Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cleveland to East Aurora

With the wild and wacky Pfohl cousins in East Aurora, New York!

I asked to keep my room until 1:00 p.m., awaiting restoration of services (at 9:00 a.m., I was told they were working on it and it should only take an hour.") Phone service finally restored, I called to take care of outstanding Visa charges. Still no internet.

I have succeeded in keeping myself under all the same old laws: trying to keep track of receipts, record expenses in a spreadsheet, log the day’s activities, capture fleeting thoughts. I can't escape the mechanics, the habits. It leads to unnecessary frustration. I must ask, "to what end do I do this?" No answer.

Gave up and checked out. Taking advantage of my new familiarity with Cleveland, returned to Starbucks for breakfast: cappuccino and coffee cake, sitting in the loft above.

Outside, as I was leaving, I hear "You're getting on my dream."

Bill Borden introduces himself. From Asbury Park, new Jersey originally, now of Cleveland. In my road atlas, he shows me all sorts of places to go, from New England down to Virginia.

Nearby, I stop in at the library, hoping I can hook up my laptop. But all they offer is an "express computer," which I can use for fifteen minutes.

Without much thought, I leave Cleveland on Interstate 90. It's too hot and hazy to enjoy secondary roads much. I just want to get on to the next destination. Take a break at an Erie, Pennsylvania truck stop. I get some cheese crackers and a soda and take a seat inside the Subway.

Across the border, the freeway becomes the New York State Thruway, a toll road. Thunderstorms start rising rapidly in the steamy atmosphere, directly in my path. Looking up through the haze, a billowing mountain about to roll over me. It's exciting as thunder and lightning come almost in unison, but it's dangerous too. Waves of rain come and go.

Coming through a couple of these, I see the East Aurora exit ahead and hurry to get there, with another thunderhead bearing down. Exiting the Thruway at Hamburg, turned around by the exit's architecture, I'm disoriented, and the sun has disappeared in the clouds. No further mention of East Aurora as I work my way through a maze of intersections.

Pulled into a gas station to ask directions, but everyone was busy, and I was anxious to keep moving away from these storms. Made a wrong choice, and ended up heading south, discovering my error after about twenty miles of wandering the countryside. Get map out 4 or 5 times to figure out where I was. (Reconsidering that GPS option as I looked over the map.)

Pretty country, but I was moving faster and faster, driven by weather, and by some sense that I had to arrive at the time I had "promised". In Orchard Park, just a few miles short of my goal, my luck ran out and I was drenched my a deluge. Literally, buckets of water. Traffic bogged down, ensuring maximum saturation. So close!

An evening with my wacky cousins, Kathy, Becky and Priscilla. Kathy, of course, arrived at Priscilla's house with all the fixings for a complete dinner - ribs, salt potatoes, beans - apologizing that there wasn't more. It seems Becky and Priscilla's chief goal for the evening was trying to make Kathy "spew", which succeeded perfectly just after Kathy took a big swig of beer.

This is what living in a small town (and a bit of beer and wine) will do to you.

Yes, we are related.

I have nothing more to add.

1 comment:

Drew Kampion said...

Just like Marth'a kitchen!