The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day 14…

I think when I die I shall collect on all the good things I have done in my life. Perhaps no one will agree with me here, but this trip has earned me some big points with the old man in heaven if I have anything to say about it. I have graciously given up my shotgun seat in the rig for grandpa. Do you know what its like to sit in the back of the motorhome for 7, 8 hours at a time? It sucks. You can’t see anything. Nothing. Nada. Perhaps some trees flip by at 65 MPH but that’s about it. No panoramic view of the landscape, no highway signs to read, no hearing the radio. Of course, I have tried to knit. No success there…the sweater I brought to work on is Zack’s Christmas present and it has cables and moss pattern across the back and chest and there is no way I can do cables in this bumpy thing. I have tried to lay on the sofa. My feet hang over by at least 18 inches. Then, if I do settle myself on the couch, my head is right by the kitty litter thingy. Ugh. No cat poopies to smell but the litter smell (you know the perfumey stuff that they put on it….) makes me gag. I have tried to stick my nose under a lap robe to stop the smell, but that only makes me get a headache from the lack of oxygen. I have even tried to stick my fingers up my nose to block the smell. I have several nail jabs in my nose that now bleed… I can’t win it seems. I suppose I could tell grandpa that I’d like to sit up in front for a while, but I’d feel guilty. When we set out two weeks ago, I told grandpa sitting in the recliner was alright for me as it helped keep my legs up and my hip from hurting. So, I lied. I sure hope Paulie realizes the sacrifice I have made for him. Nah, the thought prolly never crossed his mind.

We left Duxbury about 9:45 this morning. Sunshine. How beautiful. Too bad we didn’t have better weather while visiting with the kids and Maureen. Maybe next time. We stopped about 2 pm to let fat Pepi take a tinkle and for me to fix some sandwiches for a late lunch. I found a Passport America park in Akron, NY which has a spot for tonight. It is just outside of Buffalo…and half off the fee will make this a cheapie stop. This is only the second time we have used PA but hopefully we will save some money from this point on.

Not much to write about as I can’t SEE anything to write about. I am glad we got to see both girls graduate. That is important to a kid, and neither kid has an overabundance of relatives around. It was fun to share their excitement and this milestone for each of them. I was happy to see both of my sisters also. We don’t get to visit in person too much, mostly telephone calls are all that keeps us in touch.

I’ll try to write more after we get settled at the campground.



Akron NY
Day 14 continued…

We are at Sleepy Hollow or some such thing campground. Mostly permanent trailers and 5th wheels. We pulled in about 6:15. Grandpa was still in the shotgun/navigator seat. I am giving directions from the recliner. I just KNOW this is not gonna work…! How do I know this? This has happened before…in Florida, in GA, in TN, in KY…been there done that. Trouble is, grandpa can’t see so therefore he won’t be able to spot the street signs. OK, not to say I told ya so….we totally miss the campground. By this time, I have a raging headache. Paul goes about three miles before he can turn around. I think that I am gonna tell Paul that grandpa does not get to sit shotgun/navigator when we are off the highway and looking for a campground after 9 or 10 long hours on the highway. We throw together a really bad dinner of overcooked steak, nasty corn (that’s what ya get when you buy unknown store brands of frozen corn, Paulie) and burnt pirogues. Ick. The only thing that tasted good was the gin and tonic. Since we had water hookups, grandpa and I took showers. Nice hot showers. We will try to get on the road about 9 a.m. tomorrow. We are just east of Buffalo so we don’t want to get caught up in the rush hour traffic. Until tomorrow.


Day 15…

I have this gut feeling, it’s gonna be one of those days. Grandpa thinks its 8 a.m. and yells for us to get up. It’s like 6 a.m. Paul yells, “Go back to bed old man it’s not time to get up yet!” Like now I can go back to sleep. I realize I am freezing. I am sharing two old quilts with Paulie and during the night put the down comforter that sheds feathers on me. I am still cold. So, Paul gets up and gets dressed, tells me he has a coupla things to do outside. He resets the alarm and off he goes. I am still freezing. I need coffee. I get up. *Sigh*. I hurt all over. First thing…turn on the damm heat. June 13th and we are putting on the heat in the rig. Go figure. I make up the sofa bed. I try the TV…no TV pops on. I think “hmmmm” and clean the coffee pot and make fresh. I plug in…I think “hmmmmm” no electric. I yell out the door at Paulie. There is a guy cutting limbs in a nearby tree. Paulie tells me that the guy had shut off the electric so he could cut limbs. Oh. Guess he didn’t want to be a French fry. So, even though we paid for electric, we fire up the genset. No problem. Coffee gets made. Grandpa comes outta the bedroom. I make some toast for us and we get the rig ready to roll. After stopping at the campground dump we are heading out. Well, I ask Paulie if he remembers how to get back to I90. Both he and grandpa chorus. “…sure…!” I stupidly believe them. It is déjà vu all over again. Paul misses the last turn and we have to go a couple of miles to turn around. How can someone’s sense of direction be lost overnight? I let it happen again. Grandpa is riding shotgun and doesn’t know where the hell to turn. The inmates have the keys.

To further make my day, I stupidly ask Paulie if he had put the black tank deodorizer in the tank. Yes, he replies but then adds we only have two tablets left. Uh oh, says I. You’d think I’d learn NOT to say such things. I got a 20 minute lecture that a) we will be in Henry before we need to dump again (whatever Paul….) and b) we can BUY more (whatever Paul….) and yada yada yada. I think he just likes the sound of his own voice for pete’s sake.

