Steinbeck had Charlie,
the dog along as a traveling companion. If I had brought a dog along
on this trip, he'd be dead by now.
Very hot from Kansas City to
Des Moines and I could drive 45 minutes and then had to stop and recuperate.
I sprinkled my shirt with cold water and driving 60 mph kept myself from
drying up and blowing away completely.
So I took plenty of time getting
to Ellen's beautiful and cool house in an elegant section of Des Moines.
Houses here have brick and ironwork gates, rolling lawns, large fan-like
trees, Tudor-style and English homes. When Ellen arrived from seeing
a movie with friends that she didn't want to see, we spent the rest of
the evening discussing space and how people use it and decorate it.
She is an unpretentious but loaded-with-great-taste lady (HOW DOES she
do that?) and her home is remarkable because it looks great but is inviting
at the same time. It isn't over decorated and it doesn't try to impress.
It just IS so comfortable with itself that you are calmed and comforted
in the rooms. I slept under a feather duvet and could have luxuriated
But we had friends to meet
at the Drake Diner--an upscale, frosted windows place that Seno looked
very good parked in front of. We had a great girl talk with Ellen's
friends and the value of women in the lives of women. They were very
supportive of my nutty trip and with a "go, girl!" from them, I was
off again. In the heat.
But north of Des Moines there
was a strip of clouds. Seno and I ran for it! The evening before
I had welcomed the trucks rolling by just to get into some shade.
So the clouds were a welcomed sight. A little sprinkling was just
FINE because then I didn't have to douse myself with water from my drinking