Summer Plans

Oh my! So far 2015 has been a hell of a year. And I mean that in the best possible way. I know I promised y’all a further discussion about what makes a book a good book (not an empirical index, simply my opinion), but I seem to be living inside a tornado. Not the nice calm eye of the storm either, but the messy entanglements of gale force winds. And I love it. Because it’s been a while, I thought I’d drop an update in the life of Jove on y’all.

righteousAs I mentioned, I’m crazy busy. The  only downside I see isn’t really a downside. I’m crazy busy with work and struggling to fit all my living into tidy workday blocks. That’s made even squishier because I work from home. I have a laptop that I use when I want to spend some time near my family (not really with because I’m still focused on work) and when I need to work without distraction, I move to my office. The result is I tend to start working when I wake up and continue until I go back to bed at night.

Thank god I love what I do.

It’s not all work and no play, though. I have the flexibility to meet folks for lunch or hang out with my kids or go grocery shopping with Tara or any other thing that catches my fancy. Like a six-week road trip with my family this summer.

Yeah, you totally read that right. And yes, I’m pretty sure we’re all going to be homicidal by day two. But we’re still going and my kids are going to love it. Dammit.

We don’t have a set agenda, just a list of target locations with some rough idea of when we should reach certain places. There are a couple of hard deadlines, but I’m pretty sure we’ll make those okay. Where are we going? The highlights:

  • Idaho to visit family and celebrate our niece’s birthday.
  • Yellowstone because Old Faithful and bears!
  • Nebraska to visit old friend and to hang at Willa Cather’s house.
  • Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument in South Dakota. For some reason, Wyatt really wants to see the mountain-sized heads of dead presidents. And I really want to see the Crazy Horse monument.
  • Oklahoma. Because my mom was born in a tiny little town called Slapout. And really, who could resist visiting that if for no other reason than the photo op.
  • Houston to stay with friends (Laydin Michaels and MJ Williamz) who are awesome and providing us a safe place to drop our trailer for a couple of weeks while we’re on the section of our trip where we won’t need it.
  • New Orleans. I’m going to hang out with a bunch of book reading and writing lesbians at GCLS. I’m on a couple of panels and Women and Words will have a vendor table as well, so drop by and say hi! Tara plans to spend her time getting tattooed with Kim Rieff (AKA KC Richardson), eating beignets and oyster po’ boys, and exploring the city. No idea what we’re going to do with the kids during all this, but that’s a technicality. 🙂
  • Pensacola, or rather the Naval base just north of Pensacola, where my cousin and her husband and their two beautiful children live. We’re going to spend a night at their place, give the kids a chance to play and enjoy one another, and then we’re headed to…
  • Orlando! Because Disneyworld is the happiest place on earth. That’s according to all of my kids and Tara. We’ll go on lots of rides, probably get sunburned, definitely get nauseous, possibly throw up in a trashcan, and then wake up and do it all over again.
  • Galvaston by way of Houston because our friends invited us to hang out at the Gulf with them for a bit. And who says no to THAT?
  • Arches National Park, plus a bunch of other cool places like that in Arizona. Because Tara’s always wanted to go there. And, you know, dinosaurs.
  • Salt Lake City, well, actually Provo. Because friends! I love friends and I try to keep some in every state. 🙂
  • Back through Southern Idaho, and then HOME.

I expect a few things from this trip.

First, we’ll create some awesome memories that my kids will draw on for the rest of their lives. I hope.

Second, we’ll all get really good at not killing one another.

Third, I’ll really appreciate my house and bed and air conditioning and a full sized refrigerator and a kitchen in general and all of the other things that come with living in a house with six bedrooms instead of a trailer with no privacy.

Fourth, we will all nap for about twelve days after we get home.

Fifth, my kids will have a better understanding of the country they live in. And so will Tara and I.

While we’re on the road, we’re going to keep a travel journal with pictures and postcards and random facts and stories about each state. While we’re on the road, if you’d like to get a postcard from a random stop from an exhausted and likely ill-tempered family, leave me a comment below and I’ll be in touch to get an address.

What are the rest of y’all doing this summer? Any big plans?

And, just for fun, here’s a playlist of some awesome acoustic versions of a few of my favorite songs. Enjoy!


