Well, my wife and I spent most of Labor Day weekend driving back and forth from Chicago to Garysburg, N.C. The 15-hour drive was much shorter than that Oklahoma trip, but also definitely longer than the 12-hour jaunt Mira and I did with my brother, Curtis, and nephew, Carlton, each way, when moving to Chicago my things from my studio apartment in Maryland, upon ending my stint with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in Washington.
This latest trip involved moving the last of what Mira wanted to keep after more than two weeks' cleaning out her late parents' home this summer so it could be rented. We rented a cargo van to bring it all back to Chicago. Little did we know that the 1,857-mile roundtrip would have us twice spending $100 to fill the gas tank in West Virginia. Or that Mira would swear I had hit a skunk when a foul smell consumed the van. Or that we would have to navigate a winding road up a mountain in the dead of night, fearful that a bear would block our path at any second. On a positive note, we did enjoy taking in the almost 1,000 wind turbines amazingly lining the terrain north of Lafayette, Ind.
Oh yes, to my wife's chagrin, I tweeted about our excursion along the way. "After Best Buy, golf store, Christian bookstore stops @miralowe says "Feels like I've been on a road trip – haven't got on the road yet," went an early tweet from me. Mira tweeted this: "Me & @herbertlowe listening to Sade & Elton John on Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds Highway in Indianapolis.” And from me: "OMG! Just this moment, electricity restored to our home in #Garysburg, N.C. – finally, EIGHT days after Hurricane Irene blew through." One more: "Story of my life: @miralowe awakes from nap and starts asking lots of questions – e.g., did I drink her lemonade? Why is windshield dirty?"
But it was my tweets from within West Virginia that caught the eye of maybe the only two people I know either born in or touting from West Virginia: my former Atlantic City Press cohort Vicki Smith and fellow NABJ member Angela Dodson. "Why in the world are you THERE?" Vicki asked on Facebook when I tweeted from Scarbro, W.Va. Equally mystified, Angela offered, "Holler if (you) need me to send in some kinfolk or something to get you out." Thankfully, there was never any cause for alarm. Here's hoping this blog posting answers their questions.