Well, I'm alive, just in case you were all wondering. I didn't die on my trek across the plains, but let me tell you, the United States is really big. It takes years to get across it. It took at least a year and half to get across Wyoming.
Contrary to most opinions, I found Nebraska to be beautiful--flat but beautiful. I have never seen so many cornfields in my life. Our first stop from our 30 hour drive was in Nebraska. I stepped out of the car and the first thing I noticed was that I could no longer breathe in the air. I swam in it. Humidity is something that Idaho and Utah don't have any of. For the first few minutes, I thought I was going to drown. But then something else caught my attention. It was a strange hum, like that of a disturbed telephone wire. A massive movement of electricity. After a few inquiries and some strange looks from people who work at gas stations, I found that the source of the noise were the cicadas.
The first time I had ever heard of cicadas was in seminar. I remember that Greg Fox wrote an essay about them. I think it was about friendship, loss, and transition (from what I remember), but I mostly remember his description of the cicadas. I was fascinated by them, and thought briefly that I would like to see them some time. The cicadas were my companions across the country as I traveled. If the full force of the move I was making suddenly showed itself upon the forefront of my mind, I would simply roll down the window and let the eerie electric sound of the cicadas sooth the knot within my heart.
When David and I finally arrived in Hershey, Pennsylvania, we were exhausted. Sitting in a car for 12 hours each day does a lot more too a person than you would think. As we unlocked the door to our apartment and walked up the stairs, the first thing I noticed was how empty it all was. You could hear your voice echo off of the brown brick that comprise our walls. Even after we had moved in our car load of items, it was still very empty. The front room had nothing in it, nothing at all. For our wedding, a nice old lady gave us a crystal block with the Idaho Falls Temple in it. (If you all remember Tanner's peacock paper weight that Sis. Morgan gave him for his farewell gift, it is like that). In addition to this, she gave us a silver platform that the crystal can rest upon. The platform has a switch that rotates the crystal around in a circle and emits disco colored lights through the crystal. At first, I thought that the platform was the ugliest and most sacrilegious item, but as David plugged it into the wall in our bare front room, I was reminded of home. We sat on the floor, starring at the temple circle around, changing from green to blue to red, the colors reflecting off of the walls. The rest of my body sank to the floor, my head resting on David's knee. And as the temple made another round, the tiny "Idaho Falls" shone into my eyes and burned tears onto my face. The only sounds to be heard were my sobs echoing around our apartment, and David's attempts to calm my aching.
I am better now. It is hard living so far away from family and friends, and David is gone every day for school. I miss everyone. But things are getting better. Pennsylvania is beautiful. A kind of beauty that I have never seen before. We got an air mattress to sleep on (better than the floor) and I've put up a few pictures in our front room to compliment our psychedelic temple. I realize that this is an adventure, but that doesn't mean that exempts me from the pain of losing and leaving. In the meantime, I try not to think too hard about where I am at, and focus more on what I have to do. Like drive amongst the crazy Easterners (good luck in Virginia Kristen, I hope they don't make you drive) and try and find a job (suggestions anyone?) I miss you all like crazy.