Ahhhh! Choooo! Spring is here!

Greetings Everyone. Nothing much to report today except I wore my jammies most of the day. Only took them off when I mowed the yard. Diane got a little upset about that and made me put pants on. But it was so nice outside today it just brought out the nudist in me. After I finished mowing, I dropped all my duds in the laundry room, as directed, then marched directly to the shower. It’s good that no one was visiting at the time. Then I re-donned my jammies. I believe I was out of them no more than 3 hours all day. Nice.

It was a 4 mountain day for sure – Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jeffereson strutted their stuff for us.

I also cut a couple of branches out of one of the apple trees but Diane made me quit. She thought it was too late to trim them, but we weren’t home when it was just right. I think I’ll do it tomorrow anyway. I’m tired of half killing myself trying to get under the branches with the lawn mower. I’m going to rip out a few branches on the plum tree, too. Actually, I didn’t cut them down today because the batter for my chain saw was dead and it’s now recharging. It’s been a little problematical for a while so the solution may be to replace it with a noisy gas version. Then I’d have to get one of those masks that crazy Texan wore in the movie and I’d probably scare the dogs and they’d chase me causing me to drop the chain saw which would cut up my leg and make me bleed to pieces. That would just make extra work for Diane, so maybe I won’t do that.

We have a porch cat. We’ve really had a porch cat for a couple of months. She started letting us pet her last month, and now the dogs are getting cozy with her. The big ones, anyway. Little Ozzie goes out, looks at the cat, and spins in circles a couple of times then launches at her. The cat’s figured this out and just ducks which confuses Oz because she’s supposed to run. I’ve noticed the last few times he’s tried that he’s less enthusiastic so the cat is training him nicely.

Tomorrow, if it’s dry again, I should be able to pick up the grass I mowed today. It was too heavy with moisture for me to use the bagger so I just flung it around in the yard. If it rains tomorrow, and the next, it will make a mess because there’s globs of it all over the yard and it will make spots. Can’t have spots in the yard. Weeds, yes. Spots, no.

I might also rent a gas powered trencher thing tomorrow to make a path for the water to drain out of our driveway to the back of our property. If I do that, I’ll be sure to have Diane take pictures of all the new injuries I’m sure it will cause. I’ve never used one of them before. I’ll bet one of those things could really chew someone up if the tripped and fell on it. Hopefully it’s one of those that quits if the operator falls on it, or something.

Day One – Recovery

Last night was brutal. it was our first night back in our very own bed and it wasn’t a good one. Apparently I’ve begun having violent dreams where it’s necessary to kick people and the one I had last night revealed that the reason I can’t kick very hard in my dreams is because the covers get in the way and hamper my kicking motion. The covers do, however, help protect Diane, and the little dog, to some degree, at least until they can get clear of the action. For me, it ended when I finally freed my feet from the covers, delivered the final kick, which won the battle, and wound up on the floor next to my pillow. I climbed right back in bed and went back to sleep. Diane said she was standing in the middle of the room by then, and little Ozzie was cowering on the chest at the foot of the bed. Nice. I believe this new behavior is the result of the MOW trauma I received last Monday. I’m waiting for the VA to tell me they will graciously let me visit my doctor to determine if there is anything they can do for this, or if it’s terminal and I’ll just have to deal with it until I die.

Consequently, I did not wake up refreshed this morning. And, I didn’t eat any breakfast because we didn’t have bananas. That’s what I eat. I ate a bowl of Cheerios instead, but it just isn’t the same. I had toast, too, which helped.

I don’t remember what I did after breakfast – perhaps I helped put away clothes out of the suitcases, perhaps not. I haven’t looked yet to verify that. I did, however, pay a house call to a friend who was having computers problems with some problematic software that installed itself. It took me 4 hours to resolve the problem. During that time we had a nice visit and caught up on each other’s lives, something we do not do often enough.

