Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guess Who's Back?


Wooo-wee. Last week was the most un-vacationy vacation ever. What started as an impromptu romp across three states to check in with family turned into a huge work day...then two...then three...then SIX. 

West Virginia was the place of my birth, but I moved to Ohio as a child and then slid to the great state of Tennessee. 

This year officially marks the point in time where I can say I've lived in Tennessee longer than any other state. There are many perks of living here. The climate is moderate, the people ooze friendly and there's way more colleges than necessary. Sometimes you skip seasons here, which is pretty cool. You can go from winter to summer in the same week. In other years, winter is more like a rainy season and no one complains that they were "winter gypped." Kind people sweeten your tea for you and look at you like you're crazy if you want to do that yourself. Festivals celebrate the biscuit (true story...we have a Biscuit Festival). The Smoky Mountains are beautiful and easy to find - just drive toward them. We have Dollywood. DOLLYWOOD, people.

In spite of all that, I miss the Midwest and the ethnic melting pot that was my hometown and it's nice to visit. 

Here are some post-roadtrip observations and revelations:
  • If Tennessee, Kentucky or Ohio are serious about interstate travel, someone needs to tell the road crews. Nothing is more discouraging than being five hours into a road trip, otherwise known as the numb-butt phase, when suddenly the freeway is more like a parking lot.
  • Gonzo cannot stomach road kill (no, we weren't eating it). Funny thing about not wanting to look at something gross: your brain confuses the message. You're telling it "don't look at raccoon carnage" and your brain processes that as "look intently and don't miss any details that might make you retain your lunch." 
  • There's an ungodly amount of large roadkill in Kentucky and Ohio. If you are one of the many good intentioned animal lovers who feed wildlife, I'd like to suggest you spike your deer feed with Prozac or Zoloft. Bambi has a death wish.
  • Nauseated teenagers don't find anything about roadkill humorous; I tried ("Hey, who turned that thing inside out?" or "Who had a grenade for lunch?"). All the rules about the hilarity of incongruous or ridiculous deadpan comments don't apply, apparently.
  • In light of the previous three comments, we observed that Ohio has a ridiculous amount of buzzards and they're circling the entire southern half of the state.
  • The CIA may be following me. It's the only explanation I have for the same two or three vehicles traveling with me the whole way, even after we would stop for lunch. If it was a dark panel van, I'd say that I'm certain it was a covert operation, but as it is I am just highly suspicious. Now I have to figure out what I've done. I mean, I did pull off the mattress tag but I didn't really think it was that big of a deal. My bad.
  • Tennessee, you could lure the whole state of Ohio down here if you'd just get a decent deli. Oy vey, what you're doing to corned beef down there is a crime. I do a great impression of the local grocery cashier's face when I said the word "pierogi." After I said it three times, he informed me that there was no such thing in Tennessee. He was right.
  • Every year, things get smaller in my hometown - especially my mom's house. Did five people and a dog really live in that house? Why is it that I didn't think of the bedrooms as small? The house I grew up in had three bedrooms and they were totally adequate. Fast forward to today: as I look for a smaller house, I wouldn't consider buying a house with bedrooms that same size.
  • Ohio's roads make Tennessee's roads look fabulous. I'll never complain again. Potholes were so prevalent that I didn't let Gonzo drive and that was one of the main reasons I took him along! In retrospect, I should have let him experience it since he'll probably never get to drive on the moon (the most similar terrain).
  • Want to keep a seat belt on a kid for life? Drive past a wreck where a passenger was thrown from his vehicle. No joke. Emergency personnel had not yet arrived and the poor guy was getting chest compressions right there in the middle of the road. Heartbreaking!
  • I never want to eat out again.
Lastly, my bed is awesome and I'm glad I'm sleeping there tonight.


38 comments:

  1. >>... "I mean, I did pull off the mattress tag"

    Oh, Cherdo, CHERDO, CHERDO!

    And to think that some people consider ME a Mutineer who was born to rock the boat! Even I have never found the courage to remove a mattress tag!

