On the Bus
On that Friday morning I was up early to pack. As soon as we could close the office and the shop, we wanted to be on the road. We weren’t sure where we’d head, but we had at least determined how we’d make the decision when the time came.
Richard and George were already gone to the shop by the time Desiree had her first cup of coffee. I dragged my duffle bag through the kitchen where she sat in her ratty bathrobe, yawning.
“We should close an hour early so we can go for last minute things like ice,” I suggested.
“Geez, Ara,” she said a little crossly. “You’d think you’d never been on a weekend trip before.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I demanded. I hadn’t had any coffee at all yet, so I was a tad testy. Then again, it was easy to be testy around Desiree, who seemed to have the knack of finding fault with pretty much everything she encountered.
“It means chill out.”
“Yeah. We need ice to chill. And if we’re going to get somewhere decent before dark, we’ll want to leave just as soon as the guys can close the shop.”
After that prickly exchange I was a little gratified when Rich called the office mid-morning and told his wife that he and George had decided to leave the body shop in Derek’s capable hands around lunchtime. I recorded an “away” message for the office answering system and when the guys got home we loaded the bus and were ready to head out.
I opened the big Rand-McNally Road Atlas and flipped through a few pages. Following the agreed upon procedure, I held the atlas at arm’s length by one corner. Richard slid a finger between two pages somewhere in the middle of the book, and at the same time Deisree said “left.” We opened the Atlas and looked at the left-hand page.
“Hawaii?” snorted Richard. “We can’t drive to Hawaii!”
“Hawaii’s not the only thing on that page,” I pointed out. “Look at it. There’s a map of Atlanta, too.”
George, the designated driver for the first leg of the road trip, shifted the old bus into gear. “Hot-Lanta, here we come!” he grinned.
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