I've decided to shake off the seven inches of snow surrounding my home here in the backwoods of Pennsylvania and take a trip home to Virginia for a day or so. Taking a trip these days is nothing short of an ordeal. Not only do I have to spend four and a half hours in the Jeep with a teenager and a ten year-old (who argue like their lives depend on it), but I have to arrange for "sitting" for my parrots, make sure I have money in the car for the tolls, pack three bags, and make at least four phone calls (so no one will worry!).
I really wish I could make it home more often; my roots are, whether I like it or not, deeply planted in the hills of Southwest Virginia. Pennsylvania is fine; I have a very comfortable home in my corner of the woods here. The people are friendly enough (and nosy enough to boot). Living between Pittsburgh and Morgantown ensures no shortage of shopping and dining opportunities. The cultural scene is quite better than average; Val and I are going to broaden our cultural horizons and see Ron White in concert next month, for the love of God. Yes, ma'am, we are culturally blessed.
What I don't appreciate, even after 10 years of dealing with them, is the Pennsylvania winters. It is a whole 7 degrees (fahrenheit) this morning. I swear, if I never saw another flake of snow in my entire life, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. I truly, wholeheartedly and adamantly, despise winter. Still, all I can do is look forward to the return of summer, that elusive creature. There are only 6 or 7 more weeks left in the semester; I have a clinical rotation in critical care at Ruby for the next 6 weeks, ATI exams to take, and then, lo and behold, nearly four months of nothing in particular. It will be the last summer of my life (until I retire) that I will have completely free. I need to make some plans. I need to get out of dodge and put some miles on the Jeep. I need saltwater and sand. I daydream and itch to wear a pirate's chagrin like a cloak and go sailing into a Caribbean night.
And then I look out the window. Jesus.
Until my proverbial ship docks, I have nothing to do but wait. And study, of course. And find a sitter for my parrots so I can leave Pennsylvania to its freezing. For a weekend, at least.
A summer memory; sitting on a sidewalk 'round Charleston, South Carolina…