Road Warrior Tales

Leaving friends and saying goodbyes is never easy, even if you know you love each other and want to be together again in the future. Harry & I said our goodbyes to Dre & Max, Aidan,  Donna, and Jay & Abby on Monday morning and we set out on Rt. 41 North to head home the long drive out of Florida.  I posted my Angels each holding to a side of the car, one riding on the roof and another hovering under the belly of our carriage. Their wings outstretched and their strong, protective hands holding us safely, their eyes on the lookout for us along the way.

By the way, if you’ve never driven Florida, it’s a freaking LONG state. It’s almost as tedious long as Virginia with its’ up and down hills. We decided to forgo the mountains the last few times and brave Washington D.C. traffic instead for a shorter and less hilly route. But at least we had blue skies and palm trees to enjoy for awhile longer as we headed north. 

I even found some Cheladas at a "Flying J" to bring back to my friend Russ Tarby. Cheladas are that weird drink that I wrote about blogs ago (clamato juice and beer. I know. It sounded horrendous. But Russ entreats me that it's "quite refreshing on a hot day" so I'm bringing back 3 tall boys and we'll try it. I'm brave like dat. :) 

All was well until we reached 295 past Jacksonville, almost out of the state. A traffic jam of EPIC proportions. We sat in the left lane of 4 lanes of traffic, wedged in between tractor trailers, and creeped along for 2 hours. At one point we had gone a mile in one hour. But we kept ourselves amused playing “Sing a jingle” for the entire time.  (Any famous sales jingle or slogan was fair game. :)

FINALLY, the line of cars to Kingdom Come was allowed to break free of the pack and we all enjoyed being able to MOVE at a normal speed. Well, some of us moved at a normal speed. Other drivers were just plain ASSHOLES. There is something akin to convicts being held in prison and just getting let out on a crime spree when aggressive drivers are pent up in a traffic snarl for too long get loose. Harry is a VERY good driver. He is defensive and is always on the lookout being on the offense. He drove above the speed limit, within reason (i.e. cop approved fast but not insane fast). After all, our wondrous Suburu has 236,000 miles on her. She’s had her SECOND head gasket job this last October and well, we don’t fuck with pushing her too hard. We want to get home in one piece. 

There were how’ere, some folks who didn’t care how THEY got home as they were driving now on the Highway to Hell (insert ear worm here).

One guy pulled up next to us, with his left arm held out the window with his bird finger stiff and strong, pointed at us, passed us on the right, cut over 2 lanes in front of us closely, and CONTINUED giving the high flying salute for about 5 minutes down the road in front of us.
I’m sure his mother was proud of him.

The worst one in my opinion though is “the mean truck driver.” Yah, an asshole truck driver with an attitude, barreling down the road, on your ass, squeezing you against the guardrails and flashing high beams at EVERYONE is a danger to society. But then again, I try to think about who these people are. Maybe that fuck finger guy missed his flight at the airport stuck in traffic or had a fight with his girlfriend on his phone while stressed and stuck in traffic. (Harry is sure that guy DOESN’T have a girlfriend, but desperately needs one. God Save her) . Maybe that tractor trailer driver is now horrendously late and is now on penalty or got weighed. We can only hope its’ something like that and not that they are that aggressive and mean spirited all the time.

Road Rage isn't a pretty thing. It makes even beautiful people ugly.

We’ve been around some really angry, hateful people on this trip…aggressive drivers who constantly shout at the road, hate the other drivers and seem to blame everyone but themselves. It’s their funeral. I’m only hoping that they don’t take the rest of us out with them on the way. So much for Southern Graciousness, eh?

We pressed on. We got a room for the night in a Microtel and then got gas and breakfast in the morning. We like Waffle Houses. Some folks call them “Awful Houses” but we truly like the food. The hash browns are awesome and can be done any way you like them. I love them with onions, peppers and mushrooms. The waitress this morning was a plain lady. We almost thought she was “slow” at first when we were ordering. But no, she was just deliberate. When Harry started chatting with her about the weather, she came alive and well…this lady was actually a walking encyclopedia of Southern knowledge! What did we learn?

Well, if you can just imagine all the following the way it was stated….read the following in a heavy Southern drawl:

“We here are the Palmetto State. I wondered why so I went and Googled it and I found out that in wars the Palm tree bounces cannonballs off! In the war, Fort Sumter actually sunk some ships when the palm trees there receieved the blows, they would bend and send the cannonballs right back where they came from.”

“The term “High-Falootin’ comes from Mississippi River Boats who would have 2 levels of decks. The rich folks would stand up on the top deck by the smokestacks (the FLUTE) and so the poor folks on the lower decks would look up at the elite up top and call them folks, “high flutein” which then became “High Falootin.”

“The term “Riff Raff” was also coined then because the poor folks would use rafts sometimes and a stick or paddle called a “riff”. Thus if you used this mode of transportation you would be called “Riff Raft.” Which then dropped the “t” over time.”

“The term “y’all” is actually not for one but for describing many people. It’s short for Irish “Ye All”.  They just dropped the “e” over time and it became “y’all.”
To this I made her laugh. I said, “I thought the term “All Y’all” was the plural form for many down here. J
She looked at me, blankly at first, then laughed her head off.

It’s been a good trip over all. I've crocheted a lot, I've even practiced my mandolin for hours (to the delight of drivers next to us :) while Harry drove and we sang together while I played. I've read some of a couple of books a couple of my friends have written, and we've played the jingle game a lot. We have had the radio off the entire time, no cds, but we have sang a lot of classic Rock and trad tunes while we drive.

We are safe here this morn, in a Microtel in Hagerstown, MD. There is a storm coming in and we made as many miles we could yesterday to get beyond Washington and its traffic before rush hour this morning. The last straw was another accident on the exit right after we got off here. Just in the nick of time.
We head for home this day, hopefully racing ahead of a snowstorm coming in this morning in PA.

We can’t wait to see our doggy boy, Monty Joe, and his best buddy and our house sitter,Nick and to actually be in our own beds this night.


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