I Remember That Longing From My Highway Days

With a high of 72 waiting for us, and the perfect storm of my daughter and I both going to bed at a decent hour last night, we are finally going to work on her portfolio today. While this doesn’t actually require a drive to Austin, we pretend it does, because we’ll take and make any excuse to go up there.

I love shooting my daughter, as she has been doing this long enough that when I give her what seems like conflicting directions (“turn your head a little more to the left, chin up, eyes down, look at me but past me, back to the right just a smidge”), she follows them exactly. She knows how to not smile, smile just a little bit, a little bit more, big smile, big smile with teeth, perfect! She can stay perfectly still while I bracket like crazy (shooting a photo with just slightly varied settings to either direction of the original settings). She knows what I mean when I tell her to flip her hair (some people fluff it with their hand, when really, I mean to fling the head forward and back quickly so that it has body and movement). Best of all, she is a master of changing clothes in the car, including putting on a wedding dress in the backseat of a Nissan 200SX.

Because Austin is at a higher elevation, it is cooler and greener than where we live. Besides, after last night’s downtown event here, downtown is going to be a disaster for the day. Austin also has great graffiti, cool random art installations, and amazing architecture. Of course, there are also the lakes, Zilker park, and the Capitol building. Best of all, there is the original Chuy’s and IKEA.


The jalapeno cream sauce on the left is the food of the gods. I could drink it like soup, although it is meant for eating with tortilla chips or for pouring onto your food.

My husband doesn’t understand my wanderlust, nor does he appreciate how truly difficult it is for me to stay in one place. Driving up to Austin eases that need to go…just go…in any direction, as long as it is not here. It has nothing to do with being happy or unhappy. Honestly, I believe wanderlust is genetic. My father had it, and my daughter is also afflicted.

It’s days like today that I miss my friend Sean the most. We were both explorers at heart, willing to drop everything and drive for hours and hours, just because. I actually got fired from a job because we decided (on the night that a major project was due) to go to a local taco place. We thought there was one on a particular highway, but there wasn’t, so we kept driving. Eight hours later, we wound up in El Paso, where we did indeed find the taco place we were looking for. We ended up spending the night and driving home the next day. My project was a day late…which would seem as though it’s not the end of the world (it wasn’t to me, anyway), but other people didn’t see it  in quite the same light.

However, today I must control my urges, and contain myself to the Austin/Round Rock area. I think I can handle it. The photography will keep my mind off the burning desire, and eventually I will be tired enough that it will pass.

“Lucky my daughter got her mother’s nose
And just a little of her father’s eyes
And we’ve got just enough love
That when the longing takes me
It takes me by surprise
And I remember that longing from my highway days
When I never could give it a name
And it’s lucky I discovered in the nick of time
That the woman and the child aren’t to blame

For the hole in the middle of a pretty good life
I only face it ’cause it’s here to stay
Not my father nor my mother nor my daughter nor my lover
Nor the highway made it go away
But now there’s too much darkness in an endless night
To be afraid of the way I feel
I’ll be kind to my loved ones
Not forever but for real”




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