Waking up between the buzzing generators of sleepy semi trucks has become comfortable now. Bladders relieved, apples cut, jammies changed and blankets folded, we put our “temporary home” back together for forward motion and began day 20 in search of gas, coffee and ice for the cooler. It’s the simple motions of the morning, the routines that we revel in to root ourselves in normal. These are the things that help ground us in the midst of the inconsistency of travel. These things we cling to when the daybreak peeks into our cracked windows and gently wakes us by warming our skin. I will miss these sacred mornings. When school starts and life’s busyness begins, I will daydream myself back into these precious mornings.

Back in Time:

My brother, Caanan, and his girlfriend, Kristine, recently moved to Kentucky. On their way out to visit before moving there, they took a similar route we have taken on this trip. Out of all the places on the way, he said we had to check out the 1880 Town, an old west town set up in the middle of Nowhere, SD. (Actually, Midland, SD) We had a whole day to kill so we stopped in. This place is so cool. I like the way Jared reflected on it. He grew up on the east coast, you know, where our “history” is, and his family is steeped in our nation’s past. His mother’s textile work can be seen in several famous historical places including Colonial Williamsburg and Thomas Jefferson’s  Virginia home in Monticello. So, Jared has grown up around the preservation of our history on a grand scheme. His own childhood playground was on his family property, part of the National Historical Society, in Western New York. So he’s seen some stuff. And, after 14 years being together, I have too. But, even after all we’ve seen, there was a really neat charm to this 1880 town. It was about as “Little House On The Prairie” that you can get. Jared pointed out how “real” everything felt. The quality of the buildings and the things in them was far from pristine or even well kept up. On the contrary, it was dusty, cobwebbed, dilapidated and super charming! We walked through the whole town. Stopping into the saloon, post office, bank, people’s homes, the mayors office (where I snuck Rudy past the roped off area to put him in the mayors chair for a pic…then I had to explain to Rudy what a “rebel” was). We went into the old schoolhouse, talked about hitching posts, got arrested and put in jail, and went into the general store. I asked Rudy what he would buy if he shopped there.

“A robot costume.”

“Do you think they have those here?”

“Yep. See?”

Points to an old tin. ”Robot costume.”

Then in the hotel I pretended to be the concierge.

“How May I help you, partner?”

Without hesitation: “I’d like a disguise, please.”

“Well, this is a hotel. I can get you a room.”

“Ok. I’ll take a room.”

“Great. That will be $3.00 (more like ¢.25)”

Hold out my hand to receive his payment.

He immediately takes the “money” and runs off.

Well, when in the Wild West…

Another rudy gem was in the portrait studio.

Looking at glass display cabinet with photos.

“Mom, looks like this used to have donuts in this case. Then they traded them out for pictures.”

This is why touring with a four year old is rad.

We lunched in the train-turned-50’s diner, had 2 surprisingly delicious cheese burgers and headed back to “Rount Mushmore” (which he learned how to say properly on this drive and Jared and I took a minute to mourn his ever fleeting innocence…)

Back in Keystone!

This gem of a town did not disappoint yet again! Welcomed immediately as we walked in, we set up, changed and launched into our show to another lovely, welcoming audience. Kids screaming with laughter, grown ups sipping wine and beer, couples snuggling, babies cooing. Keystone, you provided paradise yet again. Grapes and Grinds is a little slice of heaven at the foot of a four-faced mountain, full of joy, sunshine and now, the echoes of two really awesome Champagne Sunday shows. It’s no wonder it’s always packed. We felt obligated, I mean we “had” to end our night with another wine tasting… to support the business, of course.


Heavenly Approval:

Once “Stinky” (rudy, obviously) was passed out, J and I cracked open 2 Chili beers from the generous Crow Peak haul, grabbed 2 apples, and sat beneath an ominous sky to watch Thor’s target practice with lightening behind the billowy clouds. Sitting on the asphalt up against the tires of our truck, we held hands and quietly communicated with one another our deep love. Not once is it lost on us how fortunate we are. With my absolute best friend by my side, we climbed into bed, curling around our sleeping son like parent-heses (see what I did there?) and were asleep in seconds. No need to visit dreamland tonight. We’re living in it.

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