After doing that I returned home to watch TV, but Diane made me do “stuff”. First, I had to wash our red potatoes. I don’t know why, because they looked perfectly clean to me. Besides, they were going to be baked so anything on them would have been fried. So I washed them and poked holes in them and put them in the microwave, which has a hidden potato button on it, and I couldn’t find it. Diane had to show me where it was which I found to be very humiliating for some reason. She got it going and should have been responsible for cleaning up the one that exploded all over inside the microwave but, noooooo, it was my chore because I apparently hadn’t poked holes in it properly. She said I volunteered to clean it up, and I vaguely recall something like that, but don’t think I should have been held totally responsible for something the microwave did. It should be self cleaning, like the real oven.

Diane’s Mom, Jean, was here when I got home from my computer visit. She went to the store with Diane and stayed for dinner. We love having her here because getting her home is so simple. She lives at the bottom of the hill we live on so all we have to do is put her coat on, aim her in the right direction and give here a little push and she’s on her way. That’s not something we ever do, of course, but I have suggested it in the past. I’ve been banned from making such suggestions for the rest of my life, but I do it anyway.

I didn’t mention that it snowed last night, did I? It was kind of like waking up last Tuesday, in Nampa, with about 2 inches of snow on the ground after having a terrific day on Monday. The difference here was it didn’t go away nearly as quickly as it did in Nampa.

After supper, a super roast with veggies and mashed baked red potatoes, plus a little that was splattered inside the microwave, Diane and Mom watched some girly shows while I retired to the Man Room to watch silent NCAA basketball games. They’re silent because I’m not allowed to turn on my sound because it interferes with the girly shows. That’s OK because I like it that way, too. It really is less distracting with the sound off.

I just want you to know that yesterday was a record day for the blog because 36 people looked at it. Or, maybe, one person looked at it 36 times. I can’t tell which it is, but it’s still nice to know that someone’s reading this. I don’t. And, I do enjoy your comments. Thank you for expressing yourselves, even in a negative way.

Diane just took Mom home, without pushing her, so now I have to pay all the bills that have accumulated during our absence. We suspended our mail delivery so Diane had to take our hand truck to the post office so she could haul all our junk mail to the vehicle.

No pictures of todays events so here’s one you may, or may not enjoy, that I just happen to have on hand. It’s a nice picture, but I don’t know who any of those people are.

Day Nineteen – Nampa to St. Helens

Diane went to bed about 8:30 last night to ensure she was ready for the ordeal ahead of us on the final leg of our trip home. Since the weather was so screwy we didn’t know what to expect so Diane had to be ready for anything. We were released from the grasp of Nampa’s gravitational pull and attained orbit at 8:45 am PST.

After stopping for our last experience with fairly inexpensive gas, we joined the Westbound folks on I-84 at 9:05 am PST. Since I was truly disabled at the time, being on my third day of a severe headache and hip injuries, which were sustained during my volunteer effort to deliver meals to everyone in Nampa last Monday, I was unable to drive at the beginning of the trip. That suited Diane just fine as she would have driven anyway. As is my custom I asked her every 10 miles if she wanted to drive until she became cranky, at which point I ceased offering my services as a relief driver so she could read her book and rest for part of this journey.

As we departed the Nampa area, and entered Oregon, the sun came out full force and lulled us into a false sense of security for what we would experience this day. The bits of sunshine dwindled rapidly as we departed Baker City at 11:11 am, became a steady falling of snow in La Grande, then turned to severe blizzard conditions as we entered Ladd Canyon.

Since Diane was driving, we were able to negotiate this treacherous stretch of I-84 very quickly, following the tracks in the snow of the only person out there who dared go faster than her. After realizing the snow wasn’t going to let up any time soon, Diane slowed down to the posted 65 mph speed limit to lesson the chance of sailing over a guard rail into one of the abysses that appeared randomly on one side or the other as we climbed the mountain. During this stretch we stopped at a rest area so I could call my VA doctor and arrange a visit at some point in the near future to address the injuries I sustained in Nampa. It took about 30 minutes to make contact with a real person and relay the needed information and to receive a promise that someone would call me back within the next week or so.

