Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Serial Fiction - "Road Trip" - Day 3

Chapter 3

She Said

The last few days have been a blur of packing, shopping, trolling the Internet for travel information, and long discussions about the places we want to visit. Now, we are ready. The car is packed. Joe took the dogs to the kennel for boarding. That was a difficult decision. We love our dogs and we thought about taking them with us but decided against it. The dogs do not exactly love car trips and their presence would limit the places we could visit. But, they sleep with us every night, and I am used to them keeping my feet warm. I worried out loud about that and Joe grumbled something about wearing socks to bed. The fact is, he'll miss them as much as I will and he knows it.

I went for two long walks on the beach today and I brought home some shells. Ostensibly I brought them to take to Travis, who has never seen the ocean. Actually, I'm taking them along as something like a talisman, sort of my little piece of the beach to get me through several weeks in dry places.

Since we cleaned out the fridge already, we stopped for a bite at a joint near our house. The food was so-so and the service was slow and inefficient. How can a waitress screw up an order for sixteen chicken wings, fries and two pints of beer? Joe and I kept looking at one another to see which one of us was going to blow up first. We found that so hysterical, we ended up having a mutual giggle-fit. We are like two little kids when we get like that. The harder we tried to stop laughing, the more hilarious we thought the whole thing was. Before we regained control, we were both in tears and I had to make a dash for the bathroom. The older I get, the more those mad dashes worry me. One of these days, between the middle-aged lady urinary incontinence and arthritic knees, I'm afraid I'm not going to make it. As embarrassing as that will be, I am still thrilled that after thirty five years of marriage Joe can still make me laugh like that ... at least in between the times I want to clobber him.

Tomorrow morning we will be off.

He Said

We are ready to go, thank God. Hannah has driven me absolutely nuts for the last two weeks, what with shopping and organizing and re-organizing and re-re-reorganizing our suitcases, the cooler, the food and our itinerary! One more day of her craziness and I think I would either brain her or leave without her. The preparations are now complete and she is at least quieter, if not calm. The car is packed. I let her do that by herself because she can cram more stuff into a small space than anyone would ever believe, and I learned decades ago she works better alone.

I took the dogs to the kennel for boarding. That was very hard. I knew we couldn't take them with us, but I hate to board them. They will be maniacs for weeks when we get back, following me around the house and freaking out if I get out of their sight. Hannah was worried about how she'll sleep with out them; I told her to wear socks to bed, but I'll miss them too. The little bastards are a pain in the neck, but they are a lot of company. I feel bad we have to leave them in a kennel.

Hannah went for two long walks on the beach today and she brought home some shells she says she plans to take to Travis. She's not fooling me. She brought those shells home so she won't miss the beach so much. I don't know how she's going to tolerate this trip. She wants to be there for the birth of our grand-daughter, but I'm having second thoughts about us being gone so long. Hannah is not happy anywhere but at home. I feel selfish because it's on account of my fear of flying that we're taking such a long road trip.

Before we go on a trip, my dear wife completely empties the house of food. She seems to think we are going to either have a lengthy power outage or an invasion of vermin – either of which are entirely possible in our neck of the woods, I have to admit. Then again, maybe she's just nuts. Anyway, since there absolutely nothing to eat in the house, we went down the street to a local restaurant. We ordered chicken wings and beer. How the hell hard is that? Apparently it must be pretty complicated because the waitress couldn't get it right. I was just about to blow my stack when I glanced at Hannah. She looked like a feral cat about to pounce, and I knew that the waitress was just about to get it. I made eye contact with Hannah, and I guess I looked just about as evil as she did. I saw her mouth twitch, and I lost it. No matter what I laugh at, Hannah will join in. In a minute we were both pounding on the table and wiping our eyes. It is always fun to do that. Hannah usually ends up feeling embarrassed. I guess I don't embarrass easily. I thought it was fun, and I didn't even care that the staff of the restaurant looked at us like we were crazy people. I didn't care what they thought of us; it's doubtful we'll go there again, anyway.

Tomorrow morning we will be off.

© 2009 by Meredith Morgan

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