Moving Along

I woke several times last night and this morning, once around 2:00 a.m. when I heard an odd repetitive noise I thought was an alarm emanating from my computer. When I got up, I discovered it was a strange car alarm in the parking lot below the motel room. I heard voices coming from the parking lot, too, but could not see anyone when I peered out the window. After that, I woke at least half a dozen times. Suffice it to say I did not get a good night’s sleep. I finally got out of bed around 6.

My insomnia could have arisen from my unhappiness with the dump of a motel that SHOULD have been a nice place—a Hampton by Hilton in Frostburg, Maryland. From the moment we walked in, it was obvious that the property was old and tired, but had been given some superficial “upgrades” to make it more presentable. On the way to the room, I noticed wallpaper in a hallway barely clinging to the wall. Inside the room, we discovered the toilet tank was empty; I took the lid off the tank (revealing a nasty brown and dirty pressure tank) and succeeded in jiggling the apparatus so that water filled the tank. But, each time it flushed, the same process had to be followed to get the tank to fill. And, during the night, we discovered that the tank emptied, requiring more fussing. From there, more and more flaws became apparent. We complained. The offer to “compensate” for the problems was insulting and I told the front desk staff as much. Mi novia was more tactful. We shall see what the bill looks like this morning. But I realize, of course, such an experience is not the end of the world; so, we will chalk it up to road trip experience and move on.

Our trip from Schenectady yesterday took us through Pennsylvania and into Maryland. When we leave here today, we will wander into West Virginia and, perhaps, into Kentucky, as we make our way south and west. We may slide south into Virginia and into North Carolina. There is no plan, as yet. We’re just road-tripping. We drove more than seven hours and covered about 450 miles yesterday. We could have stopped along the way to see some interesting places, such as the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania, but I was not in the proper frame of mind to be a tourist. Nor am I at the moment, for some reason. We shall see.


The sky outside my window is ominous, dark clouds swirling at high speed. Though it is not raining, the ground is wet from last night, when Nature wrung water from the clouds like wet sponges. I hope the wind and the clouds do not present obstacles today—but, if they do, we shall confront them and deal with them appropriately. Road trips cannot be planned around weather guarantees, for no such assurances exist. One simply must adjust appropriately to experiences as they unfold. And we shall.


By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.

~ Helen Hunt Jackson ~


Whatever the day offers, I will take and turn it to my benefit. There’s no point in yielding to anything but the best every day has to offer.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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