We’re now within a couple of days of casting off for The Ozarks, this time for good. As we approach that moment, the metaphor that fits is “herding cats” — little stuff, all over the damned place, needs to be done or gathered or put to rest. Naturally, it can’t all be accomplished at once.

And so Deb and I pinball between the campground and Second Chance Ranch and storage and a dozen other places. The process is tolerable because it has a purpose. It’s wearying, though, and takes a maddening amount of time.

What we don’t have time for, it seems, is sleep — specifically, enough sleep. Our batteries are depleted. We have just two days and two nights to catch up.

Most of our Saturday was occupied with making the inside of the bus look more like a home and less like another storage unit. Over the last ten days we’ve been tossing stuff in without organizing or stowing it, creating piles to be dealt with later.

We can’t (and we don’t) live in chaos like that, and “later” was yesterday. It took us hours, a maddening game that was both Jenga and Tetris in three dimensions. We got it done, or mostly done, making Ernie livable again.

I expect we’ll finish today.

We loaded the SilverSilverado and drove back to the house, parking in the neighbors’ driveway to avoid interfering with any showings that might be happening. (We’ve had ten so far, by the way, though no offers yet, and three more showings are scheduled for today.) Deb picked up a package our neighbor had scooped from our front porch, while I checked the mailbox (just in case) and dropped our house keys in a kitchen drawer.

Then Deb had a little ritual she wanted to perform. Using a borrowed trowel she dug a hole between a couple of shrubs in front of the house and buried a small figurine of Saint Joseph. She recited a short prayer and walked away.

It’s a thing, apparently, supposed to bring good fortune. Whatever it takes.

Our purge earlier in the day had produced a bunch of stuff that simply wouldn’t fit in the bus. Another run to the storage unit was in order — we managed to shoehorn-in everything we’d brought, not to be seen again until The Move to The Mountain.

On our way out of town we stopped to pick up new rugs that Deb had ordered for Ernie’s master bathroom. While she was inside the store I slumped in the driver’s seat and watched shoppers come and go. Y’know what I saw?


I’d estimate that 30% to 40% of those people were wearing face diapers as they crossed the outdoor parking lot. And I’ll just point out the obvious — well over half of black shoppers were masked. The sight was striking and quite unexpected, even for purplish central Ohio.

Man, I can’t wait to get back to the good sense of The Ozarks.

By the time we turned back toward our campground we were hungry and, at the same time, almost too tired to eat. (I’m sure you know what I mean.) Our best option was a very good one, the little drive-in joint we’d patronized a couple of weeks ago. We chowed down on slaw dogs, fries and sweet treats before driving on.

But the day’s chores weren’t done just yet. See, we’d accumulated a massive amount of undone laundry, what with days of changing out of sweat-soaked clothes and losing our own appliances to the auction last weekend. Ernie’s washer-dryer wouldn’t be big enough or fast enough to handle it all, so we hauled everything up to the campground’s coin-op laundromat.

The place was empty when we got there, giving us license to monopolize all four machines. We parked our camp chairs on the lawn outside and waited, watching people dash around the park in pimped-out golf carts. They appeared to be very proud, somehow, of their rides.

It was almost 10:30pm when we got back to the bus with our clean clothes.

Today looks like another wet one. As we continue to prepare for launch Tuesday morning, a rainy day is just fine with us.

Have I mentioned that we need sleep?

One year ago today I enjoyed a Trailblazer burger, slaw and a blackberry milkshake at Taylor’s Freez-King in Gassville. Arkansas.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB