Tania's Words

here is an empty shell- a resonant shadow- waiting

Archive for driving

Magical Cranberry

Here I am in magical Cranberry, Pennsylvania. Ok, maybe not so magical. I was very excited about staying in a hotel in a town called Cranberry. It just seemed like it would be a peaceful little hamlet, nestled into a cute, tree lined suburb of Pittsburgh.  Gingerbread houses and people walking dogs, you know? Not so much. From what I’ve seen of Cranberry (admittedly, hardly anything at all), it’s not much to write home about. I am right next to the highway, where all the hotels, motels, gas stations and chain restaurants cluster around an exit;  this might be the reason for my disillusionment.

I’ll just have to get over it. Already I’ve over come my hatred of Pennsylvania, something I would have sworn was absolutely impossible just a week ago. But this was before I had ever driven through the state during the day.

I’ve been to Pennsylvania many times before, as I have family in Elizabethtown. I’ve driven through Pennsylvania three times, at least- the first two times were years ago, so I had only hazy memories of hating the Pennsylvania Turnpike with a vengeance. As I prepared to go visit Dan last week in West Virginia, I must admit I felt a small trickle of foreboding. All I remembered about the Penna Turnpike (that is what the signs call it, I swear) was that it was always under construction, which meant being sandwiched between big trucks and a tiny rail overlooking a massive precipice, with the worlds narrowest lanes, EVER.

Frankly, this is my worst nightmare. I hate driving through the mountains right on top of the guard rail and anticipating (dreading?) plunging to my death.

But I told myself it would be ok. It had been years since I’d been to Pennsylvania. Surely the roads weren’t always under construction…surely I was more used to driving and therefore would be able to handle anything thrown at me…right?

So wrong. So sadly, pathetically wrong. First, roads are always under construction, everywhere I go. It must be a law. Which is fine. But on the Penna (I think that is hilarious), the road is already narrow. I understand this, as it is build into the hills, or mountains or whatever. When not under construction, they are fine (I’ve since learned).

Now, I must say, the Penna threw everything it had at me. It was dark. The turnpike has very little division between oncoming traffic and your lanes- unlike in Michigan where you usually have a stretch of grass, or at least a high wall, on the Penna, there is just a short wall and the two lanes running next to each other with very small shoulders. So more often than not, you are blinded by oncoming traffic. Now when there is construction, the shoulders disappear. And you are stuck right up on a wall, with the lane next to you full of semi trucks (which are always weaving all over the freaking road).

Here I am, white knuckling my way through this personal hell, wishing it was over, when the gods of the highway decide I haven’t been punished quiet enough yet. It starts to storm. And I mean, really storm.  With the oncoming traffic, the backwash off of the trucks, the blinding lightning, I am starting to freak out. And that is before I realize that my windshield wipers don’t quite work.

What did I do, I ask? Why, Penna Gods, WHY?? Shaking my fist at the highway gods, I vow to never litter again, even though I don’t litter. Unless an apple core counts, which I never thought did, since it will biodegrade.

Obviously  I made it. I think I lost ten years of my life, but I made it. Cursing the whole freaking state of Pennsylvania along the way. I’ve never hated anything so much as I hated this cursed state.Until I drove home, during the day. Without the rain. And realize that Pennsylvania is really beautiful. Breathtaking. Only by day.

Anyway…I had a point. I don’t remember what it was though. Aren’t you glad you slogged through all that crap about a highway for nothing? Darn, why was I telling that story? No idea.

So, here I am in Cranberry. Dan and Parker and I will be taking in Pittsburgh tomorrow. We’ve never been, so I am pretty excited. Last weekend we went down to Harper’s Ferry, which was amazingly beautiful, took Parker to the DC Zoo, and got to see a bit of West Virginia, Maryland (Which still smells bad. Long story. I contend that Maryland just smells bad. If you know why, please enlighten me), and Virginia. Harper’s Ferry is located in a kind of peninsula of West Virginia, so you are always crossing state lines. I kept having to ask Dan what state we were in. It was very nice out there though. As always, love DC. I hope I won’t be making that drive again any time soon though. It took 10 hours there and 9 back, with just me and Parker. Who gets an award for being the most patient toddler ever.

To think, that a few years ago, I’d be struggling not to fall asleep on my way to Lansing. Today’s 4.5hr trip felt like nothing after last week. Go me (trust me, this is a go me moment. I am not a driver. I hate driving long distances).

Well, I am off to see what we will be up to tomorrow. I am thinking children’s museum and maybe the zoo? We shall see.

The one with no higher meaning

I seem to have a blogging problem. It used to be, I’d blog about anything. Sometimes it made no sense, sometimes it was kind of funny or quirky, and sometimes, I actually had something to say. I don’t know if it is increased blog pressure, or what, but for some reason I feel as though this new blog deserves better. Which is kind of sad, because I loved my old blog. It was totally me, very rarely filtered. I don’t know how many people who were reading it were actually enjoying it, but hey, what can you do?

Well, to recap this weekend, I….wait a minute I don’t remember.

Sigh…ok this happens all the time. I literally have no clue what I did the day before half the time. Is that insanity? Old age?

I do remember that Saturday was one of those crazy days where I was running around like a mad beast trying to get stuff done, including going to Sams Club with Pilar, Paige and Parker. The whole day is a blur of missed meals and headachyness, other than the driving from Farmington, to Canton, to West Bloomfield (to take care of my mom’s dog, Mattie),  to Mt. Clemens,  for an awesome Arbonne workshop, then back to Canton (by now with a horrible migraine) to pick up Parker, then finally back to Farmington. Holy Moses did I drive that day.

But, I did have an amazing and fun time at the Arbonne workshop (not party, as our consultant Michael made sure to stress). I had enough fun with the makeup that I am having a “Smokey Eye” workshop of my own. Ever wanted to learn to do a smokey eye? Come on over!

Really the worst part of the day was the migraine I got when I left the party. Seriously, absolutely one of the worst headaches I have ever had. I couldn’t walk straight, see, I could barely talk. Dan asked me if I’d been drinking when  I got home (I hadn’t), because I was so out of it.

Thankfully, this too did pass. Other highlights of the weekend (for some reason, I still think this is the weekend, owing to the fact that Dan has today off), included working out a lot, losing a few pounds this week (so that I may KILL at our friendly Biggest Loser weigh in on Friday), and finally, Ta Ta Daaaaaa! Finishing Mansfield Park. Now all I have left is Emma and Northanger Abbey, and the unfinished stuff. But for now I should probably read The Red Tent, since TBC is next week.

Ha! How is that for a useless and random blog! No higher meaning! No real purpose! I go. I hope you aren’t asleep.