The following is excepts from my journal while on the trip down to check out the property in Missouri. I’ve backlogged them to the day they occurred, and with continue to post them in such as way as I get around to type them all up.
The journey begins! We got up at 5:30 today in order to pack the car and prepare. We had to go to walmart to get a few supplies, like a cooler. On a whim I also got a CD set of 100 best country songs. It’s been years since I’ve been on a road trip, and we had no road-tripping music. I’ve been longing to be a country girl for a while, and its happening now! Alex has had the travel itch for about a year. We were raised like nomads, and Alex has been longing for a road trip for months, destination
Now we are on a road trip to our OWN HOMESTEAD in Missouri! It’s amazing. I have full-body goosebumps. It almost doesn’t feel real. I half expect to wake up and find out it’s all a dream. But it’s not. This is really, truly happening. We are taking a few small supplies out there to leave in our cabin – some yard tools, our grill, our wheelbarrow, (one of the most important homesteading tools!), etc.
Interestingly, our journey seems to have been blessed by the Gods. On our way out of town, a huge flock of massive crows, numbering at least 30, flew up from the side of the road and in front of our car. Now I’ve seen crows in town before, many times. But never this many at once. It seemed fortuitous.
Crows are, after all, sacred to Apollo, brother of Artemis, after Whom this homestead will be named. Perhaps Apollo is telling me that he would like a part in it to? He does have some rustic aspects, but I am not as familiar with them. I do plan on having a small altar to Apollo’s son Aristaios (a rustic God of bee-keeping, honey, mead, and cheese-making) in the beeyard once the hives are set up. Eventually there will be small altars scattered all over the property, an idea that excites me almost as much as the thought of all the animals and plants we will be raising there.
I looked up ‘crow’ in the Animal-Wise Tarot by Ted Andrews (yes, I bought a deck with me for this first trip out there, I’m a nerd). And it said that crow was commonly used in medieval alchemy as a symbol of “the nigredo, the initial state of substance, unformed but full of potential.” (pg. 128) That sure sounds like this land we’re getting! Crows are a sign of creation and magical strength, of creative possibilities. I think I remember reading somewhere that seeing crows at the start of a journey is good luck, but I’m in the passenger seat of the truck right now, so I can’t look it up and see it I’m remembering correctly! Oh well. Ted Andrews also said that the unique language and voice of the crow “help(s) us to develop our own voice and language to get what we want and need.” (pg. 128) Again, this is eerily appropriate to what’s going on with my brother and me — it wasn’t until we had the courage to cut our father out of our lives completely that we could even work on figuring out what it even was that we wanted.
12/5/15/ 6:45 pm
Road trips are fun, but they have their little annoyances and their major stressors. We took the interstate highway south, and Indianapolis was STRESSFUL. We never even entered the city, we were on the loop of highways that surrounds it. But it was still crazy. The speed limit is 55, but there were whipping around at 90 miles an hr, merging without looking, and passing and changing lanes like crazy. Do these people not realize how unnatural it is for humans to move so unbelievably fast, packed inside a solid metal tube that could destroy their tender, fleshy bodies if they make the slightest misstep? What blissfully ignorant lives they must lead. I bet none of them were half as scared as I was, and I wasn’t even the one driving!!! I had to take one of my PRNs for anxiety it was soooo bad.
After we were a safe enough distance from the Indy madness, we pulled off an exit and slept in a McDonald’s Parking Lot. We were so stressed, and driving for a long time makes your eyes heavy no matter how awake you were when you started. When we woke up, the sun was beginning to set. Yes, yes, we took too long to pack the truck this morning. We should have packed it last night, and then we could have left at like 5 am. Only way we would have made it to the place before sunset. Oh well, lesson learned. This won’t be our only trip out here. So, the sun was setting, and it was time to be on the road again
A few hours later
Now we are sitting in a McDonalds in Illinois, About 2 hours from St Louis, which mean 3 ½, maybe 4 hours from our destination. We are going to have to sleep in Rolla tonight. Its going to be too dark to drive around the woods and figure out which plot of land is ours. All these plots of land are actually INSIDE a certain National Forrest. There is no address assigned to our plot yet. Rolla is going to be my new hometown in a matter of months. I want to explore the town tomorrow as much as the lot. Excuse me, as much as Artemis Acres. (squee!!! So happy right now!!!!)
12/5/15 9:48 local time
10:48 south bend time
OMG I hate large cities so much. Going through so many in one day is exhausting. We are past Saint Louis Proper, sitting in a Taco Bell in Chesterfield. But its still a suburb of Saint Louis. Ugh, the stress of all those winding highways filled with crazy people! Beautiful scenery though. We are over the Mississippi River now, officially Out West. At least by 1848 standards. It’s been 11 years since I’ve seen the Mississippi. It was the summer before I turned 18, and I was on another road trip with my brother, our father, and his then-girlfriend. While I had a lot of fun on that trip, the memory of it has been tainted by the poison I’ve since learned lurked in my father’s heart. For those of you who may not understand why I am cutting out my father, without going into too much detail, I will say this: My father is not as evil as Jared Fogel. But, yeah, his crimes are in that same realm, and now all my good memories with him are tainted.
I remember on this road trip long long also, I wanted to go up into the Gateway Arch. The four of us waited in a very long line for what seemed like hours. When we FINALLY got up to the door, my father spins around and says “we’re leaving”. Just like that. No argument allowed. When we had gotten to whatever he deemed a “safe” distance away, he explained that he had seen the No Weapons sign and the metal detectors….. y’know, to get into a national monument. We were all carrying pocket knives. But he had thought that we could sneak them in until he saw the metal detectors. So because a so-called “responsible adult” decided not to take the pocket knives off and tell us to leave them in the car, and he threw a hissy fit because he didn’t want to wait in line again, we never got to go to the top of the Arch. Well Alex and I are going to go do it ourselves. If not on this trip, then another one in the future. More than that, we decided to overwrite the few good childhood memories that we have, to make new memories, in the same place that we had loved and enjoyed, but with just the two of us, not the sperm-donor. (I refuse to refer to him as dad). I loved Colonial Williamsburg when I was 8. Maybe someday we’ll go back, and to the Anasazi Cliffs too. We’ll do new things, of course, but the most awesome places that we really treasures can become untainted this way, like an old purification ritual. That idea makes me excited too.
12/6/15 12:30 am local time
We’re arrived in Rolla. I’m exhausted. Going to sleep in the truck for 5 hours or so. I’d like to get to the property before sunrise if possible. But first, sleep.