In Praise of Patience

Late Thursday evening Studly Doright and I returned home to Doright Manor here in the panhandle of Florida. We’d left Port Byron, Illinois, on Wednesday morning after celebrating our middle granddaughter’s birthday with a family breakfast at a restaurant of her choice in Moline. I wish I’d thought to take a photo that morning, but this is our lovely 14-year-old McKayla.

Studly and I departed from Moline and started towards home, only he didn’t take the exit our gps indicated. When I questioned him he just said, “Patience.”

After nearly three hours of patience we ended up in Champaign, Illinois, to have brunch downtown at Sam’s Cafe. We both love Sam’s, where the pancakes are the best and the French toast is out of this world. The old diner on Walnut Street is nothing much to look at, but oh, how we’ve missed it. I’d come down with a cold on Tuesday night, but that French toast tasted like it might cure all my ailments.

We left Sam’s and finally took a southbound road out of Champaign. I figured that since we’d dawdled for the first three hours of the day that Studly would be in a mood to make up some ground. I was wrong. Somewhere south of Marion, IL, he took an exit that had us traveling a winding road through Vienna down to Metropolis where we stopped for a burger at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse before checking in at Harrah’s casino and hotel. I was baffled. It was just barely 5 p.m. We never stop before 7 p.m. when traveling like this. When I asked Studly if he’d been abducted by aliens and reprogrammed to wander aimlessly he just said, “Patience.”

We didn’t go into the casino. Instead we watched tv and snuggled into the first truly comfortable bed we’d had all week. I took cold medicine and slept like a rock for much of the night. As soon as we were back in the car on Thursday morning Studly turned in the opposite direction our gps indicated. I didn’t bother asking what he was doing. “Patience” seemed to be the only answer I’d get anyway.

I should have anticipated that his intended destination was food related. When we lived in Illinois, Studly’s job took him to the Metropolis area often, and there he discovered Rube’s Cafe. Rube’s serves biscuits and gravy made exactly like Studly’s mother makes them, and he’s been dreaming about them since we moved from Illinois six years ago. I had a bacon and cheese omelet while Studly feasted on biscuits and gravy. I believe there was a tear in his eye as we drove away.

The remainder of the trip was fairly straightforward; although, I did plot us a route that avoided major metropolitan areas. We used the gps sparingly, and I navigated us on peaceful backroads through Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

I seriously enjoy reading maps, and the activity kept me alert all day. Our route added an hour to the original route’s estimated arrival time, but we avoided the stress of the holiday traffic crush, and perhaps some major delays around Nashville in Tennessee, and Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama.

I’ll take this over the interstate any day:

There’s a lot to be said in favor of patience.

Peace, people.

More Pictures from the Road

On Saturday Studly and I traveled the second leg of our Christmas journey, driving from Clarksville, Tennessee, to Port Byron, Illinois. We made good time and soon were hugging our daughter and three of our five grandkids.

This is how the youngest one dressed to greet us in 33° weather:

After getting the grandkids all riled up we headed to a pizza place across the river in LeClaire, Iowa, where we played pinball and Pac-Man, tried our luck with the claw game and the fortune telling machine while the pizza was being cooked. I was too busy playing to take any pictures, but I took this one of the granddaughters posing as the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who in front of a shop in LeClaire.

There wasn’t nearly as much NASCAR style driving going on today, so my sanity isn’t in question as it was last night. I didn’t take many photos from the passenger seat today either, but we did pass a truck carrying its payload in an unorthodox manner:

Studly called my attention to this odd sight as we approached the truck north of Springfield, Illinois. We pondered for many miles how this little car was loaded onto the bed of the truck.

Other than these two pictures I only snapped a few others:

Studly got a bit excited when he saw snow on the side of the road. I hope that’s the ONLY snow we see this week; although, the forecast is calling for a white Christmas.

That’s part of the Peoria, Illinois, skyline, above. Not a great photo, but Peoria is kind of a cool river town.

As I type this, Studly and I are unwinding in our cozy hotel room with a view of the Mississippi River outside our window. We’re watching the Kansas Jayhawks play basketball while recharging our batteries for tomorrow’s activities with the grandkids. We’re going to need all the energy we can muster. Wish us luck.

Peace, people.

Pictures from the Road

Studly Doright and I are heading north to spend Christmas with our daughter who lives near Moline, Illinois. I’d intended to write today’s blog post as Studly drove, but I couldn’t concentrate on writing while he was navigating the bumper to bumper traffic.

