Time certainly has a way of escaping us, like Houdini out of a straight jacket, and before we know it we’re a few days farther along the path. The path now unfortunately strewn with broken shards of misadventure, opportunities lost, moments squandered gazing into the abyss, empty wine bottles, used dental floss, a few orange peels and a tootsie roll wrapper. Such are the contents of the chapter since our last riotous south to north journey. Almost three weeks have now elapsed and the dull grey of Ithaca, despite four stimulating trips to Batavia, has aroused in us an itch, an urge, a restlessness, a bubbling caldron of desire, the passion of an addict to oil the machine and search out parts unknown. For now, that is Memphis Tennessee.
Mid-afternnoon on Wednesday ( 8 Feb) as rumors of a severe winter storm began to circulate, we threw our nearly always packed bags in the car and headed south with the urgency of convicts on the run. All went well for about four hours. Due to our late start, darkness had quickly chased us down and now snow was making it’s appearance in that way it has of racing horizontally across one’s headlights on it’s way to quickly creating an oil slick driving surface. Since our time frame for this trip really had no frame we pulled over and got a room for the night. I awoke at roughly 5:00AM with a Bob Dylan tune rattling around in my head. Possibly and often a good reason to roll over and “reslumber,” but not today my friends! We had left the highway in Ashtabula, Ohio! Ashtabula plays a not overly prominent roll in Dylan’s song “You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go.” A great song off his best album (my opinion) “Blood on the Tracks.” If you haven’t heard it in a while – do yourself a favor -look it up. That will save all of us from having me sing it to you! BUT- – – just to get you started:
I’ll look for you in old Honolulu-a
San Francisco, Ashtabula. Your gonna have to leave me now I know.
But I’ll see you in the sky above, in the tall grass, in the ones I love,
You’re gonna make me lonesome when you go.
A great start to another great day, which is what Susan thought when given the opportunity to listen to that tune at 5:05 AM. With that behind us–not truly behind us because I was singing it most of the day–we squandered a bit of time waiting for the snow storm to continue east and dump multiple inches on the place we call home, which it did! As soon as the coast seemed clear, with visions of “Flowers on the hillside bloomin’ crazy, crickets talkin’ back and forth in rhyme” (Imagine that with guitar and harmonica) we hightailed it out of Ashtabula with spirits high and headed southwest. I have forgotten on which dreadfully boring road we crossed the state of Ohio but I am writing this a full week after these events occurred and MUCH has happened in the days between. Suffice it to say, after about seven hours in the car, we were done driving. We have spent many hours in the car together in the last year and our tolerance for long rides is less than it was. Which reminds me of a story.
Since we are home so little I have looked into various courses in which one can enroll via the internet. Consequently I am two weeks into my online course in Mixed Martial Arts. One might find it hard to imagine how this would work, as did I, but proceed I did. Just two weeks in and my sensei has informed me that I am already a potential threat, not to society but to myself. The course work initially seemed a bit peculiar but who would question these ancient arts? One learns at last, through careful discipline and study that spelling, of all things, is paramount. With one miscalculated jab of a keystroke, I had signed up for a course in Mixed Marital Arts!…………..Move just one letter! If truth be told, and we seek the truth in all things, this will be a more valuable course considering the amount of time Susan and I spend in the car together. Perhaps there will be less “Blood on the Tracks!” Ahy-ya!!
The seven hour journey was made by us and most of the trucks in North America, all trying to get to warmer weather. We stopped in Louisville,Ky. thinking we are in the South at last. Just imagine for a moment the song “My Old Kentucky Home.” When you hear that you think warm, maybe hot. But leaving our hotel for the nearest oyster bar we were hit by a wind chill of about minus ten. For those of you who have skied down a mountain, fast on a cold day, you will recall what it’s like to have your face so cold you get a headache and fear you will never be able to smile again. Similar to eating ice cream too fast – but then you at least get the ice cream.
Ashtabula and Louisville. Two more cities we won’t be living in.
The world is a shrinking orb and upon returning to the hotel bar for a night cap we encountered a gentleman who had spent time in Reno, Nevada, a place we know well. People have many ideas about the inhabitants of that fair city and he was here to pour fuel on the flame that keeps that fire alive. With almost no coercing we were soon availed of the knowledge that he was a Telephone Psychic! You can not make this stuff up although I wish I could……..maybe I could…….maybe I did! Anyway, just imagine actually sitting down next to a real psychic at bar. What an opportunity. Our future about to unfold before us. But first we ask “How do you discover that you have psychic powers?” Now on the edge of our seats he reveals to us that as a young man, if you arrive in Reno with several of your friends, none of whom have jobs, and are all sleeping in an acquaintance’s front yard, you can all apply for jobs as Telephone Psychics and you can all get hired. You are just naturally clairvoyant once employed. No training required! The best psychics are the ones who can keep their callers on the line for over twenty minutes after which the rates go up.!
I am encouraging my daughter Kelsey, who still lives in Reno, to determine if the same high standards apply for doctors, lawyers and educators. She may have a bright future in any of these professions……or perhaps as a Telephone Psychic!
Reno – A city we might be living in! A small ray of hope for the real estate agent who has shown us properties for ten years. Coincidently, her name is Hope.
Much has happened since Louisville.
If you are cold tonight, just hum “My old Kentucky Home” and further freeze your _ _s off!!!!
Until next time.
Road warrior. On to Memphis!