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Posts Tagged ‘Driving’

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Baltimore, MD -The View from our room.

I am home from a Big City-BigFoot adventure and happy to be alive and well.

Baltimore is a beautiful old Maryland city, with more than enough to do if you are young, agile, and don’t mind horrific traffic in the inner city.

Strike “young.”

Strike “agile.”

As for the traffic?

A nightmare!

But we somehow got where we were going in spite of white knuckle rides and hysterical screaming at our GPS lady and maybe one or two jabs at each other (to say nothing of unacceptable language).

For solace, we turned to food.

Have you ever had Maryland crab cakes?  They are the best and of course I had to have crab at Phillips’ famous seafood restaurant.  It was just around the block from the hotel, but may as well have been on Mars.

445 Crab Cake Plattercrp1

I am back to driving challenges again!  Sigh.

 

But of course, the original purpose of our visit to Baltimore was for an appointment with an expert orthopedic doctor at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

And a wonderful doctor did spend a whole hour with us, discussing, analyzing, offering advice and answering many questions.

In a nutshell, this Gimpy Gal (me, Big Foot) simply (or maybe not) has an injured “talus” bone that may take a long time to heal.

So it was back to frolicking in Baltimore!

We frolicked over to the Whole Foods place and actually started to get lost in the garage.  But we somehow frolickedstumbled into the place and found the six loaves of decadent bread I wanted so badly!

We would surely not starve with all that in the car right?

At breakfast next morning we managed some exciting sight seeing by looking out the window next to our table (no driving required).

There was a mysterious tent-covered barge-like THING with a giant water wheel and it was parked and floating in the harbor basin, and the big water wheel seemed to turn of its own accord when and if it wanted to.

We took turns guessing what the mysterious barge might be.

And I wondered why technology wouldn’t let me take a picture and ask Google to please identify the unidentified object.  Why couldn’t I just say, “Hey Google, What is this?”

Whatever it was though,  it made for great conversation over pancakes!

Can YOU guess what it really is?

This is the unidentified floating object.

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To be continued….

 

 

 

 

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My BigFoot “Expert Doctor” is in Charlottesville, Virginia.

It’s about an hour and a half drive over the legendary Afton Mountain.

And even on a clear day you can be confronted with fog.

There are lights embedded in the roadway but it still feels treacherous.

And it may not actually be fog, but the signs say so.  Last time we went “over the hill” we could see a low lying cloud enshrouding the roadway, and then drove right into it.

What a thrill it is to creep along and wonder how bad it could get and would we careen over the edge?

Can you tell I am a worrier?

We have survived the winter with several visits over Afton Mountain and actually this was the first time to experience fog.

From Virginia Living:  “The drop-dead gorgeous scenery disappears when clouds blanket the mountain. Fog and ice make for a white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation) has addressed safety by installing expensive airport runway lights along the 64 roadway to guide motorists…”

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Jess Stops By May 2017Kendall Reclining Mack here May 2017 It doesn’t seem so long ago our three grandgirls were little girls – Jess gurgling in her stroller, Mack wanting hugs and more hugs, Kendall the dancing nymph.

And suddenly they are women driving!  And they are beginning to drop-in to see us on their own.

The same sofa in our living room is where they all wind up – sometimes one at a time, sometimes in twos or threes.

Their smiles are huge.

And so are ours.

Two are coming again tomorrow!  And that is our excitement.

We will miss the oldest but she is in Nepal for the adventure of a lifetime.

 

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Image is a card sent to Dor from dear friends. From www.leanintree.com

Image is a card sent to Dor from dear friends. From http://www.leanintree.com

Today was what we called in the old days – a “Lollapalooza!”

It started bright and early with a call to a Podiatrist in Lexington, Virginia.  I hope hope hoped he would see a new patient.

And if he worked me in I hope hope hoped he would be familar with my mysterious BME (Bone Marrow Edema) and be able to treat a swollen big foot.  There is supposed to be power in positive thinking but the concept was lost this morning.

