I am bone-tired, and I am only halfway home.
My student pulpit is 300 miles north of Los Angeles, and the drive up and back is a challenging routine. The challenge on the way up is to escape LA traffic and get to Merced on time, while taking enough stretching breaks that I can walk comfortably when I get there. The drive home, on Sunday afternoon, is a bigger challenge: I start out tired sometime after noon, and I need to be in class in Los Angeles, with whatever prep is required, by 8:30 am.
Some weeks I breeze right through it. One week a tire blew out, and I didn't get home until Monday afternoon. This is a more typical week, since we had Purimshpiel last night, and more Purimstuff this morning with the kids, and my neighbors at the motel had a baby. I kept waking up, looking for my crying baby, and then remembering that Jamie is 21.
So by the time I got down the road a bit today, I felt my eyelids fluttering. I stopped in one little town for a nap, after setting the alarm on my car and reclining the front seat. The nap helped a bit, so I drove on here to Tulare, where I have a regular stop at the Starbucks, for caffiene and an email break. It's 5 pm, and I've got, oh, I'd say three hours ahead of me, if I don't need any more naps.
The other side of the long drive is that it's full of wonders. Driving up, on Friday, I saw what this winter's monster rains have done to the wilderness lands north of LA. I drove through the sections of the Angelus Forest that burned last year, and saw the charcoal skeletons of trees surrounded by several shades of green, along with carpets of wildflowers. Everything is lush; the vegetation is drunk on rain. The Californian in me thought, "hmmm, large fuel load" (thinking ahead to fire season) but gosh, it's beautiful now.
So far on this weekend I've driven through three different storms, and seen two rainbows. That's a new record for me.