Getting the hell out of Dodge.....

An arctic cold front is gripping the Midwest and East coast with chilling temperatures as Harry and I prep to leave CNY and head south for our annual gigs in Florida. We packed the car (mostly) the night before and it was ready for us to add musical instruments, food and selves as we boarded our vessel at 5bells in the morning to set off.  The temperature was zero degrees with a savage wind chill making it seem like 20 below. We kissed Monty goodbye a 1000 times and packed ourselves in with enough gear and garb for several climates and venues.
Heading out in the dark in this bleak weather at this early hour was much like I imagine what being on a desolate planet might be like. The sky was clear with cold stars, the horizon had “no blankets on” of cloud cover and so the earth was chilly indeed. There are no cars on the back roads at this early morning revelry call as we drove on through the dark morning-tide. It is too cold to snow and the roads are blissfully bare. We, however, are not bare. Nothing of the sort ,and with our snow boots on and sporting many layers of wool and fur hats, we  are bundled like Eskimos from the north, even as we head towards warmer climates with flip flops stowed for hopeful usage.

After a couple hours of travel south, we crossed into PA.  Strangely enough, the temperature dropped even further below zero and was at -6 on this January day. After traveling many hours, the weather is still frigid cold. The land is frozen and bare of leaves as well as color. It’s always interesting to watch the terrain change gradually from northern barren trees and scrub bushes and grey skies, to the transitional pines of the Carolinas, to the Spanish moss and palm trees of Florida. It seems to be a gradual transition, at least, until you are faced with palm and fruit trees and golden sunshine. All the while you marvel at the colors and bright sunshine, at the same time realizing that up north the light comes from snow bounce and reflection this bleak northern time of year.

As is our custom, I read to Harry aloud as we travel. Our current tale is “20,000 Leagues under the Sea” which is the choice of my StoryBook Club for our meeting the end of this month. It is fascinating to read Jules Verne’s fantastic story. Neither of us had ever read the actual novel, but knew of the story through movies. We are curious as to the real tale and what we can learn of it as we are also on a voyage of sorts. In keeping with our thoughts of the story, we muse that while we are not on an underwater journey, we certainly are on an adventure! As we literally drive through the wintry landscape of dried grasses, bare trees and grey skies on our way to parts closer to the equator, we are treated to a virtual arm chair journey of vibrant colors, sights and fantastical vistas of underwater Eden! Anemones, tropical fish, sharks and turquoise waters fill our imagination as we glide past the dull brown grass and frosty pastures which range from NY to the Carolinas.

This year, we are bypassing our regular route through the lower half of VA and instead of trekking over the mountain tops of that state, we turn south earlier and head towards the border of N.C. sooner and end up avoiding the mountainous passage and terrain altogether!   Our trusty car is filthy with its salty white road coating as any barnacled ocean vessel could be after a year at sea.

It is now only 20 degrees as we come into N.C. after traveling for 11 hours at 70 miles an hour! This cold front is massive and yet, we feel far more comfortable in our regular winter clothing than the folks who live here are at the moment! This cold snap is harsh for them, but feels seasonal for us.

We are headed tonight to our old friend, Mike’s home. He is a musician, originally from the Auburn area, and was a former frequent performer at our Jordan Open Mics in the early days. We have not seen him in about 10 years! Thankfully, through my monthly emails from Merry Mischief, we have kept in touch over the years and he has graciously invited us to use his home as a layover on our way south!
Mike was always a good and kind soul. Smart, creative and gregarious, we have always admired him.  Whimsically, Harry and I had speculated about seeing Mike after all these years. What would he be like? Had this kind and thin man changed much? Or would he be the same as we remembered him? We didn’t know.  What would surprise us totally? Did he put on a lot of weight and would he be big as a house? Would this former short-haired man answer the door now, years later, appearing like a long-haired Jesus? Would he and his new girlfriend want to induct us into a cult? Would she be dressed in Menonite garb? Would they want to sell us Amway or insurance or some pyramid scheme? We laughed at all the silly prospects we could think of to pass the time as we got close to our overdue reunion. 

