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Three score and ten or more

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ruminations on Coothood

When we moved to Georgia in 1970 (expecting to stay for two years), as a family we observed what seemed to be a Georgia phenomenon.  Wt least twice a week we would get stuck (on two lane roads) behind an older car or  pick-up going just about ten miles slower than the speed limit.  When we finally found a place where we could pass the car ahead, we could see that it was usually being driven by an elderly man, usually wearing a wide brimmed (frequently straw) hat. 

It became a running joke, seeing a car slowly progressing to somewhere, and one of the kids would say, (loudly), “Don’t get behind the old man with a hat>”

Yesterday, as I was driving us to our daily water aerobics session, I pulled out of our subdivision making a right turn and progressing in a westerly direction when a car zoomed up behind us at what seemed to be an extreme rate of speed (the limit on Burkhalter road at that point is 45 miles an hour. )  I sped up a little bit to encourage the guy not to rear end me, and went on down the road to the four way stop.  I turned right, and went on down the road about half a mile when I noticed that I had four cars lined up behind me.  One of them passed me going over a solid no passing line, and I sped up just a bit to discourage those others from endangering their lives and mine, when Janet turned to me and said softly “Don’t you have a wide brimmed Panama hat that you should wear in the mornings? “

It took a minute for this to sink in, but I moved a little faster for the rest of the way to the swim pool.  We both chuckled a bit, without discussing the topic at all.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Home Again

WE got home yesterday from our vacation.  We spent a week on a cruise and a second week in a time/share in the Berkshires on the Massachusetts-New York State line.  Ate lots took pictures of the beautiful fall foliage and, to our surprise actually lost weight.  It is good to be home.

Today, I watched the Israeli people celebrate the the recovery of their kidnapped soldier and watched the Palestinians celebrate the return of some five hundred Palestinian prisoners (with more yet to come) to their friends and families, and I confess that it makes me very uncomfortable.  I can’t give a logical reason why, but I have an inner fear that this action may end up being a flash point that starts an all out Middle East war.  I am trying to talk myself out of this feeling but as I watched all these people rejoice, I had, and still have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

After the cruise

I have got to post some of the things that happened between Boston and Halifax, and return but I will have to get to it a little later.  We returned from our cruise Saturday morning and had to pick up a rental car before noon to get to our time-share in the Berkshires. 

This time we got a cab driver who knew the way and zipped us to the car rental, and following the directions provided by the resort we went down the Mass turnpike to exit two and turned off onto US 20, (the scenic route.  It took us nearly eight hours to make the 140 mile trip.  For almost forty miles down near Sudbury (that's the name I can remember,) we were in a traffic jam going about 10 miles per hour.  When we got to the source, we discovered that the highway department had a road block letting cars by one way (in turns).  They were (THIS IS THE TRUTH)paving a drive way up into a group of houses.  To pave that driveway they had made drivers along along US Highway 20 drive at ten mph for about three or four hours.  Heaven only knows how long they kept that road tied up after we got through.

We arrived at our resort at about eight PM but we made it to check in, got unpacked and went to bed.  The next day we rested all day. We needed it.  WE didn’t have much food with us so we went about two miles to a tourist trap country store where we bought some butter, yoghurt, and had a couple of really wonderful turkey club sandwiches.  WE did go to the pool and do water aerobics (not a usual Sunday Activity, but we couldn’t locate a nearby church). It was very good.  We were both “stove up” from travel.  We hadn’t been able to to any aerobics on the ship.  The main pool on the ship was under repair and the smaller pool was so deep we didn’t have much success.  Monday may have been the nicest day of our vacation so far.   I need to explain that, to our surprise, we had seen very little in fall color in Boston, or at any of the ports on the way to Nova Scotia (or in Nova Scotia for that matter) but as we got half way to the Berkshires the color began to show, and right here  around our lodge the view is absolutely breathtaking.  Monday we drove to Bennington, Vermont where Janet wanted to go the Museum and work on Genealogy.  On the way we stopped at an “Apple Barn” which was a very pretty place with pumpkins by the hundred’s for sale.  Indoors they had an esoteric selection of cheeses, a lot of apples of all kinds and an interesting little shopping nook where everything was on sale and Janet did most of her Christmas shopping. (She Christmas shops all year).  We made our way through Bennington sight seeing till we got to the museum.  Janet had a lot of fun and got a lot of information at the museum.  She found that three of her ancestors were named in a quit-claim deed where William Bradford had given land to some of the citizens of Rehoboth (I think!!!) and she located military records of others from some Indian skirmishes and the French and Indian war in particular.  We had a wonderful, awesomely beautiful trip back and finished the day with an apple cider donut (from the apple barn again) with cider and some vanilla bean ice-cream.  I know this doesn’t sound like an exciting day, but it is so beautiful here that just going outside is an experience.   We also bought a book of Clement Moore’s NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS with illustrations by Grandma Moses (She was from this place, and they have a room in the museum dedicated to her art), and a book written and illustrated by Miles Moses (Grandma’s descendent) about Johnny Appleseed  (John Chapman, a kinsman of Throop Chapman and Welcome Chapman, two of the persons we were researching.

