Friday, January 16, 2009

Sunday, January 11th: Time to Move On

I woke up in the utter darkness of 5:54 a.m. to Sara nudging me. "Susi, weren't you guys going to leave, like, now?" I mumbled something incoherent to her (I knew what I was saying) about Erin and I deciding to get up at 5:55. Except I said 6:55, which caused a mild aneurysm in Sara, since she has church, and was planning on stopping at the Pan Am Starbucks with us and then heading home to shower and go to church. Once my hazy brain realized the misunderstanding, I clarified: "No, no, I'm getting up at 5:55." "It is 5:55." "Well, yes, it is now..."

Anyway, Mom was up to see us off, so we packed in our last few things and headed to the Bux. I had stuffed several bags of clothes behind the passenger seat which was making Erin rather grumpy. I can't imagine why. I mean, sure, her seat would only go back far enough for her to sit at attention with her knees folded into the dashboard, but it was only a 12 hour drive we had ahead of us.

At Starbucks, Sara and I had our last cigarette together. Ever. Because I am quitting when I get to Seattle. After some thought, I revisited the car logistics and decided to ditch a bag of clothes and the sleeping bags we'd brought. Erin's mood changed drastically when we got back in the car and headed down 66 West. I'm sure it was more the coffee than the fact that she could move without grinding against dashboards or car doors...

Since we were passing right by Bradley's house on the way out of town, we (or maybe just I) had decided we'd stop by, wake him up, say goodbye, and then send him back to bed and leave for real. When we arrived, all was quiet...

Susanna sneaks up to the front door

Bradley was way excited to get up before the sun just to say goodbye one more time. You can see how excited and awake he is:

Bradley: Bright-eyed & bushy-tailed

Although I don't look too perky myself. That stop made this whole leaving thing start to sink in. I knew we needed to get on the road, but part of me felt like if I just stayed a little longer, maybe I'd wake up and realize I'm still here. Not that I want to be. Except part of me does.

I drove the first few legs of the trip. Normally, I gladly relinquish morning driving to my fellow travelers. Today was different. I needed to drive myself out of town. I needed to actively take this step, my own foot choosing to hit the gas and carry myself West.

Erin and I had a great day. We read some scripture and prayed to start out the trip. Music, conversation, laughter. Air guitar.

Susanna has mad skillz

Erin had some fun with the camera. And with her journal. I thought she was waxing eloquent with deep thoughts and poetic insights. Well...

We got REALLY excited when we finally hit Tennessee.

Erin leaps for joy

When we came across a Best Buy, Erin asked to stop in "really quick" to find a computer game she really wanted (to alleviate the boredom of being next to me in a tiny car for 9 days straight). I agreed, not really understanding what "really quick" meant. I took extremely bored pictures to make her feel bad. :)

Susi bored SENSELESS waiting for a computer game

Our first stop on this trip was Chattanooga, TN, where my friends Andrea & Justin live. I haven't seen them for at least a couple years, not since they moved down there. It was really wonderful to hang out with them. We just picked up where we left off. Great conversation, great food, AMAZING, monstrous pancakes at Aretha Frankenstein's.

Justin & Erin walking out of Aretha's after a VERY satisfying meal

Justin & Andrea: thanks so much for the great company and a place to rest our weary heads.

Justin and Andrea!! (don't worry, his eye didn't actually get poked out by her glasses)

At some point that day, I can't really remember when, I had this moment where I thought to myself: "What am I doing??!? Who thought this was a good idea? Am I insane?" It passed. Mostly, I'm really excited about all of this. I can't wait to see how God uses this time in my life.

Erin wants to move to Chattanooga. We'll see. We've got a few places left to visit.


  1. Okay, first of all, I was VERY excited to hear that you are planning to stop smoking because I was planning for it to just be really hard for you to be smoking and me not to join you. But since I've gone without for 3 months now and have 9 more months to go before I can get non-smoker health insurance rates, I figured out that if I smoked at this point it would be about a $120 cigarette.

    Second, I was at a friend's wedding with Leah and Lily and we were imagining what a beautiful flower girl Lily would be but lamenting that basically all our good friends are already married. Then I came up with a plan. You can meet a guy out here and decide that it makes the most sense to have the wedding out here and Lily can be your bridesmaid and Caleb your ring bearer. But then I got to thinking, I'm sure you'd want to have Amber in there somewhere and OF COURSE Rock would have to be. No problem because Leah agreed that she would definitely want to go to your wedding even if it means traveling. SOOO, it can be on the East Coast (to make the bride's parents happy, not to mention that that's where most of your friends are) and you can have two flower girls and two ring bearers. Now all we have to do is find the husband. Hmmm...I'm thinking, I'm thinking!!!

  2. i'm very impressed with your elaborate plan. however, you must remember that me meeting mr. right out in seattle is exactly mom's worst fear ever...