Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's too quiet

We have a lot of time to prepare for our trip up to Wisconsin. We will be leaving on Friday at midnight. This way, we can visit my brother for a while in daylight before heading up north. We spent the day taking care of bills. I discovered that Texas Gas Service was way behind. I don't look at the bills because I have automatic payments scheduled. The last time I checked, my gas was about $12 per month. I scheduled $20 monthly payments so that we would have credit. I did not realize that our monthly gas has gone up to $26/mo. So we owed $50; there goes my credit. We used to not cook as much. Lately, since I've been home, I've been cooking. I usually prep food in advance of working the pans, so I tend to cook on high flames. When you cook on medium, you have time to prep as you go.
Other things we did included paying our Post Net mailbox through November, depositing the money from the sale of my wife's van, cancel our car insurance, and other little errands for family. My son and I got haircuts. He was scratching his head a lot from the heat and I need to look good for my job hunt up in Wisconsin. Tomorrow, we need to do laundry. We are only taking the bare essentials, but who wants to come back home to a house full of dirty laundry? We also need to pay CPL and T-Mobile. We'll be ready for our departure date.
We don't really need it, but we have a house sitter for the time we'll be gone. I say we don't need it because we live in a second story apartment. The likelihood of having a break-in is small. It's mostly a "gift" to my brother-in-law so that he has some privacy. In any case, somebody will be here to take care of things and check our mail.
When I was a kid, my parents would begin the Texas part of the trip at midnight as well. I think this was probably to avoid the heat as much as possible. We did not always have the best vehicles. You don't want your car to overheat on a 1000 mile journey. We don't have that problem on this trip. My mom's truck is still in good condition, enough to brave the heat. It's mostly a scheduling issue so that we can stay a while with my brother. This means that we'll be passing by Falfurrias around 1 AM. They have rarely given us problems. I think we were searched only once in all the years we passed through there.
I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I'll bring it up. Back when we were migrants as a kid, migrants did not have cell phones. Once you were on the road, you were in a blackout period unless you stopped to make calls at gas stations. Usually, we simply drove all the way to our destination before calling anybody. The people we would call would be whomever was in the RGV to let them know we made it. We would then get to calling people we knew to find out where the work was. We'd find a place to stay and then go out looking for work. Back then, we'd have to call our job prospects to find out if we were hired because we had no contact number. If we stayed at a hotel/motel, then we could give that phone number for contact. Suffice it to say, communication was not very easy for migrants. With the popularity of mobile phones these days, I expect that there is improved efficiency in job hunting. The beauty is that you can buy a pre-paid mobile phone for the area code where you'll be without being set back too much. If you're not fond of your phone number, your current service provider can change it to your new area code. Best of all is that long-distance rates have gone through the floor. Making long distance calls is so cheap these days. Communication is the least of your problems.
Another improvement in communication is email. You can send a text message from your phone to an email address. You can also receive short emails to your phone as text messages. With a fancy phone, you can access your Yahoo account through your phone's web browser. Even if you don't have a phone, you can stop by a library or other public place that offers internet access to check your email. If you have a laptop, more possibilities open up with the popularity of Wi-Fi. I haven't migrated for many years, but I have traveled. Internet makes travel much easier than it used to be. Internet also makes keeping in touch with home much easier and cheaper. 1000 miles is not what it used to be.
RGV Life Podcast

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