At 12:14 pm PST we were 23 miles from Pendleton and the temperature had dropped to a toe numbing 28 degrees, and it was raining. Then it turned to horizontal snow There’s nothing worse than horizontal snow and that’s all they get up there. On top of the pass, the snow allowed us about a 100 foot view of the road ahead which Diane considered to be plenty of time to plan an alternate path around whoever might appear in front of us, and it worked well. She’s a good driver.

There were times, however, that I wished I had an extra pair of depends so I could make the entire trip without getting too chafed. The snow got worse and worse as we advanced to the decline that led to the valley in which Pendleton, Oregon resides. We attained the 6% downgrade at 12:26, and sailed on into Pendleton for lunch at Stan’s Steakhouse. But, it was closed, so we ate Italian at the little Bistro across the street, and didn’t regret it. It was a nice stop and we were rejuvenated. Having sufficiently recovered from my injuries, to the point where I felt competent to drive, Diane allowed me to do so. I drove and drove for hours, and only nodded off once. Diane was busy reading so didn’t notice. Finally, we got to The Dalles where it was determined we needed ice cream, hopefully from a DQ. Agnus gleefully provided us the correct path to the facility and we got the drinks of our choice, then Diane resumed driving. I had spun down the distance to about 70 miles or so, and was very pleased with myself, as well I should be.

The gas tank alarm dinged as we entered Portland so it was deemed to be a good choice for us to stop at Fred Meyer in Scappoose to replenish our fuel. We got there at 5:25 pm PST and Diane drove right to a pump and got the tank filled. Once the pump quit no one appeared to take the hose out of the car so I walked around and did it myself. Right at that time the annoying person behind me started beeping his horn in an effort to make me hurry because he was needing diesel and it was located at the pump we occupied. I went back to talk with him, and try to calm him down, but it did no good. I was forced to have Diane pull ahead so this person could get his coveted fuel.

Once at the pump, he got out of his vehicle and started yelling at me, blaming me for the delay when, in fact, it wasn’t my fault at all. After sparring verbally for a short time, we hugged, and and everything was alright. It was alright from the start, actually, because the “yeller” was Jack, my brother. It was good to engage him in conversation as the first person we talked with upon entering Scappoose. Wynette was shopping or we would have greeted her, too.

After leaving, we sailed on home to St. Helens with no problems. The house was still standing, and the big dogs were barking their welcome through the cat door in the garage when Diane rolled up the door. They were happy to see us, and we were happy to see them. After watching a couple of shows, while eating a PB&J supper, we retired early. Jennie and Lydia had returned Ozzie a while earlier so he was being needy and had to curl up right in front of the book I was ready while waiting for my meds to kick in.

Day Eighteen – Snowbound

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Here we are, trapped in Nampa for “who” knows how long. Yesterday it was sunny, bright, a little cool, but really pretty. That was at the ball game in Emmett. It was snowing when I got up this morning and it’s been snowing all day, until about 30 seconds ago. It was terrible. Jim made me leave the house with him to go visit his Burger King Old Guy Group (BKOGG) for coffee and we could hardly see where we were going. Thankfully, Jim was was driving and, apparently, it’s ok to straddle the yellow center line in Idaho. He didn’t really have to because the roads were actually clear, but I’ve come to realize that he just seems more comfortable driving when he’s cozied up to that yellow line.

Today’s session of the BKOGG was in full session when we arrived so we had to sit in the riff raff section at one of the small square tables. In lieu of an introduction, Jim made me stand up and tell everyone who I was. Some of them I remember meeting before so I was not a total stranger to all of them. Walt sat next to me and we talked for a long time because everyone else was ignoring us.

Jim paid for the coffee, so while he had his wallet out I ordered a breakfast sandwich. It was good.

After this mandatory visit was over we fought our way through the parking lot blizzard, cleaned the snow off the windows, and headed back to the house. This is what the road was like…

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On the way Jim and I discussed the benefits of him purchasing a wireless router for his house so I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital for a wireless connection to send my blog, and check my email, and such. Since he’s chosen to remain relatively uneducated in the new world of technology, it was an easy sale. There was no benefit for him, of course, except for the opportunity to spend $50 on something he really didn’t need. But, as I pointed out, it would be nice for his neighbors.

