I think it’s fair to say that, amidst all the socializing and photographing and touring and swimming and eating and boozing that took place at last week’s VA Blogfest, each blogger who attended had a chance to learn new things about herself. Some have already written about it.
I learned a couple of interesting things about myself through the course of the weekend. For one thing? Turns out I get homesick. Yes, just like during sleepaway camp thirty years ago. It was all giggles and grins during the festivities, but when I would finally hit the wall at night and excuse myself to go to bed, I would close the bedroom door and immediately get all choked up. I laid there and thought to myself, how ridiculous are you being, you almost-42-year-old woman? You’re always plotting and scheming about getting away; now here you are, you’re away from the kids, and the husband, and the pets and the chores and the work and the Reality, and you’re laughing and drinking red wine and socializing with some of the finest people to grace God’s green earth, and all you can think about is how you’re homesick???
Nevertheless, that’s what I was feeling, at least right up until the moment I passed out from drinking too much wine sheer exhaustion. Go figure.
Something else that fascinated me is the extent to which you can connect with The People Who Live In Your Computer (as we call them), through nothing more than blog posts and comments. I’ve read and commented on lots of blogs and have come to “know” some really wonderful people. But it’s not everyone I’m tempted to learn more about, tempted to meet “IRL.” And yet, with this group, who came together quite randomly, and, for the most part, hadn’t met IRL before, it was as if we just picked up right where we left off the last time we saw each other. Someone likened it to a family reunion, only without all the drama! I have joked with Laurie and Janice about how we surely were separated at birth; it was so pleasant to confirm once we met that we do have something resembling sisterhood going on.
This is the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, and if they had named this bridge after me, I would have told them please, don’t do me any favors. This bridge links Virginia with southern Maryland on U.S. Route 301, crossing a wide portion of the Potomac River. It has two narrow lanes with no median and a steep, panic-inducing 3.75% grade.
This bridge? Is the one that keeps appearing in my recurring nightmare… only I didn’t know it was this bridge until I drove across it for the very first time on Sunday, on the way to take Foolery to the airport near Baltimore.
And what’s even funnier? She says she has the SAME DREAM! You see? We truly are separated at birth. We even share nightmares! She also has the one that I do about being washed away by some huge, cresting wave in the ocean.
How weird is that, that we would have the same recurring nightmares?
Anyway. The Bridge. So there I was, driving my high-profile vehicle up that grade. Up, up, up, and if you look at that picture, you can see what the problem is – it is that you can’t see what’s on the other side! It’s like ascending the first hill of a roller coaster, which is all shits & grins when you’re at King’s Dominion, but significantly less awesome when you’re at the wheel of a very large SUV, transporting someone who’s travelled the whole way across the country to Experience Virginia through the eyes of complete strangers. You can almost hear the ratchety clacketa-clacketa-clacketa– you know, the part where you’re sure the coaster train will just slip and go sliding backwards into the station?
So we’re going up and all I could think of was, what will happen when we s-l-o-w-l-y crest the apex? Will we pause, teetering, at the top? Will the decline be just as steep? Steeper, maybe? If so, will my brakes go out? Will it be straight, or maybe a series of impossibly twisting S-curves? Or maybe, the road will just DISAPPEAR like it does in my nightmare, leaving me to plunge, with my poor, helpless passenger, into the depths of the tidal Potomac?
Seriously. My pulse quickens as I write about it and view the photo. My hands are shaking the tiniest bit. I really am a freak.
I’ve never had an issue with bridges. I love crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; the view is breathtaking. Soup Husband Curt, however? In his 20s, he would stop and make someone else drive his car across the bridge on the way to the beach. It was only in recent years that he decided, this is no way to live, and forced himself to drive across. He gets sweaty palms, but he can do it if he simply stares at the license plate of the car in front of him.
But the Governor Nice bridge? Not even a little bit Nice.
That’s about all of my soul that I care to (or even should) bare at this time. Hope I haven’t scared you away, ha HA! Please, do check out my new blogroll, at the top of the right sidebar, to see what freakish fascinating realizations the other bloggers may have experienced during our time at summer camp Blogfest.