I suppose it may have been a crazy thing to do, but rather than head north out of Pittsburgh, we went instead to Maidsville, West Virginia, about an hour south. Ms. Geranium and I have an old friend, Blanche, who lives there and it was her daughter Coretta's 20th birthday. We've visited Blanche and family quite a few times over the years and Cinderbelle and Coretta have become good friends. Lunch and birthday cake were offered. How could we refuse?
Blanche lives on the top of a mountain outside of Maidsville, in a house built by her ex-husband, before they were exed. The mountain was given to her ex-husband's family by one of the Kings George sometime before the American Revolution. I wonder how the Native Americans felt about that? Anyway, the property has been in the family for 250 - 300 years or so. Blanche will continue to live there until their youngest finishes school, then the property reverts back to her ex's family, who already have agreed to sell it to a power utility who will then rape the land as they have done to almost everything else in the area. Coal country. Tragic, if you ask me.
The road to Blanche's house.
One of Blanche's goats.
Lunch was lamb chops from sheep raised by Blanche. Yum. We got the last of them, since Blanche is taking a break from raising sheep. Followed by birthday cake, of course.
L-R: Blanche, Cinderbelle, Coretta (the birthday girl) and Ry, who, at 15, has become an excellent bassist.
After cake, we said our goodbyes and hit the road. Next stop: my brother's house in Okemos, Michigan.
We got to Okemos pretty late, about 11:00 pm. We stayed the next day for breakfast and a game of Skip-Bo.
My brother Brian (center), his sons Nolan (left, with his duck) and Albie (right) and Cinderbelle's hands (no cheating!) Albie and Nolan are both gifted musicians and we were treated to a bit of their playing both times I (we) stopped.
Then on toward home.
Approaching Chicago from the southeast.
You know those metal and plastic boxy thingies on the road? I think they're called automobiles? They were invented to move people and their stuff from point A to point B faster than a person can walk. Except in Chicago.
The driver of the Saab directly ahead of me is one of those, pardon the expression, dickwads who thinks she's so important that she drives on the shoulder of the road so she doesn't have to wait her turn like everyone else.
A welcome sight.
Home at last.
I hope that wasn't excruciatingly dull. I'll make up for it on my next post: pictures from my colonoscopy.