Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Road with Tim and Debby

We ended up postponing the trip to tow Cara's car home. Yesterday was very cold and blustery. She's also probably got mono again. She sounded whipped. She slept yesterday afternoon. Tim thought we should let her be, just let her rest, keep her out of the cold. So we got up and headed off this morning instead. Inspired by Mikey and inspired by Bill, I decided to simply take my camera. I'm not apologizing for the bad shots. I mean, Bill's a professional photographer (please note: he is NOT a wedding photographer). Now Bill, being a professional, just posts his pictures with no apologies at all, and he has a large and devoted following. I'm not a professional photographer, so I can feel even less self conscious. And so, without further ado, here we go. This is just heading off our hill. This picture kind of illustrates how oil and agriculture coexist side by side. The plume of steam in the back ground is actually some distance away. It is the refinery.
Close up of a very small part of the refinery. Our county has lost a great deal of its industrial economic base. We have the refinery, Elwood City Steel Mill, Betts, and Whirley (check the bottom of your plastic drink mug. You might be surprised to find that you have a cup that came right from my town).

We were pulling the car dolly. Ooops. Bad news. One of the fenders was loose and bouncing because the unloaded trailer was so light.

We pulled off so Tim could check it. He needed a bungee cord, but strangely, there were none in our truck. He generally always has something like that, but not now, not when we needed it. This picture shows a falling down oil shanty left over from the old days. I live in oil country.

Brother Norm's welding shop is just down the road. We stop in, and lo, Norm has a bungee cord. The back hoe here? Before that was Norm's, it was ours. Before it was ours, it was Brother Dan's. Norm will have to keep it now, I imagine, because he doesn't have another brother to hand off to. (Side note: Tim now wants a bulldozer, because he sold his backhoe. Argh.)

And then we were coming into Sheffield, which is where Tim grew up. At least the last part of his growing up, he did there.
Wanna buy a house in Sheffield. The blue house is for sale, for $350,000. You can't really tell from this awful picture but this is a huge, huge house that extends far back from the road. Lots of privacy, I imagine. I just like the turret and the stone work though. Fairly sure that they would not allow me to buy just that part, haul it home and stick it on my own house. "Hey, Lady, it's all or nothing," they'd probably say. We live in an unreasonable world.
Tim stopped to check the car dolly, and I ran in and got myself a coffee, and I am disappointed to tell you that there was no revelation in my cup at all. Truly, I was expecting great things to happen when I drank this coffee. I believe this was false advertising, and that I should be refunded for this coffee.

We went through a number of small towns. By the time we'd reached here, we'd been through Clarendon, and Weldbank, and Tiona, and Sheffield, and Henry's Mills. We were just about to head into Lynch. Hi, Bob and Judy!
We love you!

The church in Vowinkel is always striking, popping up out of nowhere it seems.

Finally, the mighty Clarion River. We're almost there.

The gates at the entrance of Clarion College. We'd just stopped at the Subway to pick up a couple subs for lunch. Tim and I got a roasted chicken breast sub to share, and got Cara her favorite, a spicy Italian sub with black olives and banana peppers and sweet onion dressing. We figured that the other half of her sub would be good for supper tonight, and she can have a nice hot cup of soup. She also has a half dozen of those microwaveable 'pocket sandwiches' that she can have with soup tomorrow and even the day after, keeping herself out of the cold for a few days while she recuperates. Hopefully she'll feel a little better by Monday.

One of the old campus buildings right next to one of the newer campus buildings.

This is a gauged ear.
We ate our subs in Cara's messy room. She was snappy. "Don't take pictures of my room!" She's been sick and she is embarrassed that her room has not been cleaned. She's been sleeping a lot.
I reminded her that gauged ears have been scientifically linked to mono.
It's scientifically proven.
I read it someplace.
It was important to say, because she has another ear, and who knows what she will do with that one. Now she knows the facts and can make an informed decision.

Her grandfather had sent her birthday present to our house, and we did not have a chance to get it to her until today. She read the card.

For her twentieth birthday, for her 'new age', for her decade past the teenaged years, he gave Cara her grandmother's pearls. Cara was very touched to receive this heirloom. I am hopeful that she will realize that pearls and gauged ears don't go well together.

Then it is bacck out into the cold. We load up Adolfo. I had improperly referred to the car as Alphonse, but I was curtly told 'Alphonse is just stupid.' But Adolfo is not a stupid name,' I said. 'No, it's not,' said Cara. So there you have it.

Headed out of town, I snapped the Clarion Court House. And just to show Bill that all the quaint coffee shops are not located in Wasilla Alaska, here's this. Slagle's Home Brew. Home brew generally refers to beer, but this is a coffee shop.

The Courthouse out the back window.

Headed back to the woods.

