Saying "goodbye" is one of the most difficult things to do, I think. Maybe it just happens too often in a traveling lifestyle. I just love all my family, and Ara is my first grandchild. I was in the delivery room when she was born, and held her soon after she came into the world. She is special to me and I treasure every opportunity to be with her, as I know that with her busy schedule it will be more and more difficult to connect up with her in the future.
I arrived back in NY this afternoon, after delivering Ara back to her dorm room in plenty of time for her to get to class. The entire day has been overcast, but the fall colors and beautiful scenery of Pennsylvania made up for it. I need to go back out this evening and fuel up - I didn't stop in PA because their fuel prices are way higher than NY. But even NY is going up - I bought diesel the day before I went to PA, and when I passed the same station coming back into town it had gone up $.20/gal, but remains $.15-.25 less than in the Keystone State. I saw quite a few RV's on the road, mostly heading west. Soon I will be joining those driving south on I-81.
I recently decided to get my passport renewed and filled out the application to renew it by mail, and got the photos taken. According to the instructions, I went to their website to make sure that everything was being done right, but found out I had to use black ink whereas I used blue, and nowhere in the instructions did it tell me that I had to sign the photos or how they should be affixed to the app. Now I am planning to go to the post office and just pay the extra $25 to have them take the application and make sure everything is in order. I have also just about decided to simply get the passport card which will allow me into Canada, Mexico, or the Carribean. I don't plan to ever go back to Europe, so I think I'll be ok. One of the Lassen seasonal rangers goes backpacking in New Zealand during the winter, and did a good job of painting a glowing picture of it, but I don't think I will ever have the money for a trip to New Zealand. I just want to make it to the three U.S. states I haven't been to, maybe go to Mexico and certainly to a few of the provinces of Canada on my way to and from Alaska. Who needs a passport, and who needs all the hassle of dealing with that branch of the government. I worked for the government my whole life and I can tell you that most employees want to make things easier for their customers, while fulfilling the requirements set for them by their agencies and by Congress. Now everything under Homeland Security just seems to be intended to harass and make it difficult for folks to comply. I may be wrong, and I'm sorry if I'm not being fair to them.
It was nice having wi fi at the motel in Huntingdon PA. It worked well and was extremely fast. Ara and I both had our laptops, and it was fun visiting with my daughter and her family via Skype. We even got to see and talk to my son Joe's daughter, Alyssa, who was at their house yesterday, and although she is just short of two years old, she recognized Grandma. Jeannie is probably the most devoted mother I have ever known, and I know how much she worried about her daughter who was sick and alone. Things are looking up now though.
I need to unpack the few things I took and put them away, and then I am going to visit my grandsons this evening (and anyone else who happens to be there). Lady is just going to chill out at home, happy to be out of the truck.