I had an appointment in PA with my surgeon on Monday the 10th. We were leaving lovely Madison Heights and it would be a 6 hour drive. No worries. We got in the car and left on time, a fortuitous start. Breakfast was at the diner where I almost traumatized Cindy by ordering Brains and Eggs. After a quick visit to the post office and the gas station we set forth. All was well.
We drove on US 29, which runs from Pensacola FL to Baltimore MD. It is a major thoroughfare in VA and is named after the 29th Infantry Division which was formed in 1917 and has served with distinction in several wars. But anyway, we drove on US 29. This stretch from Roanoke to Charlottesville has a plethora of winerys, breweries, and I spotted one place that did cider. We even passed the Walton Mountain Museum. It was a lovely drive.
From there the landscape flattened out, with the only really interesting spot being the Bavarian Chef, a restaurant that was sadly closed. :(
We caught the interstate and this is where the tale of woe begins. Monday was apparently crazy driver day. It seemed like the big theme was trying to kill us or cause accidents. Lunch was fine but as we left and headed towards Baltimore the clouds that had hung over us all day opened up. After getting fleeced in Delaware by tolls we hoped it would get better but alas it was not to be. With the crazies this meant auto accidents. My stress level started to climb higher and higher the longer the delays were getting. There had been some leeway built into this trip but not as much as it was saying the delays were going to be. Cindy kept looking for other routes and that is how we ran into Blue Ball Rd.
Instead of simply driving up I 95, like originally planned, we ended up all over the place, including Trenton NJ on this epic rerouting. We had entered New Hope and were nearly there when they called us to check where we were. We told them we were maybe 2-3 minutes out. Then we reached the doctor for the appointment.
I have been having pain and this was a worrisome thing. So I was nervous. It turned out that there was nothing physically wrong but thanks to PTSD and such I have a pain issue that is recognized and a known thing. This means it is something I can deal with and can be fixed.
Feeling better, we headed for the tasty tasty Taco Loco and had dinner. Then it was off to Philly where we stayed the night at an AirBnB. It was a lovely place and we slept the sleep of the dead, at least I did.
This morning we got up, bought breakfast from a grocery store, coffee from a 7-11 and took off back this way. We had a plan, to go visit my High School and then the house I used to live in. A few hour drive later, we pull up at West Springfield H.S. in Springfield, VA. It was almost exactly the same as it had been when I had graduated in 1987. That's right 28 years ago. I showed Cindy the choir room, the stage, the creative writing classroom, the 11th grade class where my English teacher refused to answer my questions or to let me answer anything, the Library, Observatory, and the classroom where I came up with the Root Beer story that nearly killed Owl.
With only a minor turning around we made it to my old house. This is the house we rented when my father worked at the Pentagon from Colin Powell while he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. We took a picture of me in front of the house. Cindy told me to knock on the door and see if anyone was there, you know like in movies and TV? Well, someone was home.
|The window directly over the front door was mine.|
Oddly enough, they actually let us in. He was retired Military and she was a retired teacher. That was a bit freaky. Then they told me that the house was still known as the Powell house. We wandered around and I talked about each room and shared some of the fun stories involved. We talked and walked about for about an hour. It was surreal.
At lunch a wave of memories and emotions hit me and I teared up some. Thankfully Cindy drove after that because it took me a while to get recentered. When she got tired we pulled into a parking lot of some business called Edens. That was when we noticed that they sold Gluten Free stuff. Cindy went nuts. I convinced the woman to give us a cooler and ice packs. It was wild. The remaining drive back here was thankfully excitement free, but still lovely.
Once home, the leftovers from lunch that I had planned on eating were filched by one of the cats.