We've led two different lifestyles. She was a fulltime homemaker, who ran the sweeper between the mattress and box springs and canned her own fruit. I worked outside of the home, survived a divorce, and named all my dust bunnies. Even so, we were always affectionate.
Calvin and I thought of ways to reach her. Flying was out. Our local airport only flies south. We could go to Charlotte, North Carolina to Miami, Florida and then north to DC and hitch a commuter plane to Hagerstown, Maryland. We checked out Amtrak. We could easily take it to DC, rent a car, and drive out of the Capitol, heading north. The last time I drove through Washington, DC, we ended up almost in Ocean City, Maryland while I'd aged five years.
"I could drive the whole way," I suggested to Calvin. I thought his shaking head would tumble off his shoulders.
Calvin looked at me as if he'd discovered the solution to world peace. "You know what? I haven't ridden a bus in years. Let's see if we can take a bus up there. I rode it all the time to Hampton University. It's a relaxing way to travel."
I swear my sweet husband's memory has faded. There was nothing relaxing about our trip to Pennsylvania. But getting to see my sister and brother was great.
Left to Right: Me, my brother Ray, and Pauline. I'm the baby.
We had a great little family reunion. Plus, I got to see both of my sons and grandkids. A very pleasant trip. Then we got on the bus to head for home. At the terminal in Baltimore, a new driver got on.
I knew we were in trouble when she'd driven three blocks from the terminal, stopped, and yelled, "Okay, listen up, y'all. This is a new route for me. Is DC north or south of Baltimore?" She reached into a bag of fried chicken setting on her window ledge and pulled out a drumstick. "Which way do I go?"
Someone yelled directions and she aimed the bus toward DC while she chewed on her chicken. "See, I'm from South Carolina, but the company moved me up here to run this route." Honestly, the driver talked faster than the bus drove.
"Okay," she waved her chicken bone over her head. "I'm coming up on DC. Who has a phone with a GPS. Help me find the terminal." We gave her directions which she claimed were wrong. In the meantime, we circled the Washington Monument three times. Zipped the wrong way up a one way street. Horns honking. People yelling.
She flagged a city bus down as leaned out the window. "Hey! Can you tell me where the Greyhound terminal is?" She followed the other bus driver's directions and drove by the station twice while claiming the man was wrong. At one point she aimed the bus toward the White House, hell bent for leather, while security guards ran toward us, waving their arms. They gave her the same directions that the city bus driver had.
She finally pulled into the back of the station--the wrong way. And when workers yelled and waved, she waved the chicken bone she'd been sucking on at them. "Get the hell out of my way. I've been praying on Jesus to find me the way here! I'm not backing up now."
Heavens, so had we!
Some trips just go haywire. Like Zoey Morningstar's trip to Paris for the birth of her sister's first child. Her daughter's kidnapping and rescue. A murder in the sex district. A bombing in the Metro. Going undercover with a handsome French Counterrorism Agent to find the terrorists who tried to kidnap her daughter. Passion. Her trip was to include none of those things, but like ours it had its own twists and turns. Only much more dangerous and sexy.
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