When we got home lunch was ready so we ate. It was lasagna and very good. I regret I failed to take a picture for you but I’m sure you all know what lasagna looks like.

After lunch we bundled up again and drove to Best Buy to check out wireless routers. We wound up in the Costco parking lot so just went in there to see what they had. They had nice ones, but more expensive than I was willing for Jim to spend on something that would only benefit me. And Steff & Bob, and all the kidlets. So, we braved the weather, again, got in the car and drove to our original destination, Best Buy. They had exactly what I nee… what Jim needed to make me happy,

We installed it as soon as we got home and I was amazed at how easy it was to set up. I gave Jim the instructions and he hooked everything up, so there’s hope for him yet. Amazingly, there was no setup routine required. It just worked! The password is “melodicsocks134”, in case you’re wondering.

We were going to go to another softball game this afternoon, but the snow storm caused everyone a bunch of unnecessary concern so they cancelled it. Perhaps the team from Mt. Home had a little worse weather than we did. Probably a good idea. So, I donned my cozy jammies and began to work on this.

That’s about it for today except for this picture of the Idaho Cate’s back yard a few minutes ago,..

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… and Jim watching TV …

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OK … so I wasn’t done. I fell asleep on the couch with a pillow over my head to stifle the headache Jim gave me yesterday. He’s been making fun of me ever since I sustained the injury and I’ve toyed with the idea of sewage in order to obtain some monetary compensation for the attack. But, he’s my brother so sewage isn’t really an option. Instead, I’ll just add another picture of Jim watching TV, then there’s a little more.

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Sometime around 6:32 pm Bob, Steffani, and Maryssa showed up for a visit knowing that it’s our plan to depart the Plains of Nampa tomorrow. By the time they arrived, all of the snow had melted and it was about 50 degrees. I’m guessing, of course, but it wasn’t as cold as it was earlier so I think I’m within 10-20 degrees. So, it’s only right that I capture these events herein for posterity and to provide you with a couple more pictures of people we don’t see very often.

Bob was very quiet on arrival but the women, all four of them, became equally noisy as if they were have a contest to see who could be the most disruptive. I’m not sure there was a clear winner, but it was entertaining.

Steffani brought he CD with pictures from Jim’s & Donna’s 50th wedding anniversary from 3-4 years ago that we’ve never seen. She tried to upload them to a web site, using the newly established wireless web site at 1923 Mass, without success, learning, in the process, why she hadn’t done it previously … the files are too big. So, I think I inherited the CD to take home and try it from our house, using my non-Lenovo computer. Hopefully it works so I won’t have to be shamed for having an iMac.

Here’s a picture of Steffani trying to upload the pictures …

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I visited with Maryssa for a long time while she was trying to do her homework and got to hear her read a few of the papers she had written. They were very good and I could only think that she wasn’t sure I could read. However, I learned that it’s nice to have someone read to me and reminded me of the things Lydia and Cedric have read to me over the years. Maryssa wasn’t getting much homework done, you might have guessed. Here are some pictures of Maryssa studying …

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Sorry it’s a little fuzzy, but I think the glare from her gleeming hardware dazzled the camera.

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Notice the iPod in the delightfully lime green cover … she claimed she was researching something.
A little later she stood up to move around a little and found a melted chocolate in her pocket which she promptly ate. Now everyone’s leaving so I have to quit.

Day Seventeen – Assault in Nampa

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I feel fortunate to be able to share this day with you. It started out pretty good, then went down hill drastically for a 3 hour period when I assisted Jim and LaVerne with their Meals on Wheels route. That, too, started OK, but I should have been weary when the only sit I was offered was a lawn chair in the back of the van. It was one of those little, tall Ford vans that folks use for utility purposes. The above picture is the view I had for the duration of this ordeal.

Jim made me leave the house with him at 8:02 am to ensure he was on time to begin the noon route at 11:00 am or so. One of the hospitals in the area provides the meals and the transportation, which is a very good thing. On the way over he let me ride in the front seat, and we stopped by Steffani & Bob’s to pick up a beach chair, that was smaller than the one we already had, because he said he thought it would fit better with the warming oven and three large coolers. Turns out there would have been enough room for a nice recliner but, no, I had to sit in a tiny little beach chair. Sideways to our direction of travel.

