Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Road Trip!



With the boys safe in the Senorita's care, I set off for the family homestead. After some flurries in Cisco TX, I met rain in the DFW area, then freezing rain in Arkansas. The wait for the rescue crews to clear the jackknifed truck on I-40 took about an hour. Fortunately, I had filled up the tank south of Little Rock. I didn't get much further though as the wind picked up and the freezing rain was unrelenting. I crawled as far as Earle (short of West Memphis AR) before taking refuge at a Super 8 motel around 6 pm. They started turning away customers about three people behind me, so I was lucky.



The next day was clear, but the roads were not. We had to crawl around a tractor trailer spinning his tires futilely trying to climb the bridge to Memphis TN. Once across, I picked up a convoy of salt trucks and snowplows ahead of me. I-40 had one lane clear (unfortunately, the slow lane) until past Nashville where I could drive like a maniac again. I-81 was snow-free and I made it to the PA border before I had to stop for a nap after midnight.



I made it home Christmas Eve morning, a day behind schedule. We had Christmas dinner at my sister's with venison lasagna that Mom made; my brother scored the doe a week or two before during antlerless season. Here's my brother on the left.



My little brother got all the height while I got the hair and good looks :)

The center of attention was Erin, my one and only niece. This was the first time she would sit in my lap and not scream in terror.



You can tell she's thinking about it. Besides the family stuff, I spent lots of time playing cards at my brother's house and enjoying the neat stuff you can only find in PA. Moxie is more than a cute southern California blond conservative in go-go boots.



Someone said that Moxie tastes "mediciny." Methinks that's a prejudice brought on by someone who'd taken Moxie-flavored medicine and didn't know any better. It mixes well with rum. Nuff said.

Everthing was cool until the Thursday before I was planning on heading back (via MD, where I have a couple of friends to visit). Then things got cold when the ice storm hit and power lines fell. The first night, Mom just brought out the candles, kerosene lamp, and fired up the coal stove in the basement. We played Trivial Pursuit by lantern light. We put out buckets to catch the meltwater off the roof so we could flush toilets.



With nowhere to go, I dug out one of the Tom Clancy books I'd left for Mom to read and did some reading.


The next night, I helped my brother fire up Mom's little generator so we could at least run extension cords to the fridge and freezer for a while. Mom's big generator had a dead battery and Dad hadn't passed on the operating instructions before he passed on himself, so little Bro did the research Friday and got it working Saturday morning. Too bad the wind blew all the exhaust into the house and set off the CO Detector. After airing out the house and reenergizing the freezers for a while, we retreated to my sister's house. Mom lives above the frost line, so all the roads in the valley were clear, but she still had ice everywhere. As we packed off to my big sister's house, the PP&L trucks had finally made an appearance in the neighborhood. Mom got power back a few hours later.

I had planned to head back Saturday, but didn't because another bout of freezing rain hit. Now I was stuck, expected to attend little Erin's First Birthday party. My sisters packed the Parryville Fire Co. Social Hall with food, friends, and family all for little Erin.



Sure it was kinda fun, but I was ill at ease in the crowd. I did the Uncley thing of taking pics and video and bailed out with my brother when it was polite enough to do so. Lil Bro is just as asocial as I am. We adjourned to his place to watch football, drink beer, and play cards.

Coming next, the trip back.

4 Comments:

  • At 12:41 AM, Blogger BillyBudd said…

    Great Pics Compadre!

     
  • At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cool pics! :)

     
  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Wabano said…

    Wonder of wonder, unfrozen water...

    I'm, like, there:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v50/HOTSPUR666/Yukon-Jack.jpg

    (How'd you like my greatcoat of immigrant
    hippie scalps!!!)

     
  • At 12:33 PM, Blogger Da Goddess said…

    great pics, great story...now quit making me lust after you even more than I did before.

     

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