Day 8: of Our Jaunt in June

Emotions were running high today for so many reasons. Saying “good bye” is difficult; a scheduling¬† and timing mix up with an appointment at a National Park; the lack of comfort stops along I-5 north; 101 degrees is simply way, way too hot; and short nights causing lack of sleep were all culprits.

I was up for mass at 8:00 a.m. again, only to find my friend was nowhere around. I went over to mass, along with five other daily mass attendees, and we prayed together. Upon returning to the house, we packed up and readied ourselves for departure. We found our friend (who had unexpectedly slept late) and walked over to the little cafe for breakfast together and enjoy our last conversations. We said our “good byes” in the parking lot and drove north out of Oakland.

About an hour later we found the little community of Danville, where the tours start for Eugene O’Neil’s house – only to realize our scheduled tour was for 2:00 p.m. and it was only 10:30. We agonized over the time and if we should stay in Danville until 2:00 p.m. – at which time our tour would take more than hour, and afterwards we would have more than three hours of driving ahead of us. My driver got a coffee and I walked through the length of the town and when we met up again, we got back in the car and traveled on.

And, it’s a good thing we did as we barely made it to our motel as it was. The heat was oppressive – how did it get to be 30 degrees hotter since just LAST WEEK? We were tired and cranky and needed a comfort stop . . . and there were none to be had. Finally, my driver said put “hamburgers” into maps and see what comes up. That was a magic trick I’ll have to remember for future reference. I had been googling “rest stop.” Who knew? Luckily, a Wendy’s was only eight miles away – with nothing else available for miles and miles afterward.

We finished “Team of Rivals” and found our motel in Red Bluff just about the time we couldn’t stand the road, the heat, and the traffic any longer. The most appreciated grace of the day was the air conditioner in our room that allowed us to return to a comfortable 69 degrees. After waiting for what seemed like too long to eat, we decided on Carlitos and enjoyed their excellent cooking again.

Now my computer is getting cranky and I better put it and myself to bed before I lose everything and have to start over.

But first, one last thought. All this reminds me of the man who wanted to become a monk and joined a monastery that required complete silence – except for once a year where he could meet with the Abbot and say one sentence. After his first year in the monastery, when he met with his Abbot he said, “The bed’s hard.” The Abbot nodded and another year of prayer began. After the second year the monk met with his Abbot again and shared, “The food is bad.” The Abbot nodded and the third year of silent prayer began. At the end of three years in the monastery, the monk spoke with his Abbot at the appointed time saying, “I quit.” The Abbot nodded and commented, “Well, it’s about time. All you’ve done is complain since you got here.”

Good night.