That Same Old Drive

We go back and forth between Arizona and California often enough that I am sick of the ride. There are only two ways to travel. One is via Interstate 8 through the mountains west of San Diego. We pass so close to Mexico that my cell service switches over for awhile.  The other is our regular route, via Interstate 10. We rarely take the first route because I hate losing cell service while we drive through the mountains–just in case something goes wrong–because we are generally on a deadline. It’s also a little longer.

I10 takes us through the flat desert. I always thought this was the Mohave, but actually the southern boundary of the Mohave is just north of the 10. We drive through the northern section of the Colorado Desert. Go figure. Maybe that is why we drive over the Colorado River near Blythe. Or maybe the desert is named after the river.

Since we only make one stop each drive and it’s to get gas and have a potty break (5 minutes in and out), we never stop near the river, so I haven’t been able to take a pic of it.

But there are things I can snap as the car moves (since I’m not the one driving).

Look at that. Beheaded palm trees. This is the sort of view that gives me the creeps. I keep wondering what happened to their branches. You could say, “Where’s the green?” (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

There are the picturesque (to me) ruins of old gas stations and motels, generally covered with graffiti, but darned if I’ve been able to capture those either.

We go to California for work and to see our son and his fiancée.

After seeing them, I am always ready to head back home to this: Pear, Tiger, Kana, Felix.

I’m still working my way through the work that got behind this winter. Then I plan to get back to writing. Sigh.

Do you find it difficult to write when your head is too full of stuff to do?

52 Comments

Filed under Arizona, California, Cats and Other Animals, Nonfiction, Photographs, Sightseeing & Travel, Writing

52 responses to “That Same Old Drive

  1. Nice post, Luanne. I can imagine how endless your repeated drive must seem…over and over. And the photos…Love your kitties! I resonate with what you’re saying. My LIFE, lately, is too full of stuff to focus enough on writing. At least, it seems to keep me from producing much at all. Have to remind myself that I’M the one scheduling too much skiing, long hikes day after day, entertaining at home (friends over for tea, bridge at my place, brunch for my women’s walking group etc.), too much of everything. And of course, my son’s here on spring break for the week and we’re doing a lot together, e.g. cooking, going to movies. Writing is getting squeezed out, but no one is doing it but ME. And of course there’s getting ready for my upcoming river cruise, Budapest to Bucharest. As of today, however, I’m turning over a new SHAMROCK: finding time to write, even if it’s just an hour, EVERY DAY. Want to join me in that pledge?

    • I was just thinking of doing a post on the good things that keep us from writing. My tendency is to gripe about the bad or annoying activities keeping me away from scribbling. You both beat me to it!

      It’s very easy for me to get so caught up in my writing that I neglect keeping in touch with important people in my life. I think setting a certain amount of time for writing is a great thing if it doesn’t get you too angry if something or someone occasionally interrupts that time 😉 Luckily my family knows that when I don’t write I’m a monster so they give me space. lol.

      • Yeah, I can gripe up a storm about it all. And how tired I am that I can’t lift my brain off the ground. What you say about writing vs. people is one of my big problems. I will do that for awhile and then feel terrible and reach out to lots of people and then I’m overwhelmed. hahaha I can’t get the balance right!!

    • Elaine, I do. An hour is more than I can handle at this point. But 15 minutes I can commit to! Shamrock haha. Very cute!
      Your cruise sounds amazing. I hope you plan to post about it on your blog! OK, I am starting tomorrow with the writing commitment.

  2. It doesn’t have to be activities that stop me from writing. My biggest issue is when I am worried about something. Worry blocks a lot of stuff and writing is at the top of the list.

  3. For me, writing has always been a way to de-stress and get the clutter out of my mind. That photograph is beautiful, Luanne. Have you posted it before? It looks familiar to me for some reason.

    • Oh, I wish I could write away this clutter!!! This is a new photo. I don’t THINK I’ve taken one of this site before, but then I could have and forgot it :).

  4. Love the photos, Luanne. What happened to those Palm Trees? Yikes! Love the beautiful cat faces. For me, tax time (both ours and my husband’s parents’) has presented both the worry and the time-user. Plus a new copy-writing gig. Yet, as Elaine pointed out, one hour a day can be managed, and I did write for about six hours this week (wanting to write six hours per day)! I need more writing and exercise, so I am hoping to emulate both Elaine and Adrienne . . . once the taxes are done. Here’s to you all for a productive and blessed week!

    • I am so behind in my tax work that I lose my breath even thinking about it. I should be doing that instead of writing here, but I’m still exhausted and am not getting my stamina back.

