chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘Bakersfield CA

Well, let’s back up a little before day one. Thursday, my friend David came to help me load the van. I wanted to see what fit and how. We got it loaded, to the top, no view out the back window and sitting pretty low. David was great not only on making things fit, but helping me decide what to leave behind. Friday, I began sorting again, tossing out things that I don’t really need, and compressing boxes. The moth-eaten blue rug is gone! How many places did it grace? I could unroll that rug and know I was home. I still do have the magic carpet we sat on as children, by the front door. No dishes either – I’m sure there are dishes in Nova Scotia.

This morning, it was really time to do it. I piled all the things that were left to take and knew that this wasn’t working. Blow-up bed that I’ve been sleeping on the past week, duvet, basket with snacks, little cooler for cold drinks, all the things from the bathroom, a bag with the computer, books, passports, things I want close at hand. Towels, coffee pot, electric kettle, on and on. No way all that would come with me. And I felt like if I went up and down those stairs one more time, I would collapse. Maybe a little reluctance to actually take that first step.

I took my time, and began piling things in the front hall for my neighbors to take, and somehow got what is important into the van. Or maybe they are not the important things. At any rate, these are the things that are coming with me. And I can see out the back window.

So here I am in Bakersfield. I knew that it would take a couple hours on the road to really know the car, and now we’ve bonded. I’m calling her Bella, a sturdy steed. She purrs, likes to move but not too fast. She’s comfortable to drive, and I am so pleased. Bonus, a great sound system. I drove down 5 and passed mile after mile of orchards in bloom. Opened the window wide to inhale that incredibly sweet perfume of orange blossoms. The hills were green, black cows dotting them. It’s a pretty straight shot.

After dark by the time I reached Bakersfield – enough night driving. I promise I won’t do that again. I’m staying at Econo-Lodge, in a cluster of low-prices motels. The last thing I wanted to do was get back in the van to find dinner, so walked along and found Milt’s Coffe Shop, which is pushing Bloody Marys – the waitresses wear t-shirts that say “Milt’s Bloody Mary is good for what ails you!” A family restaurant, with booths and lighting too low to read by. Same for the motel room – my experience is that they all put low-watt bulbs in to save money I suppose. There’s always the TV though, with more stations than you can scrolll through. I think I ate at Milt’s once before, a memorably awful meal so I was very careful to order something that would be hard to go wrong – salad with broiled chicken and bacon. The fresh part was nice, the chicken a little skimpy and too much bacon, but all in all satisfying.

I have to rethink the packing – the small suitcase that I will take in to motels doesn’t have any pajamas in it – who needs pajamas? No shoes either. Hmmm. Another unexpected quirk is that the free internet at this motel is not very reliable. It has taken quite awhile to get this far, because it keeps cutting out, and a very weak signal.

On to Las Vegas tomorrow, early start to meet up with Mom & Dad, Mary and Rick, and Rod and Colette. And the NASCAR race. Hope the traffic isn’t too heavy getting into Las Vegas.

I must spend a little more time with this and find out all the possibilities of the blog. Til tomorrow