Before loading, however, I discovered the real reason Jim wanted to be early. He got to run the crimping machine that secures lids to the warm part of the meals. While he did that I stood, calmly, in the hall, introducing myself to everyone who walked by because there was no one to introduce me. I met Hugh, who was the Principal at Rainier High School from 1991-1994. He left because he said the clouds got too low. So, he moved to Montana. Now he’s in Nampa. I also met Ginny, Heidi, and Eda. We had wonderful discussions about Jim and his real value in today’s modern society.

Finally, everything was packed, and we trundled the oven and coolers out to the van. As I stated earlier, I sat sideways in the back of the van surrounded with this equipment and it wasn’t bad for the first hour or so, even though I was forced to fill little baskets with meals as directed by Jim and LaVerne in their comfortable front seats. Since they are both older than me, their need for heat was understandably much higher. I was collateral damage from the heat but didn’t bring it to their attention until I started getting car sick, something I’ve never done before in my life. Fortunately, by then, one of the coolers was empty so I could have used that in a pinch should the need to puke go beyond a mere possibility. I don’t think I mentioned that there were no windows in the back of this van so I had no visual reference for what was going on in the outside world.

I have to admit that once I proffered the possibility of my need to vomit, voluminously, I had their attention and they yielded to my repeated request to please allow some air to circulate in the rear of the vehicle so I wouldn’t have to embarrass anyone. Jim cranked the heater up, but lowered the windows a bit so I could get a sniff of fresh air at least once in a while.

At this time I also rotated my chair 90 degrees to the left so I could look out the front thereby giving me the reference to the living world I needed in order to regain my sense of wellness. Shortly after calming my iffy stomach, we entered an area with many speed bumps. Big ones. Jim was careful on all but the last one when he apparently forgot I was in the back and thought it would be OK to accelerate once the front wheels had cleared the bump. As a result, I was launched vertically from the chair, missing the roof by centimeters, then slammed back down into the chair. This broke six bones in my neck and caused an instant headache. Since the feeling returned to my limbs fairly quickly, I lost a majority vote to continue the MOW route until done instead of returning to the hospital for an MRI. So, I continued doling out meal pieces until done, and by the time we returned to the hospital to turn everything in, no one remembered that I was seriously injured. Not being someone to create a scene, I just dropped it and decided to just heal on my own.

We returned to the house just in time for a wonderful lunch of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I ate twice. Then, when I was just reclining to take a short nap, and try to recover from my ordeal, I was ordered out of the house so we could take an hour trip to Emmett to watch Maryssa play softball. Everyone was fearful of the cold wind, but the day turned sunny and bright, making the trip the highlight of the day. Maryssa’s team won 12-3, or something like that, but didn’t score the bulk of their runs until the last inning. It was fun to watch.

This is Diane and Donna watching the game. Maryssa hit 3 for 5.

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Immediately after leaving the game, Diane made Jim stop at a McDonald’s so she could use the facility. None of us know what she did in there, but she was smiling when she returned.

Now it’s 9:12 pm and I’m siting at the table in my jammmies thinking that I may survive this day yet. Tomorrow may reveal something different as my injuries have time to show their true colors as I slumber.

I won’t be able to send this until tomorrow because Jim’s too cheap to install a wireless router in his house. For that same reason, I cannot add pictures until just before we stumble upon a wireless site that allows me access.

Tomorrow morning Jim’s forcing me to go to his weekly meeting at Burger King with 38 of his friends. I’m told there’s some sort of initiation that I must endure in order to be allowed access to Burger King when that group is there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Day Sixteen – Salt Lake to Nampa

It’s late, 11:16 pm, and there’s no hope of getting this sent out tonight, but have to document the events of this day.

