Middle child attended a college in Central Pennsylvania. I used to love driving up to see her or to pick her up. I'd drive West on I70, through Frederick, and then Hagerstown, Antietam/Sharpsburg (where the bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place as over 21,000 died in about 12 hours. And where they say the creeks ran red.) And then North on I81 for about a half hour. We'd go to see her play field hockey, or to take her and her friends out for dinner or pizza. Once, she wanted me to help her plant flowers in front of the house they rented. It was about 95 degrees that day and the house was not air-conditioned; thought I would melt. I weeded dirt that was like concrete, planted geraniums and enjoyed being there nonetheless, moreso for the conversations we had and the time spent together; happy finally, I had not killed her when she was a young teenager.
On an excursion to bring her home, I remember loading up our car with her stuff. She said she wanted to stop at the Dairy Queen for ice cream. (This was unusual for her -- slim, gorgeous, weight-conscious, so I took her seriously and we stopped.) I had something delightful, which I, of course, regretted (as soon as I'd finished and licked the cup) as I might as well just apply the stuff to my ass. We got back into the car and drove South on I81 toward home.
Interstate 81 goes all the way from Canada through to Route 40 in Tennessee; it is, therefore, a common choice of truckers. Many drivers will try to avoid using 81 because of the number of big rigs and trailers, but I don't usually mind. On this particular day, the road was crowded with big rigs. I had no trouble merging into traffic and we drove in silence for a bit. I was lamenting my ice cream splurge when I noticed a huge rig carrying half a house had pulled in behind me. It had gotten separated from its convoy -- warning cars before and after. I didn't think anything of it until a pickup, equipped with flashing lights and a huge "Wide Load" sign pulled in front of us. I looked at my daughter; she at me, smiling, the lights from the truck in front of us reflecting off our faces, the ice cream and many other indiscretions still on my mind. I said, "Somehow I knew it would always come to this." She giggled and we drove on.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.