Things got a little intense a time or two. Going through Dothan, Alabama, a car came within inches of plowing into my door. Only Studly’s quick reflexes kept us from getting hit. Then somewhere north of Nashville a car stopped abruptly in the left hand lane of I-24. Again Studly’s quick thinking prevented an accident. My hero!

So, I didn’t write a thing until we got to our hotel room, and all I have to show for today’s blog are three photos taken while Studly drove:

I have a fondness for Piggly Wiggly signage. My dad managed a Piggly Wiggly grocery store for much of my life, and I met Studly when he worked for my dad at the Piggly Wiggly in Dumas, Texas.

This huge confederate flag waves over a section of I-65 in Alabama. Confederate flag memorabilia is sold in every gas station and convenience store along the interstate. The current president is quite popular in these parts, and I’m always in a hurry to get out of this state.

Traffic in the southbound lanes of I-65 came to a standstill due to a nasty accident just outside of Nashville. Look how far back the headlights go in the distance. Too many people all trying to get somewhere for the holidays. Hoping no one was seriously injured in the wreck.

Tomorrow’s traffic should be less hectic. There won’t be any major cities to navigate between Nashville and Moline, but if you don’t hear from me tomorrow you’ll know I’ve surrendered my sanity.

Peace, people.

Hey Toto, This Isn’t Florida

This is what I awakened to this morning:

Maybe I needed a reminder that I wasn’t snuggled into my bed in Doright Manor near Quincy, FL, on this Friday morning. Or maybe it was time for my “Driving on Snowy Roads” refresher course.

Brrrrr! And peace, people.

Happy Place

Happiness is…

…being in my daughter’s home.

…listening to my eldest grandson talk about a book he’s writing.

…watching our middle granddaughter practice her cheerleading routine.

…waking up to the exuberant sounds of our youngest grandchild greeting a new day.

On this Wednesday morning, I am so incredibly happy.

Unpacking to Repack and Freaking Out

I might’ve used this title before. If so, my apologies. Surely no one is keeping tabs, least of all me. It just seems that my life is divided into two unequal parts: 4/5 a yawn worthy routine and 1/5 “holy cow I’ve got back to back events, and I’d better freak out a little.”

Freaking out is my go to mode when the routine is broken up, and since I’ve had the same reaction for as much of my life as I can remember I recognize it for what it is and just roll with the feelings. Sometimes I can even use them to help me focus on the task at hand.

Studly Doright and I broke up our normal routine and spent Friday night in Orlando, FL, so I’d packed an overnight bag with just the essentials. Of course in freak out mode the essentials ended up being the entire contents of my cosmetics drawer and enough outfits to have stayed for a week instead of just one night.

Saturday was used to recover from a Friday night spent at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, and once we were back home I slept much of the day. Getting scared silly multiple times for five straight hours is exhausting. Part of me knew there was something I was supposed to be freaking out about, but I was too tired to care.

So on Sunday morning, I’m back to full on freak out. I’m flying from Tallahassee to our daughter’s home in Illinois on Tuesday to stay for a week, hoping to help out around the house after she undergoes surgery. I say “hoping” because sometimes I’m more of an annoyance in those situations than I am a help. I have given myself pep talks, and made promises to myself not to be a nuisance or a hoverer. Hovering is my unwanted super power.

At least my bag is still partially packed from the trip to Orlando, but if I needed seven tops for an overnight trip I’m going to need at least 49 for a seven day trip, right? And at least 40 of those need to be sweaters because it’s way colder at her house than it is in Florida this time of year. And boots. I’ll need boots and socks. No flip flops! Maybe just one pair, you know, just in case the temps warm up, and a coat. Will I wear the coat on the plane or should I try to pack it in my carry on with the 40 sweaters? Everything has to go in the carry on. I’m not checking a bag! That’s an extra $60 both ways. Well, maybe I should just pay the extra, but wait, what if my luggage gets lost and I have to go buy all new clothes while I’m there? Better to cram as much as I can in my carry on. Or not. Argh!

See? Freak out mode. BUT, I get to see my daughter and my Illinois grandkids in a few days! Totally worth the freak out. Right?

Now, where is that other pair of jeans? No, not those, the dark blue ones.

Peace, people!

Buhbye to Roseanne

When ABC revived the Roseanne show I didn’t pay much attention. I’d seldom watched the original program and had no desire to watch the reboot. All politics aside, I always found the show to be mean spirited.

When we lived outside of Champaign, Illinois, I saw Roseanne Barr do standup live at the venerable Virginia Theater. Studly Doright was out of town that week and I got bored, so at the last minute I bought a ticket.

She was good that night. Not great. She seemed subdued, talking about how becoming a grandmother had changed her. There was nothing political about her performance, as I recall, and I gave her scant thought after I left the theater.

But these past couple of years Roseanne has become a vocal trump supporter. Her tweets on Twitter were peppered with insults aimed at Liberals, some were of a blatantly racist nature. She even embraced hardcore right wing conspiracy theories and shared them with no regard for the truth.

In spite of this, ABC brought her back into the fold hoping, perhaps, that she could keep her racist ideology under wraps long enough to make big bucks for the network. Yesterday, though, she finally went too far for ABC and parent company, Disney.

From a local ABC affiliate:

Roseanne Barr wrote early Tuesday morning, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj.” Barr was responding to a comment about Valerie Jarrett, a top former aide to president Obama. She later deleted the tweet.

The show was quickly cancelled following the abrupt resignations of show writers, Wanda Sykes and Whitney Cummings. I’d say, “bravo, ABC,” but they knew she was a racist, right wing troll when they hired her. Public outcry was the driving force behind her termination.

So let us bid adieu to Roseanne, at least for now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her honored for her actions by the Racist-in-Chief.

Peace, people

Here are somewhat relevant photos of The Virginia Theater in Champaign. I adore this old place.

And an even more relevant photo of a younger Roseanne grabbing her crotch during her heinous performance of the national anthem before a sporting event.

Back in the Future

Poor Studly Doright has a herniated disk. For the past three weeks the pain this has inflicted has prevented him from sleeping more than thirty minutes at a time. Walking takes his breath away and sitting isn’t much better. He has an appointment scheduled with a highly respected neurologist next Monday, but calls the doctor’s office three times a day to check for last minute cancellations.

I was away for a week visiting our daughter in Illinois. During my absence Studly tested every flat surface in the house in order to try and get some rest. There were pillows and blankets everywhere including on the kitchen counter and the dining table. He tried out all of the guest rooms and both sofas. While I felt awful about leaving him, he swears it was a good thing I was gone because he’d likely have driven me crazy.

Now, somewhere in my journey to and from Illinois I tweaked my back. I’m not sure if it was done while lifting the five-year-old grandchild for a hug or while hoisting my suitcase in and out of the car. Regardless, my lower back isn’t happy with me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suffering nearly as much as Studly is, but I’m not too spry right now either.

This afternoon as Studly limped pitifully down the hall towards our bedroom I followed slowly with a load of folded clothes to put away, one hand supporting my lower back. We alternated grunts of pain.

“Oh!”

“Ow!”

“Damn!”

Between exclamations I told Studly this was a look at our future: A little old man and his little old wife moving like little old snails.

He wasn’t amused. I guess snail humor isn’t his thing.

Peace, people.

Mississippi River by Morning

After two full days on the road, navigating crazy interstate traffic I am safely home, and can honestly say, “There’s no place like Doright Manor!”

Yes, I’ll miss my grandkids and my daughter, but I was really glad to be reunited with my husband and my shower, my cats, and my own bed, not necessarily in that order. It is good to be home.

The last thing I did before leaving Port Byron, Illinois, early Sunday morning was to drive down the Main Street of the small town to take a picture or two of the mighty Mississippi River that divides Illinois from Iowa.

Across the river one can see a portion of Le Claire, Iowa, reflected perfectly in the still water.

And here the mist partially obscures the bridge connecting the two states.

Moody, right? I just couldn’t leave without trying to capture the Mississippi in the morning.

Peace, people.

Lagomarcino’s for Me

Before the grandkids arrived home from school on Friday afternoon I drove across the Mississippi River into Iowa just so I could have a hot fudge sundae at Lagomarcino’s in Davenport.

My daughter introduced me to Lago’s when she first moved to the quad cities (Moline, Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island) several years ago, insisting that they served the best hot fudge sundaes in the known universe. After my first taste I agreed with her.

What makes these hot fudge sundaes so special? Well, Lago’s makes their own ice cream and their own hot fudge. And unlike other places where the sauce has already cooled atop the ice cream, at Lago’s the fudge is served separately and is still hot when it arrives at the table. Yum!

I portioned it out little by little and the last drop of fudge was still nice and hot, and as absolutely delicious as the first! I savored every bite knowing it will be a while before I get another of these treats since I’m heading towards home on Sunday morning.

Peace, people!