After breakfast at Denny’s, Daughter Dearest bid her boyfriend a tearful farewell, and we hit the road. She was either talking to him or texting with him most of the way up.
Eventually to South Bend, around it, and into Michigan, hooray! Onto the state highways, first M-51 than M-40: Niles. Dowagiac. Decatur. Gobles. Mid-afternoon by now, but the terrain has changed subtly, sandy hills and more trees. The horizons have returned to a human scale. The cornfields south of Decatur look dessicated; the drought has not been good to the corn crop here. Eventually, we turn onto a county road and then a dirt road, and we’re at Dad’s — almost exactly when we thought we’d get there, 4 p.m.
’Most everyone seems to be here at Dad’s: Mom and Wicked Stepfather (staying across the lake), Other Brother and his kids… but — do I hear an echo? — not his wife. I left a phone message when we got to South Bend, but nobody checked the answering machine. Such is life. Mom was happy to see the pile of basil I brought, and I was happy to see a fridge full of microbrew. I can think of only one thing waiting on me to arrive that’s better than beer, and I didn’t bring her with me. Yup, I miss Mrs. Fetched.
Other Brother has brought a large-ish pop-up camper and parked it in Dad’s driveway; it greatly increases the sleeping capacity of the lake house but forces Barge Vader into the grass alongside it. I managed to back it in without hitting either the camper or any of several trees, then back it in even farther when Mom needs to park her van in front of it. A guy I vaguely remember from high school has bought the house across from Dad’s; they’re staying there and fixing it up. Perhaps things aren’t all that different between Planet Georgia and Planet Earth after all. His girlfriend has a daughter who’s the same age as Other Brother’s daughter (6), so they like to visit with each other. I remember going on vacations when I was a kid; it was always great when there were other kids in the same age group as us.
Daughter Dearest went to bed with a bad headache fairly early in the evening, even before supper; I convinced her to try eating at least a banana or other fruit to see if it would help her. She had a hamburger in Kokomo; I had gotten into a mode where I eat a larger breakfast than usual and skip lunch these past couple of days.
Cellphone service out here is spotty at best. I wouldn't usually mind that, except that I wanted to let Mrs. Fetched know we arrived safely. I managed to get enough signal, standing in the road, to leave a message on the answering machine (twice). Daughter Dearest’s phone seems to do better than mine here, so she was able to actually talk to her later. The dialup isn’t that slow, but his Internet Explorer security add-ons seem to have left most of my destinations rather difficult to access — I can leave comments on my own blog, but not log in nor check Gmail, AIM, or Yahoo. Daughter Dearest had similar issues; she couldn’t get her email but was able to use Meebo to IM her boyfriend some more. After checking my home email, the only one I could get to, I was pretty much done for the night.