemorative t-shirts while my closet looks as though it belongs to a field hand.
Lon Haldeman graciously presented me with a shirt commemorating the groups tour along the western half of Route 66 at the end of the evening. As my dearest friend had been unable to accompany me, the shirt we had a shared memory of the night.
The rest of the week was a blur, not resultant of the fever but of the grinding work schedule and a looming six week schedule that is worthy of the German general staff as they planned for the annexation of France through the use of firepower in 1940.
First, there is an indefinite future of six day work weeks at the day job. Next there is the Auctions America work that is now in high gear.
This weekend there will be a family gathering of sorts at a local park, an exciting and somber sort of thing. In attendance will be my nephew from New Mexico and his children, several of which I have yet to meet, my son and his family, my little sister’s husband and son, and a couple of friends.
The last time I met with my nephew was at my sisters funeral in December of 2010. Another missing link will be my dad and his wife. My dad still travels and in fact still out works people half his age, Still, at 84 a cross country trip is a bit much.
On Tuesday, I will finalize the sale of my mom’s house and that chapter will soon draw to a close. Then, in the first week of May, I will meet for dinner with Bob Stevens, an old friend and the former editor of Cars & Parts who will be in town for the Route 66 Fun Run.
The weekend of the Fun Run, I will work at the office until noon on Saturday, sign books at the Powerhouse Visitor Center, meet with John and Judy Springs, and Dale Butel and his clients from Australia, that evening, and then on Sunday, spend the evening with Dale’s group in Laughlin, Nevada.
The weekend of the 19th is KABAM. The first week in June is Wheels on 66 in Tucumcari. In between is development of a promotional schedule for Ghost Towns of Route 66 as well as the forthcoming Route 66 Encyclopedia, some much needed home upgrades, work for Auctions America, and, if all goes as planned, a couple of exciting new writing projects.
In a flash …

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