We eft on this leg of the trip much earlier than any of the other days, mostly because Diane got up right away of accusing me of pretty much impossible things. I admit that I woke at 5:16 am and, after laying there for a bit, decided that I wasn’t going to get back to sleep. I didn’t dare get up for fear of waking Diane, so I reached out to my other constant companion, my iPad. I sequestered it under the sheet, and the quilt covering the bed, then turned it on. It made no sound at all, and created a cozy glow. Diane jumped out of bed shortly thereafter and I didn’t say a word because I’ve been trained to wait for her to initiate contact. She did, and I sensed there was something wrong. Asking her what it was revealed that my cozy glow woke her up because it made the entire bed glow, and she could feel it. So I immediately turned it off, saying not another word. Neither did she.

We both awoke at 9:30 am and regretted that we’d missed breakfast which was from 6-9 am. So we packed for the day’s journey and trundled down in the elevator, about 10:00 am, to discover there was still food laying out and we were invited to help ourselves. So, we did. I had a bacon and egg sandwich which consisted of a “rethermed” omelette, an some “rethermed” slices of bacon. I chose to not eat bread and just opened the prefolded omelette and stuffed it full of bacon. It worked nicely as it was all protein and no sugar. “Rethermed”, incidentally, is the new word I learned from one of the nice ladies in charge of the food. It just means the food was cooked in a different country, shipped to places with retherming devices, where they were rethermed and served. It was quite tasty. Diane ate two pieces of peanut butter toast with a bowl of cereal smothered in brown surgar that looked like brown yeast. She said it was good, but I think it was fake. Regardless, we both ended the meal with a cup of coffee to go and left. Diane thought the coffee was terrible, but I liked mine because I poured 5 of those little creamers in it before the coffee. It wasn’t the best, but I drank it.

A couple of hours down the road Diane felt the need to wash the taste of the bad coffee out of her mouth so we stopped at a McDonalds and got two of their cinnamon treats and two large caramel mochas. The cinnamon thing was exquisite! I swooned, nearly dropping it in my lap. Fortunately, I was wearing my bib. Diane insisted. She was wearing her’s, too. I was driving and wanted to get back on the road quickly so I ate my snack quickly. Diane tested the coffee and told me it was too hot to drink right away and that I needed to wait. It was then, I’m sure, that she sucked all the whipped cream off the top of mine, but I didn’t actually see her do it so can’t prove it. It was just gone. Perhaps she made me wait so long it just melted away into the coffee. It was pretty tasty, too, and I nursed it along for a long time.

The I settled in to serious driving because the weather was turning bad quickly. Diane read her book. Every once in a while I’d make a comment about something, that didn’t really require an answer, and she would close her book, place it in her lap, turn to me slowly and say “what did you say?” I would repeat it for her and learn that she really shouldn’t be bothered with random thoughts that didn’t require her attention. I responded by telling that I’d been saying stuff all along that didn’t require an answer and that I didn’t expect one. I further explained that if I needed her attention for anything (I paused here), then raised my voice about 9 notches and said “I’F I NEED YOUR ATTENTION I’LL TALK LIKE THIS!!: Not expected a loud retort like that caused all of her active sphincters to spasm which raised her a good 3 inches off the car seat, and caused her to almost through her book over her shoulder into the back. It was a wonderful experience. Had she not just used the restroom she would have spotted for sure. I learned that she’s a lot faster than I though and took a mental note to remind never to do that again. But I will, once I forget about this episode.

In an earlier entry I failed to mention the loss of my bright yellow baseball cap with the big O on it. I’m sure I left it in the pool area in San Diego, and asked the desk if they had it in lost and found. By the time we were packed and back down to the desk we were told no one had seen it. This had is very important because it’s the one I wear when we go into large stores so Diane fine me. It kind of makes me stand out with that hat on. Now I won’t be able to visit another Costco until I get a new one. I couple hours later the hotel called and said they’d found it and would be happy to send it to me. All he needed was my credit card number because they send everything FedEx. That wasn’t going to happen so I just wrote that hat off as a loss, and it was one of my favorites.

The day wore on, the weather got worse, and the temperature started dropping. For this reason Diane made me keep driving as she doesn’t do bad weather in a car where t he steering wheel is on her side of the seat. As a result, of this 6 hour driving day, I did the last 5 hours.