27 thoughts on “Summer Plans

  1. Don’t know where you are headed in Idaho, but wave if you got through Boise, and I will wave back


    1. Dana, we’ll be in Nampa. I grew up out by Lake Lowell, in the middle of nowhere between Nampa, Caldwell, and Marsing. I doubt we’ll stop in Boise, but I’ll honk and wave as we drive through on I-84!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so jealous! In a good way… I have always wanted to do a trip like that through both Canada (my country) and the States (my wife’s country-of-birth). Arches National Park, the Crazy Horse Monument and Yellowstone are places I would like to just sit and soak up the vibes I hear so much about, and write. My God, can you imagine the writer-vibes in those places?!? Postcards? Hell, yes, please!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara and I have talked about making a trip like this for years. And this year we decided to stop talking about it and just do it. We’re lucky in that our income is portable and I can work anywhere with an internet connection. 🙂

      I’ll email soon to get that address.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I had to go take a nap after reading that itinerary. But seriously, what a great experience to give yourselves. Have fun!


  4. I thought a road trip from Missouri to GCLS. Than another one from Missouri to California. Plus lots of family and friends visiting us in our new home would be a lot. You win the busy summer award.


  5. If you survive your six week trip, Jove, you ARE the women, and don’t let anyone EVER tell you differently!!! See you in Nola! 🙂


    1. lol, RJ, it might end up being a much shorter trip. Or a much longer trip. We’re just going to flow with it. Regardless, we’re going to enjoy the hell out of it!


  6. Essential items to take with you: Wet Wipes, Starlight mints, Advil, Chapstick, and more Wet Wipes!!! Safe travels to you and your family…enjoy every mile and memory 🙀😎👍


  7. Some of the best things about traveling with kids is that they become excellent at geography, learn how to read maps, and appreciate the unique qualities of different regions. Have fun!


    1. I’m especially excited about that part. Our kids are the perfect age because they’re both so curious and they just soak up any information they get their hands on.


  8. I think you, Tara and the kids are so lucky to be doing this. I would love to do this in Australia, just pick up and travel to each state but alas with Aust being as big as mainland USA I think I would need more than 6 weeks, plus I’m not good with my concentration and long distances so it would take me even longer to do the journey. Who knows one day I may sell the motorbikes and buy a caravan and then just up and go around Australia. Hope you enjoy your travels and you are right, you will make memories for the rest of your lives. Safe travels.


    1. Well, we’re not even hitting half of the states, but it’s certainly a good start. Next year we won’t be able to take a major trip like this, but we’ll try again the year after. I love road trips. They help me to think about life differently. And I’m super excited to share the experience with Tara and our kids.

      I hope you get to make your dream road trip around Australia soon. 🙂


  9. You should do Wall Drug while you’re in South Dakota. When I was nine we drove from NJ to Vancouver–via Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. We did Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone. But, for some reason Wall Drug left the biggest impression. I have no idea why. And yes, I want a random postcard or two 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did you know that Dora lived in South Dakota when she was a kid? Not forever, but a few years in the middle of her childhood. Anyway, the two things I remember her and her mom talking about? Black Hills gold and Wall Drug.


  10. At Mt Rushmore drive Rt. 16A. Super fun. I almost made the kids carsick, but they loved it. It’s almost as good as a Disney ride. I second the Wall Drug visit – my godson got my then 18 year-old to buy him ninja throwing stars there; his mother still speaks to me, thankfully. I also bought the kitchiest tchotchke I have ever seen there- a prairie dog with a snow globe stomach that has another prairie dog in it. That place is full of junk and so much fun, especially for kids. Wall is right by Badlands National Monument, which is an awesome drive. If you haven’t been to the Badlands before, it’s worth driving through. Leave time for walking and climbing on things at Arches.

    My parents took us three girls on a cross country trip similar to this when I was nine. I will never forget it. I’ve since taken my kids on similar road trips and they loved it. Have fun! Be prepared to eat junk food. We always had a no video rule in the car, so you see the scenery.

    This summer I’m going to my favorite place in the world, Star Island off the coast of NH (yes, NH has a coast). I go to the same conference I’ve been going to since I was a kid. This will be the first year, though, that I go back and do a week of volunteering at the end of the season. I picked that week because they have the Star Women conference going on then and also a choral music workshop (I love to sing). Volunteers can hang out with the conferees when they aren’t working :). I’ll be in the shop anyway, so will get to meet people. When you do a road trip to New England, I highly recommend you make a visit to Star :).


    1. Ann! I love that you have such fabulous travel memories! I hope my children enjoy it as much as you and yours have.

      And, if we ever make a trip to New England, I’ll be sure to visit Star Island. 🙂


  11. Sounds like a action packed 6 weeks and good luck with everyone sharing that little bit of space! I expect to see you scale Mount Rushmore and have the family take a picture of you up there just hanging out with the boys talking about how times have changed 🙂


    1. Dawn, I’m hoping we can get a walk through of the tunnels behind the faces. I think Wyatt would get a huge kick out of that.

      Many pictures to follow. 🙂


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