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20140518_081806

Misty was good to her word and slept soundly for the sixty minutes it took to drive from Brewster to Suffern. “Suffering succotash, my dear,” Joe said softly, “We’re at the New Jersey border.” Another hour later Joe had passed the uneventful Sunday morning miles listening to tapes of Springsteen’s, “Born In The USA” and Billy Joel’s, “An Innocent Man” and was approaching the I 287 Interstate 78 interchange. “Misty? Hey, Misty! Wake up, sweetie! I need you to check the map!”

“Hmmm? What?” came her slurred response.

“The map. I’m coming up on seventy eight and the sign says 78 west to Allentown and 287 east to New York. I get off 287 and head toward Pennsylvania, right?”

“Oh, yeah. Take 78 all the way to 81 south. Hang on, let me look at the Triptik.”

“Hang on?! These guys are flying! I swear some of them are going seventy out here!”

“No, Joe. Don’t ‘hang on,’ get on 78 west. I just want to see how far it is to I 81,” she replied a bit testily as she flipped backwards through the AAA compiled map booklet. “Okay. 81 is about one hundred twenty miles from here so, what, two hours? What time is it?” she asked, checking her watch. “Ten o’clock. Wow. I guess I really slept, huh? We can stop for lunch once we’re on 81. I’d ask if you’re hungry but that seems silly. Want me to drive for a while?”

“Probably. I feel fine but if we’re going to drive all the way through then we should probably switch at least every four hours or so and that should be what we’re looking at. How long does the Triptik say it’ll take to get home?”

“Hmm. Home. Our home. Sweet. A little over seventeen hours, but that’s without stops. It took me just over two days to get up here but that was just me driving. We can stay at a hotel tonight you know.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. And we will if we have to, I just don’t want to spend more of your money than I have to.”

“Joseph Anthony Kneel! There is no more my money and your money. We are a team. Period. Speaking of money, did you get your job applications out?”

“Yep. Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett counties, along with letters of recommendation from Jane, Frank and some of my methods instructors. I figure those are our best choices since we don’t know exactly where we’ll be living once we’re settled.”

“Yeah, that makes sense for now. If we get a house I’d prefer to stay in the northern part of the city. Dad has to drive an hour in and out of Yonkers every day; no thanks! If we get a house I’d like it to be close to work. How did the letters look?”

“When we get a house it will be, of course the problem is I don’t know where I’ll be working. Atlanta’s so big! I don’t know. They’re blind. Pick your references and they have all the power. ”

“Wow! Scary. Who’s Frank?”

“Frank Lyman? He was the student teacher coordinator for Central. Great guy! Crazy, but great! I’ll miss him and Jane.”

“Atlanta is big and we’ll have a lot of fun getting to know it. We’ll meet new friends, right? I think you’ll really like some of the people at the apartment complex. That Greg Valentine guy and you seemed to hit it off.”

“Yeah. He seemed nice. And he’s a cyclist. Said we should go ride together once I move in. That could be cool.”

“There’s a gal on my floor- whoops! –our floor, Brita Rulon that I’ve gone running with a few times. Oh! We should do the Peachtree Road Race!”

“I’m sorry? The peach pit road rage? What in heaven’s name is that?”

“I don’t know, you just made that up. I said the Peachtree Road Race. It’s a 10K race on July fourth. Huge event! Twenty five thousand runners! And that’s the registered ones! Lots of dead headers.”

“Jiminy Cricket! My Kiwanis Club run had maybe 300 runners and even that was crowded!”

“Yeah. Brita said to think of it as a running party rather than a race. Unless you’re elite; then you can get a front seed slot. Think you can run a sub thirty?”

“Psh! I’m hoping to crack a sub forty! Man that’s fast!”

“You can say that again. No!” she quickly added before he repeated himself. “Joe Kleen, I love you. I’m really looking forward to our life together.”

“I love you, too. And where ever we are will be great! I’m just looking forward to spending the rest of my life with.”

“You know, sometimes you say the sweetest things,” she answered as she draped her hand over his shoulder.

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