It was a stunningly beautiful morning out on the deck for breakfast, and I snapped a couple of pictures on my last morning here.
The view of the bay from the deck:
Breakfast on the deck:
Also enjoying breakfast on the deck, was an older, heterosexual couple, each of them deeply engrossed in their own section of one of the several morning newspapers provided on the tables. I like the fact that I have to explicitly state their orientation, because here, the assumption would be the opposite if I didn't.
I said good morning, and the woman returned the greeting. I got my breakfast, and had a short, but sweet, AIM conversation with Robert.
I never saw the couple say anything to each other the entire ten minutes we were there. Then, someone, perhaps their son, called to them from the room at the top of the guest house, and from the few words she spoke to her husband, I detected that they were British.
The man got up first, folded the papers, put his dirty dishes in the tub, and walked up the stairs. The woman lagged behind him some, and as she walked by me, she spoke.
"Is having your computer a stress reliever, or a stress maker?"
I replied, "Oh, for me, it's definitely a stress reliever, because I'm a writer. I could use it to login to work, though, and in that case, it would probably be a stress maker."
"Yes," she said, "mobile (she pronounced it MO'-bile) computers and phones can keep you too connected some times." And then, "What are you writing?"
"Oh, just my journal. Well, it's an online journal, a blog, actually," I said not sure if she was into Internet jargon at all. "As a matter of fact, you're in this morning's entry."
"Oh? she said, taken with the idea.
"Yup, see how desperate I am for material?"
She laughed. "I know what you mean," she said. "When I used to write articles, back home in the Irish Times [so much for my British assessment], I remember being so relieved when it was Saturday. That was because my articles were published every Friday. It just felt so good on Saturday -- to be done with it. But, then Monday, it would start all over again."
I wished I'd've asked her what she wrote about, but didn't.
I packed in about 15 minutes, and checked out. On the way out of town, I stopped by that mailbox at MacMillan Wharf again, and dropped in Mary Lou's card.
I put in my iPod earbuds and listened to The Da Vinci Code being read to me as I traveled down the Cape, back to Providence.
I'm so glad to have this book being read to me, rather than me actually having to read it. It's too long, and the plot is like those Russian dolls that fit inside each other. You open one and find another, smaller one. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
Enough already! End the thing. See note about patience in next paragraph.
I took two wrong turns on the way back, one a sixteen-mile error (8 out, and 8 back), and another that wasn't the "wrong" way, just a "scenic route," that was way too slow. Those of you who know my capacity for patience (which is practically non-existent) aren't at all surprised to read that a scenic route is "too slow" for my taste.
I pulled in to the empty driveway of the house of my Aunt Vivian and Uncle Nibby, in Swansea, Massachusetts. I had little confidence that their car(s) were in their garage. It looked very much like they weren't home, and two rings of their doorbell confirmed it.
I thought about how lucky I was in "surprising" Aunt Annette and Uncle Frank last Thursday, took out one of my business cards, and wrote on the back: "06/21/06 1:45PM Hi there. Just stopped by to say hi. Sorry I missed you. XXOO John"
They had a mail slot, that was actually to the right of their door, and I lifted the little door on it, and was surprised to be able to see a little box on the other side of it. I reached in and placed my card in it.
As I got back on the road, I called Aunt Annette and Uncle Frank. After at least seven rings, Uncle Frank picked up.
He told me that Aunt Annette wasn't home, and said, "What do you need, Johnny?"
I told him that Aunt Vivian and Uncle Nibby weren't home, that I had a hankering for some clam cakes, and I had an extra hour before needing to be at the airport. "If I stopped by, would you take me to that place nearby that Aunt Annette said sells clam cakes?"
"Come right over, Johnny."
I found him waiting for me downstairs, enjoying a screwdriver -- the drink, not the tool. "Before we go, Johnny, look at these books."
He showed me two books that he's been devising over the years -- both hard-bound journal books, which started out blank. The contents were all hand-written, printed, not cursive, in a black pen, with the circles in some of the letters, such as b, d. and o, filled in with red, green, and blue ink. It had a beautiful look, and it was full of "words of wisdom" he has heard or read over the years -- all captured in these books with the themes of "How I See Life," and "What I've Learned in Life" -- those sorts of things.
I absolutely loved, loved, loved these books -- both the physical appearance of them, and the thought behind them. He is giving them to his children as he finishes them, or as it seems appropriate. I hope they come to treasure them, if they don't already.
We took a quick ride to Coventry Sea Food, where we ordered a dozen clam cakes, which totaled $6.67.
They had a lobster tank in there, which contained one of the biggest lobsters I've ever seen. One claw, alone, was bigger than the entire lobster I ate last night. It was enormous.
I asked Uncle Frank, "How much do you think that lobster weighs? Five pounds?"
"I don't know, Johnny, that's a big one."
When the guy returned from the back, presumably putting in my order, I asked him, "About how much does this lobster weigh?"
"About 12 pounds," he replied.
A lady standing next to me at the tank said, "You know what they say, though. The bigger the lobster the tougher the meat."
I decided not to "go there" with her about the size of meat.
Back at the house, Uncle Frank heated up some Fish Soup that he'd made, and he and I had some last precious few minutes together, for which I was grateful.
I got to the airport at about 3:25 to find a sign pointing to every rental car agency except Budget, which pissed me off. After turning around, and driving back by all of the other agencies, I turned into the general entrance of the airport, where one of the first signs said, "Budget."
Note: Traveling with two laptops is a pain at airport security.
My flight was delayed taking off about 30 minutes -- with no announcement, and for no apparent reason.
The Providence-to-Charlotte leg was uneventful. Well, that is if you don't call a man moving from somewhere in the back to the empty seat in front of me, smelling like he had marinated in some kind of medicinal balm (perhaps from Gilead), and once in his seat, constantly leaning back and forth in it bouncing it against my laptop screen propped up against it. Annoying, smelly fucker.
We ended up arriving late in Charlotte, touching down at about 6:50, and finally deplaning starting at 7:05. Since I had a 7:15 connection (departure, not boarding time!) the people in the seat with me were kind enough to let me out first.
Back in the gate, I checked with "the representative greeting our plane," to make sure there hadn't been a gate change or anything, and if they'd hold the plane if I got down there in the next five minutes or so.
She checked her computer screen, and said, "It's okay. You have time. They haven't started boarding yet."
I arrived at that gate to find it at least 20 degrees hotter at that end of the terminal, and the incoming flight still deplaning, and it was now our scheduled departure time.
I called Robert to let him know there was going to be a delay, and then waited as it all unfolded. I ended up arriving at 8:45, instead of the originally scheduled 8:05, and Robert whisked me away to my place, where I threw my bags in the house and changed my shoes.
We arrived for dancing at Flex at about 9:40, and had a decent night of dancing.
I think I've pretty much nailed Chill Factor, after many weeks of lessons. Yay!
The lesson tonight was for the "Honky Tonk Twist," which I already knew, so only helped out at the end when Carl wanted someone who knew the dance on each side so that when the people learning faced each wall, they had someone to watch who already knew the dance.
I had a wonderful waltz with Robert tonight, enjoying looking into his sparkling eyes, and seeing that beautiful smile as I looked at him. Awww, hun.
At home, Robert and I worked on the Indy crossword puzzle for a while. We made good progress. I really enjoy doing that with him.