Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On the Road - Day Four

There’s something I forgot to mention so far on this trip. I’ve decided that North Florida has some of the shittiest summer weather on the planet. This is not an exaggeration. Since we’ve been up here in the Appalachian Mountains, the highs have generally been in the mid- to upper-70s (F) and the lows have gotten down as low as 50 (F)!!!

Yesterday saw us hanging with Michelle’s college friend Jamie and her family just outside of Lynchburg. Her eldest son is autistic and is prone to pretty violent seizures. As she said, it takes a strong and responsible parent to take care of a disabled child. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, it kind of makes Aiden’s Down Syndrome seem to pale in significance in terms of the sheer maintenance involved. Her son has to wear a helmet to shield his head when seizures throw him violently to the floor and has to be hand-fed every meal. He still wears diapers even though he’s almost 14 years old. This, in my opinion, is parental dedication at its highest level.

Another thing I must mention is that Jamie is an even bigger chatterbox than my wife, which I didn’t think was possible. They would talk nonstop throughout the morning and afternoon, as well as the night before. Many times I thought of blurting out something absurd like, “Look, there’s an elephant in the driveway!” just to see if they would even take notice. This was fine, though, because I can always go for a walk through the woods and look for rocks for Nancy with this fine summer weather up here.

Last night, we hit the road around 7pm out of Rustburg, VA. After about 2 ½ hours into our trip, my wife reminded me that we would have to stay in a motel once we reach Pennsylvania. After wondering why we didn’t discuss this further, I mentioned that it would probably be best to find a motel as soon as possible and get a good night’s sleep. We can then hit the road in the morning, refreshed, and see some great mountain views. The alternative would have been to drive all night, reach PA when the motels aren’t available (it would be between checkout and check-in times) in a sleepless state and have to wait around with our thumbs up our cracks until my wife’s friend gets off work that afternoon. The first option sounded far better than the latter, so we stopped at a Microtel in Beckley, WV. Yes, this is about 10 miles or so from my sister’s place in Fayetteville, but I know she goes to bed with the chickens and I wouldn’t want to bother her around midnight to ask if she could put us up again.

We had a room with a handicapped, roll-in shower which absolutely terrorized our son when it came to bath, er, shower time. Other than that, we had a nice restful sleep and a free continental breakfast in the morning. Here’s to carbs! Pennsylvania here we come...

No comments: