Sunday, September 7, 2014

The adventurous trip home...

The Hampton Inn in Stofford/Aquita, Virginia--some 30 miles north of Richmond--is the midway point between Connecticut and Oak Island. 361 miles from Oak Island and 363 miles from Connecticut. Can't get more 'half-way' than that.

So that's where we stop going and coming, to break up what would be a 12 hour journey straight through.

Since we left the beach early, we got to the motel around 4, though, since we are all over 60, we stop to pee quite often....

After an early dinner, the plan was to leave around 6 a.m. so there would be plenty of time for me to pick up Bela at the Kennel between four and five. And so we did and somewhere in Maryland, John's GPS was predicting we'd get to New Haven, where our car was, around one p.m. All was well and all was well and all manner of things were well.

We stopped in Maryland to get coffee and pee and then again around mile 80 of the New Jersey Turnpike to pee and get a light snack, it still being well before noon. Five miles later, adventure began!

(I could have called this post, "the trip home from hell"--which, if you look at it cynically, it certainly could have been. But cynicism is a dead end that is a hell all itself. I prefer to find 'adventure' rather than tragedy in the vicissitudes of life. You can't avoid them, after all, so why make a big fat 'drama' out of them when it's just as easily seen as something out of an action/adventure movie?)

At mile post 85.5 of the NJ Turnpike, the serpentine belt of John's Land Rover broke and failed. I remember the exact place because we were suddenly on a shoulder of the Turnpike that barely contained the Land Rover and from the front seat passenger seat I was staring at the mile marker. John called AAA and was told they couldn't service breakdowns on the Turnpike but transferred him to the Turnpike Authority that dispatched a truck that arrived within 20 minutes. The driver was delightful and packed Bern, Sherry, John and me into his cab for the two exit ride to what I believe was Perth Amboy, NJ, though I have no comprehension of NJ geography. He set John's car down in a shopping center where AAA could come and get it.

The second tow truck arrived within half-an-hour and was going to tow John's car to his mechanic in New Haven. John has super-duper AAA service and the 105 mile tow as going to cost him only $12! Someone had to ride with the driver and John suggested I go since I would get to New Haven and my car in time to go get the dog.

Andrew, another friend in New Haven, agreed to drive to Perth Amboy and pick up the other three folks from the deserted island of a Walmart shopping center. (Imagine that--Andrew agreed, without hesitation, to drive 2 hours + to pick up the stranded adventurers! That is a friend indeed, perhaps a saint for the lost castaways....)

So, Jim the tow truck driver (actually it was a flatbed truck, not a truck with and hook) and I sat off on the next stage of the adventure. We doubtless passed Andrew going the other way but never knew it ('ships in the night/adventure' and all that).

Jim and I enjoyed the ride and I got to New Haven at 3:15 where Jack, Sherrie's husband (another friend indeed) picked me up at John's mechanics and helped me move the luggage from the Land Rover to Jack's aging Volvo and take the luggage and me to Jack's, where my car waited.

I got to the dog in plenty of time and after he almost knocked me down with gratitude for his rescue we went home to wait for Andrew's rescued souls.

I got home at five and Andrew got the crew of wrecked ship "Land Rover" back to New Haven a short time after. (Bern told me he actually thanked them for 'the adventure' since he was reading some Yale graduate student papers and couldn't wait to drive to Perth Amboy and back....a saint-in-waiting, at least.)

So I drove down to New Haven and got Bern and we came home--just like those two pigeons in the last two posts...we came home.

The dog is 'home' and the cat and the bird (cared for while we were gone by our high school senior next door neighbor, were there already, waiting for Bern and me).

I have a real affinity to our two North Carolina pigeons. Home is where you feel safe, where they have to love you, where you are meant to sit down and BE. Just that...'be'.

The adventure is over. We will tell the tale to ourselves and others over and again as the years pass--embellishing greatly, all taking credit for great calmness in adversity, each of us, in our own way, sharing a bit of the limelight of hero and heroine.

What a way to 'come home'!

And how good it is to 'be here', at last, 'at home'.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.