Tuesday, 7:15 am
I roll the Megs out of bed, where, not surprisingly, I find popcorn kernals and toys stashed away. Meg isn't too keen on getting out of bed, not too surprising either, since it's really 6:15 out in Nashville, and she doesn't REALLY want to go home. But I manage to ger her in clothes and gather everything up that is going with her (although I have to pack some of her clothes in a plastic bag...how her stepmom got everything in the suitcase is beyond me. )
We're in the car, and I think, well, I can't get stuck hopefully...the car is front wheel drive and there's now extra weight in the car--an overstuffed suitcase in the trunk, and a 25 lb bag of toys and things in the back seat. Backing out of the car-port was a little hairy, but once I got it going in the right direction, I managed to get out to the main road OK.
Heading up highway 18, which crosses interstate 40 up in Morganton, I glance in the rearview mirror. Megs is *asleep*. BONUS! I can now sneak past the McDonald's and the Love's convienence store (which can only be described as "truck stop heaven") and not have to stop till I get to Hartford up in the mountains, where I can get gas.
Megs wakes up in time for us to drive through the tunnel, crossing over in to Tennessee. The highway is down to one lane in either direction here, the snowplows have only managed to scrape one lane... I don't mind too terribly much, but the bitch in the Infiniti behind me is getting antsy. Sure enough, she goes into the other lane. Through the snow. Just to get around the line of cars and semis going 45 MPH. That's ok, it just means she'll hit the patch of ice long before the rest of us will. Or get snagged by the state troopers. I have already seen a couple in unmarked cars. They're the black Dodge Chargers sitting in the median, and you know they aren't people stuck in the snow. They're not skewed into snowbanks, and the paint is WAAAYYYY too shiny. I slow down.
We reach the "Pidgeon River Smokehouse" in Hartford, Tennessee. This is a little BP gas station the Megs and I like to stop at. The scenery is beautiful at any time of the year, although it's a bit crowded in the summer, what with all the whitewater rafting places around the area. Today, it's almost deserted. I feed the car and we head in, so I can add insult to injury and get the Megs a highly sugery snack after letting her take a 2 hour nap. Her daddy's gonna be loving THAT, I'm thinking. Needless to say, I had to get a mountain dew. Muhahhahah.
We reach the meeting place that is about as Tennessee as one can get: Cracker Barrel restaurant. Stepmom isn't there yet, so we hang in the car and talk about stuffed animals, boys, and why she can only sit in the front seat when the car isn't moving. (air bag)
Stepmom shows up... I like stepmom. She's on time or earlier, and helps load all the crap into the minivan. I'm still trying to figure out why meeting stepmom without the ex in tow is such a big deal. I figure ex doesn't want us comparing notes or something. I give the Megs a HUGE squeezy hug, and hug the stepmom (something else that doesn't happen when ex is there...) and watch them go.
12:00 pm-3:20 pm
Today must be "FedEx day", I pass many many trucks, both the single ones and the tandem trucks, going in either direction. There is a surprising amount of people out today, despite the fact that it's a weekday. Other people must be catching up because of the snow, too.
While driving through the mountains, I pass the snowplows going the other way. It's a line: a bulldozer pulling stuff out of the middle, away from the wall, passed to several plows side by side to direct it completely off the road. DOT truck in front, two more behind, these have the little marquee sign things on the back. They both read PLOWS AHEAD. SLOW TRAFFIC. I think, no shit! The traffic heading west is backed up for MILES. Suckers.
By the time I get back to highway 18, I come to the conclusion that no matter WHERE I get a job, it ain't going to be around Asheville. Ashville drivers suck.
And now, I leave you with a few choice statements.
Dent (while putting up new Christmas tree): It looked better on the box.
Me: Did you open up the branches?
Megs: Know what? Moo. (this is a game we like to play)
Me: Really? Guess what else? Meow.
Megs: Nuh uhhh. Bok-bok.
Me: Are you sure? Woof!
Merry Christmas! And Happy Friggin New Year!