  5. Not sure why I capitalized palm trees. Need some coffee.

  6. I find it hard to write when my life is too full of stuff to do. Based on the comment above, I’m not alone. If only we could write and edit while we’re driving, right? My recent long drives would be so productive then! (But terribly dangerous. 😉 )

    • Very often I don’t have to drive, but my husband tries to stay awake by playing loud music or talking to me and gets bored if I read for any length of time. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t want me writing in the car hahaha. If I were driving, I might try writing into a recorder ;).

  7. “Do you find it difficult to write when your head is too full of stuff to do?” Yes, yes, yes! You have said it exactly! The main problem in my life as far as my writing goes, is that my head is plugged with mundane, boring, trivia that I need to deal with.

  8. My day job grading essays and teaching literature to reluctant teens supersedes any “me”–yes, my head is filled with too much stuff during the school year. *sigh*

    • Ugh, now my head just exploded. It reminds me of all those years of grading papers. And why I should feel better now, but don’t. We can feel sorry for ourselves; it will make us feel better ;).

  9. I have done so little writing lately I feel like a Roman numeral. See? That made no sense at all. I love the decapitated trees. It looks like Morticia Adams has been through the landscape making adjustments.

    • I am feeling very Morticia-ish, and I do know what you mean. I feel like one of those long ones where numbers keep adhering to the original numbers, etc. Like German words.

  10. Interesting that graffiti can appear even in the most desolate of places!

    • Isn’t it? But then the I10 gets a ton of traffic between Phoenix and LA, two of the biggest cities in the west. Maybe the biggest cities in the west.

  11. I’ve never seen “beheaded” palm trees. Makes for an interesting setting. Safe travels, Luanne. xo

    • Haha, isn’t that creepy, though? I keep wondering what happened to them. Are they alive or are they dead? A good setting for a murder mystery, I think. xo

  12. Check out my blog when you get the chance 🙂

  13. I solve the difficulty by writing about stuff I do 🙂 Great shot on the move

    • Thanks, Derrick! It is so frustrating and then the windows are always dirty and if I try to roll mine down, I get a guilt trip from the driver haha.
      It’s true that blogging does keep us up on writing in a way.

  14. This thread of comments has helped me to feel better; I’m not alone in my struggle. Thanks for all the sharing about hindrances as well as about victories. As the English say, we will “muddle through,” and perhaps even reach the productive zone more often with our creative efforts. 🙂

    • I’m glad it has helped, Carla. I think it’s more the exception than the rule that a time and space to write doesn’t come with so many “hindrances.”

  15. Great cat shots!!!! OMG… beheaded palm trees??? Freaky!

  16. That same old drive would be a HUGE adventure to me. It’s all about seeing things through other people’s eyes sometimes.
    The other thing that struck me reading your post is how much history must be associated with all the places you pass. I have trouble getting from A to B because I want to dig around in the most unlikely spots.

    I’ve found that when there’s absolutely a clean slate, there’s no guarantee that words will flow so I guess it’s about writing whatever the circs.

    • I’m sure there is history, but is it recorded history? And is it human history? I say that because I can’t believe Native Americans lived in such places as the desert is so undesirable without air conditioning! Or maybe they did live there in the winters and then moved in the summers? But, yes, there must have been 20th century history for sure.

  17. The desert picture is lovely, even if there are no tops to the trees. I so miss the desert. We’re in the middle of a snowstorm up here in Alaska, so count yourself blessed on that count. I get it about having a head too full to concentrate on writing. It really sucks, especially when you want to write, need to write, long to write and yet simply can’t find the time or energy.
    P.S. I love your cats. We need to get more cats (ours all died of old age last year. It was a tough, tough year). There’s nothing like a cat in the house, is there?
    Cheers and have a great weekend.

    • Cats are the BEST. They keep me sane, or at least sort of. They calm me down. Maybe they are my therapy cats ;).
      SNOW. Yikes! I never made it to Alaska last August when I tried to. The best I could do was enjoying my daughter’s trip there vicariously. She went in 2014 to perform in Les Mis, and she sent me videos of animals following her along the roadside, etc.

  18. I love the fact your life is busy and full of things to do but you take the time to comment and post branch-less cacti. You have special mission on these trips to see son and fiancée. Hugs to the precious quartet of kitties. If they were boys, you could name them Ringo, John, Paul and George. Ha ha! ❤

    • Actually when I had my Mackie man, before Kana, I had a perfect choir–one of each, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. But now I have soprano, 2 altos, and a tenor. Hehehe.

  19. Yes, I need to clear up my head to be productive. It’s sometimes an effort but when I reach this state of mind, it’s wonderful. Best to you, Luanne.

  20. I am so behind on everything–and just discovered that I never saw this post. Does that answer your question. 🙂
    I missed my kitty cat boys while I was away last week.

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