    Well, you can be sure that you are under constant surveillance now. I expect you'll be forced to become a government informant soon.

    And here I thought you were so respectable.

    (Welcome back, though. Glad you got home safe.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I'm no mattress narc! If people start imitating me and my rebel tendencies I'll be forced to do something different. Those domestic spies never met a more doggedly addicted cruise control felon. As everyone knows, that sort of monotony totally undermines their ability to focus on their moving stakeout. Take that, Memorial Day highway cruisers!

      (Glad to be back.)

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  2. Welcome home. One good thing about Jacksonville is the lack of roadkill. The rats and cats move too quickly to be squashed. I would like to go to Dollywood. I also want to visit Loretta Lynn's home and museum. Graceland, of course.

    How can I go about joining The Battle of the Bands? Favorite Young Man and I discussed it. I want to go for it. I think I'll start with Superstar by the Carpenters and Luther Vandross. Or maybe not.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Ha ha ha...all ya gotta do is contact Stephen T. McCarthy, I suppose. He is the KING. But I think you should start with Vandross and The Carpenters instead of the other way around. Keep it original! We're creative.

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    2. I confess: I pulled off the mattress tag long ago.

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    3. Janie, I expect no less.

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  3. Your road trip was very eventful. If it make you feel any better, I would have appreciated the roadkill jokes ;)

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    1. Thick or thin, I knew I could count on you.

      Seriously, Gonzo was freaking out and not without reason. I don't know what's going on but it was a ridiculous amount of VERY LARGE critter demise.

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  4. Good morning, dear Cherdo, and welcome back home! I've been thinking about you and waiting patiently by my inbox for an email to let me know how things are going.

    I don't like long car trips. (My definition of long is two minutes or more.) I am terribly sorry to learn that your trip, which took at least twice that long, was an ordeal. It must have been a nightmare for you and Gonzo to encounter all those road crews, pot holes and ground up animal carcasses. It makes me sad to learn that so many deer and other large animals are struck along the roadways in Kentucky and Ohio.

    I returned from my latest round of traveling last night and, to my surprise, we had great weather and few if any delays throughout the holiday weekend. It seemed like a miracle because we rode on highways that are often backed up bumper bumper for miles and a long bridge across the bay that has, on many occasions, earned the nickname The Car Tangled Spanner.

    Other friends have reported the phenomenon of the incredible shrinking childhood home and I have experienced it, too. When I returned home after several years of living in Florida the old house was claustrophobic. Even the outbuildings where the servants reside seemed smaller somehow.

    ................................... :) aaaaand there it is.

    Dear friend, today marks a change in my schedule. my daily routine. From now on it will become necessary for me to abandon the early morning blogging that I have enjoyed all these years and visit my favorite blogs at least a couple hours later, sometimes much later in the day. Please understand.

    Thank you. dear friend Cherdo, for putting an entertaining spin on the challenges you faced in your travels. I am very happy to know that you are back home safe and sound.

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    1. You wish will come true in about fifteen minutes, ha ha.

      I have never been so glad to be back home, but I did get to visit one of my sisters and attend to some tasks that desperately needed attention. If I could foresee the future, I'll bet I'm doing that more often.

      We have to change our schedules from time to time or we'll get in a rut. We can't have that! I'm considering going to three days a week as I take on another project. Do what you must to keep it real!

      I'm off and attending to "catch up" chores. Have a great day and God bless.

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    2. About twelve years ago or so, The Hurricane and I visited the city where I did most of my growing up--Topeka, Kansas. I found the street where we lived without any trouble. I knew the house we owned and then sold in anticipation of my father's retirement was the second house on the left. I drove past the second house on the left, which seemed a tiny shack. WE lived there? My parents, and four of us kids were still at home when we moved in. We even had a dog and a parlor grand piano. I don't know how we got in the door. As my siblings grew up and left, the house became a bit more comfortable. But when I saw my sister later that day, I told her we drove by the house on Avalon Lane. I said, It was the second one on the left, wasn't it? She confirmed that it was. We shook our heads in amazement. Even the small house I live in now seems a mansion compared to the house in Topeka. I think it's having two bathrooms that makes the difference. I am the only person who lives here, and I have two bathrooms. Having one bathroom for six people, a dog, and a parlor grand piano was a nightmare. As the youngest, I got the last turn in the bathroom. I'm surprised I didn't burst.

