The car trip from Vermont to Florida is a long one--something like 1580 miles--so it provides a lot of time to think. Every once in a while I would think of something that I wanted to remember as a topic for my blog. Whenever that happened, I reached into my bag and pulled out the pocket sized notebook I keep as an external brain, then jotted down notes to myself. As the first day wore on, Mike saw me do this several times. Finally he was unable to contain himself any longer and asked, “Just what are you doing in that notebook you keep writing stuff in?”
My answer had to be, “I’m making notes of every time you do something annoying so I can remember and bring things up at an appropriate time in the future.”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what I was afraid of!”
Are those not the words of a man obviously feeling guilty, knowing his annoyance potential when focused on driving a long distance with his long suffering wife by his side?
When he starts the car the schedule is set and unalterable (annoying*)--right down to each gas station stop (planned in advance: annoying*) at which exit number (and he remembers them: annoying*) “because that’s where we stopped the last time…” (not open to new experiences: annoying*). Fortunately, years of teaching conditioned me to maintain bladder control for long periods of time, but that is beside the point.
*I really hadn’t written any of this stuff in my notebook, but when I think about it, it is kind of annoying.
On the first day of our trip this year, we ended up leaving early because of a snow storm predicted for mid morning and it made sense to try to get ahead of it, which we did. I thought that gave us a little extra cushion of time, so I suggested, as we were driving down PA route 81 that we get off and I would show him my home town, the place where I was born and my ancestral home--Olyphant, PA. He’s always been half convinced it is a place my family made up as an insider joke on the rest of the world. Thirty minute detour, tops, but no deal, not on the schedule, never likely to be.
I have contented myself with looking up 534 Delaware Avenue in Olyphant, PA on Google Earth. There’s a good picture of it actually. I haven’t been there since the early 1980’s but it hasn’t changed much.