Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roadkill Bingo

Well, the move is finally complete, and I am safely back in Michigan. It was an exhausting few days!

After working hard to unpack as much as possible on Sunday and Monday, Mom and I drove back yesterday (minus the dogs this time - we sent them home with Dad and John on Sunday). We were fortunate this time to have mostly sunshine and no snow or ice, although we did get a bit of precipitation along part of the route. I was quite impressed to find that I still have most of the route pretty well memorized, even though I last lived in Lynchburg three years ago. I was sorry to leave, even though I'll be back in January, this time to stay (well, for the next two and a half years anyway). Lynchburg just feels like home to me, and is the scene of many happy memories.

Although I could possibly finish my MA in only a year and a half, I have decided to do it in two and a half years, the reason for which I will explain in a later post. A life-changing decision was made while I was in Lynchburg, and I think it is only fair to settle the details and inform my family before I post about it in my blog. For now, I'll just say that I am excited, relieved, and nervous all at once, and much of my prior stress has been eliminated by my recent decision.

The drive through Virginia and West Virginia yesterday was quite pleasant, as it usually is. Both states are quite beautiful, with striking views and thousands of trees backed by layer upon layer of blue mountains. Most drivers drive at a good pace, which meant I was able to make excellent time and my lead foot didn't get too "itchy". Ohio, on the other hand was.....well, Ohio.

I am sure that many wonderful people live in Ohio and are perfectly content to do so. I know that Ohio has a great deal of history and is an important state in every presidential election. Even so, I think that Ohio is definitely one of the top five most mind-numbingly boring states to drive through. It takes a tremendous effort not to slit my wrists each time I cross the Ohio "bore-der" (sorry, I couldn't resist the pun). Let's face it, a human being can only stare at so many flat farms and corn fields before the mind begins to initiate self-destruction. To call Ohio boring is, in fact, an understatement. Mom and I both agreed that foreign terrorists could be forced to spill important information if someone would just drive them back and forth across Ohio - the downside is that this form of torture would likely meet both with disapproval from the UN and with the death or resignation (possibly both) of the interrogator.

To pass the time in Ohio, Mom and I invented "Roadkill Bingo". It's a decidedly desperate and unexciting game in which the players work together to count as much and as varied of roadkill as possible. Pieces that cannot be identified, Mom and I designated U.S.A.s (Unidentifiable Smushed Animals). As Mom pointed out, "What else is there to do but count roadkill in Ohio?" In case you're interested, the final tally was fifteen deer, three raccoons, two squirrels, and a skunk. We didn't bother to count all the U.S.A.s, but there were definitely more than twenty of them.

It was with great relief that we reached Michigan, and with even greater relief that we pulled into the driveway of my parents' house, where we were immediately enthusiastically greeted (and nearly mauled) by three over-eager pint-size dogs. And, after yet another long-winded speech from the President that raised more questions than it answered (followed by several people speculating about and giving their opinions of what he said), the tired travelers were finally ministered to by an episode of NCIS.

No comments:

"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"