Until yesterday, my plans for the summer of 2021 included lots of time sitting in the Mighty Small Farm’s garden, listening to chickens squabble and a cat complain; at least some time at local beaches being awed by the gorgeousness of nature; and a fair amount of time cooking interesting food from local farms and also thinking about cooking interesting food, which really is one of my favorite ways to spend my time these days. Oh, and I suppose at least some time spent struggling with all my writing projects (none of which are going anywhere fast.)

As of today, my plans involve a lot more driving. When I woke up this morning, I was not so sure that was a good thing, because the thought of long days of driving was… well, uninspiring. But the Best Brother Ever sent me a text, I called him in response, and four hours later, I have a plan which is feeling kinda delightful.

I’ll leave here on Monday, June 7th. (Hopefully with working propane in the van.) I’ll spend Monday night in Nevada, Tuesday night in Utah, and Wednesday night in Saratoga, Wyoming. On Thursday, I have a reservation to drive into Rocky Mountain National Park. Unfortunately, it’s late — the only slot available was 4PM – 6PM and there’s no camping in the park this year. But I’ll take some pictures, admire some scenery, and then find a place to stay somewhere near Denver.

Friday morning, I’ll pick up the Best Brother Ever at the Denver airport. He’ll drive with me through the weekend — most likely through Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, a tiny sliver of West Virginia and into Pennsylvania. Maybe we’ll get to visit an aunt and uncle in western PA, but either way, we’ll try to make it to his house by Tuesday the 15th at the latest. Yeah, that’s about a week to go cross-country which is no one’s idea of a good time, but it’s going to be so much nicer with company for part of the drive.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will pick blueberries and appreciate the garden house and also do something fun with my niece. I’m not sure what that fun looks like — I suspect I’m not going to be feeling super enthusiastic about long drives — but I’d love to drag her with me on a short trip to the Massachusetts coastline to visit friends and relatives there. We’ve both been vaccinated, and it would be so nice to hug some people. (#1 on the list, Barbara!)

Regardless of how I spend the end of June, in first week of July I’ll join the BBE and his family for a week’s vacation in Vermont. Summer in Vermont, yay! I’m picturing lemonade and Adirondack chairs and wandering around cute small towns. I bet there will also be swimming and ice cream and cooking delicious meals.

On the 10th we’ll head back to Pennsylvania and on the 15th or 16th, the BBE and I will start driving south. Ideally we’ll reach Florida with a few days to spare before my dad has back surgery — time to hang out and catch up and have good conversations. There will, of course, be plenty of time for those conversations post his surgery, too — it’s optional back surgery, nothing that requires melodrama — but the recovery period’s not going to be much fun for him. But I will be glad to be there to walk the dog and run errands and drive places as needed. And visit Floridian friends, too, of course!

I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Florida. Living in a metal box in August in Florida is not going to be super comfortable. But right now I expect that I’ll be there through August and probably into September. Of course, plans can change. This week is proof of that. So I’m not going to stress about things I can’t predict. Sufficient unto the day, right? Meanwhile, I’m so much more looking forward to the next several weeks than I was yesterday. I am going to miss the Mighty Small Farm enormously but it’s going to be so nice to hug all the people that I haven’t seen since the Covid Times began.

Gina will disapprove most thoroughly of this plan. She’s not going to be pleased to lose her second human servant. I suspect there will be much complaining. And honestly, I’m going to miss her enormously. Not so much the complaining, but very much the purring and the cute. She’s a cat with immense personality.