On the Road Again

On the Road Again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may never see again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again
-Willie Nelson


“On the road again,” indeed. After a couple of months off the road over the holidays, and all the projects that fill up that sort of time, Carpe Librum is really up and running.

When we’re stationary over the winter months, we spend most of that time in Louisiana. This year we jumped right into expanding our team! Keeping Carpe Librum products handmade has started to mean getting more hands involved, and it’s been a fun few months. We have a team now that stretches from Michigan to Louisiana, and from east Tennessee to Oklahoma City; friends who have become colleagues and are helping with everything from rebuilding the website to making the itsy-bitsy-est product we have (a magnetic study tab that measures one half-inch by three-quarters of an inch).

As spring hit Louisiana (that’s mid-February… sorry to my Midwesterners still stuck in the chill), we took off for… colder weather. We left on a 75 degree day, and before we finish this run we’ll be in Buffalo, NY. It’s a great town, but winter hangs on there for a ridiculous amount of time! Despite the wind, rain, snow, and other uncomfortableness we’ve encountered, it sure feels good to be back on the road. The house feels homier, the schedule seems more manageable, and we’ve gotten some more reading in.

It's great to be back doing shows and meeting the book people in every city we go to, but one of our biggest wins this season is that the Carpe Librum website is up and running again! And better than ever, we think. Our book totes are available online for the first time, and that’s something I’m really excited about. I carry so much stuff back and forth to craft shows in my tote bags!

One of the most important parts of our “on the road again” transition was going through Gallup, New Mexico, in between shows in Oklahoma City and Phoenix. When I was in my 20s I moved from midMichigan to Gallup, and lived there for almost 10 years. It’s a place that had a huge impact on who I am—and what Carpe Librum is—and still holds more dear friends than I can count. [In fact, when I should have been writing this article (long before this evening, which is ages after my deadline), I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from the familiar scenery. They don’t call it The Land of Enchantment for nothing.] I’m used to traveling like Willie Nelson talks about in the song, “goin’ places that I’ve never been,” and “seein’ things that I might never see again,” but to let the road bring me back to somewhere that was home for so long… that’s different. It was almost eerie, to drive the truck I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours in during the last three years over roads I know like the back of my hand, and realize that they’re not really a very good fit! (Big truck, old downtown roads…) To walk through my old haunts and be stared at as a stranger, or someone they possibly used to know.

This “not quite like it was” feeling is one of those things that is easier to deal with because I’m a reader. My whole life, I’ve read books about people who didn’t quite fit, or people who went home again, or people on the road, and it helps. Being a reader helps us process when things don’t quite fit. I’m not a tourist when I go through my old home, but I’m not at home, either; and that’s o.k. I hope if you’re in an in-between moment (or any other rough spot), your reading reminds you that it’s o.k. to be where you are: lots of other heroes have been there, too.

Be awesome. Read books.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.