“It’s only four days to Christmas”, I thought,  “The doctor’s office will be closed.  He will not take new patients.  He will not take a BME person.  He will simply not answer his phone.”

But I called anyway and got an appointment right away!  The doc was sooooo nice and he knows all about BME (said I had a bruised bone) and IF

 I wear a boot to immobilize things for 6 to 8 weeks

and if I am a good patient

it should heal nicely.

My blogging friend, Seattle Charlie, said exactly the same thing!  I should simply listen carefully to my fellow bloggers right?

Big Foot is Baaack!

Big Foot is Baaack!

So I left the office with a Big Foot again – bigger than ever because it’s one of those Cam-thing Boots with exposed toes!   Now why would the inventors of this monstrosity leave out toes? Don’t they know about winter?

Anyway, I had to practice driving in the parking lot because sadly, I am a two footed driver (braking with the left and gunning with the right).  The only explanation for this aberration is I learned to drive with a stick shift and when there were no power brakes.  It was really hard for a slip of a girl to stop a great big car, so I  braked with two feet in those days.  Big Foot Meets Little Foot

But to make a short story even longer, I got the hang of right foot driving today and left the doc’s parking lot  in time to meet my friend Joan for lunch.

But Joan was waiting for me OUTSIDE the restaurant because the restaurant was closed.

It was also raining.

Joan called her daughter, Sue, to take us to another restaurant.  We waited in the rain with our umbrellas open like two little old ladies lost in a storm!  And finally a car drove up.  “That’s my daughter,” said Joan.  “You get in that side Dor.”

I hobbled over to the car and was about to get in when the driver-woman said, “Were you really going to get in my car?”

“Ohhhhhh,” said Joan, “That’s not my daughter!”

And all three of us started laughing unconrollably.  

Wrong car.  

Wrong daughter.  

Back to waiting in the rain.

Eventually Joan’s real daughter did show up and there was a bit of an ordeal getting Big Foot into the back seat. More giggles.

Lunch was a grand reunion of two friends separated by time and space, but the day was not yet over.

Bill and I were invited to share laughter and goodies with old and new friends this evening.  Theirs is a great big happy family who love Christmas with all its trimmings and we traded stories in an atmosphere of hilarity so spontaneous I feel healed already.

I do believe in laughter as the best medicine but today seemed to have been designed just for me with the Big Foot, the exposed toes, lots and lots of fall-down-on the floor laughing with good friends, good people and hope for Big Foot to be gone in 2016.

May you, my wonderful blogging friends, have Lollapalooza days now through the holidays and way way way into the new year and beyond!

 

 

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MotorCartI learned to drive a go-cart at a big Virginia grocery store this week!

What a joy to get off that bad foot!  What freedom in zipping around the canned goods and toilet paper aisles!

Retail Therapy took on a whole new meaning

from the seat of what seemed like a toy golf cart.

Fortunately no one was hurt, but people simply do not realize the danger from Un-mechanical Dor on a go-cart.

  • First, it is a bit difficult to steer and much too quick to stop, and to set it at a comfortable speed is an ongoing challenge.
  • Have you ever seen a new driver learning the stick shift?  Of course not.  You are too young and only know automatic transmissions.  But lurching is the trademark of most new drivers and I regret to say I am a true lurcher.
  • The great fun though (even with all the lurching), is in acquiring a whole new perspective of the human race from the nether regions of a grocery aisle!

 There it is – the ultimate learning experience –

a bottoms-up viewpoint of human nature!

  • First I noticed some folks are actually embarrassed and uncomfortable looking down upon a poor motorized invalid.  You can tell by the careful averting of eyes.
  • I kept wanting to say, “Hey, it’s me.  I’m just like you when I stand up. This is only temporary.  Really!”
  • And then I began to feel sorry for those who really are disabled.  I will certainly pay more attention to being kind to go-cart motorists now.  It is demeaning and lonely to be looked at as if you are invisible.
  • Some folks look right at you but register annoyance.  They will not budge from established positions, probably thinking, “You want in here?  You will have to wait. So you are too lazy to walk huh?”  These are Scrooge descendents!  They should all take a ride in a grocery store go-cart to be converted into nice people (like me).
  • Others looked down, focused eye to eye, smiled sympathetically, and graciously gave way.  Some even offered to help with the reaching. I secretly believe they are the true Earth Angels and I plan to become just like them when I’m on my feet again!

