Road trips are great! They get me out of the house and into some new territory, geographic or otherwise. I do reach a point, however, when I'm "over it" and am more than ready to get home. I miss my bed. I miss my cat. I actually miss my own cooking. And I miss my regular routine.
But coming home also means facing reality. This return - from an 8 day road trip to Santa Fe NM and surrounds - was no different. Yes it is true, I saw some really fantastic sites and ate some incredibly good food at a couple of very creative restaurants in Santa Fe. I also had some decent comfort food in the form of hamburgers, soup, grilled cheese sandwiches. But after a week of this, even the thought of a pile of dirty laundry and flower beds full of weeds starts to sound down-right...well... homey.
I knew when I walked in the door late Saturday afternoon that I'd want to quickly deal with the cat's needs first. The kitty litter was quite full and in urgent need of "scooping." The cat's water bowl needed to be emptied, cleaned, and refilled with fresh water. Every room in the house needed a quick going through with the vacuum cleaner to "de-fur" the carpets and some of the furniture. A more thorough cleaning can wait until later.
This got done even before I removed my riding boots and pants. Once the cat was dealt with, I could remove the boots and overpants and chug down a tall glass of refreshing ice water. Then it was on to unloading the contents of the bike onto the kitchen counter and sorting through that mess to get the three loads of laundry sorted and to put away all of the odds and ends that mean disorganized and endless trips back and forth between kitchen, closet, bedroom, laundry room. This is the part I hate the most. It seems no matter how many times I sort through that heterogeneous pile, I can never seem to get it all put away efficiently.
We've had no rain for months now and to add to that gardening insult, I have a broken valve on one of my sprinkler zones so cannot leave the sprinkler system on "auto." As soon as I'd gotten the cat dealt with and the bike unpacked, I turned on the sprinkler system to get the lawn and beds watered. Some of my plants in the back are gasping from the heat and drought.
It was a long hot ride home and I wanted nothing more at this point than to get into the shower! My shower competed with my sprinkler system for water pressure but I didn't care! It felt good!
I'd had no breakfast or lunch on the road the last day so was more than ready, at this point, to rummage in the kitchen to put something together for dinner. A frozen salmon filet defrosts quickly, and the salad makings in the fridge were still good, augmented with some pickled beets and I quickly hardboiled an egg to slice onto the salad. Finally!! I could take a break, sit down to dinner and get caught up on the news on TV.
I still needed to get down to the mailbox to collect a week's worth of mail and sort through that pile. And after dinner, those piles of dirty clothes grabbed my attention and I started the first of three loads of laundry before finally calling it quits for the night. And all of this after riding those last 400 miles home Saturday in 100 degree heat and fighting 25 mph winds on a motorcycle.
Sunday will be another day...there'll be a more thorough house cleaning to do, get clean sheets on the bed, finish doing the laundry and getting it folded and put away, get outside to send the sprinkler system through another cycle and start on cleaning out the weeds in the flower beds. Get some bills paid. Talk to former co-worker Steve about some issues, talk to Kevin about the upcoming SS1000 event next weekend, and review the registrations and print out some forms for that event. And pretty much just revel in the alone time, the peace and quiet of my own house without all of the outside "noise" that is unavoidable on a trip.