My most recent road trip was not as comical as my earlier trip this winter with my friend Mary Jane. My husband and I visited family in Chevy Chase, MD and Hilton Head, SC. We stopped by the Jefferson Memorial once again, hoping to catch the cherry blossoms but missed them by just a few days. Apparently they are ephemeral. He drove the entire route, towing our trailer and very loaded Toyota Tundra while I read aloud from the City of Thieves by David Benioff.
The events unfolding in Boston were always on our minds. We left New England with heavy hearts and I wrote about it here:
We did have one somewhat strange, comical twist of fate. City of Thieves is the tale of two boys searching for a dozen eggs in war-torn Russia. Outside of Hilton Head, west of Route 95, we stopped to visit my husband’s brother at a cow farm he was working on.
He gave us a tour of the farm then we followed him to the house he is living in on Hilton Head Island. Along the way we stopped at a trailer to buy a dozen eggs. The yard was full of plastic flowers, rusted farm tools, Madonna on the half shell, and other figurines. His friend had no eggs to sell that day but he invited us inside. We met his wife, two cousins and his nephew, all sitting in chairs on a late afternoon. Every surface in the house was covered with something; a tall plastic glass shaped like a palm tree with a neon orange twisty straw, mismatched glassware, loaves of store bought bread, unopened mail, more plastic flowers. A false staircase led to nowhere and was stacked with Oreos, Hostess cupcakes, snack size bags of Cheetos, pretzels, and Chips Ahoy. There was not a full set of teeth among the five adults in the room. And no eggs. The chickens were moulting. From war town Russia to rural South Carolina, there were no eggs to be found.
The egg farmer took great pleasure in teasing my brother-in-law about learning how to birth calves from a book. Tom defended himself, explaining how accurate the book was and how it had been very beneficial to a novice cow farmer like himself. His friend replied with a sly smile, “I ain’t seen no calves come out of that book yet.”
I’ll leave you with this song that was on my mind most of my trip:
“Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.”