In the end, I am an untrained motor scooter-er and did not realize there is a final parking procedure.  Never receiving instructions I pulled straight in and limped out of the store.

But before that I watched a 98 year old fella (well, he looked 98 – he was driving a go-cart wasn’t he?)  backing his cart in with great skill.  Then he gave me the frowning evil eye.  I was feeling so innocent and unjustifiably maligned but the truth was:

I should have backed my cart up to a wall too.  Ha!  Lurching forward was hard enough.

And then I should have plugged the thing in for recharging.  Ha!  Not easy for the electronically handicapped you know.

Obviously, I haven’t made Earth Angel grade yet.

Keep watching though!

I am learning the hard way…from the bottom up.

 

 

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sign downhill slope carI am only discombobulated when confronted with threats to life and limb.

I must tell you I blame husband, Bill and good friend, Norma who are both probably responsible for yesterday’s tortuous  journey.

On the way back from Lexington, Virginia I noticed a flashing light on the dash.  It was an insistent throbbing warning light with the image of a car going down a very steep hill!  Yikes! I wasn’t even ON a hill!

 In a real panic, I pulled into the first logical parking lot

which happened to be at our local funeral home. 

Was the car DYING

A funeral home parking lot would be an ironic resting place.

Were the brakes shot?

Was I doomed to crash at the bottom of some bottomless precipice?  

Should I drive all the way home?

 I consulted the auto’s Information Manual.  Nothing.

I turned the car off.  The flashing image disappeared.

 I turned it on.  The flashing image re-appeared.

Having made perfect sense of the on-off thing,

 I moved the clutch up and down to different places.   No change there either.

With no other options, and in a breathless state of irrational fear, I made the shaking decision to drive on home.

  There is an explanation here if you will just stick around a little longer.  Really.

It begins with Bill (who I blame for everything of course).  He keeps a car oiled and inspected, but he doesn’t really care about keeping it pristine.

I try to ignore  dust on the dashboard, and pebbles, paper, and bits of junk on the floor, but eventually I disintegrate into obsessive compulsive behavior.  The obsession magnifies, especially if I will be the driver for the next outing with friend, Norma.

I do always blame Bill for everything of course, but for this incident I also blame Norma (who doesn’t yet know her culpability). This fearsome event was because her car is always immaculate!  I do so admire Norma and her car but I feel shame about mine!

armorall wipesAnyway, it’s my turn to drive on our next outing so I began the arduous (slightly obsessive) herculean task of ArmorAll-ing, vacuuming, and removing dust and mud from door frames.  “ArmorAll Wipes” help when I am in a shopping mall parking lot.  That’s where I, well – o.k. I admit it –  SWAB THINGS!

The results so far were a dust-free driver’s side!  Success in sight!

So yesterday, in the grocery store parking lot I began swabbing the steering wheel and then moved on down to the clutch areas, etc.  Of course that was before the fearsome warning light came on.   Then came that harrowing white knuckle drive!

Safely arriving home with no extraordinary catastrophes, the problem was turned over to Bill, who (much as I hate to admit it) immediately solved the problem.  It seems that  my aggressive swabbing unwittingly depressed the downhill  “assist” button (near the clutch), resulting in an afternoon of terror and  erratic driving.

Please do not ask what the “downhill assist button” means or is!  I have no clue.

But, all it took to restore order was to re-press the little downhill assist button once again.  Voila!  The flashing light is off!

However,

My Final

Messages to Bill and Norma

How to Prevent Discombobulated Ditzy Driving Among Your Peers

Answer #1:  Bill, be more fastidious about keeping our car clean!

