Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

After-the-Train Tales

As my train neared Sacramento, I switched my ham radio from the railroad band I had been monitoring to the amateur radio frequency (147.540) that Lisa and I use to contact each other. I heard her calling me immediately. (I later heard that this was only the second time she'd called for me, so the timing was pretty good.) She told me that she was still on the road, just north of Sacramento between the airport and the CA-99 junction. I told her not to worry, that our train was running late, and that she should not hurry.

As I wrote in my last post, I took my time getting off the train and through Sacramento station. Getting to the curb, I called for Lisa, who was just getting to the J Street exit on I-5. I told her that she could drive to the front of the station, but it was badly congested. (There was a police officer on a bicycle telling people who weren't actively loading or unloading to move along.) She told me that she'd managed to find an on-street parking space and that I should come to her. I walked out of the station at the corner of 5th and I Streets; she was a block away and around the corner.

Lisa had not had a very good trip. Originally she left Mehama in her big orange van. She got as far as Oakridge on OR-58, more than two hours south of Mehama, when she realized something was wrong. Finding oil leaking (and smoking) in the engine compartment, she turned back to Mehama and limped home. Then she had to move her stuff to the VW Vanagon, which also leaks, but is predictable in its leakage. Now, running at least six hours late, she set off again.

Running behind like that, she felt she had no choice but to go down I-5 instead, which she dislikes. And she drove nearly straight through, with only a brief stop for a nap along the way. So it was that when she met me at Sacramento, she had had maybe two hours sleep in the last 36, and was not feeling well at all. And I can't drive a manual transmission, so she still had to drive us to Yuba City. (Had the orange van been up to the trip, I could have driven us from there and she could have relaxed.)

I was all for getting some take-out food and going straight to the hotel so she could eat and go to sleep, but she really wanted to go to a model train store in Yuba City that closed at 5:30 and of course would be closed on Thanksgiving, so we went there first, getting here with thirty minutes to spare. Then she wanted to fuel up the van. She was really dragging with exhaustion, and it was getting dark. Driving through the back streets of Yuba City (necessary to get back to the highway due to the placement of the Shell station), I overreacted to her handling of a traffic situation, and she snapped at me. A long stretch of unpleasantness followed, the details of which I'd rather forget. Eventually, she pulled herself together sufficiently for us to go to a grocery store, where we picked up some milk, orange juice, and take-out Chinese food for dinner.

After too much excitement, we got to our hotel (the Holiday Inn Express, where prices have increased $20/night over a year ago, mumble, grumble) and we could finally relax a bit. I checked my e-mail and found nothing that couldn't wait until I get back to Fremont on Friday afternoon -- I hope. Eventually Lisa got a bath and wound down sufficiently so she could get some sleep.

Thank goodness we could sleep in on Thanksgiving morning, as we're not due out to my grandfather's hours until Noon today. I woke up just before 8 -- that is sleeping in for me these days -- and pottered down to the breakfast bar for some light breakfast items, plus coffee for me and tea for Lisa. I laid out her breakfast on the side table (letting her sleep as long as possible) and ate my own. She woke up about 90 minutes later. Her tea was cold, of course, but the room comes with a microwave oven.

Now I do need to finish working my way through the less-urgent stuff and get showered and dressed for my family's Thanksgiving lunch. We don't do dinner because my mother needs to head off for a craft fare the next day. As she makes her living selling jewelry, the Christmas Craft Fair season is key to the annual finances, and my family has always been a practical lot when it comes to work needing to be done.
Tags: family, lisa, travel

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