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    3. I guess when our brains were little everything looked big.

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  5. How horrifying to see an accident that soon after it happened.
    Road trips are never fun. Between traffic, construction, and eating out, it just sucks.

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    1. Yes, I couldn't help but dwell on the poor family and the sad news they'd soon receive.

      Both my son and I came home determined never to eat out again. So I guess the trip was good for our health.

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  6. Glad you made it home safely. We were traveling from Texas to Illinois and back, so I can relate. Two observations....the road kill for us was armadillos. They were laying along the road with their feet in the air, puffing up. For us the bad roads were in Oklahoma, specifically Rt 69 up to I-44. Rough is an understatement.

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    1. Be careful and avoid the crazies, Linda. There's plenty to go around.

      My sis just returned from a trip out west and had to dodge tornadoes. I guess I can't complain about roadkill, by comparison. No risk to me!

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  7. Linda Kay above just took the words right out from underneath me about the armadillos!! There is no shortage of seeing them on any road trip 45 minutes or further out. Possums too!
    I also encountered an accident minutes after it happened a few years ago. It was awful! The guy was slumped between the seat and the door. I will never get that image out of my head. Ironically, my step dad was a fireman and we were on the way to the station. He saw things every week on his shifts.
    When we were visiting Todd's ol stomping ground in Ohio a few weeks ago, he said the same thing when he saw his 2 homes he grew up in. Funny how things like homes shrink. Now if I could only shrink a few sizes that would be great!
    Glad you're back safe and sound.

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    1. Thanks, Holli! I have never been so glad to be home in my life, ha ha.

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  8. It is funny how our brains are wired to look at roadkill even though we don't want to see it. When it turns out to be a carpet or something I think that just makes it worse because your brain goes "why not look? last time it was just a carpet!" Our beds are awesome and there's no place like home. Glad your back Cheryl!

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    1. Thank you, Maurice!

      The problem is that my brain never listens to me.

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  9. "If it was a dark panel van..."
    That was just me. I was following you to make sure the terrorists didn't get you. Looks like it worked.

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    1. ...and I am forever in your debt, Mike. You didn't hit that deer, did ya?

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  10. Glad you're back, despite roadkill, potholes, and poor deli food.

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  11. To see a man being worked on is something you will never forget. That must have set the mood for the day. I never thought someone would not know what a pierogi is-weird. You did make me laugh at the road kill talk. I have said to people that is the food they are serving at the nearby restaurant. My hubby would not eat that day and was p-o'd at me:)

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    1. Hasn't everyone heard of Mrs. T, even if they don't make pierogi? Do biscuits take the place of everything here? Ha ha ha.

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  12. Seriously. no "pierogi"? What planet were you visiting?

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    1. THAT is the response I expected - food horror!

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  13. Welcome Back! And I did not make the mess in this blog while you were gone!

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    1. Chris, I know I can count on you to clean up after yourself. LOL.

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  14. Tornadoes, AND road kill! I believe I observed those same bloated armadillo, Linda, because we were on the same route! I love to travel, but this years trip back home did not sit well. Glad you're home safe .....and hopefully sound, sister!i

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    1. I'm beginning to tap back into reality. Is there a vehicle I can get that allows me to stand up while I drive? I needed that.

      So glad we could get together! Love you.

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  15. It's road repair season up here, too. So frustrating!

    I like the pierogi story.

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    1. Thanks, Squid! It's totally true.

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  16. Road kill and road repair are crappy, especially when your arse falls asleep lol then comes that tingly feeling as you move around. Maybe the CIA want to recruit you?

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    1. You know, I never thought about that, Pat...I do like covert ops...I'd be perfect!

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo