Susan had taken a leave of absence from work, which I thought would be an opportunity for her to take even better care of me than before. But, noooooo, she actually started to engage in activities which had nothing to do with my comfort or well being. One of those activities was crewing for Ed Kross on RAAM (Race Across America). Now driving across the country at 12 mph, getting 3 hours of sleep a night is not my idea of a good time, but Susan was excited about it, and it is definitely a unique experience. So I became a RAAM widower.
I was a little nervous about her driving the behemoth mobile home. The DMobile had acquired a few dings on the leeward side, and the RV is much wider. But she managed it without incident. I, on the other hand, found myself in the driver's seat of the DMobile, a place I rarely occupy. My driving style could euphemistically be called "aggressive," so over the years Susan had pretty much taken over the driving. Another disturbing fact I realized was that though I was occasionally allowed to drive, it had been a very long time since I'd driven without her. Those of you that have ridden with me know that I have absolutely no sense of direction, and if it weren't for those little arrows on the road, I would probably never find my way home. In the car, Susan is the dedicated navigator, and when I got in to drive to Ken's house, where I'd been many times before, I realized I had no idea how to get there. So I made myself a map, and away I went. I actually got there OK, but on the way back, rather than sticking to the numbered roads, I was feeling frisky and tried to follow my carefully mapped out backroads route. Many turns and miles later, I found myself in Wayland, and was pretty sure I had gone off course. I did eventually get home, but after that the car wasn't subsequently moved until Mrs. D. got home, by which time there was a cobweb extending from her bike to the car aerial.
Fortunately, Susan had stocked the fridge well before she left, so I had no need for the DMobile. We had just given the New Member party, so I had a stash of leftover hot dogs and potato salad. This was dinner for the first week. Then I got into the leftover cheese and bread, and it was grilled cheese sandwiches for week two.
Since I was temporarily a bachelor again, I decided to exercise my new found freedom. In a particularly rebellious move, I went down to the tandem in the garage and removed the Black Bag. The Black Bag, or the Black Hole, as I am fond of calling it, is a rack trunk pack, which has the uncanny ability to suck in any object that comes near it. It also seems to have black hole like properties of an incredible amount of mass, much more than you'd think looking at it. So there's been an ongoing argument in the DonoGrieb family. It usually starts out with me saying "Do we really need that #### thing, it's just a short ride." to which she replies "Yes." This is generally the end of the discussion. Suffice it to say that since we (she) bought it, we have never been able to remove the black bag from the rear of the tandem for any reason. But, when Mrs. D's away, Mr. D will play, so I whisked it off with reckless abandon. But I did wake up in a cold sweat a few nights wondering if she somehow knew, and suffice it to say, it was back in place upon her return.