961 miles door to door! Got here around 2:30pm central time, very happy to get out of the car for awhile! I'm not very good at stopping to rest -- except on cross-country trips, where I force rest stops.
The place is beautiful! He gave me a tour of the pagoda and meditation hall, through the cottages and such, to orient me. Introduced me to the abbot. And now I'm left to my own devices in a beautiful stone cottage set amidst the short oak and cedar trees that are so endemic to this part of the country. They're not big trees, but they grow thickly and are plenty tall enough to provide shade to the buildings -- except the pagoda, of course.
This cottage is actually much nicer than the hotel room I stayed in last night, aside from not having a TV. Spacious, clean, lots of windows and a ceiling fan, plus a desk and wireless. And other than not having my big monitor, the computer is just like home, since I also tossed the wireless mouse/keyboard into the car at the last minute. Much easier to use than the computer keyboard. It has 3 mouse buttons, and last night just with a short time using it, all kinds of weird things happened. So I'll use the regular mouse, thank you!
There are no schedules here -- other than chanting at 8pm, and he meditates at 5:30am so I'll join him there. My time is my own, he said -- meditate, whatever I want. And I'm free to help out in the kitchen or elsewhere with service chores. I expect to find a routine of sorts tomorrow -- for today, I'm just going to rest up and go to chanting, then to bed.
I'm tired, but have enough adrenaline from being here that I'm not as exhausted as I was yesterday. I also managed to eat lunch earlier today, so I didn't run on 'empty' for long. I think I want to try to find an alternate route home. I-10 is not a pleasant highway to travel, and Houston (as I expected) was a maze of freeways and traffic to find my way through. Not sure I want to do the trip in the reverse, although it may end up being the way I do it. It was cool to cross the Mississippi that far south -- so big! I've done it before, once or twice, but as a teenager. That was practically the dark ages, so it's good to do it again.
The most fun thing I saw all day was a one of those big, fancy, expensive motorhomes with nice SUV in tow -- and a license plate from Washington that said "We Quit". I love the sentiment -- can certainly appreciate what they mean.
The cottage next to me has a porch swing, he said, so I could go sit on that and relax, and use my laptop if I want. Pretty cushy! That one belongs to some people from Austin, I think he said, who actually use it a lot, so it has more special features.
I'll get photos, but want to clear it with him first. That's it for tonight. Maybe I'll be more coherent by tomorrow.
A work in progress
4 months ago