I am the girl who balances her checkbook. Makes her bed every day. Drives the speed limit. Plans in advance. Goes to bed at a decent hour. Projects ahead so the future will never take her by surprise. Always has a responsible amount of gas in the tank of her car.

This is what’s known as “foreshadowing.”

On Monday, while driving west from Kansas City to Denver after being gone for 10 days, Foxy riding shotgun and both of us desperate to get home to the Shotgun, my mind anywhere but present, I ran out of gas. Subaruthless just sputtered and gave up, right there on I-70.


Western Kansas was unseasonably warm that day, inching toward 80 degrees. And when the air conditioner died, so did the manic vim, vigor, and verve I’d been running on for a week and a half. I was spent.

My friends call me “the most extroverted introvert” they know, but for whatever amount of social prowess I might possess, the truth is that people, noise, and chaos drain me of my very lifeblood – and right there on the shoulder of the interstate, I realized that the past 10 days had been too much. They’d been good, really good – but they’d been too much.

When I finally arrived back in Denver and stumbled through the door of my house, dragging suitcases, a dog crate, an ice chest, three hardback books, two laptops, and one very squirrely puppy, I could have kissed the hardwood floor. But there’s no rest for the weary; I had errands to run, laundry to run, a dog to run, and a full day of work waiting for me the next day.

Disorganization makes me twitchy, like a spider. And a lot of areas of my life feel disorganized right now, the least of which is the explosion of detritus all over my house or the pile of receipts or the significant amount of sleep debt. Last night, I came home from work and, rather than taking care of the things that needed doing, opted to just twitch for a while instead – which means that today, my house is still a disaster, my calendar is sneaking up on me, I forgot to pack a lunch, and I’m wearing yoga pants at work (although… okay, yoga pants at work are not unusual).

I wish that life was like a gas tank, and that through a simple act of fuel in, our wheels would be guaranteed to keep moving.

Actually, I think that’s just called sleep.

I hope to emerge in a few days. Until then, my earplugs are in and I’m laser beam focused on getting my life back in order. If you know any happy news, please share it – I could use a little oomph in my day.



  1. Lan | morestomach on March 12, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    i can’t remember, from my quick search of who in the world participates in DST, if CO does, so did you also lose an hour this weekend? if so, that could possibly be also be another reason why you’re feeling draggy. sorry about that.

    happy news i’m glad to share, even though it’s not mine: a dear friend who is 40+ decided this autumn to go for motherhood, a desire she’s harbored most of her life but never went for because she thought she needed a man (well, for technical purposes she does…) is happily expecting a girl this summer. we are now in the midst of planning her shower, i’m researching various cake options and a baby blanket. her happiness is brimming over and spilling over me and i had to share.

  2. Val on March 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    Two bits of oomph for you:

    1) The Veronica Mars movie comes out this weekend! Get thee to a theater to relax in the dark and spend some time with the world’s smartest and sassiest (smassiest?) detective.


  3. hootenannie on March 12, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Oh my goodness, Lan – that is the happiest news! I love it. Your friend has all of my good wishes. :)

    Val, YES to Veronica!

  4. Erin on March 12, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Wait – how did you get gas?! Did a nice stranger rescue you (can you tell I’m detail-oriented?)

  5. hootenannie on March 12, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Erin – AAA to the rescue. In the meantime, I sat on some mowed wheat grass stuff off to the side of the highway, Foxy in my shadow to stay cool. I got sunburned.

  6. Michael on March 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    I will tell you something few other people on the planet know: I have almost finished jumping through the hoops required to officiate the wedding of two of my former students! They are madly in love and firmly believe in marriage, but organized religion has thus far turned them off. Still, they want and deserve a special day, so they asked me to officiate. It’s all so very exciting!

  7. Julie deRosier-Paul on March 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    How about this: “Colorado Recreational Weed Sales Top $14 Million In First Month”

    Perhaps your taxes will go down?


  8. Rosemary on March 12, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Oh, I so understand.
    “I burn my candle at both its ends;
    It will not last the night.
    But, oh, my foes and
    Ah, my friends, it makes a lovely
    Hope you can hunker down and recharge!
    :) Rosemary

  9. hootenannie on March 12, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    Michael, they chose the perfect person to officiate their wedding! Can’t wait to hear how it goes. :)

  10. Leah on March 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Annie, oh how we miss you here in Seattle! You need a dose of good home love! The Hill boys are full of antics that will bring smiles to your face. Drew declares a new plan for his Halloween costume each day, and yes, it is March. Mason has knocked out his permanent front teeth for the second time in six months, keeping our dentist as a dear friend, and Gavin has declared himself a confirmed bachelor. The boys have loads of new equipment for upcoming Spring baseball season. Drew has decided that the “cup”, albeit small, is a good idea to wear all the time, in case of errant fly balls at UVillage, at church, QFC, etc. Pls call whenever you are in town. We would love to see you. Chin up, girly!! You are beloved. xoxo

  11. Michael on March 12, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Thanks! May 25…save the date :-)

  12. Sheila on March 13, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    Oh, Annie! Love your adventures! Bet you have a gorgeous tan.

  13. Peg Achterman on March 13, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Oh my Annie – I hear ya. My happy thing – I’m sitting near a pool on Maui right now. AND – next fall I will officially join the faculty at SPU. Fun, huh? I will miss Northwest, but the SPU switch is a dream. Not fully public yet, so shhhhhhh. But soon as I get back.

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