Okay, now I can tell the rest of what I have been doing for the past few days. Thursday was really rough, because I found that three of the bogus charges on my debit card that had been reported to me on Monday had gone through, even though I had warned my credit union about them. Also, my new debit card had not yet arrived, and I didn’t dare leave Connecticut without it. Finally, Thursday was my last day of work for the year, and my supervisor kept me nearly two hours late to meet as many of his goals as possible. Consequently I was so tired by the end of the day that I made some dumb mistakes, the worst being that I forgot to fill out and turn in my timecard. I had to come back on Friday morning to straighten that out.
Friday was much better. First, I caught another mouse in my apartment, the third since October. I was cleaning out as much food from the refrigerator and cupboard as possible, and when I saw I had a handful of the unsalted peanuts left, I threw them into the bucket that the other mice had fallen into. It turned out to be great bait; at 3:15 AM on Friday I was woken up by the thrashing sound of a mouse trying to jump out of the bucket. If it had been a more convenient hour, I would have disposed of the mouse in a smarter way; as is, because I wanted to go back to sleep, I simply threw both the mouse and the peanuts out the door. After that there was dead silence in the kitchen, so I’m hoping that’s the last of the mice. The next morning I did not see any peanuts outside, so I’m guessing the squirrels got a treat.
At 11:30 AM the debit card arrived; whew! Then I got the rental car, ate lunch and packed. I was finally ready to go at 3:30 PM. First came a stop for gas, then on into New York. I remembered a $1.00 toll at the bridge where Interstate 84 crosses the Hudson, but curiously, they only charge the vehicles going east; I did not have to pay this time. At 6:15 I entered Pennsylvania. Because I had been chasing the sun, the sky did not get completely dark until now. After passing Scranton and Wilkes-Barre I took a different route from the one I followed to Connecticut last June. To get away from the mountains as quickly as possible, I headed due west on Interstate 80, towards Ohio. You wouldn’t think a state as important as Pennsylvania would have remote areas, but as long as I was on I-80, I did not see even a medium-sized town; most of the time I was driving through mountains. At 8:30 I started looking for a motel worth stopping at, found one near Clearfield, PA at 10 PM, and stopped there for the night.
I was so tired from the past two days that I didn’t get going on Saturday until 10:45 AM. I entered Ohio at exactly 1 PM, continued west on Interstates 80 and 76 until I reached I-71, and then turned south. Akron turned out to be a large town with factories but no skyscrapers. The mountains I had been driving in became hills in the last stretch of Pennsylvania, and the hills became flat land between Akron and Columbus. Columbus did have skyscrapers, so to me it looked a little bit like Atlanta. Still, the state capital is a smaller city than Cincinnati, and after passing through the latter, I entered Kentucky (7 PM). Finally I reached the house at 8:20. My route turned out to be the best way to go, because I did not have to deal with any bad weather on the way.
This may be the best Christmas we have had since we moved to Kentucky, five years ago. We did not decorate or exchange gifts, we’re just glad to be together again. Today we celebrated by going to Leive’s favorite Chinese restaurant in town. I’m also glad to be home because Connecticut is so cold and dark at this time of year, compared with Kentucky. See you later!