Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chronicles of A Left Turn at Albuquerque, continued

Morning came early as it usually does for me anyway. We wanted to be heading out before the AM rush hours, so I tried not to mess around. It doesn't exactly take me that long to brush and braid my hair and brush my teeth anyway, my clothes were already laid on top of my suitcase ready to go, folding my pajamas and tucking them back in took about two seconds, and Grace had made coffee, so breakfast was easy.

I also remade the bed, removing the duvet from under the bedspread and folding it at the bottom of the bed. I tried to get the hospital corners right, but I'm not sure I did a very good job of that. The towel and washcloth -- I remembered to ask where they belonged, and got them on hooks to dry in the laundry room, so they wouldn't get moldy before they were washed.

As to the coffee. Yes, most of my diet is raw vegan. Yes I cheat with coffee. Actually, except on this trip, and the occasional bite of grilled veggies and fish to please my father, coffee is my only non raw item in my diet. But, after all, a morning without coffee is like ... sleep.

I snatched my frozen and cold foods from the fridge/freezer ready to put it all back in the cold bag. Since Grace planned to bring a small ice chest for drinks, and there was plenty of room, I put one of my freezer packs in that and the frozen food went in there, too.

Packing the car didn't take long either. Grace's husband proved to be similar to my dad in his ability to fit items into a trunk and back seat. Still, looking back, we would have been much more cramped, and had more fun juggling stuff, if Bonnie had come. I was sorry she was missing out, and would have preferred to leave behind the coffee maker, even though I promised to bring it to Pickles' house. I know that we all would have preferred another person over an appliance any day.

It turned out that both Grace and her husband, who works from home most of the time, travel frequently for their respective employers, and he had been suddenly called to travel to, of all places, Albuquerque. He would go by plane, and would be leaving Monday a couple of hours before we got back. Since Tuesday was his birthday, it meant she wouldn't be there to give him his gift and see him off on his trip. I busied myself transferring items from my van to the car to make sure I gave them time for a proper good-bye, settled into the passenger seat, and we left.

It was not quite as early as we had hoped, but the traffic was light and we had pre-printed directions from home to the hotel in Albuquerque, from the hotel to Pickles' house, back to the hotel we would be staying at on Sunday night, and back home. All of this was Grace's husband's doing, along with the GPS he had pre-programmed and packed, but which we never used. Turned out that first morning, we could have used it.

Grace is a lovely woman, with, like me, a tenuous sense of direction. San Antonio is not her native home, she has only lived here a few years, since her husband was transferred here, before he retired from the military. So it seems the loops still confuse her at times also, and with the stress of leaving, and me reading the directions as navigator, we were headed in the wrong direction before we even got out of town.

I told her my theory of being lost. We are not lost. We are after all, still in the US. We are still in Texas. We are still in San Antonio. No mistake is fatal, get off the loop or interstate, turn around, get back on, find the right exit. If you have to, ask for directions.

Then we got off to turn around on a road where there is no turn around for at least a mile.

It wasn't a fatal error, we did finally find a place to make a U-turn, got back to the loop, she figured out where we should be (I read the directions out loud a couple of times just to make sure I was getting it right), and we got back on to the interstate going west, just like we wanted. After a while, she figured out that if she had kept on the original direction, the loop would have joined the interstate going west to begin with, but that's okay, what matters is we had made it out of town without accident or major traffic jams.

Now we were on the open road with the beautiful west Texas scenery in the sunrise, and just us two to talk and learn about each other and keep each other company. Talk we did, to keep alert, and because she is as smart as she is funny, it was lots of great talk.

Today is:

Armed Forces Day, Egypt

Ashura -- Muslim

Brussel Sprout Festival


Come and Take It Day, Texas

Ecological Debt Day

Erntedankfest, Germany (Potato Harvest Festival)

German Pioneer Day, Pennsylvania

Gopher Hill Day

Ivy Day, Ireland

Mad Hatter Day

National German-American Day

National Noodle Day

Physician Assistant Day

St. Faith's Day (patron of prisoners, soldiers)

St. Bruno's Day

Anniversaries Today:

American Library Association founded in 1876

Birthdays Today:

Elisabeth Shue, 1963
Britt Ekland, 1942
Carole Lombard, 1908
Le Corbusier, 1887
George Westinghouse, 1846
Jenny Lind, 1820

Today in History:

The Cimbri inflict the heaviest defeat on the Roman Republic army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus in the Battle of Arausio, BC105
Founding of Germantown, Pennsylvania by 13 Mennonite families from Germany, 1683
The Americans and French begin the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, which becomes the last battle of the American Revolutionary War, 1781
Benjamin Hanks patents a self-winding clock, 1783
Louis XVI accedes to the demands of the women of Paris and returns to that city, 1789
Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead begins shortly after midnight, leads to 53 deaths and hundreds of injuries, 1854
The American Chess Association is organized and holds the first major US chess tournament, in NYC, 1857
The American Library Association is organized in Philadelphia, 1876
Thomas Edison shows his first motion picture, 1889
Nabisco Foods debuts its Cream of Wheat, 1893
Beatrix Van Rijk becomes the first licensed Dutch woman pilot, 1911

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