In 1759 Laurence Sterne wrote Tristram Shandy, a comical novel which takes stream of consciousness writing to the extreme. This weekend we took a whirlwind road trip from Virginia Beach to Stratford, Connecticut to celebrate my husband’s sister’s sixtieth birthday, and on the nine-hour trip back Sunday, I felt a kinship to poor Tristram in that my mind wandered from one thing to another along our journey. I will share a portion of my thoughts with you, for no other reason than that it is Monday morning, I need a blog post, and I had no opportunity to work on one this weekend.
The soundtrack to Sleepless in Seattle is playing on our ipod, appropriate since we have just crossed the GW (George Washington Bridge) and I can see the spire of the Empire State Building across the Hudson. Billboards assault my eyes everywhere I look. There’s one that says, “Governor Christie, protect our schools, not our millionaires.” Interesting and quite convincing since it is paid for by millionairesforchristie.com. Supports what my husband contends: Most of the mega-rich are not against paying higher taxes. Would help our country’s debt tremendously, so why are the Republicans so against it? Oh, there’s a billboard for a Paul Anka concert on June 9. He still singing? Good for him! And there’s a billboard advertising how great New Jersey is. “New Jersey doesn’t stink.” Hmmm…don’t think I would have chosen that as a slogan. But then, what do I know? I live in beautiful Virginia Beach. I’m looking at a billboard for contract-free androids. Makes me think of how cultural literacy is changing. When I see something about droids, R2D2 or Commander Data come to mind. Don’t think that is what the youth of today picture. A lot of them probably have a Droid while I still have a Stupid phone. But I just bought one with a slide-out keyboard, so I’m trying to update myself. We just stopped at Molly Pitcher, nicest service center we’ve ever stopped at on the New Jersey Turnpike. Never stopped there before. Who is Molly Pitcher? I’ve heard of her but can’t remember what she did. Another nurse, maybe? Note to self: Look her up. Now we’re listening to Jose Feliciano. Come On, Baby, Light My Fire. I remember seeing him in person. Incredible performer.
We’ve made it through New Jersey and Delaware and are now in Maryland. Route 13. Land is flat as a griddle. Beautiful farmland and stands of tall trees line both sides of the road. We pass church after church along the route with names like Miracle Pentecostal Evangelical Tabernacle, Living Word Church of Deliverance, Faith Temperance Holiness Church. Whatever happened to simple names like First Congregational? Is that Lead Belly I hear singing In the Pines? The barns are nicer than many of the houses. Very few billboards here, not like New Jersey, and they’re placed nearly at eye level. Just passed one that advertised the “Best Pizza in Town.” What town would that be, and you can’t tell me that there is more than one pizza parlor in any of these towns on the Eastern Shore. There’s a billboard announcing “Dreamland Homes.” I sure hope those trailers aren’t supposed to fit the bill. We just passed Don Valero’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine. I’m not convinced. And there’s a sign for the Wachapreague Motel. Friday Tanya and the Revolutionaries played. Drat! I missed it.