What I Did On My Spring Vacation

Oh, oh… oh my God….ooooooh! Oh man, oh wow, oh my God….

Just hold still, I’m almost done.

Two men, in my kitchen. One is on his knees, head bent to the floor, hand over the sink – oh my God, I’m about to pass out – the other, holding this hand over the sink squeezing the pus out of an infected finger. It in no way resembles what I thought I heard from the living room. To say my life is without unusual forms of entertainment would be a misrepresentation. Just ask Shuggie, the shit-eating dog who thinks breakfast should be served at 5:30 and baby groundhogs will suffice.

I didn’t get a look at the finger, even though Todd kept saying it looks really bad, just look at it. I said, no thank you very much and take that man to urgent care before he gets gangrene. This is the same man who donated bone marrow to his sister – who can’t stand the sight of blood and particularly when that blood is appearing anywhere on his hands. What IS it with men and their absurd machismo – “it’s not that bad, I’ll just put some super glue on it”?? Their ARM could be hanging off of their shoulder by a single tendon and they’re all like, “gimme that bungie cord and some duct tape, I’ll be fine.” Oy. Thankfully it’s not my husband.

Anyway, moving along.

I have this goal to visit every state in the U.S. but I have a loooong way to go. On Monday, I added West Virginia because to the best of my knowledge (and my parents – mom says she was there but not with me and dad is in Fucking Palm Springs right now so I can’t even speak to him about this shit) I’ve never ever been there and it was amazeballs (I hereby would like to acknowledge that I spelled amazeballs incorrectly in my last post and there is a correct way to spell amazeballs) and I’m still feeling the warm fuzzies about the trip four days later.

Harper’s Ferry is gorgeous in that historical town-rising up out of the green mountains-quaint riverside hamlet-without hi-rise hotels and plenty of hiking among nature and ruins- sort of way. We parked a distance from the town center (if one could call it that) and walked the path to nearly deserted streets and buildings that resembled more of a movie set than a real functioning community. We walked up the steep stone steps to St. Peter’s church with burning legs and short-of-breath, but the lighting all around us was breathtakingly beautiful and made for some incredible photos. Until my phone died. MY. PHONE. DIED. My phone never dies. Never ever. And yet, here we were in this beautiful place where I may or may not have uttered some profanities not unlike Ted’s in my kitchen this morning and we still had miles to go and no juice. Todd was kind enough to lend his phone but it’s just not the same.

Harper’s Ferry is made for walking and all the photography. We stopped in front of a store that sold pottery and the man inside beckoned Todd inside. I murmured something about hitting it on the way out but Todd said, but we were invited in. OF COURSE we were. And then I remembered that just the other day I was thinking I was bored with my coffee mugs and wanted a new one, and this could be a serendipitous detour. That is, until I saw one I liked and there was a sticker on it that I was sure said “72.” So I don’t know if that was like a tag number, the price, or the damn year it was made but either way my clumsy self wasn’t picking it up. He and my once-a-potter husband discussed pottery and kilns and I admired all the pretty things with absolutely no desire to spend a single dollar.

We chose a place to eat pretty much based on which one had people eating in it. Seated outside at a high top table with chairs just low enough to make you feel like a toddler. Our server was NOT in a hurry and then she had this weird way of looking at you that made you feel like she knows all your dirty little secrets, and she is not impressed. I was facing the back area which surely they could have done a better job of – I don’t know – hiding behind a partition or something. It’s difficult to be me in restaurants sometimes. You can take the girl out of the restaurant but you can’t take the restaurant out of the girl. I notice things and it just can’t be undone.

They were out of limes so I had to enjoy the unadulterated flavor of public water in my club soda. Must’ve been out of salad dressing too – my Greek salad was dry. I was afraid to ask about it. Todd shared his turkey/cheese/chipotle aioli panini with me and it was delicious. Salad came home with me and I’m sure she wondered what kind of freak orders a salad and then takes it home? The kind that needs to put some dressing on it, yo.

We were going to go to Longwood Gardens on Tuesday because it was another beautiful day for walking outside and … hear me, Longwood is closed one day a week and guess which day that is?  F.M.L.

I had a dental appointment in the middle of the week because I am funding dental professionals all over the region, and the surgery is scheduled for the end of next month. That was in PA and if you don’t live in PA you don’t know the trauma of just trying to get to your destination without a fucking detour. You CANNOT get anywhere in southeastern PA without being rerouted for road work that absolutely NO ONE is doing. Born and raised there and I know many routes to travel, and every Goddamn one of them had a detour. I don’t know who’s in charge of PennDot but dude.

Friday afternoon Todd and I met up for happy hour with old friends at the Guinness Brewery in Baltimore. He worked in the morning so I met him at his former college so we could drive together and the whole afternoon there was this peaceful, easy feeling. Happy Hour starts at 2:00 for this crew and we all sat at a picnic table in the Beer Garden and Fred ordered the first round. I’m certain no table out there made as much noise as ours and it was glorious.


I’m old so I was impressed by the QR code on the table that you use to order your food and drinks and literally – less than a minute later my beer teleported to me by way of a dude in a black Guinness Brewery t-shirt. But not so old to not have a QR scanner on my phone which Mr. Technology Todd does not and I got to actually show HIM how something techy is done and I was so proud of myself. (And still stoked about the ordering process.) Jason shared his fries with me and Todd and I ordered the Guinness Stew and Bavarian pretzels (with beer cheese!).

Ultimately, my vacation week began with Mother’s Day spent at the restaurant with my in-laws and Neph (my surrogate son) – who was celebrating his 25th birthday the same day – and, while mom had to be in the kitchen for all of it, and my children were not present, I had a lovely time in my black dress with heeled black boots and long industrial cross dangling down to my waist. Mom said usually people wear softer colors because Spring and Mother’s Day, but I joked that it’s my funeral and I’ll wear black if I want to. And then I reminded her of way back when, when she wouldn’t let me wear black because it was an “adult” color. What a crock of shit, right? That and “girls don’t call boys.” I think I might’ve ignored that one too.

Ultimately, it began with Mother’s Day and ended the following weekend with a trip to Lowe’s – where I LEFT MY PHONE IN THE BATHROOM and subsequently finished shopping and we were halfway across the parking lot at Walmart a mile away when Todd pulled his phone out of his back pocket, complaining that it was weighing his pants down now that he’s lost so much weight and I realized what I’d done. OMFG. I’m panicking and he’s all – you haven’t lost it, don’t worry – and I’m all like, I KNEW IT. Why didn’t you just put it in your purse? he asked. Because I’m an asshole, I said. He doesn’t like when I call myself an asshole. I don’t like that he’s lost 30 pounds and I seem to have found them. But that’s another story for another day.

So, I got my phone back and I planted a three-tiered herb garden on my deck and was very pleased with myself. 🙂

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