This is a little disjointed, but the day was so beautiful and fun that I just had to write about it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Travel reprise

Some time ago I wrote about the confusion that came when, due to a computer foul up with Travelocity I ended up with two airline tickets to our family reunion in Idaho. 

Early this month I wrote a post about how redeeming the thousand plus coupon we got after canceling one of the flights ended up with me using the entire coupon plus four hundred dollars to buy two round trip tickets on U.S Airways to Boston for our cruise (that were listed at 288 each and I roared on the keyboard about the whole thing).  My big computer and its relationship with Windows Live Writer ate the whole thing so my vitriolic attack on Travelocity and US Air went into the great beyond.  It probably was for the best because our trip to Boston was one of the best air trips we have had in years.  We had ended up with seats that I thought we would hate, in the very back seats of both planes (one to Charlotte and one, Charlotte to Boston).  Seated in the rear took away much of the pressure two handicapped folks have to get on and out of the plane, and at both Savannah and Charlotte the US Airline people were so helpful.

Of course when we got to Boston we discovered that somehow our hotel reservations (made through Hotwire) had fallen through.  I called Hotwire and “calmly” expressed my dismay and the nice lady I talked to at Hotwire found us another reservation that actually was cheaper than the first one.  Unfortunately it was about five miles further away than the first one and the added taxi fare made up the difference.

This leads to the real essence of my current post.  We stayed the night at a lovely Fairfield Inn.  We checked out early the next morning but stayed there in the lobby for a while so that we wouldn’t end up standing around the dock until it was time to load the ship.  After awhile they called a cab for us, stating that this cab company was very prompt and our cab would be there in twelve minutes.  About forty minutes later I insisted that the clerk check to see what was holding up the cab, or to call another company.  She called, and in about twenty minutes later the cab arrived.  We were waiting on the walk at the entry with the bags stacked around us when the cab arrived.

I got a sense of what was coming when this guy who looked about eighteen looked at the bags and asked, “Which ones ought to go in first?”  i tried to help him load the baggage in the trunk, but that was complicated by some gardening equipment that was already there.  We finally got everything in, (some in the front passenger seat) and we started off.  I tried to be diplomatic in asking if it wasn’t traditional to start the meter when he started on the way.  He replied that  his meter was broken, but that his boss had set a flat fee of thirty dollars to the Black Falcon Dock which was our departure point.  That was only a couple of dollars more than it had cost us to come from Logan airport and the dock was (according to instructions from the cruise line) about five miles the other side of Logan so I said okay. 

He took off and got to Logan in about ten minutes less than our cab ride to the hotel  so things looked promising, even though he apologized four or five times for driving with the window open because the air conditioning in the cab was broken. (He noted in passing that the speedometer in his cab was also broken.)  He got into Boston proper and got hopelessly lost.  He had a GPS in his hand and his boss yelling directions at him on the intercom (His boss said loudly at one time “Fellows, let us pray.”

We passed several buildings and were on several streets four or five times.  Janet passed him the instructions that had been sent by the cruise line and he tried to follow them, but they were different than what his boss was yelling at him so he got more confused all the time.  He finally stopped at a hotel and asked directions from the doorman, who went inside and got someone else to come out and give directions.

Following those directions and finally finding road signs we finally got to the dock.  Our ten mile drive took us an hour and fifteen minutes (in addition to the time we had waited for his arrival at the Fairfield Inn.  I told him as we got out of the car that if he had had the meter running I would have called a cop.  He apologized and pointed out that this was his second week on the job.  He was really very sweet and I hope he didn’t get fired, but we discovered that we were so late that we almost missed the boat.    A great way to start a journey.