….or Due Northeast then West.
It’s going to take a little while to settle into a groove. Right now I’m still settling into this space; we have three days of driving ahead of us and if I have to sit still that long I need to be comfortable with lots of activities. Like a little kid with a shiny new travel backpack, I am writing in my new 5 subject notebook on my new lap desk (which, how marvelous, has a built in LED light, a cup holder, and a pencil tray) wearing my new snap on sunglasses on my new eyeglasses (with built-in rhinestones; working on that trailer trash look) and taking regular sips of warm Tim’s from my not-so-new but tried-and-true spill-proof coffee cup. If only I had a connect the dots book and a brand new package of crayons life would be complete. When I am not scribbling I am texting the not-so-young-youngsters (my blessèd, I loves hyphens) and glancing up from time to time to be alarmed at some pick-up truck passing us on the double line thinking we are the weakest link while it is actually the daydreaming soul in the tiny car in front of us who is holding up the line. Do I care that everyone thinks it is us with our twenty foot trailer which is standing between them and Bridgewater? A tiny bit. I hope that little car is not “taking it’s time” all the way to Halifax.
We have only just passed Bob and the Boy’s market and I am getting restless. I have already had a snack and inserted the little paper labels into the plastic tabs of my notebook (could life really be any more exciting? – rhetorical question, we are really hoping for large doses of ordinary while driving) and am itching to start knitting a sock monkey, all the while worrying about the cats in their new home with the owl lady and wondering what I have forgotten to pack. I am distracted by the sight of a massive truck pulled off on the wrong side of the road facing up the exit ramp from Bridgewater. There is a man standing on the truck on a step-ladder with a measuring tape, measuring up over his head to see if he can clear the concrete overpass. We’ll never know unless, I suppose, he hits it and the highway has to close and all the traffic has to be rerouted around it and thousands of people discover there is a whole other side to Bridgewater and …..that’s how stories are born. I am excited that the load in question is the body of a windmill and I am reminded that the last time I stopped to admire windmill parts I lost my camera in the excitement. I pull myself together and try and settle back into the groove. I have done this stretch of road so may times since last May when I started fixing up the house to sell (sold) that I have lost count. It was so pretty only a few weeks ago with the autumn leaves at their peak. Now only the junipers show any colour; a rich Mikado yellow. Junipers are like the gender-confused of trees; look like conifers, act like deciduous. The low sun is flashing on and off through the tree tops at a rate which could induce a seizure in those susceptible and I smile as it catches the light in the ocean-coloured stone of my wedding ring.
Speaking of husbands, Lance points out an attraction: an eagle settling down on a flimsy tree top. I manage to clap my eyes on it just before we have gone by and after I marvel at the size of the beast I review my rule of sharing information on the road, which I learned sailing – if you want to point out a sea creature to someone, like a whale for example, you have to be efficient because chances are it won’t stick around very long. The rule: give position first, then the description. That way you look directly to where you need to before honing in on the object instead of whipping frantically about looking for anything that looks like the subject and by the time you know where it is, it is gone. For example, “Eleven o’clock, whale surfacing” works way better than “there’s a whale just coming up over there” at which time you turn your head to see where the person is pointing and by the time “over there” becomes clear, there is just a flat spot on the water where the whale dove (actually called a footprint). Sadly, I am not very good with this rule myself but will endeavour to practice. The companion rule to this on a boat is: if something is urgent, name the task first, then the reason, for example, “hard to port, flotsam” works way better than “luh, there’s a stick up there you better steer clear of it.”
Aside from the eagle and the trucker, the drive is pretty uneventful. Just a long trail of familiar landmarks and truck after truck after truck. My heavens, you could build a complete house with the cargo that has passed us already this morning: roof trusses, cement, lumber, sheets of glass and chickens for the little chicken coop you could build out back with the left-overs. But you won’t need to because, oh my God, there come’s half a house on the back of a truck!!! Sure I could live in that if I got rid of half my stuff. But I don’t even have to do that, because here comes the other half of a house on anudder truck!!! My dyslexia engages briefly as I try to figure out if they are the same or complimentary house-halves. Like his and hers pillowcases. Can you order a house from the Sears catalogue?
The lap desk is proving to be invaluable. I can write away to my heart’s delight and I haven’t once had to fish my pen out from the crack between the seat and the console (sounds rich, “console”) Whilst I write we make our way across New Brunswick toward the American border. Heigh-ho……
Travel tips: 1. Tim Horton’s breakfast sandwiches have much better holding power than any breakfast you might eat at home. 2. a very thin red cloth bag over the LED light on the lap desk will allow it to be used at night without interfering with night vision (like the red light on a nav table). I have just the thing; a tissue thin bag off the bottle of partridgeberry jam I got as a hostess gift, thanks Hilda and Jeff, its the gift that keeps on giving!!
Question of the day: Why did I never ever worry about inactivity when sailing? – I could have sat at the tiller on the same course for three days watching nothing but blue sky and ocean without getting restless. Sitting in a car does not engage the same area of the brain apparently.
luh – Newfinese for the word look.
© Judy Parsons 2014