Spring Interlude

His eyes met mine in the rearview mirror. I bit my lip. I didn’t know when I’d see him again. I’d stolen a few days away from my husband – to visit family, I said. As I drove away, I thought about the long walks we’d taken. The way he loved it when I stroked his head as he lay it in my lap. The intense way he watched my every move, ready to do anything, just to spend time with me. His brown eyes were so eloquent, and I swear I could see sadness in them as I pulled out of the driveway. Then I thought about the cute way he kind of growled in his throat when my attention wandered. And the goofy way he looked when he caught a donut on his nose. Yep. I would miss Riley, the Wonder Dog, Border Collie extraordinaire. I’m a cat person, but that dog and I dote on each other.

So. Mr. GG and I just got back from a road trip. He went to the Society for American Archaeology meetings in St. Louis, and I drove on to Illinois to visit my siblings. Guess who had the best time? Moi. It was summer in Illinois – like 80 degrees warm, sun shining, spring busting out all over, flowers blooming. And my family is wonderful. I lucked out in the genetics end of things. I cherish the time I get to spend with them.

And I really like road trips with Mr. GG. We always talk and laugh and want to stop at the same places. Except for maybe, Holiday Inns. He gets bonus points for staying at Holiday Inns, and they give you free breakfast (which Mr. GG goes down the elevator to get, bringing me back coffee to wake me up, and yogurt and cinnamon rolls). But this time, the universe was messing with Holiday Inns. In Nebraska, we stopped really late, and the one we got to about 10 p.m. had a broken key machine, so very few people were staying there. Because this sweet girl named Heather had to unlock both the outer door and the room door with her master key anytime we left the room. Luckily we were too tired to make multiple trips to the car or to the restaurant.

And the next night in Wyoming, the Holiday Inn there had fixed their key machine (It had broken the night before too – whoa, is someone hacking Holiday Inn computers?). But they had no hot water. When we tried to call the front desk, the phones didn’t work. The phone fix was easy – someone had disconnected all the lines in the room, but we had to wait for morning for hot water. Inconvenient, but small glitches in the overall scheme of things.

After presenting at a session, and listening to countless other sessions by archaeologists from all over the country, Mr. GG had a LOT to tell me. He went on a lot about hermaneutical injustice, which is something to do with the way your language prejudices you to cultural stuff. I don’t even know if I spelled it right. It kinda went in one ear, and then dissipated in my brain. But the thing that caught my fancy was some paper on fecal analysis – somebody figured out that the presence of a particular type of fungus in the soil is an indicator that you had prehistoric elephants in the vicinity. The stuff is called Dung Fungus. Which sounds like a wonderful swear word to me. Except when you try to say it fast, it can come out like Fundungus. Still, I can see this being added to my repertoire of insults. “You stupid dung fungus!”, I imagine myself cursing the driver in front of me who makes a left turn way after the light turns red (this situation is endemic when one drives in Utah).

Much as I love road trips, I love to be home. My tulips and hellebores were blooming up a storm, and I had one day to appreciate them before it snowed. Stupid fungdungus weather.


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