When we got back to my aunt's home she had already gone to bed, and while I did wake her briefly to learn the WiFi password we had to trust that we'd have the chance to talk with her the next morning about what Soupy Island and Clementon Park were like. When we did get up we found a note from her that she'd gone out with one of her granddaughters --- it turned out to be an unexpected granddaughter visit --- but we were welcome to whatever breakfast we wanted and for that matter dinner together. We'd been planning to get to Pennsylvania by dinnertime. I'm not sure how our plans got miscommunicated or if she was just offering the courtesy.
My parents stayed with this aunt for several months this winter, between the closing on their house and their big South Seas cruise, the plan being that would be easier than setting up a new home and then leaving it for six weeks. (Then my mother found an apartment in Charleston and got stuff moved down there.) Anyway, my father, as he'll do when he stays in a place any length of time, started work on home-repair projects, and also as he'll do, didn't quite finish them. The most notable ones were that some doors to a closet and the laundry room had been removed and repainted and all that but not actually re-hung.
My father had e-mailed to suggest that re-hanging the doors would be a nice thing to do, and alleviate some of my aunt's anxiety that the house would never be put back in shape. I figured, sure, that would be a very nice thing to do and how hard could it be? Now, I'm not an experienced door-hanger, and I lost more time than I figured to the problems of finding the right size drill bit for the power screwdriver so as to put the door hinges back on, and everything always takes a little longer than you expect but in the end I managed to put doors on with slightly less than fifty percent success.
The problem with the closet door is it doesn't quite fit: between the top of the door and the frame the wood bows just enough that it doesn't exactly close. The laundry room door is worse in that I can not see how the hinges of the door and the frame even fit. The lower hinge is about a quarter-inch too high on the doorframe to fit the door. (And I know what you suspect --- I suspected it too --- but no, I had the doors right, based on where the indents for the hinges were drilled into the door.) All I could do was write a note apologizing that I couldn't figure how to get the laundry room door on and I don't know what to do about the closet door. (Well, take a belt sander to the top of the door, I suppose, but I couldn't find a belt sander for that.)
My father, in e-mail, said that he warned me the doors probably couldn't be hung in their current state (he did not) but also insisted the laundry room door hinges just needed some fiddling because of course things aren't going to line up perfectly. I suspect he thinks I exaggerate how far off the hinges are. My aunt, for what it's worth, is grateful to have the closet door nearly re-hung and thanks me for having got the house more nearly back to its my pre-father state of affairs.
So after this, we got ready to set out for Knoebels and I lost the key to my aunt's house. After increasingly nervous investigation bunny_hugger found it in the driveway; it must've fallen out of my pocket as I was loading the trunk. We left a note thanking my aunt and apologizing that we couldn't spend more time with her, locked up, and set out roughly northwesterly.
We did stop at about the first diner we found, for lunch, and with some thoughts about Self-Aware Diner Syndrome had a meal at a place which mentioned it was 100 percent solar powered. It seemed to be a pretty good diner, of the small local New Jersey kind, with a tomato soup they were extremely proud of, and copies of the local paper announcing that there'd been a breakthrough in the bike thefts in the area. I could imagine it pretty easily being our designated Hanging Out In South Jersey diner.
In driving north and west we took much more of the Pennsylvania Turnpike than we had on previous Pennsylvania visits, but, that's the sensible way to Knoebels from where we were. This had a nice side effect, in that when we stopped for gas and to stretch we realized that we were rather near Dorney Park, thanks to the things provided by the Dorney Park billboards and also seeing the roller coasters from the rest area. Given that it was so close, we figured, why not plan on stopping in come Saturday as we drove back to New Jersey? So that moment would be when our Saturday suddenly became rather stranger than it otherwise would have been.
We made it finally to the Red Roof Inn we use as designated Knoebels Amusement Park stop --- coming at it from the east side of I-80 this time, rather than the west --- and I reflected on the moment when we'd finally crossed all of Pennsylvania together. We unloaded stuff, stretched some, and drove the last twisty path towards ... actually, the Weis grocery store to pick up some motion sickness pills ... and from there to Knoebels. We'd get our wristbands and for some reason hand stamps for roller coaster rides (they were marked K-FUN) and go looking for our primary target for the trip.
Trivia: The English legal year of 1751 had 281 days. 1752 had 354. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: A Low Dishonest Decade: The Great Powers, Eastern Europe, and the Economic Origins of World War II, 1930 - 1941, Paul N Hehn.
PS: Reading the Comics, August 29, 2014: Recurring Jokes Edition, first of my mathematics posts since the last roundup. This one's about comics.