No Bedbugs, Just a Bloody Pillow

Traveling isn’t always wonderful.  It is always an adventure.  The only recent review of the motel that I found was after I had already given my credit card number.  The reviewer complained about the bedbugs and the struggle to find a clean room in the motel to spend the night.  In my search for bedbugs I turned over one of the pillows and discovered a round blood stain about the size of a lemon.  It reminded me of the morning after Mary Ann had had her teeth cleaned at the dentist.  Her gums always bled during the night due to the blood thinning medication she took.  When I looked under the pillow case, there was a larger area of blood about the size of a grapefruit.

I chose the motel because I had stayed there on two other occasions when I was planning to stop by to see Brother Dick and Delores on the way to Kentucky to visit Daughter Lisa, Denis, and the Girls, Abigail and Ashlyn.  I was confused when I went to the Super 8 website and couldn’t find the motel.  It was no longer one of theirs.  I can now see why.  There was dirt on the floor, and the vacuum had clearly not made it closer than two or three inches from the wall since that area was white from the dust remaining in the carpet.  When I saw the pillow, I headed to the desk to get it replaced.  At first, she declared it to be a coffee stain, but thought better of it when she looked under the pillow case to see that it was clearly blood.  She then declared it gross and gave me a clean pillow with a clean pillowcase.

I was especially grateful for the clean pillow when very late as I was getting into bed I noticed that the bottom sheet was wrinkled in a way that seemed to suggest someone had already slept in the bed on that sheet.  It was too late at night and I was too tired to mess with trying to get the bed changed.  I concluded that as long as my face was on something clean, the skin on the rest of my body would provide an adequate barrier.  I took a very thorough shower in the morning.  After the shower when I looked more carefully, I saw that the toilet seat had not been cleaned either.  (Sorry, too much information!)  I made sure that nothing other than the bottoms of my boots touched the carpet.  Needless to say the free wireless network would not work.

Otherwise the two visits were great.  I always enjoy time at Dick and Dee’s place.  There are floor to ceiling windows on the back of the house bringing the large pond into full view.  They have multiple birdfeeders on the deck and railing that are always busy with many varieties of birds.  Niece Jill spent time with us.  Her teenage boys are very active and extremely successful in various sports (Golf, Basketall and Football).  Nephew Tom couldn’t join us.  He retired at 42 and has been playing with his Dad for the last fourteen years – cutting wood for their wood burning stoves, woodworking, taking his parents on bird-watching trips and more.  He still does some consulting (banking).  Tom is a phenomenal cook so even though he couldn’t join us his part in the day was providing smoked turkey that was flavorful and moist, along with a pot of split pea and ham soup.  Delores made a couple of loaves of homemade bread (wheat and rye) sweetened with honey from their hives.

We talked a lot about birds, since we all enjoy watching them.  For any who also enjoy checking out the bird population, one bird I mentioned that has visited my feeders only for a few weeks one year has visited them once also in their many years at their home.  When I arrived at Lisa’s house in Louisville, I got out of the car to an unusual but familiar bird sound.  Sure enough, there it was, a Red-breasted Nuthatch.  It is in their back yard that I have seen a Pileated Woodpecker (a huge woodpecker about 17” tall) more than once.  Their neighborhood is a haven for a variety of interesting birds.

Basketball emerged as central on this visit.  The girls are both on basketball teams.  I watched Ashlyn (7 years old) play first.  She is a great ball handler and shooter.  It was fun to watch them play.  She defended well and made more than one basket.  Gratefully at that level they do not keep score.  Lisa and Denis are looking for a good setting in which Ashlyn can pursue the game further.  Abigail (9 years old) played on Saturday and Sunday.  Everyone on the team including Abigail scored during the Saturday game.  They were evenly matched and all played well.  The opposing team on Sunday had some older and bigger girls, so Abigail’s team was outscored.  Otherwise the teams matched pretty well.  Abigail stuck like glue to the much larger opposing player she was guarding and kept her from scoring more than once or twice.  I couldn’t believe how fast paced the play was at that level.  The coaches were positive and the girls seemed to have fun.  Since it was the last game for Abigail Sunday, there was a celebration at a local pizza place with certificates, stars and gifts given out.  It is surprising just how much pizza can be consumed by such young and small people.  It is also surprising just how much noise they can make.

Enough for now.

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