Last evening, at Aunt Erna's, cousin Dan came by for dinner (and stayed until midnight!). I didn't have a chance to include his picture in last night's entry, but we promised him that we would include it today! Pictured with Dan is our own, Sugar Pants! He spent about 8 hours napping on the back of that chair, and wasn't about to let Dan take it away from him. He was nearly a "head warmer" for Dan! Also, the picture of me with "the flapper" (again, see yesterday's entry) is cousin Rose. She was modeling her Halloween costume for us. She has to dress up for Halloween, for her job, and we had to get a picture of her! Cousin Dan is a mainstay around his mom's house too, and always entertaining to talk to.
Today's drive was fairly uneventful, punctuated with a few very memorable moments. We had seen gas prices as low as $1.98/gal (mind you, we paid $2.79/gal in Illinois when we were leaving). Today we saw it $1.93/gal! Dean and I are hoping that by the time we get to Arizona they will pay us to put gas in the van! Compare this to last July, when we drove the van to Illinois and paid an average of $3.75/gal; and through the summer paying over $4.40/gal locally around St. Charles. Wowser, that's all I can say! That is the first of the 'things of note' today. The second item of note was not as pleasant. While gasing up at one of the oasis' on the turnpike in Oklahoma we witnessed an awful car accident. Dean saw it happen completely, I caught only the last flip of the car. It seems that the driver had gone partially off the road, tried to over correct the error, and rolled his/her car at least twice. I had never seen anything like that happen, and it was awful to witness. Fortunately it did happen next to the oasis, where there were a lot of people around. I was impressed at the number of people who not only stopped, but the number of men from the oasis who ran across the highway to the scene of the accident to help. I had just noticed, not 5 minutes before, a highway sign saying to "Call *55 for roadside emergencies". I grabbed my cell phone from the car and called immediately. I'm sure others called as well, and the police were there within a few minutes - emergency services there before we were ready to leave the oasis. I think seeing that accident happen made Dean and I, both, a little more cautious the rest of the day/evening while driving. The last of the memorable moments was seeing the beautiful sliver of a crescent moon with Venus hanging above it, as it was setting this evening. It was a very nearly perfectly clear sky, so even the tiniest sliver of moon was visible! Venus and Jupiter are so bright right now that I've been tempted to think they're airplanes instead of celestial bodies! Take a look and see how bright they are!
So, we're in Motel 6 - Abilene for the night! We kitty-proofed the room before opening the cages (to prevent Marley for finding a nearly impossible hiding place again), only to have him climb between the base of the bed (which is completely enclosed) and the box spring. We lifted the bed, got him out and locked him in the bathroom until we had it right. So, the kitties are relaxing and beginning to doze. We're fed (ordered pizza, delivered to the motel) and ready to get showers before heading off to sleep too. I may freeze Dean out tonight, though. It has gotten warmer as our trip has progressed. We wore fleecy jackets and sweat shirts when leaving St. Charles, now we are wearing t-shirts and shorts! I was so warm all day that I have had the air conditioning cranked up to "artic" since we checked into our room. It feels so good!
Oh my gosh! How could I forget???!!! Dean finally heard from the head of the mirror lab at U of A today! He had sent an email to him a couple of weeks ago, but had not heard back from him. His plan has been that he would return to work at the Steward Mirror Lab upon our return to Tucson. The University has had a hiring freeze on, however, and it was looking as though he may not be able to go back to work there. He had good news from the boss today, though, and they are hoping to have him back on the payroll. Yea!!!