Greetings, my fellow Port Swillers!
Yes, it can be revealed now that ol’ Robbo is safe and sound back at Port Swiller Manor: We drove to Florida (pronounced “Flahr-duh” by the snowbird transplants) for Christmas this year, chiefly to spend time with Mrs. R’s grandmother, who is confined to a rehab facility with health issues. We arrived there just before lunch time on Christmas Eve and just in time to listen to a gaggle of kids come in and serenade the inmates with appropriate holiday songs. Seeing said grandmother surrounded by great-grand-daughters and listening with evident delight was quite touching.
And yes, ol’ Robbo got himself to Mass on Christmas morning. The padre had such a thick Brooklyn accent, I couldn’t understand him at first. Alas, I was able to pick up on it in time for his homily, which (despite its perfectly orthodox message about God’s presence) was mostly one-liners and Oprah-like Inspirational Stories. The congregation applauded. I glared.
All in all, however, a nice trip.
Except for this driving biznay. Two thousand miles there and back exactly, according to my odometer. And yesterday, because I couldn’t bear the thought of another night mewed up in a hotel room with the gels, we decided to make the return home non-stop. (We had split the down-trip over three days, in part so the gels could have an afternoon and evening at Universal Studios as a present from the grandparents.) Fourteen and a half hours (or near enough) on the road – a personal record for me – nearly all of it on I-95 which, south of Dee Cee, is at once both terrifying and grindingly dull. (And yes, I did all the driving.)
This morning, I still can’t feel my left thumb or forefinger for all that compulsive clutching at the wheel.
This was our third road trip to Flahrduh in about ten years. Mrs. R and I decided that it was also our last: Next time, we fly.