Friday, April 12, 2019

Our Longest Road Trip

We left Ohio early Friday morning for a ten-day road trip to visit my mom and both our daughters, surely the longest road trip Murray, Ping-Hwei and I have ever taken.

What was the most interesting place we saw on Friday as we passed through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and into Iowa where Rebecca lives? Somewhere in the midst of Iowa we stopped at The World’s Largest Truck Stop. I know it’s true, because when Murray smashed a penny for me, it had printed on it, “The World’s Largest Truck Stop.”

Murray had a hard time finding coffee there, which is really not surprising, since it was The World’s Largest . . . What we did find though was a pair of flip-flops, cushioned with Iowa grass. I told Rebecca I really wanted to buy her a pair, except they cost nineteen dollars. She said she could live without them, just knowing I’d really wanted to buy them for her.

We had a lovely time visiting Rebecca, as always, and getting to know her boyfriend Steve better. I’m sure he’s getting to feel at home with us, since almost the first thing Murray said to him was, “You didn’t shave today, did you?”

Rebecca’s cat Millie and I have a new relationship. We made it through the whole weekend without her biting me.

Rebecca took me grocery and gift shopping, which is always a delight. I said we should get ice cream, and she said, “Okay, but I get to choose what kind.” Then she also picked up some Reese’s Cups and little chocolate doughnuts. I love that girl.

We appreciate Ping-Hwei so much, and this trip was no different. He told Murray when he was taking the wrong road. He reminded me of where I’d forgotten my watch and nail clippers. And, when Murray and I were grouching at each other as we got out at a Burger King, Ping-Hwei said, “The car is still on.”

In Missouri visiting my mom, we had lunch with my brother Rodney. I wore my bright orange shoes just for him, and he didn’t disappoint me. He said, “I’ll need to get shoes like those next time I go deer hunting.”

We joined Mom’s quilting group on Tuesday at the one room school house Mom attended through 8th grade. It is now a community center.

Murray looked through some of the old books they had there and found one with Mom’s name in for checking it out 70 or more years ago. It was called THE LITTLE SWISS WOOD-CARVER, COPYRIGHT 1929.

Murray’s said for years he wants to get a doctorate, in anything, just so he can tell people to call him Dr. At the hotel in Wisconsin, he realized he could just forgo the trouble of education. When we needed covers for Ping-Hwei’s bed, Murray picked up the phone and called down to the desk. “This is Dr. McKinsey in room 206.” Then he happily told the person on the phone, “It’s just a joke; I’m not a doctor. But my wife just snorted really loud.”

Sarah had some shopping she needed to do while we were there, and a few things she wanted Murray to help her with around her apartment. At breakfast she said, “Eat up, finish up, we have a lot to do today.” She gave Murray some instructions in her kitchen, then said, “I like directing people.”

She is such a joy.

We came home Sunday evening. Stopping at many toll booths, we always meet interesting people minding the booths. Some are quick and polite. Some don’t say a word. Once, it was a computerized voice who spoke to us.

On the way home we met a gem. She was bright and cheerful, talkative. Seeing our lunch bags in the car she said, “Call ahead and tell me you’re coming next time. I’ll give you my McDonalds order.”

Oh, and did I mention my book was released on Tuesday, April 2? I’m still floating around a good bit about that.

Check out the links below for my guest appearances this week on blog posts for the following authors:

Karin Beery:

Joy Avery Melville:

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