Monday, October 31, 2005

Adventures in Kentucky

This weekend, I went to Kentucky to see my Grandma and play the violin for her. I arrived in Lexington safely on Saturday, and made it back home safely and without incident last night.

On my way there on Saturday morning, I was about to pass a pickup truck pulling a trailer, when the left wheel of the trailer popped off and bounced across the road right in front of me. The axle fell to the pavement and started dragging along, cutting a groove in the road and flinging chunks of asphalt on me and on the other cars behind them. And the driver of the truck didn't seem to notice! So I accelerated to along side of them, and started honking and pointing like a madwoman. At first he must have thought I had road rage or something, because he accelerated to get away from me! But I sped up even more and honked and gestured and shouted that his wheel was missing, and I basically escorted him to the side of the road. I stopped too, and when I saw that he was getting out and would see the missing wheel, I drove on. I was pretty uptight for the rest of the drive. It was a really emotionally-intense experience!

I arrived in Lexington in time for a late lunch with Dad and Bonus Mom Marvis. Then we went to get some documents for our new house notarized (Dad's lending us some money for the down-payment, because our house in Illinois isn't going to sell in time), and to the Liquor Barn, where I ran into my former stand-partner in the Lexington Community Orchestra, Bernie. He was happy to see me and I enjoyed talking to him.

That afternoon we also talked to Laura on the phone, went for a walk in the arboretum, and then to the Kentucky Theater to see a movie, "Everything Is Illuminated," about a Jewish man (played by Elijah Wood) who traveled to the Ukraine to find a woman who he knew there before he left for America and the Nazis invaded the Ukraine. It was a good movie and it was particularly fun for me because there was a lot of Russian spoken in the movie and I hadn't heard Russian in quite a while. After the movie we went out to eat at Hunan in Southland, then came home and visited a lot before going to bed.

In the morning, Dad made his internationally-renowned muffins for breakfast, and then he left for Cincinnati, where he went with some Wisconsin-connected colleagues to watch the Green Bay Packers take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Marvis and I visited for a while, and then we went to visit Grandma.

Grandma was overjoyed to hear me play. She looked and sounded much better than she did the last time I saw her. She's not on 24-hour care anymore, so when we came she was all alone. She just asked me to play whatever songs I liked or came to my mind. After I finished playing, we coaxed her into eating her lunch, along with some angel food cake and bananas that Marvis had cleverly thought to bring along. It seems like she can't remember enough to initiate eating, but once she gets started, she can really pack it in.

We went back to the house and had a late lunch, and then Rachel called! So I got to talk to both my sisters this weekend. Towards the end of that phone call, bonus sister Vaughan stopped by, so I got to see her too, if only for a brief time, because it was time for me to go.

I limited my violin-playing to thirty minutes, but it still did a number on my arm. I iced my arm down after we got back to the house, but then as I went to use the restroom, I hit my bare elbow on the door frame. Stupid me! So I did my best to drive home one-handed.

I took a break from driving and called my mom to give her my assessment of Grandma. We had a very long and very nice talk. Overall it was a very good weekend.

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