We made it to Mt. Home, Idaho and stopped for some sustenance at Arby’s. I called Jim at that point to let him home we were in the vicinity. He wasn’t equipped to deal with the short version and kept me talking until my sandwich was cold. Finally he released me to eat so we could be on our way again.

When we left Arby’s, the snow was coming down harder making it necessary for me to continue driving until it quit and the sun came out to dry everything off. Since that wasn’t going to happen I was doomed to finish the trip.

Agnus took us directly to Jim and Donna’s abode without nary a missed turn and we arrived about 5:30 pm local. Jim was alone putting his PJs back on while some one slipped out the patio door. There was some hemming and hawing but not a lot of substance was contained in the opening greetings. He apparently thought we weren’t getting her until tomorrow and had the their net door neighbor’s maid over teaching her how play cribbage. There were several visual clues laying around that totally refuted this notion. First was the cards with no game board or pegs. Second was the card holder that made it obvious he was teaching her canasta. Or, perhaps, canastynasta. He would neither confirm nor deny so I dropped it.

We told each other more lies until Diane returned with Bob, Steff, and Maryssa. Then we spent about 4 hours visiting until it was time to go to bed.

I took a bunch of pictures yesterday but haven’t downloaded them year, and can’t until we either build a wi-fi set up for J & D, or visit a Starbucks that already has one. So, this will receive a bit of editing in the morning. Day Seventeen will be spent with me trapped in the back of a small van helping deliver meals on wheels.

Day Fifteen – Las Vegas to Salt Lake City

After a grueling 15 hour drive, Diane finally got us to a hotel a little north of Salt Lake City. We’re closer to Bountiful, but I wasn’t sure anyone would recognize that place. I didn’t know it was an actual “place” until I went to get our pizza for supper. Diane made me go because she drove 5.5 hours and I only drove 1. And, because I went to get it, she’s letting me watch a basketball game as a reward. I perform well for rewards. I know … you did regular math, not Jerrie math … 1 and 5.5 is 15.5.

The trip here was pretty boring except for the part where I was driving. During that hour we were almost to the top of a hill and I was passing an old guy in a pickup with a camper, pulling a horse trailer. His gas door was open, and his gas cap was hanging loose, which is what first got my attention. He was wandering back and forth, no doubt due to the 80 mph wind blowing across I-15, but he also had Utah (Yew-ta) plates which pretty much told me the whole story. I was almost beside him when we started down the hill. The speed limit was 75 mph and he took off down the hill lickitysplit. He started pulling away from me and just about ran into another trailer in his lane so I backed off to see what kind of mayhem was going to unfold. He wandered right, then back left into my lane, then he put his turn signal on to make it OK, and continued to accelerate away from me.

I let him go, as did most of the other folks in my vicinity, with the exception of some adventurous folks who also had Utah plates. Maybe they knew him.

At the bottom of the hill he had topped out at about 85, still wandering all over the place, then he decided it was time to be in the right lane. Then he started slowing down to the point where I could get closer. Timing his wandering nature, I stayed back until he moved right then floored it to get around and into a safer place on the freeway. Going 90 mph. That wasn’t bad, however, because by this time the speed limit was 80 mph and it’s a given, in Utah, that 15 mph over the limit is fine. Going the posted limit is hazardous.

After the crazy guy in the pickup exited the freeway, we found an exit and took a break to make PB&J-wiches. They were excellent, and Diane was proud of me for not getting any jelly on my shirt. So was I. Then I ate the rest of the grapes, and a Rice Krispy square.

During this trip I-15 crosses the NW corner of Arizona. I don’t know how long that stretch is, but I bet you could close your eyes and know when it started and ended. It’s a terrible stretch of pock marked asphalt. A great test for shock absorbers. It’s just nasty compared to the roads in Nevada and Utah.

I didn’t take any pictures today so I’ll just share one from my vast array of pictures. Here you go …

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Hey! It’s six of our 8 Grandkidlets.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’ll be in Nampa, Idaho. By the way, the weather on this trip has been pretty good. We didn’t have any rain until we got to Provo. And, the car got very dirty. From here on the weather will just get worse and worse because it’s known fact that Idaho has the worst weather in the world.