Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 1: New Stanton, PA

Tilda, trying to keep us from leaving by hijacking our cooler. Poor thing.

We have set off! We are at a Super 8 in exotic New Stanton, PA. Mark has found an internet radio station to listen to the ballgame, and as soon as we get our internet fix we have ambitions to make some kind of hearty salads for dinner.

Thank you, rest-stop Burger King employee, for the free salad dressing packets. You rule.

I thought it was going to be kind of an easy-going day—Mark had already packed all his things, so all I had to do was finish packing, prepare the roadtrip food, a little vacuuming, and pack up the car. Easy peasy, right?

You never clean so thoroughly as when you’re about to have a guest stay over. Now Clyde isn’t exactly a guest—she’s a housesitter—but I still wanted to leave the place looking nice for her, and after I was done chopping up a massive pile of peppers and celery, I was seized by the terrible realization that our fridge was disgusting.

Why did we have three open bags of baby carrots? And dear god, is that what happens to baby carrots when they give up on life? And was that celery? Two bags of limp, yellowing celery that was—oh dear god—slightly gooey in parts? I became increasingly agitated with the thoughts that Clyde would invite my neighbors in to view the horror that was our crisper.

This set me into a frenzy of cleaning motion. I don’t want to pretend like I scoured the house—there was no time—but I attacked that refrigerator as if our entire future standing in Mt. Airy high society depended on it (we’re already on thin ice for not joining the organic co-op). By the time I was finished I moved on to the kitchen floor, and the garbage, and became the Tazmanian Devil of mediocre, half-assed cleaning until I was grimy and soaked through with sweat and dirty water. Nothing kills an appetite faster than cleaning a fridge. But I got the house looking relatively okayish, took a shower, packed up Tali, ate whatever was left in the fridge (a pair of roasted red pepper sausages which had seen better days), jumped in the car to pick Mark up from work, and we hit the open road.

Cruising down Rt. 76.

Atticus and one component of our dinner.

"Check out the topography!" Mark said. "No seriously, check it out, because soon enough it's just going to go away."

Lovely Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, Ohio!

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