Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Long Day and the Long Post - Wednesday

Kansas is like Indiana, only more so.

I didn't mention everything in my last post as I tried to get to sleep
last night. After a lot of food and a lot of dessert (about 3
servings of Honeymoon Delight), Vicki also gave us 2 loafs of pumpkin
bread and some special Kansas flour. An excellent gift for a road
trip the next day lacking in home-cooked goodness amongst fast food.

Enter the dog, Cameron. On a previous trip from CA to IN, we stopped
in Phoenix to visit Lisa. Cameron got through a zippered bag and into
our stash of individually sealed Fiber One bars. Fiber One. One. You
don't eat a lot of these at once despite their tastiness. Given the
amount she ate, gastronomic disaster was imminent. Lara and I took her
for a walk, and things played out like we expected, on the sidewalk.
To put it delicately, a doggie bag wasn't going to clean this up. It
doesn't rain there often enough to naturally clean the sidewalk. So
far the first time in my life, I returned to the house, got some 409
and scrubbed the sidewalk. More than the sidewalk was dirty. Lisa
found a nearby in-ground sprinkler, which was malfunctioning in a way
that made it into a doggie bidet. Sorry, but I am telling this story
for a reason.

Back to Kansas: We didn't have an impenetrable Lucite case for the
bread, so if we let our guard down, the bread would go down like a
case of cheap beer in a freshman dorm room.
We got to the hotel around 10. It was a decent place, Great Western
Hotel in Junction City, KS. It was pet friendly and had super fast
Internet. Pet friendly is good. A dog in a hotel turns out to work
well. Pets friendly doesn't work as well. Cameron quickly discovered
that two dogs were one wall away in the next room. She gets very
anxious/crazy around other dogs. Barking, squealing, scratching on the
door to the next room created a non sleeping condition. Benadryl
wrapped in pumpkin bread worked well. Score one for the pumpkin bread.
I had a little bit using a plastic spoon to scoop it out before sleeping.
At 7:30 AM, Cameron was awake and very aware of the other dogs. Time
to abandon ship! No shower or shaving. Lisa put Cameron in the car
briefly to avoid disaster. I was still sleepy and my brain was still
rebooting. Then I thought of the pumpkin bread. Even triple wrapped
bags won't stop Cameron the Hungry. I rushed to the car. It was gone.
No bags or crumbs even.

It reminded me of a radio show I heard yesterday saying it was better
to suffer intense loss after deep devotion than to never have had the
relationship (they used the example of CS Lewis in Shadowlands). I had
a plastic hotel cup full of warm pumpkin bread from Vicki, heated in
the mini-microwave. That was enough. The saying goes, now that my
barn has burned to the ground, I can see the stars.
I would rather just walk outside knowing that my barn was secure
behind me as I looked to the stars. But that's just me expecting too
much. It's like asking the genie for more wishes.

Then Lisa walked out with the bread. We were both tired last night. I
didn't want to go back to the car. The closest thing to a hotel safe
was the microwave, so I put it in there to keep it from the dog. The
next morning the brilliance of the idea vanished from my mind in the
hurry to get moving. I need to carry a pocket pack of post its. Maybe
a cross between Post-its and tissues, so you could use a sheet for
either purpose without carrying two packages. What's the e-mail for
the patent office?

We crossed the Mississippi River without incident. Lisa feels like she
is officially back in the East.

We ate at Culver's, a regional chain famous for butter burgers and
shakes. I had enough road food, so I opted for another salad. Two
salads for a main dish in a week may be a record for me. There was
outdoor seating, so we didn't have to sit on the curb with the dog.
The marble benches at 47 degrees were a little chilly. The marble acts
like a pizza stone in reverse.

Driving went well until construction east of Louisville where traffic
merged into one lane. I had to keep my foot on the break because the
car wanted to go more than 2 MPH. I thought of a modern analogy to the
barn story above. My traffic having slowed to a crawl, I can see the
stars through the sun roof. It was a nice view. Lisa complains
,screams, and braces herself in anticipation of a crash less than most
of my passengers, but looking at stars out the sunroof instead of
watching traffic makes her unhappy.
(The screams are often helpful and necessary. I want to be a good
driver. I want to be a good singer and dancer. We'll see if that

We got in to Richmond, KY around midnight. Due to a change in
circumstances, I went online and booked a rental car . The plan to
spend the weekend and head back to NC on Sunday with L and E fell
apart due to some family and friend problems including a funeral and
cancer involving family and friends. I drive back Friday. Prayers


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