'Country road, take me home to that plaaaaaaace I beloooooooooooong....' The steel bridge at Blue Jay is being replaced. That's what the equipment is at the right side of the bridge.

Icy River. It was cold today. In the teens Tim gives a good blast on the horn as we pass by Bob and Judy's house again.
Gees. I have no desire to swim today. None.

This is highway 666. Like a beast, it splashed my coffee around this morning. I was forced to gulp a good third of the cup down in a hurry to avoid making a mess in the truck. The mountains in the background are mysterious places where cougars are reputed to roam. Except if you are part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Then you swear that there are no mountain lions in Warren County. I've never seen any sign of them, although our friend John has a picture of one that he took. It is blurry, but you can plainly see the tip of its long tail. The Game Commission says that it is a bob cat. Its face does look like a cougar to me, but who am I to argue with the mighty minds of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. So I don't, unless I have the opportunity to see one with my very own eyes. The Barnes Cemetary was quiet again on the way back home. On the way past in the morning, there was a back hoe hard at work, and a truck with a vault on it. Strange to think isn't it? As Tim and I cheerfully chattered in our truck, somewhere else, a family grieves. That's life, isn't it? That's the way of it.
It was about then that the second batch of batteries gave one final wheeze and died. Here endeth the pictures.
After looking at Adolfo, it appears that the problem is minor, not a blown headgasket. Yay. We are headed out the door again. Tomorrow we are celebrating my grandniece's second birthday and have a gift to buy. And then we will come back and snuggle on the couch to watch the rest of 'A Town Called Alice'. Neither of us has seen it before. I've a notion that Tim is about tired of it, but he likes to snuggle on the couch, so he'll probably endure the movie.


Mrs.Spit said...

Sending hugs to Cara, mono is the pits.

I like the ear. I think it's fine with pearls. I'm probably not helping, am I?

Bob said...

Love the photos. I posted some snow shots today too, so drop by when you can.

I had to learn to drive a stick when I got a delivery job in high school. I held up traffic all over town and would go miles away to avoid a hill.

Kelly said...

What an interesting tour you took us on!!! I like posts like this.

Yeah, our Game & Fish makes those same statements about panthers (mountain lions?) in our state. But... my husband said he's definitely seen/heard them. Scream like a woman. G&F try to say if you've seen one it's either a bobcat or a panther that was originally a "pet" and turned loose. Sure.

Bill of Wasilla said...

I'm always happy to inspire someone. And you got coffee shots, too - and snow and ice. Just like me. And we both live in oil country.

I haven't driven by the cemetery in a long time. Maybe I will today.

Nice tour. Thank you. I could really feel it.

Mikey said...

You are just the funnest person to roadtrip with!! Why don't you do this more often? It was fun! It was like I was really there! :)

Redlefty said...

That blue house is amazing!

And Cara's ear thing is just a phase, as you know. When I was her age I was doing the same type of things to my body and most of them are hardly noticeable now as long as it's dark or foggy.

Holly said...

The blue house IS amazing--right along with it's reported $800 per month gas bill!! EVERY month!!
I agree, awesome tour--I live here and was still having a blast tagging along on your view of the valley!

A Novel Woman said...

I loved this! Maybe I'll do the same and post some shots of my neighbourhood. I also think I might like to take a closer look at that blue house, especially inside. I bet it's gorgeous.

And don't sweat the bar and pearls. My daughter does both. She's a wonderful person, kind and loving and funny, which is the only thing that matters.

Thanks for posting these. It was a fun trip. Any chance we can get a shot of you and Tim together?


BUSH BABE said...

Wow - that was awesome!!! I love this post... great details for us to 'feel' the journey! Including a reluctant Cara (who is quite gorgeous even when sick BTW!).

More. MORE!!!

Anonymous said...

How awesome are your pictures!!!
I love this glimpse into your world :)

Cara said...

Hahahaa, poor mom. Don't stop in that homebrew place for coffee.. That is strictly a beer drinkers haven. They sell "make your own beer and wine kits". We have Starbucks, Caribou, and Michelle's to satisfy our coffee needs.

WhiteStone said...

My daughter, well past age 20, and a self-proclaimed career-geek, is sporting blue hair this week. It looked rather cute on her. As an antique mother, I appreciate blue hair over gauged ears. LOL

steviewren said...

I loved this day in the life of....make more!

jeanie said...

I want the blue house too - although that heating bill is a bit steep!!

You know, when you were talking cougars and the Game Commission - I actually thought you were talking casinos and the loose older women they attract!!!

Debby said...

Jeanie, no one denies the existance of those cougars! Not even the game commission!

Anonymous said...

We've driven these same roads so many times. Whenever we pass by that "falling down oil shanty" I've said I'll stop and take pictures the next time. I've taken pictures of that blue house, too, while driving by. The blue house is so very pretty.