This morning while my dearest friend attacked the monsoon fueled forest that threatens to engulf the front of the homestead, I ignored the need to tackle the wilderness area that is now the back yard, the need to rebuild the workshop, and other assorted tasks vying for my attention, and instead focused intently on the current book project. Resultant of time consumed with festival planning and development, as well as the current employment situation and assorted issues that constitute daily life in modern America, I have fallen behind schedule.
So today, even though I awoke with a pounding sinus congestion induced headache, my butt was tied to the chair for most of the past ten hours. Break time came with lunch, and because my dearest friend isn’t keen on a portable john at the desk, a few trips to the rest room.
The rough draft for the text is now at the halfway point. This is a good thing because as of this morning I was only one third of the way and there are just four months to go.
The plan is close out the Labor Day weekend with labor in the yard in the morning, and labor at the desk in the afternoon. It isn’t exactly what we envisioned for the last official weekend of summer but there really weren’t a great deal of options.
An aspect of the desert that always fascinates me is the dramatic transformation that occurs with the addition of the slightest amount of water. Winter and spring were so dry this year there was a serious concern that we would be hunting jerky instead of deer. Yard maintenance consisted of pulling the occasional weed.
With a wet monsoon season the transition has been dramatic and almost immediate. Large swaths of the desert are awash in greenery, and wild flowers abound. At the homestead we went from dusty to forested in a manner of days.
The weeds, the pressing deadlines, the need to address household repairs, and the flurry of activity leading up to the festival have left us a bit weary. Compounding this has been a year without vacation.
No complaints. I am truly blessed. I have a great friend to share the load with and to ease the burden. We have a homestead to be frustrated with, a couple of jobs which ensure we eat on a regular basis, and a number of tremendous friends.
Our reward for transforming the holiday into a work day is dinner with friends from the Netherlands on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday, an opportunity to visit with Dries and Marion, our amigos from the land of bicycles, pre-rolled joints, and wooden shoes. The tongue in cheek reference to the Netherlands was made by Dries during his presentation at the Route 66 Crossroads of the Past and Future Conference held in conjunction with the 2014 Route 66 International Festival.
Needless to say, we are eagerly counting the days until we set out on a grand adventure to Cuba, Missouri and the big Cuba Fest party. An opportunity to share in a celebration of just what makes the double six special, with friends while enjoying the music of the Road Crew, and breakfast at Shelly’s, is something to look forward to with ever increasing anticipation.
Also on the list of things that have me looking toward the future with eager anticipation are awaited updates on developments from Edwardsville, Illinois, site of the proposed “big event” on Route 66 next October, and updates from Scott Piotrowski who is spearheading work to put the “big event” in 2016 at the original terminus of Route 66 in downtown Los Angeles.
Before either of these events take place, I am rather confident that a coalition will be in place to foster development of cooperative partnerships, to develop a unified sense of community and community purpose along the Route 66 corridor, and to steer development of a centennial celebration of the double six in 2026. The festival served as the catalyst for putting this endeavor in high gear and indications are that the first manifestations will be evident in a few short months.
Meanwhile, the international popularity of the old road seems to be growing in popularity exponentially as people seek an authentic American experience, and an opportunity to experience life rather than live it in a cocoon of impersonal, cold technologies.
A few short years ago the primary season for Route 66 tourism was from April to September. This year we met with visitors as early as January, just weeks after meeting with visitors in December. The current schedule is to meet our last tour group of 2014 in November.
The year is fast coming to a close but there is still time for an adventure or two. Will you join us for Cuba Fest?