We found our way down Highway 23, through Circleville, past Chilicothe and Piketon and through Waverly. In Waverly I mistakenly assumed we were in Portsmouth. And said “hey, there’s Kroger,” so we stopped. while we were looking around I checked to see how far we were from Shawnee State Park and found out we were still forty minutes from Portsmouth. Then came the painful admission. We weren’t lost, but we we weren’t where I thought we were, either. Which is not the same thing as being lost, in case you were wondering.
I have a lot of experience getting lost, so I know from whence I speak. This was just wishful thinking, one step and another and then another and we should be there, by my calculations. A bridge too far, you know. After all those miles, all those trucks laboring along the winding hilly road, all of the farm houses, built right by the side of the highway keeping an eye on the passing tourists, commuters, long distance truck drivers making their way from somewhere to someplace along a road that carries a lot more traffic than I would have believed.
“So you can forgive my overzealous estimate of miles traveled.” I told my wife, between the refrigerated dairy section and the canned vegetables.
“Sure,” She said, “do you want some green beans?”
“Look, it was a simple mistake, I saw a small city, with a Kroger on the left hand side of Highway 23. It was an honest mistake. It could have happened to anybody.” I said, passing by the pet food aisle. A shopping cart caught my eye, it was parked right in the center so nobody could get past. Standing by the side of the roadblock cart was older woman, grey hair, big, round plastic glasses on sparkly chain wearing an oversized white sweatshirt that said “Dog Grandma” in big, blue letters splayed over the top of a picture of a golden Labrador. She was buying cat food, and I worried about what happened when she got home.. Maybe she just got a good deal on the shirt.
“Nothing to worry about, we don’t have anything perishable, we are still heading in the right direction, it isn’t a problem. Maybe we should get an onion for the hamburgers.” She said, wheeling the cart past a display filled with wine that had been bottled locally. You can’t really go anywhere anymore without running into a local winery. They are everywhere. Interstate 80 across Iowa, winery row, take Interstate 71 to Louisville, winery, winery, winery, bourbon distillery. It is Kentucky after all, if it isn’t from Kentucky it’s just whiskey, you know.
“Look, I don’t know what your problem is. We are still going in the right direction, you should just grow up.” I said, defensively, “Hey, do you want to get some spicy queso chips?” walking past a shelf filled with spicy queso chips. It was a thing of beauty, silver wire railing, jutting neatly into the wide aisle, just past the aisle with sugar, flour, cake and cookie mixes. Stacked hig, and square, bristling with bags of spicy queso chips. A tear ran down my cheek, spicy, queso, and chips in one bag, standing sentinel to the entrance to the possibly the perfect food.
So ends our first day. And the spicy queso chips were not very good, and had to be replaced by Hanover’s Barbecue Chips, which are always wonderful.