Well, we've put down stakes for the time being. Not because we've landed someplace we love (not that we haven't—it's too soon to tell), but because of a predetermined work commitment that requires us to stay put for a few months' time. Unfortunately, for the sake of Internet safety, it wouldn't be prudent of me to spell out where, exactly, we are. So, that changes a few things around here, especially in the sidebar; I won't be linking to any of our haunts until we leave this city for another. No big deal—just a heads-up to explain any vagueness. [As of 5/8/16, all links and city-specifics for our time in Oklahoma City and the surrounding area are updated.]
In other news: There's a spider who's traveled with us since August. We think we picked her up at a state park outside of St. Louis, but since she didn't exactly have her thumb out, we can't be sure when she joined us. When we drive, she disappears into the driver's side mirror. This has gotten her safely through Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and a couple of other states to where we are now.
She's rebuilt her web several times. She's had to. At each week-long stop, she's come out and begun the arduous task of fabricating a web from scratch, producing and floating out silk radials, waiting for them to attach to some other part of the vehicle, then reeling in and tightening. She's an adhesive mason. A stringed instrument.
One evening last week, right around sunset, we stood outside and marveled at the size of her most recent creation and how it spread over one of our windows. She was out, too—no doubt waiting for her dinner to find itself stuck. I wanted to leave her alone, but I also wanted her gone. The thought of spider eggs hatching in some cranny of the RV was too much for me to bear. I swatted at my ankle. My teeth chattered. We plotted ways to get her down, sometimes in disagreement about whether or not a casualty was okay. At the very least, you had to admire her tenacity. (Didn't she deserve a sign above her that read SOME SPIDER or TERRIFIC?) We solicited the advice of neighbors walking their dogs. We hemmed and hawed and strategized. The sun went down.
"I guess it's too dark to do anything now," one of us said. The other agreed. I shuddered and we went inside.
It's overcast today and the windows are dirty, splotchy and streaky from a wayward sprinkler that comes on in the night. As if on cue, there's an October nip in the air. The crows are making a racket about having the picnic shelter to themselves. I've put up a few special Halloween decorations—a wooden jack-o-lantern ornament, a felt leaf garland, a pair of Día de los Muertos skulls. I'll go for a walk in a bit, maybe carry a tumbler of hot tea, stretch my legs, and wave to the neighbors.
Notes from the week of September 27
+ armadillos (sadly, on the side of the road)
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ Matcha Love iced green tea (definitely prefer sweetened)
+ Mexican mocha cold brew coffee with almond milk
+ dirty chai with almond milk
+ quinoa black bean tacos (omg, heaven)
+ pumpkin seeds
+ pepper jack cheese
+ chickpea curry with cauliflower
+ spicy black bean sliders with chipotle mayo (making these tonight!)
+ still with the whiskey sours
+ queso and chips
LOCAL COLOR EXPERIENCED
+ betting at Remington Park, the local horse races (we lost some and won some)
+ practicing swings at Topgolf
+ exploring the casino side of Remington Park
+ watching The Martian at the local movie theater (so, so good)
+ autumn leaves (though all the trees still look green to me)
+ Robin, at the clubhouse front desk
+ couple with matching hot pink shirts and two teacup Chihuahuas
+ hostess at Remington Park restaurant
+ man who washes RVs and trailers