Friday, November 26, 2004
Urp... pardon me
The drive home on Friday was awful. I ended up leaving at 1545 from work, and then everything from then on was a comedy of errors. I was going to take my standard route home only to find that my whole commuting world was turned upside down. All my usual routes had been turned into massive parking lots. The traffic on 422 at a standstill going westbound all the way back to 202. It was also backed up at the eastbound off ramp to 202 that I usually take so I was forced to take the 76 ramp and it turned out to be completely jammed just beyond where I could see. By the time I got onto 76, I could see that 76 west was backed up from the KOP interchange all the way down through Conshohocken. The traffic report let me know that it was worse than that ... it was solid all the way down into Philly. The glacial movement on 76 east finally got me to the 476 north exit just as the 76 east came to a complete halt. Since the AM channel 1060 give traffic reports every 10 minutes on the twos, I find out that 476 is backed up all the way through to the Lansdale exit which is important since I would be taking that route to get to Ithaca. I get off at the 276 eastbound ramp and the traffic clears up till the willow grove interchange. On the way, I notice that the westbound a parking lot all the way ... I will certainly not be taking that way to get out of the city. The Willow Grove interchange is backed up from 611N all the way down through the interchange and nearly onto the Turnpike. When I finally get through the unmanned toll booths, I find that there are a lot of motorists driving up the shoulder to cut off traffic later on. This really frustrates me because they block the shoulder when they try to cut people off and people like me who will be turning right down the lane are stuck till they either give up and make the right hand turn or someone is pathetic enough to let them in. In the end, got home in 1 and a half hours. Argh, IM exhausted. The wife is all set to go, but this trip has caused 'Much delay and confusion' for my bladder. I swear that I nearly crack the porcelain when I let forth the torrent of fluids that I have struggled so hard to retain. We pick up kids and decide to keep to the backroads till Lansdale and then head north from there. There is lots of rush-hour congestion, took 1.25 hours to get to tpk. Argh version 2.0. On the turnpike, lots of traffic till hickory run, fog after that till Wyoming valley. Argh version 3.0. At least the last part of trip was ok. We stopped and got gas at Gibson for 1.85 a gallon and the kids were perfect the whole way! We finally got to the Parents Homestead Colony at 2145 ... after 6 hours of driving. My eyes are going to explode, why do you think that is?
At the homestead, Jacob immediately finds the train set and starts asking to play with it. How can we resist, he enjoys it so much. So, I pour the parts out on the floor and start putting the tracks together. Jake was so anxious to get it going that he sat there and gave me each rail to put together. As soon as the rails were in place, he proceeded to grab the power supply and attempted to plug it in. Yikes ... he nearly completed the maneuver without my 'Adult Supervision'. I'm not sure where he picked this skill up from, but that was pretty scary and reminded me of my affinity with electrical outlets as a child. Might explain some attitudes that I hold towards electricians.
We let the kids have some pizza and then we tossed them into bed sans their usual evening bath. We sent the dogs into my Big Little Brothers room to spend the night. It's sad, but since Paul has lost quite a bit of weight I may have to strip him of his title and henceforth refer to him as my Little Brother. Heh, mixed blessings, eh LITTLE BROTHER!? A few hours later, at 0500 on thanksgiving day, Jacob starts to make his usual morning noises and by 0600, he is sleeping in the guest bed between the Wife and I. Snoring away and taking up as much room as possible, that little schmoozer seems to always make his way into whichever bed he feels will be the softest and warmest. At 0700, he wakes up and slithers off the end of the bed. Within minutes, he finds the Grandparents bedroom and charms himself into their bed. From what I hear, he read his Thomas the Tank Engine Catalog a bit, watched some TV and then nodded off for another hour of sleep in yet another bed. I'll have to talk to him about the dangers of sleeping around. Once Alexis wakes up, the game is over and we start in on breakfast. Sausage and Maple Syrup Pancakes all around. Mmmmm, sticky goodness that I .... errrr, the kids could not resist. Nobody cooks like Grandma as far as I ... umm, the kids are concerned. Of course, since we had skipped the bath last night and now the kids are slathered in maple syrup, it was time for a bath. Nothing like a nice warm bubble bath to get you in the mood to snuggle up and watch the Macy's Day Parade and then mosey off to bed for a few hours of napping.
Later on in the evening, it is time for the Grand event. We have a few guests over for Thanksgiving dinner: Sam and his daughter, a 1st grade teacher. Sam has had a rough time later in life and it is good to be able to give him some comfort. I wish I had more to talk to him and his daughter about, but the chance for company seemed to be more than enough. Oh, and the dinner. It was wonderful : stuffed mushrooms, single malt scotch, wine, brined turkey, sweet taters with melted marshmellows, mashed taters, green beans w/ cheese and almonds, turkey gravy, cranberry & raisins, wild rice, salad then pumpkin pie and chocolate mouse with whipped cream. Grandma is the best. We are thankful for her and the tireless way she pours her heart into making the dinner the best it can be. Oh, and for Grandpa's insistence on brining that bird and making the finest gravy this side of Continental Divide.