Alas, trips long in the planning come to an end all too soon. All you have are the memories of a week that was.
December 9, 2013
Ellen/Reid: Damn, that Thanksgiving extravaganza in Hilton Head went by too fast. You were all there, and then, just like that, you were gone. Those are the sorts of trips that we’ll remember, as much for Emma ruling the roost as you, Reid, working until all hours on computer/geek stuff. Really, I was sweating bullets with all the gloom-and-doom weather
forecasts about people being stranded in airports, etc. Even if you got in a bit later than expected, you still got in the same night. Nothing beats cooking for you guys and hearing you all yammer at once (when you’re not checking your mobile devices, of which I am also guilty). By our standards the weather was paltry, but for you Midwesterners it must have felt almost balmy. It was so much better than what you had at home. The offer of the timeshare is still open for either of you but as you know, some advanced warning and a range of dates are needed. If you want to conspire on a joint week, be my guest. I don’t have the foggiest about which unit you will ultimately get, but it would be one in the vicinity. Hard to beat Hilton Head for just straight relaxation although as you saw down at the alleged lighthouse, it can be touristy to the max. For the record, seeing the golf course a few yards away out the back window didn’t bother me at all. There was no temptation. You can always tell Emma she got to see one alligator even though years from she’ll not recall it.
When you guys were on the tarmac at the Savannah airport, I was with Mort and his wife Laura having a nice lunch over at the golf course clubhouse. It was good they got to use the condo; the remaining three days would have gone to waste. The drive home on Sunday was punishingly, stupifyingly slow. What should have been semi-leisurely 3:45 drive turned into nearly 7 tortuous hours. No sooner had I gotten on I-95 north when things slowed to a crawl. I thought there might be a traffic accident up ahead, but traffic was inching along in the other direction, too. It was that way for nearly 175 miles up to Columbia. It was just a hell of a lot of traffic. A top speed might have been 40 MPH but it seemed we were at a dead stop a lot of the time. The rule of the road is this: fast traffic always catches up to slow traffic and that’s what happened. I could look in the rear view mirror on some high spots in the road and see bumper-to-bumper traffic as far behind me as the eye could see. To be blunt, we are a nation of idiots. We are all roughly going the same direction. Why they hell can’t we think about some sort of mass transit (trains ideally) to stop this auto dependency madness? When I was inches from the car ahead of me and the car behind me was inches from my bumper, it occurred to me that Americans may enjoy too much freedom of mobility. We have the wherewithal to drive, so we do. It’s just sheer stupidity and a complete waste of fossil fuel resources. We ought to be able to plan ahead, check train schedules and almost adopt the European model of ‘Oh, the train leaves at this time’ rather than ‘I’ll go when I damn well please just because I can.’ When you’re stuck in stupid traffic, one has the time to think of such things. While mindlessly dialing for stations, I came across some bluegrass station where the emcee had a drawl as thick as your hair. It was a nice interlude during the stop-and-go moments.
But we all got home, none the worse for wear. It’s nice to live near at least a chunk of the more natural world. With the leaves down in the greenbelt, it’s easier to see the deer come and go. There was a 10 point buck meandering outside my window late last week. As big as I’ve seen in these parts. With the temperatures dropping, the birds have been engaged in a feeding frenzy at the sunflower and suet feeders outside the kitchen window. They pillage several helpings of food every day. My little plastic tree is up,
and just in time too. I needed a dose of Christmas spirit, and once the lights were on, it lifted things up for me. The tree is sufficient; nothing needs to be tucked below the spindly limbs, if you catch my drift. I’ve got enough.