Happy day-before-Yule, everyone.

05 February 2007

It's been an interesting trip back to Pennsylvania, to say the very least. Lyssa and I finally got the TARDIS loaded up and set course for Pittsburgh around 1130 EST/EDT yesterday morning, stopped off for a quick lunch at the local deli, and then headed for the northbound beltway for the long haul.

I'm very glad that I was able to talk Lyssa out of driving home on Friday night because driving conditions were so bad in the DC area. Between the rain, the darkness, and all the headlights of people trying to do last minute shopping it really wasn't worth going out on Friday night. On our dinner and errand running jaunt on Friday, we had a hell of a time just getting anywhere safely, let alone in a timely manner.

Traffic on route 270-north was pretty bad yesterday, in the form of stop and go and stop once again patterns from the beltway onward. Many travelers were probably running late and impatient to get to their destinations, and it showed. Especially the recent college grad who rear-ended Lyssa and I yesterday afternoon in a half-hearted attept to drive throughthe TARDIS at roughly forty miles per hour in an attempt to beat everyone in front of her to exit 22.

That's right, folks.. I got in another fucking car crash yesterday afternoon.

Lyssa and I are all right, as is the driver of the jeep that hit us. The TARDIS is definitely worse for wear: The trunk lid was jammed and had to be forced open, and the rear fender on the right-hand side is in sad shape, including a hole the size of a quarter in the high-density ballistic plastic. There might have been some structural damage as well.

While I copied down the other driver's information, Lyssa and the other driver photographed the damage on the other's vehicle. Apparently, it was her first wreck and she didn't know what to do so I walked her through the process, and then called 911 to get a police officer to the scene. A state trooper from Maryland (I guess that's where we were at the time, it's hard to tell on the highway) made sure everyone was okay, radioed in a report, and made room in traffic for us to go on our respective not-so-merry ways.

As soon as I could, I pulled into a gas station and called my insurance company to report it. About three hours later, I got in touch with the adjustor assigned to my case and made my statement. Now the paperwork's in motion and by and large it's out of my hands.

I could go into a lot more detail on this but I won't. Frankly, I'm in no mood to discuss it right now for reasons that I can't really get into. As far as I'm concerned, it's over, done with, and out of my hands. I've got an appointment to get the TARDIS checked out when I get back to Virginia, and start the repair process.

You can bet your last byte of RAM that I'm going to be putting some serious mojo on my car as soon as I possibly can, though. Enough is enough.

I wound up spending most of last night playing Phantasy Star Universe on Grant's Xbox 360 to unwind. I think I went to bed around midnight last night, utterly exhausted and only wanting the day before to come to a graceful end before anything else bad had a chance to happen.

We got up around 1000 EST/EDT this morning and somehow got ourselves ready to go out for a bit. The pre-going anywhere prep time was lengthened and complicated by the sheer number of people in the house vying for the bathroom that has a shower, so there was plenty of time to wake up, get a cup of (lousy) coffee (or two), shower, and get dressed. Lyssa and I set out for the Bob Evans that had just opened a few months ago to get breakfat and then headed for the nursing home where Grandma Pat lives now. A few weeks ago she broke her hip in a fall, and she is now staying in a home for an indefinite time. It wasn't all that difficult to find the home because Lyssa knows her hometown, but I must admit that I did get a little lost in the home itself while trying to find the restroom. It's a big, flat complex, with lots of hallways that branch off at 45 degree angles, unlike most medical facilities.

I haven't been in a retirement home in a long, long while. Not since I worked at Eldervision back in Pittsburgh and went around swapping out hardware for the beta testers. This retirement home seemed sleepy. Sleepy and tired and patient. It scares me that I might wind up in such a home a few decades in the future, staring at a mute television (or whatever passes for such when my body's runtime is almost up), listening to my hearts beat and joints creak, waiting for the inevitable.

I'm okay with dying. Not slowly going to pieces, though, my mind perhaps the first thing to unravel like a poorly constructed winter muffler.

Back to writing.

I got stuck outside of Grandma Pat's room for a while as a nurse prepped her breathing treatment (which I didn't know about from my position in the mostly soundless hallway). I wandered around the halls, not going anywhere in particular but wanting to see what I could see. White walls with big, white plastic bumpers affixed to them, which people in wheelchairs could use to pull themselves around (even though they were placed there to keep the walls from being damaged by the very same wheelchairs). Scuffed floors. People laying in beds. Nurses looking dead tired, yet doing their best to make everyone there comfortable and keep them busy. The occasional family visitor stopping in to wish someone a Merry Christmas.

I made a couple of stops here and there, grins and teeth and a sparkle, trying to bring a little light to a dreary Pennsylvania day, the day before Christmas.

Lyssa and I sat with Grandma Pat for somewhere around two hours, talking, spending time, being family. I'm not sure of how else to describe it. We were a family this afternoon.

I'm starting to fit in with Lyssa's biological family a little better these days. It doesn't feel odd to come to the house anymore. I can relax more readily there these days, moreso than before.

We tried to pick up the makings of sangria at the state store after we left the nursing home, but most of the stores in Pennsylvania are closed on Sunday (moreso because it's Christmas Eve) and wound up going to Giant Eagle for some last minute groceries before heading back to the house to get ready for dinner tonight.

I should probably go back downstairs and mingle more.

It's now 2300 EST/EDT, ad Lyssa's father is in the hospital; he was taken there earlier tonight after spending much of the evening on oxygen. His asthma has been acting up most of today due to the multiple pets in the house (two cats and Grant's dog), and the decision was made after dinner to set up the portable oxygen tank and load him into the car.

The call's come down to get him. Time to head out.

2312 EST/EDT: Check that. They want to keep him longer to do more bloodwork. I get the feeling that we're going to be pulling an all-nighter to pick him up eventually.