As some of you know but many of you probably don’t, I’m about halfway through a roadtrip with my mum. As I write we’re in Wisconsin (HELLO WISCONSIN keeps running through my head- though how I got a piece of the theme from That 70’s Show stuck in my head without ever having TV is a mystery), only a couple hours from our first destination: four days in Chicago, for me to go to the Association of Psychological Science conference and for mom to play, sort of. It is a mystery to us all (probably especially mom) what she will do with this free time!
The trip has no afforded a lot of time to write, mostly because it’s been hard to get to the computer, packed away as it is. Was. Along with most of everything else I own! The pack of my car is currently a highly impressive feat of packing engineering, including 4 large suitcases, 2 pieces of artwork, the contents of my kitchen and a table- all packed away neatly enough to afford a small peephole through the rear window, which is probably more useful as a comfort than as an actual visual reference. Also included in the back reaches is a tent, bedding, and there was once enough food to get us through about 4 days- we’re down to slim pickings now, but bought food for the first time yesterday. A special thanks to Sheri Ganguin and Heather Patenaud, whose gracious food contributions of bread and dip respectively have probably fed us much better and longer than you realised!
As for the adventure. We left at 8 am (later than anticipated, but we anticipated that!) on the 19th of May, with a full tank, stomach full of waffles, and an even fuller car. We drove as far as the 150 Mile Center (approx 8 km, otherwise known as out of my driveway...) before our first stop- checking the mail. We had to check because I’m taking online classes over the summer, which means the University mailed me my textbooks, and they hadn’t arrived yet. In the mail we picked up our travel insurance, also something handy to have, and the slip saying a package had indeed arrived. Thir brought up a new problem: packages are picked up at the video store in the center, which opens, on Saturday, at 1 pm.
Well, obviously I didn’t want to wait that long, but I wasn’t very fond of the idea of leaving without, either. So we decided to see if we could call the owner of the video store, Dan, as we knew he lives nearby, and just see if he might be willing to open the door for us.
The problem with this plan was that we couldn’t remember his last name. So we decided to ask the ladies at the attached gas station- Everyone knew his name was Dan, but no one could remember his last name. So they decided to ask the mail lady, who was out of sight in a separate room behind the PO boxes sorting mail- and the lovely lady did indeed know his last name, but declared she could not share it with us, such information being much to personal.
Now unable to call (and unable to indulge in any deeply personal contact like, perhaps, facebook stalking, thanks to the brilliant service of the mail lady) we decided to go the safely impersonal and unobtrusive route, and knock on his door. Take that, personal information.
Having lived in the 50 all my life, I knew that he and his family had moved in on the same street as the Spurn’s and lived near to Jeremy Schmid’s old rented house. So we drive to there, spotted the video truck, and knocked guiltily on his door, feeling slightly bad as it was 8 am on a Saturday, and very hopeful that he and not his wife would answer, as he seems by nature to be much more affable than she.
He did answer, and once we explained ourselves smiled gently and said “I’ll just meet you down there, ok?” And so I got my textbooks, owe a great debt of gratitude to the video man Dan (whose last name I still cannot remember!) and owe a nose in the air snub to the mail lady. Never the less it was a good start to the trip.
A less auspicious sigh had been the death of my (freshly updated and sorted and well loved and audio book filled) beloved i pod the very night before we were to depart. This mild panic and major bout of depression led to the decision to stop at futureshop in Kamloops, as we had to stop in Kamloops anyways. So off we went, driving into the sunny day. In no time at all we were in Kamloops, and pulled into futureshop, where we managed to replace the i pod with the gracious help of a friend of mine who works there; and deposit a book for one friend and the jacket of another with still a FOURTH friend who met us there to hold the belongings for the two missing Kamloopsians, who were both in Vancouver at the time and who’s things I did not much want to pack to Halifax. With this success we moved on the TRU, where I dropped off my old lab key and blinked a little bewilderedly at the thought that it might have been my very last time on that campus, almost certainly my last time as a student. Sometime’s its alarming how fast things change.
With Kamloops under our belt, we headed on to Kelowna, where we stopped at Timmies for the last time in the next several days- I’m positive we won’t see one until the 27th when we head to Toronto- and met with a few more friends to say au revoir until, at best, Christmas for me! When we left Kelowna, the trip began in earnest.
Buy 9 pm we’d reached our first destination, Creston BC, right on the border and the home of a dear friend. We dined like royalty, snuggled into a delightful mattress, and showered for the last time in 3 days. We also got to say a final goodbye to a four legged friend, Angie, who was one of my puppies and who spent 12 years as the most loyal of friends before passing away in her sleep.