The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Eve Of July 8, 2012

What thanks can I offer to all of you who’ve made this trip possible? I see the donations come in, I breathe a little easier, and yet I don’t. I’ve been given so much help from my friends over the past three – nay, almost four – years, and I begin to feel a little as if I need soon to be doing something for others. But for now I will receive all this kindness because I know you felt inspired to help. I’ll honor that by using your help to create a journey for Elihu and me that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

The eve of the journey is a tense time for me. How do I sleep? I printed out our directions, I have my maps, my car is ready, our bags are packed. Elihu was even asleep hours ago, allowing me the time to collect my thoughts and my things in the quiet of a nighttime house. Seeing all those driving directions had me a bit intimidated. Me? Afraid of getting places? Ha!

I can remember finding my way to a boat docked in a small harbor in Portugal with little more than the name of a nearby town – no language, little money (and carrying ten pounds of white flour – staples requested by the captain. Can you imagine making it through international airports carrying ten pounds of a white powdery substance? Whew. A more innocent time it was.) Once in Indonesia, not quite sure exactly where my hotel was, I navigated lanes upon lanes of traffic in Jakarta during a monsoon rain and finally arrived there by way of a trade: my western cigarettes for a one final wild ride in a Bajai that got me there safe. I’ve done hundreds of singing telegrams and in so doing was made to find every manner of crazy out-of-the-way joint you can imagine. All long before GPS. (We did, however, had GPS on the boat, that’s where I first learned of it.) And I love maps. If I lack some good bedside reading material, a map will do. Then again, it may do too well. I might be up all night reading it, cuz I just love to think about going places.

I really shouldn’t fret about the actual ‘getting there’ part. But still, that’s the part which has me up late and unable to sleep. Man, how did we do it thirty years ago? Was it so hard? Didn’t we just take the highways, take most likely looking exit and just ask local folks where to go from there? That must have been how we did it. People have been making car trips for decades without benefit of GPS… I gotta relax. Gotta remember it’s still in me. I can do this car trip thing.

Oh, but I’ve gone off on a tangent, when what I’d wanted to do in this final homemade post was to thank all of you so much. We two are so excited, so happy. Truly we are embarking on a modern day adventure. We know where we’re going, and yet we know not. It’s the little serendipitous surprises that make it so magical. So I guess it’s the anticipation of the things I know not that has me so keyed up at this late hour.

Thanks, dear friends. And now, finally, I’m off to bed. I think I’m ready to sleep now.

 

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