We found our way to Greensboro, N.C. and docked our “ship” (as it were) the U. S.S. Suburu in the friendly waters of Mike’s home port. We knocked on the door with guitars in hand and stood with great anticipation.

Mike, a psychologist just home from work, answered the door with hugs for us.  He was, I’d say, a bit thinner than we remembered, yet still sporting his ever-ready smile and introduced us to his lovely lady, Leah. She was beautiful, elegant, and had kindly made a home cooked meal of roast chicken with trimmings. Their townhome was delightful and they made us feel welcome as the gracious hosts that they are.

We chatted, caught up, reminisced and found that we were indeed, kindred spirits, even more than we dreamed. Me, being the amateur psychologist that I am, soaked up Mike’s knowledge and we bantered jargon and terms back and forth like some student at a mentor’s knee. It was a lovely change for me to be the one sparked with technical terms. I am usually the one listening to Wayne’s geek talk of cables and electrical terminology with his techie friends.  But tonight it was my turn to be bantering of such complicated subjects as child psychology, personality disorders, attachment issues and nature vs. nurture.  I spent a fascinating evening chatting happily with Mike and picking up what I could, and applying it to what I already knew.

I also struck up a conversation with Leah and spoke of eclectic spirituality vs. religion and the adventures we have both found on our spiritual journey. I was in Heaven!  All the religions and philosophies that we've explored was very interesting. Then for fun, I told them that I read cards, and showed them my Goddess, Angel and Law of Attraction cards.  I told Mike how I use my readings as an opportunity to help others with my “Poor Man’s Counseling.”  I let him, the professional counselor, look over all the decks and see what he thought about them. I told him how I use them, and how I lovingly care for folks during the readings that I give. He gave a thumbs-up for being a positive influence in the land of kind-hearted ways of helping people for their Greatest and Highest Good. I then offered them a card reading in partial return for their great generosity. We all enjoyed it as well as the music that followed as we shared our musical expressions.

Our room was posh, comfortable and safe as we laid down  on a memory foam bed.It was amazing and not like anything we’ve ever experienced!  It caressed us and enveloped us like a glove and soon we were in the peaceful Land of Nod.

We set off from Greensboro, N.C, , bright and early on this chilly 20 degree morning, after coffee and a hearty breakfast from Mike’s cooking. Leah pressed us with a gift of freshly baked cookies, said our grateful thanks and we hugged our goodbyes. It is so amazing to find kindred souls who care about others as much as they do! Likewise, they felt the same and we promised to do this again and encouraged each other to keep the faith and to keep on keeping on.
Our journey southward continues with the temperatures ever so slowly climbing upward.  We are now in Georgia, it is 2:30pm and just now 50 degrees. About an hour ago, it was only 35 degrees. So weather is looking up! It is a relief to get away from the savage cold at home and we hope everyone will be safe and sound there as well.

We are happy to tell you though that gas prices are dropping as we continue on our way. The lowest gas price we have seen so far is $2.98 a gallon in the Carolinas! This is a far cry from the $3.69 a gallon I pumped before we left NY.  And that’s OK by us.

And now, my dearies, a few hours later, after getting into Florida and finally seeing 65 degree weather at 7pm only this evening in Orlando as we cruised through, and after trying ( in vain) to see street signs (mostly because they were FUCKING MISSING!) and/or
a) we were blind in the twilight
b) strange way the signs were set back off the road
c) because of a police barricade for a homicide investigation….

We finally pulled into Ravyn’s address.


We opened a bottle of Cabernet and patiently drank it in her driveway and savored the moment while waiting for her to come home from work.
We have arrived.

1 comment:

MissLorieO said...

Glad you made it safely. Soak up the sun and bring some home for us in the still frozen north! :)