Posted by: Marie | July 11, 2014

(953) Zigs and zags – Part 2 of 3

Post #953
[Private journal entry written on Sunday, September 2, 2012 – continued from previous post]

We ate a mini-lunch as we drove back (we had a cooler full of easy-to-eat food). We got back to the cottage at 1:40pm. Then we cleaned up a bit and changed clothes, and were back in the car by 1:45. (Low maintenance chicks, ya’ know!) We made it to the Opera House by 1:50pm. Ardis and her husband had seats reserved for us . . . the chairs were arranged around circular tables instead of rows, which made it nice . . . we were able to spread out as much as we cared to . . .

The artist was Sarah Arneson and she was accompanied by George Kern, who just happens to be her husband. Now, I’m not fond of operatic music where the vocalists sound like . . . well . . . when their voices are anything but sweet. I’m not sure how else to explain it. I was really hoping that this soprano’s voice would be more on the sweet side . . . as opposed to the harsh or shrill side . . .

Opera House

Opera House

Thank goodness, her voice was reasonably close to the timbre I appreciate . . . close enough that I found the performance very enjoyable . . .

She performed opera pieces composed by Mozart, Schubert, Wagner, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Cilea, Charpentier and Massenet. It was an awesome concert . . . or, well, it could have been . . . would have been . . . except . . .

Melodie did not enjoy the concert . . . not at all. In between every single piece, she would loudly whisper some comment like, “It sounds like she is dying” or “It’s just like fingernails on a chalkboard” or “Her voice gives me the willies . . . ”

I invited her to go do something else . . . go walk around town and take photos . . . go shopping . . . I assured her it would not offend me. But, no, it was too hot, she would prefer to stay in the air conditioned auditorium. I then invited her to go back to the cottage and sit in front of the air conditioner. I promised her that I would call her when the concert was over and then she could come and get me. Or I could ride home with Ardis and her husband.

But, no, Melodie said she would rather just stay . . . because that is what people do for the people they love . . . they do things they don’t want to do for the people they love . . .

I then asked her to not comment negatively on the music because it was bothering me and the people around us. So, instead, she put her elbow on the table and propped her head up as a physical demonstration of how bored she was. Then she would sigh dramatically . . . and roll her eyes . . . and slump over like she was going to pass out . . . like she almost couldn’t keep herself upright . . .

It was embarrassing for me. And I was embarrassed for Ardis and her husband who were sitting with us . . . and with some of their friends . . .

About halfway through the concert, Ardis and her husband suddenly exited the auditorium. They didn’t come back. So, Melodie decided to go check on them, and she didn’t come back for about ten minutes. I had my fingers crossed . . .

But, no, she came back. She whispered that Ardis had felt a little ill and they were listening from the lobby . . .

And then Melodie again launched into her drama . . . I just turned my back to her and did my best to ignore her.

We suffered through the concert and then we headed back to the cottage to eat the lunch we had prepared this morning . . . and to sit in front of the air conditioner while we waited for the heat of the day to pass a bit. As we ate, I spoke to Melodie about her behavior at the concert. As kindly as I knew how, I explained to her that I really, truly wished she had not been there because her behavior embarrassed me and sucked the enjoyment out of the experience for me. I told her that what she did is absolutely NOT what people do for the people they love.

True to form, she tried to mock me and crack jokes about it, but I stayed serious and she finally backed away from her deflective position. She finally listened . . . and she got it, I think . . . and she apologized . . . I mean, she authentically apologized.

Wow. That was big.

So, anyway, as we were chilling in front of the air conditioner, we discussed what to do with our last few hours of our weekend together. Melodie had two more ghost towns on her wish list . . . and we would only have to travel 110 miles (177 km) roundtrip to visit both of them. I looked at the map . . . it looked like there would be about 2½ hours of travel time involved . . . if we left around 6:30, we could spend about 45 minutes at each place and still be back to the cottage by 9:30pm. And, the fuel would cost each of us about $8 . . . and I decided I could live with that.


So, at 6:30, we took off again . . . and she let me drive . . .

The first place was Amboy, and it was only four miles outside of Red Cloud. It was a milling and railroad town that grew to its highest population of about 100 people in the early 1900’s. The remaining structures included a huge abandoned mill, an abandoned schoolhouse, and about five houses, some of which are occupied.

The railroad track runs right along side the mill, and a train happened to come by as we were at the mill. It made for a really cool photo opportunity . . .

Mill at Amboy

Mill at Amboy

We stayed in Amboy about an hour. Then, we started zig-zagging another 50 miles to the southeast en route to the second ghost town: Randall, Kansas.

As soon as we left Amboy, I got a strong premonition that we were going to hit a deer . . . and that there was nothing I could do to prevent it . . . it was destined to happen and it was going to happen. (Yes, what a lovely feeling to experience . . . not!)

The possibility of hitting a deer was actually pretty strong, especially since it was dusk. When we were driving the last miles of our trip yesterday, we saw several deer along the road. And, we had seen several just in the first few miles of this trip.

About 20 minutes after leaving Amboy, as we crossed the Nebraska-Kansas state line, the feeling intensified. I knew it was going to happen very soon . . . I even knew from which side of the road the deer would be coming . . .

Given normal conditions, I typically drive five miles an hour over the speed limit. But, once this feeling intensified, I dropped my speed to five miles an hour below the speed limit. The level of anxiety I was feeling was very intense. I didn’t want to say anything to Melodie because I didn’t want to freak her out . . . I just kept my thoughts to myself . . . but I did slow down . . .

Sure enough, here came the deer . . . he wasn’t a full grown one . . . maybe half-grown . . . and he jumped into the road right in front of us, and then he jumped side-to-side, back and forth . . . you know how they do . . . like they can’t quite decide if they are coming or going . . .

I hit the brakes hard . . . and the deer changed his direction and zagged straight towards us . . . I heard Melodie gasp . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

(Yes, of course I’m going to make you wait until tomorrow to find out what happened with the deer . . . would you expect anything else??? LOL)



  1. That’s mean!!! (T^T)


    • You only had to wait a day . . . not too mean! LOL

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