Can ya tell yet that I am not having a stellar day? What gave me away?
Perhaps its being in the damm recliner again. Or maybe I just got up cranky? Oh well. It’s now 10:40 a.m. and we have only been on the road for an hour. I think it’s gonna be a long day.



Day 15 continued…

Grandpa strikes again…

Gee, twice in one day. I keep telling myself that we are setting ourselves up for disaster when he is playing navigator. We have wonderfully detailed directions from Yahoo. Problem is, he just doesn’t READ the damm things. The directions for example state…” merge on I90 to Brea Hwy and go .10 of a mile”…he will tell Paul…”merge onto Brea Hwy”…forgetting the freaking one tenth of a mile….I see the I480 sign fly past. We end up in the Cleveland Airport. Hmmm…ya think Paulie would TELL him to let me be navigator? Oh, nooooooo, I guess he doesn’t want to hurt his feelings. OK, sympathy boy, turn this sucker around 4 miles outta the way in some potholey parking lot. See if I care.

I get huffy and get my pillows. Fatty Pepi and I take a nap. So there. Deal with directions impaired grandpa.

Then….Paul says…”I want to keep moving…make sandwiches for us.” Excuse me? Do I LOOK like a waitress? Or a sure footed stewardess? Oh sure, my dearest life companion…I shall just jump right outta my recliner from which all I can see is the occasional side of a truck as we whiz past….and make you a delicious sandwich. OK, for those of you readers who have tried to do anything in a motorhome while it’s moving, let me explain to the uninitiated. Walking in a motorhome moving at 65 mph is like being in the rolling barrel at the carnival. If you have any balance, you just may be able to get to the bathroom without smacking your face into a wall or the slideout. Forget going potty. The toilet is enclosed in a closet that is about 3 by 4…pulling down your pants can be one hell of a challenge especially if the driver takes a curve too fast, decides to shift lanes quickly or hits the brake. Wall sandwiches are not uncommon and certainly not painless. Now, I am balance impaired anyways, so just getting outta the recliner is a real challenge. OK. Laugh at the mental picture here dear readers…it really is funny. Bobbing and weaving to the galley, I open the fridge. Immediately with the reflexes of a cat, I grab the mayo jar AND the mustard jar tumbling out from certain destruction if they hit the ceramic tile in the galley. I grab the bread and reach across the aisle to grab some paper plates. Paulie hits the jake brake and I wind up laying across the dinette. OK, no broken bones, just some dried baby’s breath up my nose from the table décor, cussing under my breath. OK, get bread on plates. Look up towards front of rig…oh no! Curve! Brace against stove. Smack my private area with a knob. Curse again, questioning Paul’s paternity. Slather bread with mayo. Another freaking curve, but Mario Andretti decides to change lanes ON the curve. Now I utter some words I don’t think anyone has heard before. I slap the meat on the bread. OK…smash the top breads on the sandwiches so they don’t fall apart in Mario’s hands as he eats while he drives. I leave my entire hand print. Then I stagger up to the driver and shotgun seats. I thrust the sandwich at grandpa. “Oh, thanks so much”. Right. I have to hit Mario on the shoulder to take his stupid sandwich. Grandpa makes some crack about not knowing I was a stewardess. I mutter something under my breath about how they are gonna pay and plant my bum in the recliner. I eat about ¼ of a sandwich and promptly get the meat stuck in my tummy. Up and into the bathroom to barf. Ugh. Try and barf in a moving motorhome. I clean up (!) and go lay down again. OK, that’s lunch!

Paul decides we should try for Joliet. No way Mario. I say, how about South Bend? There are several campgrounds and there is also a Elks Lodge with dinner and a pool! OK we decide the Lodge at South Bend it is. We get off the highway and go thru downtown SB. Nice, really nice. We can only see tops of buildings of Notre Dame. We miss the left turn as the sign says only Rte 20 not Bus Rte 20. Drats, we turn around and get back on track. We park the rig and go have some dinner. First a nice cocktail, then another, THEN dinner. Grandpa and I have stuffed trout. Ick, they serve it with SKIN on….! Paul gets chicken. After dinner I have an amaretto with my coffee. I want to forget today, yanno? We zigzag back to the rig, watch a bit of TV and settle in for the night.

Day 16.

We are up and out by 9. Stop at McDonalds to have some breakfast and dump the computer. Well, this is the only McDonalds in South Bend without wifi. Figures. I know how to pick ‘em. We are back on I80/I90 and on our way. Hit a bit of a log jam at the Illinois border, so what else is new? We have about 140 miles to go. I am getting sleepy…must be naptime!

Later….hugs, Dee
Day 16 continued….

Well, we made it….over 1200 miles in two and a half days! We are in Geneseo IL at the Geneseo Campground. Very nice place. The restrooms/shower rooms are the cleanest I have ever seen in a campground. I took a shower immediately. I just cannot stand being unbathed for more than a day or so. Ugh. After having a sandwich, we will probably go into town to get some groceries. I have signed up for Perisomething wifi here at the campground. Pricey but this way I can link up here in the rig. No more finding a McDonalds that has or doesn’t have access…of course now that I have paid the ransom(!) I find out that there is free wifi all over town. *Sigh*. Oh well, I can go on 24/7 until we leave. Hope you enjoy this chapter of my continuing saga. Please don’t think I am picking on Paulie and grandpa…however bear in mind that I have not been blessed with patience nor do I suffer fools gladly, no matter what you might have been lead to believe!



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