Thursday, January 10, 2013

Omens from Dayton, Ohio

[The last night on Hatteras]

I'm not religious per say, but I believe in the universe and watching for small directional arrows.

In North Carolina:
  1. I turned on Pandora radio right after leaving home and the first thing I heard was a commercial for a restaurant in Portland, Oregon. 
  2. A little while down the road, I was passed by a car with North Dakota plates. I don't know if I've ever seen a North Dakota plated car in North Carolina. I waved furiously at the driver, hoping he saw my University of North Dakota sticker in the window. 
  3. In the Chapel Hill- Raleigh- Durham area, I looked up and saw a "Quintiles" building. Remembering that my very good friend and former roommate Lourdes worked there before going to PT school, I sent her a note. 
Pulling into Dayton last night, I experienced kindness abounding. The woman at the Best Western sent me to the Comfort Inn for a cheaper rate (and lovely room). The sweet man at the Comfort Inn (Mr. Patel, of course) was holding the door and telling me I needed to just roll my bikes on the carpet and not pick them up as I pulled them into my room. He looked out at my car, and told me how nice it was. I said it got 45MPG. He said he drove a Camry and it got 28MPG. When I got done unloading the bikes, he told me to park next to his car under the big light, across from the 24-hour McDonald's drive up, where people would see my car all night and it would be safe.

I rolled into bed tired but naturally woke up a few times, and then very early this morning. Nausea rolled around inside me as I wondered again where I was and what I was doing sleeping in all my clothes under the covers of an unknown place. I figured may as well have breakfast since yesterday's entire meal plan included two apples and a snack size bag of popcorn. But first checked my little car, and everything was intact, albeit frost all over the bike rack.

I shared a breakfast of English muffin, scrambled eggs and green tea among several soft spoken Hispanic guys, one of whom noticed I couldn't find the garbage can and sent me over to it. The murmur of Spanish was a lullaby to my ears. An older black guy sat behind me eating. To have many cultures sitting together is a gift, even if only in the Comfort Inn of Dayton, Ohio.

It's the small things that matter in this life- acknowledging another's existence- their pain and fury- making eye contact- seeing each other- and caring.

There's nothing more ridiculous than making cross country moves in a Mini Cooper with two bikes strapped on the back. I will post a photo later. The only thing that would make it more insane is if I had a loaded roof rack. Well. Make due with what you have.

Onward and upward!

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