Days 23-27: Returning to New York for 31 Hours before Leaving for Pennsylvania.
12 October, 2009 § Leave a comment
I’ve decided that I really love haiku updates when I fail to post every day. So, without further ado:
Tuesday: Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI & Buffalo, NY (Day 23)
Fair in the morning – –
Not too thrilling. Airport next:
(Of course, my evening flight from O’Hare to Detroit was delayed – – seriously, when are they ever not late departing from the Windy City? – – which meant I then landed in Michigan about ten minutes after I was supposed to begin the boarding process for my connecting flight on to Buffalo. End result involved me in high heels and a dress lugging a twenty-something-frickin’-heavy-pound carry on bag and booking it across terminal B to the opposite end of terminal A like no other. A hilarious sight, I’m sure. I had wonderful seatmates for both flights, though, and that was definitely a spot of cheer God placed in path when I needed it… the one had a thick Nashville drawl and flies five days out of the week for his job so we were able to swap all sorts of fascinating travel stories (his tales of the midnight rail coach in Egypt took the cake, I have to say) and then the other was a wonderful soul from a town only forty miles or so from my own so we connected in our western NY bond. She was also able to educate me in the world of speed-skiing and by the time our plane touched down on the drizzly tarmac in Buffalo, I had learned all sorts of interesting tidbits, including slaluming, timers, edges, connecting with the earth and more. Best part of the day, though? The welcoming committee of three – – surprise! I was only expecting one – – who came to the airport to pick up myself, my overly hefty red suitcase and my tired heels, despite the late hour. Thank you, dear ones; irregardless of our mutual fatigue, we managed to find enough energy to talk for the next hour and a half until sleep claimed all of us and then there was much crashing).
Wednesday: Houghton, NY (24)
Concord grapes, cider,
Homemade bread and steaming soup
Make for yumminess.
(Thanks to the generosity of my dear friend A—-, I was able to not only transport my vehicle-less self back home in one piece but also had company for a delicious late afternoon feast. After spending an exorbitant time eating meals on the road by myself over the past several weeks, I’m not sure which I enjoyed more: real homemade food or meaningful conversation with someone with whom I already have a relationship. Also, Wednesday marked the first time I had been in my apartment in close to two weeks. While I didn’t bother to unpack my suitcase since I would be heading out again in less than 48 hours, I did spend a good hour or so reacquainting myself with my favorite armchair in the living room at a regrettably but o so worthwhile late hour, book in one hand and steaming apple cider in the other. O, and there was much laughter as well as some good thoughts and significant heartwarming conversation shared that evening with the five other absolutely fabulous ladies in our “Secret Group,” as one of the husband’s has dubbed our regular times of Scriptural discussion, warm food and relationship. So far, they’ve all mangaged to be extremely flexible with my odd schedule and it’s worked out to get together whenever I’m back in town, however briefly, before continuing with the out-of-state portion of fall travel).
Thursday: Houghton, NY (25)
Angus? O no! Dead!
Time for a fish eulogy
and much office work.
(Yes. It’s true. Upon my return to the office, I was greeted with the traumatic sight of my very dead fish who responded to the name of “Angus,” wedged stiff as a popsicle stick between the filter and the side of the tank. I think he starved to death, poor little guy. Thankfully, the Visit Office coordinator came to my rescue and scooped Angus’s decaying carcass out of the tank; we all, student interns included, paused in the middle of my office for some brief thoughts, and then he joined the rest of the ghostly aqua dwellers in the underlair of our piping system. Angus’ untimely aside, Thursday held close to eleven hours in the office as I attempted to get caught up on the previous weeks’ worth of emails, voicemails, post mail, scheduled appointments, receipts and the like while also repacking and reorganizing my space, my travel case and my head for the upcoming two and a half week’s worth of travel. Later that evening, however, once I managed to extricate myself from the never-ending mountain of to-do’s in the office, two of my interns and my downstairs neighbor stopped over with a heaping plate of still warm cookies and cream cheese frosting which we promptly devoured amongst much welcome story-telling… and then my summer gardening buddy showed up to keep me company in the laundromat across the darkened street while I did two loads worth of washing and drying at the 9 o’clock hour… and finally, one of my favorite adopted floorlings came knocking at my apartment door to visit for a bit close to the midnight hour since the Christmas lights wrapped around my front porch served as a beacon of welcome. Altogether, a wonderful day).
Friday: Houghton, NY, Painted Post, NY & Wilkes Barre, PA (26)
On the road again:
Rainy, mountainous stretches
And miles to go.
(Despite initial plans to leave around the healthy hour of 3 p.m., prospective students, unexpected phone calls and office meetings had other plans. I ended up rolling out of Houghton four hours later than anticipated, therefore, and drove the 235 miles to my hotel in darkness through long, rainy, foggy, mountainous stretches of highway in the vast expanses of Pennsylvania’s state gamelands. Thankfully, I had Samuel Beam keeping me company out of my speakers for much of the way and then several other dear, dear friends on the phone whose thoughtful conversation not only kept me awake but also encouraged my heart. Wonderful. Plus, the best news of all: still no deer killings to report. From this keyboard to God’s ears, right?)
Saturday: Dallas, Quakertown & Montgomeryville, PA (27)
College fair is surprising – –
Not just for free drink.
(I admit, I went into this Saturday morning fair with rather low expectations. After all, what high school student in their right mind would look forward to talking to a complete stranger about the future at the early hour of 9 a.m. on a rainy, gray weekend day? However, the cheerful counteances of those central Pennsylvanians with their softened vowels and ready laughter proved me wrong, and the fair turned out to be quite the successful one. In fact, all gratitude for free, bottomless coffee notwithstanding, I enjoyed multiple prolonged and therefore enjoyable conversations with more than one family – – my favorite? A lengthy encounter with a missionary family of three boys on furlough in the States before returning to Benin whose enthusiasm for all things Tolkien rivaled that of Pollock’s for his eggbeater. Actually, the copy of Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, lying in readiance on the table if traffic past my table was lagging, consistently provoked fascinating commentary for the entirety of the morning… maybe I should bring my current reads with me to all the fairs I go to! – – just kidding, boss. Anyways, after the fair ended early Saturday afternoon, I packed up my display and headed back on the road for another hour and a half to the city outside of Allentown, PA, where I would be spending the weekend before beginning the next week’s swing of college fairs and high school fairs across New Jersey. Of course, a detour to Quakertown, PA, and the residing Borders bookstore therein was definitely in order yesterday evening… love that place x 3).
Photo of the Day
Stolen from the Borders website:
Music, books, coffee – – and so much more!