Thursday, September 7, 2023

Fall! (2020)

Update 11/2/2020- 11/22/2020

Hi Friend!


On November 2nd, Chelsea and I drove across the country.  I didn’t want to post it on my blog b/c you know, I thought I would at least try to have a lil mystery for potential burglars at my place.  I had pretty much prepared to be stuck in a now ditch, so it was a lovely surprise to drive through 3,000 miles of 75 and sunny weather.  At one point, we had been on the road for 3 hours, thinking about our full bladders and empty gas tank and how we had had such a smooth ride we were afraid to say anything to jinx it, when a bunch of police cars were blocking the road and directing traffic towards the exit.  There was a tracker-trailer overturned and blocking the highway.  We even more thinking about our full bladders, and how there might be a big line of cars and people at the stop.  Turns out “directing all the traffic” meant about 4 cars, and there was no wait for either need.  There was, however, Snoop Dogg wine for sale!  And the gas pump was one of those old timey machines where the numbers click to the next number.  As if that wasn’t awesome enough, this was also the exit we wanted to get off at because it also had the Theodore Roosevelt National Park!  Chelsea paid the park fee (thanks Chels!) and we explored the not closed bits of the park.  We saw wild horses! And footprints as big as Percy’s head! At one point, Chelsea said, “What are those?” and then we realized that all the “rocks” we had seen were actually prairie dogs… hundreds of prairie dogs.  We were heading back out, and I was saying it would have made the trip perfect if we had seen some bison, when I turned a corner and there were bison in the middle of the road.  We waited for them to take their time and be on their way, and then zoomed out of the park and onto the other side of the highways beyond the accident. 


Unfortunately, many of the states, and especially North Dakota, we found people not into wearing masks.  We would get out of the car, start pumping gas, and then Chelsea would come out of the small store saying, “NO MASKS! NO MASKS! GET BACK IN THE CAR!” Which is really unfortunate because stops and, more importantly drive thru food, was few and far far far between.  We would think about lunch around noon and then finally eat at 3.  We stopped at a “town” where there was a hospital and then an hour and half later we saw an ambulance driving the other way with the hospital name on it driving the other way.  I guess you gotta really hope you have some basic first aid skills in Big Sky country.  I also suppose, if you move to a state like that, finding out you need to wear masks to protect yourself (or others) is completely ridiculous… I mean you live there so you don’t have to see people for days or months or maybe years?  Either way, I hope they mask up or stay home, but either way, get things healthy soon because driving to the ER is not going to be easy. 


Chelsea and I had hoped that we might be able to see the beautiful leaves of autumn on our trip, but a large chunk of our trip had snow weeks before and the trees were already bare.  When we got to Minnesota, Chelsea yelled, “FALL!” and I was startled and confused until I realized she was pointing at leaves on the trees.  (I would later drive through Indiana, Ohio and PA mentally yelling, “FALL!”)  We also tried not looking at the election on our drive.  I mean we checked the sitch once on election night, once the morning after and then one more time right before we got to WI – so we prayed, COME ON WISCONSIN! YOU CAN DO THIS! And then when we hit IL – WI was called for Biden!  In Chicago, I parted ways with Chelsea as we both reflected it had been the quickest cross country trip ever! I then got to stay with my cousin Colleen (who had been up all night watching the election) and see my Aunt Audrye! It was sooo sooo lovely.  Colleen even woke up early to have coffee with me before I left. We were talking about what we have learned on tiktok, and Colleen said she still can’t fold a fitted sheet – so I showed her on a twin sheet.  I also said, it’s a lot easier with a bigger sheet.  She said she might need to get a bigger bed then.  I then asked her, “Have you and Charlie been sleeping on twin beds this whole time?  Man is he going to be excited that you finally caved on getting a bigger bed just so you can fold the sheets more easily!”


I did the same prayer as I was driving through Pennsylvania and then called Julie and Nick to find out what the hell the were doing over there. Before I knew it, I was home in just 4 days!  First day home and there were 9 wild turkeys outside! I haven't seen that happen since high school! 



The next two weeks were lots of QT with my parents and sister and I even got to go for a walk with Briana and Sienna and to hang around Jeanine and Kevin’s fancy new fire pit. So much outdoor, social distanced fun!   


Stacey: Jackie has been working on her ass.

Jeanine: Oh?  A lil J Lo action?

Jackie: I prefer JO. The is for large and I haven’t gotten there yet.


Mo: Pat got his 70’s Truck.

Me: Where did he get it?

Mo: He walked down to the bottom of the hill because he knew I wouldn’t drive him.

Me: What color is the truck?

Mo: Rust colored. I’m not even joking. Two toned.


Mo was sent home (I mean the whole school was sent home) because some kids had a huge party on Halloween. Mo had to quarantine and get tested b/c there was a kid with covid that went to the party in her class. Luckily, it she was negative because living next door to my sister and trying to quarantine looked like me talking to her while she was standing 60 feet from me.


I took a walk with Stacey and Bailey when I first got back at Teatown.  It was lovely, and kinda cool that not only was everyone masked but they have people walking in one direction.  I thought I was in such good shape from walking so much at home, but apparently I was walking slow and on flat ground because both Percy and I were huffing a bit on the trail.  We’ll get there! 


Mo and I have been trying to find moments to walk between meetings or before and after work starts – even if it’s just walking on Mountain.  We also went to FDR park, although one we went at around 4, forgetting how quickly it gets dark and wearing the oh-so-helpful color scheme of all black. 


We have also been playing lots of canasta. I even played my mom and she didn’t yell at my “follow your heart” strategy – but only because we won.


Frita and I have been working on holiday cards.  I printed out labels for both of us to help reduce the handwriting (for my dad who usually does it all old-school.)  We were discussing who else he sends them out to, and he responded, “I send them to people and I don’t even know if they’re alive.”


My cousin posted this story about her 2 year old Cora:

Cora was mad about being in her car seat today taking Finn to school... yelling at me that it’s “too tight”.

I told her she needs it to be like that to keep her safe, if we got in an accident she would fall out.

Her response... “I’ll take that chance!!!”


Oh, and I also have been craving a big cookie from Great American Cookie company, so I go ahead and ordered one for myself… No Regrets!



And here’s some other random fun from the week:

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