Taking Flight

… ..or ♪ It’s a Long Way to River Mersey ♫

They were testing positive just down the road in Tampa when we hunkered down to wait it out until the end of May, best case scenario, and worse case the end of June. After two weeks of self-imposed isolation our plan was looking a little sketchy so we decided to pack up the camper and drive home. Then we decided to leave the camper behind because it would really slow us down. And then, like the Israelites, we fled. Not from persecution of course, but from the dreaded Covid19. Like the Clampetts, we loaded up the truck and moved to Canadie.

And when I say loaded, I mean loaded. No, no, there wasn’t a kitchen sink but there was a breadbox (of standard breadbox size if you want to be comparing anything to it.) It’s hard to pack up all of your accoutrements and tools and a winter’s work in a hurry and I am left wondering now about some of my choices. Why for example, did I bring these?

Toilet paper? Candy eyeballs? Which one would you rather do without?

At the last get-go I was just stuffing things into cracks like a hoarder I saw last month at a storage facility. She had been standing there with the corrugated roll-up door three quarters of the way up, attempting to stuff articles of clothing into the non-existent chinks of a wall of bags and bins and loose clothing that was packed so tightly that it looked like it had been pressed into a cube by a scrap car compactor. I now understand that look on her face; panic on the verge of becoming despair because there is just too much stuff. You see, a week before we left we made a Costco run to purchase hunker-down supplies. Now, I question some of those choices as well. When the people around me were filling their carts with toilet paper and Lysol wipes I was loading up on macadamia nuts and artichoke hearts. And by the Lord Lightning, I wasn’t going to be going into the Coronavirus Apocalypse without a good stock of Vienna sausages. Anyhow, by the end of it I was cramming the truck with loose rolls of toilet paper and random pairs of socks and blue glass candy dishes Whaaat? Doesn’t everyone use a blue glass candy dish to serve their Vienna sausages? Do they know in Vienna that we named these weird tubular animal byproduct morsels after them? I digress.

We left our winter home at 5:30 in the morning on Friday. Just over 2000 miles (3219 km) later we pulled into the driveway of our summer home at 1:30 on Sunday morning (tho it felt more like late Saturday night). We had one seven hour siesta with family outside Washington DC and the remainder was driving from one gas station to the next. I’ll just share a few details of that journey:

Traffic was bizarre. In the Southern states there was just long-haul truckers, us, and eight and a half billion Quebecers driving motor homes. Once we outran the motorhomes it was smooth sailing and by the time we got to New York it was, well, just us. Later, we were the only car in the line-up at the border crossing and oh believe me, there is a God, and she whispered in that Border Agent’s ear “Please don’t make those poor people unload their vehicle, please don’t make those poor people unload their vehicle, please don’t…….”

Approaching New York City during what should have been weekend rush hour. It was downright eerie.

You have to use a lot of public washrooms between Florida and here. I shudder still to think of it. Maybe that’s why there are so many Quebecers with motorhomes – their toilets go right along with them. Too much information alert: even now at home I am having difficulty breaking the habit of hovering.

Our supply of boiled eggs (Costco size packages) could have given the proverbial loaves and fishes a run for their money. The eggs were a nice side for our egg salad sandwiches and our ham and egg breakfast sandwiches. (Thanks Mr. Mike for the breakfast sandwich maker. It came in right handy)

I will be writing a letter to Anna Burns to thank her for writing Milkman. That particular audiobook kept us entertained for many a mile. She be brilliant. Haven’t been so excited about a book since I discovered Faulkner in my first year of university. It was my lowest point when the book ran out and I had to switch to Of Mice and Men. Not a lot of humour in that one.

Some days the Canadian flag is the most beautiful sight on the planet even if it is tearing itself to shreds in thirty below zero temperatures in gale force winds. I’m not kidding, I’m sure it was that cold at the Big Stop Irving in Salisbury, New Brunswick. I’m serious. It was so cold that the politicians had their hands in their OWN pockets.

A very pleasant site, our old house in the wee hours of Sunday morning and even better, stepping inside to find the heat and lights on and the fridge stocked. Gail, you just added a few new stars to your crown. I hope we can find a way to adequately thank you.

Self-isolation trials and tribulations to follow. In the meantime, keep your fingers out of your noses and carry a six foot stick for marking your territory.

© Judy Parsons 2020

4 Comments to "Taking Flight"

  1. Jon Stone's Gravatar Jon Stone
    March 24, 2020 - 10:29 pm | Permalink

    So glad you guys made it back without mishaps. Stay safe and warm and healthy. All this too will pass.

  2. Cheryl Benson's Gravatar Cheryl Benson
    March 25, 2020 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I was thinking only a couple days ago that you should be coming out with a Coronavirus blog, and here it is, and it’s better than I could have imagined! Thank you! I also wondered if you two would make it back to Canada this summer, so that question is also answered. Stay safe.

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