At 2:30 Friday I shot out the door and hit the pavement. By 3:30 I was past Monroeville and pulling into the Murraysville Sheetz for a some portable food. Two hot dogs, a bag of pretzels, and a large Pepsi later, I was on my way again. My only rule for food when I travel is that I can eat it whle I drive. Fast food obviously fits the bill. But, as Sheetz likes to point out, its food is "good food, fast." I think.
Anyway, it's been two years since I last drove this route, and the changes were amazing. The construction I suffered through in years past was completed in many places and made the ride as easy as could be. At that hour, I was one of the few cars on the road, meaning that I could max the speed limit and not have to fuss about slow drivers.
Route 80 was so empty that I was on cruise control for about 40 miles. That's a dangerous thing: it's always tempting to take my hands off the wheel for some reason.
By the time I landed in Williamsport, I was in high spirits -- so much so that I forgave the yutz who cut me off and denied me the opportunity to exit where I was supposed to exit, thus forcing me to head down the road a few more miles and get the next off-ramp. I knew where I was so it was no big deal.
I checked in, made it to my room, unpacked only what I had to unpack, then hightailed it to the hospitality suite.
The crew was, apparently, still golfing. No problem. I went back to my room and actually conquered some work. When I made it down there an hour or so later...
How good it was to be back. How good it was to see old friends. How hard it was not to cry. I'll only get sentimental once, I promise. And this is that once.
Coming back to PFEW is, to me, one of my last steps back into the life I had before Dad stopped his chemo and decided that quality of life was his goal, not quantity. My world stopped then, as you know. It started to move again a year later when he passed away, but I wasn't the woman I had been, and finding out just who I am has been quite a journey.
So seeing these men and women, being hugged and welcomed back as if I'd only seen them yesterday, was healing in some fashion. I felt like I was home again.
...promptly cured with a few good remarks, the re-discovery of our "Where's Weenie" book, and promises from Chuck better left off the printed page.