Home Again, Home Again Jiggity-Jig

In 2001, in the aftermath of 9-11, I was dealing with my Seattle Detective, J.P. Beaumont, needing to join forces with Joanna Brady in southeastern Arizona.  I was speaking by phone to my East Coast editor about the problem of getting Beau from here to there at a time when planes were not yet flying.

“Couldn’t he just drive?” my editor asked.  I replied that it takes 26 hours, in a car with the wheels moving, to get from Seattle to Tucson.  That response was followed by a long pause before she said, “I didn’t know we had such a tall country.”

The truth is, it is a tall country, and even though there are plenty of planes flying these days, it still takes 26 hours to get from hither to yon if you’re doing it by car.  We used to make that trip in three days flat—three very long days—but we were younger, and, generally speaking, we weren’t traveling with dogs.

This time we broke the trip and the hours into four relatively easy days—Tucson to Palm Springs, Palm Springs to Sacramento, Sacramento to Eugene, and Eugene home.  It was still a challenge, however.  Instead of traveling with two dogs, we were traveling with one.  And Jojo, who was accustomed to taking her car travel cues from Bella, found herself a little at sea traveling solo.

When you’re on the road with dogs, keeping track of the Pees and Craps is vital.  On that score, Bella always determined where things happened and Jojo simply followed suit.  Without someone giving her directions and faced with making up her own mind, Jojo was too easily distracted and those very necessary things didn’t happen on a regular or predictable basis.  Thankfully we travel with a fully stocked supply of puppy pads!

Inside the car, Jojo was a lot more needy than I expected.  She had to be in my lap and nowhere else—except during the twistings and turnings in the mountains of southern Oregon when she suddenly decided she needed to be on my shoulders. People who saw us with her as a fur wrap around the back of my neck probably thought I was a living breathing Cruella DeVille.

All of this is to say, that during those four travel days, there was a lap dog in my lap rather than a laptop in my lap.  E-mails did not get answered.  Forward progress in the book did not happen.  I managed some steps once we exited the car in the evenings, but not very many.

So we’re home in Bellevue now.  It was a big shock to leave behind Tucson’s 95 degree weather and return home to a place where spring has not yet sprung.  As a matter of fact, I’m writing this in front of a burning gas long fireplace.

Glad to be home.  E-mails have now been answered.  Condolence card thank yous have been sent.

Now it’s time to go back to work.

10 thoughts on “Home Again, Home Again Jiggity-Jig

  1. Wonder where the title of that post came from. That was one of my mother’s favorite expressions upon returning home and I don’t know the origin of the phrase. She was from Missouri so I think it must be a MidWest thing, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it was nice to see it as the title of your posting today. I am so sorry to hear about Bella. I know she will be missed greatly

    • Mother Goose nursery rhyme. “To market ,to market, to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again. jiggity jig.”

      • Thanks for the info Leslie! Guess it’s been about the same time for me as for Beau since I heard nursery rhymes…. Not sure if I remember that one anyway, but it made me think of my mom

  2. Glad you are home safe and sound. Spring will be all the sweeter when it arrives. Your story about the editor reminded me that years ago my geographically challenged cousins in Ohio didn’t get CA. My brother in exasperation finally told them we were 4.5 -5 hours wide and 17.5 hours long (drive times). of course that was before incredible crowding increased it. In 82 when I drove my cousin from Orange County to San Francisco, she remarked in the east they would have crossed 4 or 5 states in that time!!! Many do not get the geography of the West. Hoping you get some rest before diving back into the next book or the work associated with it. Love the blogs.

  3. I grew up in Iowa and now live in Connecticut. Folks here just don’t grasp the fact of distance as far as the rest of the country is concerned. I’ve driven across Nebraska several times on my way to and from Iowa to Colorado. As Johnny Carson once said the motto on the Nebraska’s license plates should be “Long Way Across”. Also folks around here don’t use north, south, east or west in directions. They give exit numbers.

  4. I am very saddened for your loss of Bella. Jeanne wrote such a lovely blog post. I was wondering how little Jojo was coping, it seems not too well, poor little tyke. Thinking the long trip back helped a lot, even if it was confusing?
    Let’s hope you brought less rain & wind back with you. I have never seen a spring like this one, so cold and wet. That week in March that is usually nice never did take hold.

  5. Traveling with dogs is a challenge. When we were younger we would leave Federal Way at 4 am breakfast in Portland, Lunch Yreka dinner with the parents at Lake Berryessa. We had a small child and one dog. Now it takes us 2 days. I5 is different we lived there for 25 years and I am lost. Change is hard Bless you for being a be to handle it. I truly enjoyed your last book. It was nice to be with Ali again. I WAS SADDEN With Leland,I was wondering how you were going to handle that. Now we have a new character to fall in love with. Any chance we could find out about Joanna ‘s babie…
    Have a good week … Jan

  6. I understand how hard it is sometimes to ride with dogs.
    I remember living in Moses Lake, WA at the age of 55 moving to Gallup, NM, alone in a 35 foot moving truck with 3 dogs.
    It took me three days hard driving and I nearly died.I found out when I arrived I had pneumonia.

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