Answer #2:   Norma, be sloppier and leave your car dirty for our outings!

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On the Road Again

On the Road Again

My friend, Nancy, of Not Quite Old, just wrote another of her hilarious posts.  This one was about sacrificing  her own time to do something with her husband; something he loves.  If you haven’t already found her blog I personally guarantee it will make you laugh out loud.

Anyway, Nancy was the inspiration to relate my own huge sacrifice, which I make at least once a year for the sake of marital bliss (and for stocking up on spousal IOU’s).

What is this Supreme Sacrifice?

 Getting in a car with Bill when the destination route is untried and unfamiliar.

Together we set off to explore uncharted highways and byways, but even an unexplored side street will qualify.

“What fun,” you say, “you must have an adventuresome marriage!”

Well, maybe not.

I think Bill thinks he wants to explore new places and discover new destinations and see the world.   And he thinks he will be able to accomplish this in our car.   And  he thinks he will know how to get wherever he is going.  “No problem Babe.  It will be fun!”  However, I know he is practicing the art of self deception and dragging me along with him down the rabbit hole.

Hope Springs 

We begin each journey with good intentions and hearts filled with good cheer and high hopes for a happy outcome.  After many years of marriage, however, I do have some mild concerns and downright jitters.

Sometimes I even break out in a rash.

My hero, Bill, is always the driver.  He is a wonderful driver.

There is only one problem though.

My hero gets LOST! 

And he does not get lost like normal heroes get lost. 

Sometimes he can actually see where he is going, but he still can’t get there. 

Other times, he is lost in a parking lot and goes around in circles, grumbling all the way.

He is even lost on routes once taken, like would you believe yesterday?

He inevitably overshoots turnoffs and winds up driving quite out of the way to make U-turns.

The grumbling escalates and he eventually resorts to profanity to help him find his way. (Note: this means I am failing in my assigned duties to navigate).

To prevent the escalation of frustration, I say yell, “NO, TURN LEFT!”

but he inevitably turns Right.

Then I say yell, “NO, STAY IN THIS LANE,”

but he is drifting onto an off ramp and hollering,

“SH–!&$%Xx!@o!”

Ask directions?   Ha!

Maps?  Ha! Ha!

“Don’t you have a GPS system or a smart phone?” you ask.

Of course we have a GPS system and it helps occasionally with astute concentration on my part. And we even have a smart phone!  But Bill is still always LOST, especially if I get complacent and file a nail or read something, or “heaven forbid” relax, even for a second.  Because when I look up, we are miraculously in unintended territory, and there are frustrated cries from the driver’s seat.

The Navigator

They say phobias begin when you are young.  When I was a girl and we went on family trips, my Dad appointed me The Navigator.  This great honor created anxiety in the effort to please.

Now, when entering a car with Bill, I am once again transformed into the Travel Leader, the Spirit Guide, the Person in Charge – ugghh – The Navigator!  Once again, I must get us where we are going and return us to familiar roads leading home, or back to the motel, or wherever it is we can disembark and feel safe again.

This is my durned duty.

And this is my ultimate sacrifice for marital bliss.

The enormity of the responsibility leaves  imagined heart palpitations, indigestion, bouts of worry, fear, guilt (if I can’t find the way), and finally exhaustion.  Definition of a phobia?  You bet.  I am terrified of getting lost!

Sometimes I think Bill notices the rash or if I am about to faint, because he agreed we should always take the same road to town, the same streets while there, and the same road back.  People wonder why we need directions to their homes or places of business in such a small town.  It’s because we are one-road-in-one-road-out folks.  Familiarity breeds contentment.

Well, not always.

There are vacations – fun filled adventures via automobile.  Our next trip is in the fall to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where there are really only two main roads and if you go down a side street, you wind up in the ocean.  Chances are good for a peaceful trip too, because we have been there – in the ocean – before.

Can anyone recommend a non-drowsy tranquilizer for a self-sacrificing Reluctant Navigator?

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