October 2 thru 3, 2018 Still raining, but not heavy, it was a beautiful morning. Felt so much gratitude for meeting Rick through Stefani, and Stefani through James. We are all connected and each definitely has a friend in me! Enjoyed Rick’s coffee while I packed up, then a big hug for Rick and rub for the pups, then I was on the road again.

I talked with Charlene the day before about a visit and was excited to be headed to CT. My first stop was at the Dollar General in Parsonsfield, only a few minutes from Rick’s, for Goldfish crackers, hand wipes and pack of smaller underwear. My ass has gone flat?! Next stop, again only a few minutes farther in Porter, on the side of the road by the Ossipee River. So pretty!

img_20181002_094451I wasn’t getting anywhere fast; I loved that it was OK. Headed south on NH-16 and needed more caffeine, so stopped at Circle K in Ossipee, NH for coffee and a pack of Traffic cigarettes ($5.09). Got a giggle from that pack above the smokes from Allegany.

img_20181002_095545The rain continued and I got hungry for real food, so next stop was in the village of Sanbornville, in the town of Wakefield, at Miss Wakefield Diner. It was the purple awning and the wood carvings that caught my eye off Rt 16.

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img_20181002_101210I have happy memories of diners as a child in Shreveport, LA at Murrell’s and Strawns with my granny, mom, sister and aunts. The visit here added my first as an adult. Sat in a booth and ordered coffee, couple fried eggs and a side of jalapeños. The food and service were good, but it was the unexpected gift that filed this diner in my memory bank.img_20181002_101219

I noticed the older gentleman, maybe in his early-80’s, sitting on a counter stool talking to waitstaff when I first arrived; there were only a couple customers. On his way out, he stopped at my table, said he had something for me and pulled a harmonica from his pocket. He filled that diner with sunshine! I got goosebumps and just gazed at him, smiling ear to ear like the Cheshire cat. When he stopped, I squeezed his hand and thanked him, he said goodbye to everyone and left. I felt incredible! A moment of kindness and sharing can truly transcend.

Topped off gas ($2.69/gal) in Rochester, then left NH-16 to NH-125 south. Picked up an ice coffee, with turbo-shot and caramel (yum), at DD and giant Slim Jims (2 for $3) in Plaistow, then hopped over to I-495 south. It was still raining and the traffic moved fast, even though the speed limit was only 55; I averaged 60. Pulled into the Massachusetts Visitor Center to potty and stretch about 12:30p.

I was feeling ugh-ish on the highway, with the continuous rain and drivers who made the occasional side-swipe gesture toward my personal space. WTF?! They need a refresher on the ‘look before changing lane’ maneuver. Took a break at the Park ‘n Shop in Auburn, MA for a 12-pack of Blue Moon to take to Charlene’s.

img_20181002_133607Noticed I was charged $.60 for beer deposit. Later learned it was $.05 per bottle and fully refundable upon return of the clean bottle to the retailer, or to a redemption center (may deduct processing fee from refund).

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Took 90W to 84 (Wilbur Cross Highway), past the Nipmuck State Forest, into Connecticut; extremely overcast, with low-lying clouds and drizzly rain.

I was ecstatic to land at Charlene and Todd’s home in Tolland. Todd was on the road during my visit, but it was cool to say hello through Skype with Charlene. They live with fur-babes, Abby, Rocky, Bandit and not sure what cat’s name is, but Bandit was on the road with Todd during my visit.

The first night was stormy, with lots of lightening, rain, reports of street flooding and unexpected excitement. While Charlene attended a wake, I showered and was in the process of washing clothes downstairs when I realized Abby, their large, oldest fur-babe, was at the bottom of the staircase; I had left the door to the basement open (ugh). I was in a bath towel, worried she couldn’t make it back up, on the phone with Britt, when I turned the corner and was face-to-face with Charlene’s brother, Stephen, coming in the front door. Between my crazy-ass scream and babble about who was who, it was heart thumping and hilarious. I will never forget the look on his face when I screamed – surprised the shit out of him!

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Abby made her way up, Charlene got home safely, had a few beers, smoked happy cigs, and hung out until late. Stephen had me laughing my ass off over his booming voice and animated stories. We talked and talked about family and much more. Great night!

Charlene’s a wonderful cook and so sweet. We more or less just took it easy, chatting, watching TV. Rocky was entertaining with his love for tennis balls, which he crushes. Can’t imagine how many he’s gone through, but can fit more than one in his mouth at a time.

Sucks I can’t locate CT photos, so Charlene sent these: Bandit with Rocky, Abby, then Rocky bottom.

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