Days 42 and 43 – Grand Rapids
I first met Sally’s family in Michigan for a family reunion in the mid nineties, just after we were engaged. Her paternal relatives we’re very welcoming and made me feel right at home. We only visited one more time in 2001, but her fond memories of early childhood in Michigan stayed with her. She would [...]
I first met Sally’s family in Michigan for a family reunion in the mid nineties, just after we were engaged. Her paternal relatives we’re very welcoming and made me feel right at home. We only visited one more time in 2001, but her fond memories of early childhood in Michigan stayed with her. She would often tell me stories and through the second hand memories I came to feel like I knew them a bit. Sally’s aunt Gaylene organized a dinner and I unfortunately forgot to take pictures. Maybe it was the ride from Chicago, or the heat, or me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I did manage to snap a pic after dinner, but we lost some folks in the trip back to Gay and Larry’s house. There were new kids and spouses so I don’t remember everyone’s names, maybe someone can leave a comment with details.
I had a wonderful time seeing everyone, it still feels wrong without Sally. Her absence is impossible for me to see beyond. Like when you have a missing tooth, your tongue is constantly tracing the place where it should be. So my brief stay in Michigan is superimposed with the past and the future that isn’t. It’s not an unfamiliar experience, but it can be overwhelming.
I had left open the possibility of staying a second day, but the weather forecast was calling for a wave of thunderstorms. I had a lot of ground to cover by the weekend and wanted to stay ahead of the rain so I decided to leave Wednesday morning, getting as far as I could before the weather turned soggy. After a simple breakfast with Gay and Larry where they told me tales of their travels to the upper peninsula and a meeting over coffee with some of Larry’s friends, I road about 450 miles to Pitsburg, going through the Ohio and then Pennsylvania turnpikes (and spending about $20 on tolls) but arriving dry and achey as the sun was setting.
I have until Friday to get to Philadelphia, I may break it up into two days or rest tomorrow and do another big travel day. Mileage wise I’m more than half way through my trip, even though I’ll still travel farther from my starting point. I’m wondering if the fatigue that I’ve felt the last few days is temporary and hope to get my second (third?) wind.