Aunt Marg made me a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast with her homemade strawberry jam and then helped me get ready to leave. I have been using a method I first saw on an infomercial on TV. I stuff everything into a large plastic zip lock bag and seal it up. The bag has a round opening where I put the end of a vacuum hose and suction out all the air. Then I can stuff the bag into a duffel bag and carry it. Pretty ingenious!
I gave Aunt Marg a big hug and said goodbye at the bus station in Bellingham and found my Bolt bus. My son had told me about the Bolt bus. It is run through Greyhound but it only cost me $38.50 to ride from Bellingham to Portland. What a deal!
I couldn’t see the driver around when I arrived but the basement door of the bus was open so I threw my largest bag in there and brought the two smaller bags on board with me. I walked down the aisle and most of the seats either had a person or something reserving the seat in them. Near the back of the bus I found a man sitting alone and an empty seat next to him and I asked if I could sit there. He invited me to.
His name is Sandy. He had a Sara Paretsky mystery he was reading and I took out my crossword puzzle book and started working on puzzles. Eventually we began to talk with each other and spent most of the trip in pleasant conversation.
Sandy is retired military, twenty six years just like Mark. He and his son ride bicycles in long tours or races and he was headed to Portland to do one of those with his son this weekend. He’s also an actor in theater and he’s a drummer. He’s been to many different places, especially during his military career, and we compared notes on some of the places we’ve been. There was so much to talk about it made the journey very pleasant.
The bus was running half an hour late due to a traffic jam around Olympia, but when we got to our stop in Portland my father was right there watching for me. I hadn’t eaten for several hours so he took me to a little deli a block from my stop so I could have some lunch. Then he took me back to his house.
Dad and his wife and I spent a pleasant afternoon visiting and he showed me the DVD of my nephew’s debut performance conducting a piece he’d composed. I had seen it on my computer before, but never on a large screen. If you haven’t gotten to see it yet, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoDd4nkxHgM.
After a nice dinner Dad brought me to my mother’s house where she was waiting up for me. She and I visited for a while and I also had an opportunity to call Mark and tell him all about my day. Mom went to bed earlier than I, but I went to bed fairly early too. I still haven’t adjusted to the time change.