A Visit to Heathsville

The road to nowhereWithin a few weeks after I first contacted Kendell and after a couple of telephone conversations, he decided that maybe I wasn't some deranged fan weirdo internet stalker. Kendell makes a tour of some part of the United States every summer and visits whichever of his several thousand friends happen to live along his route. That summer took him to the southeastern region. Although Heathsville, Virginia isn't on the route to anywhere, it's not too far from Washington, D.C., where Kendell has friends he planned to see. He reserved a few days for a visit to the place where the road ends at the Chesapeake Bay, where there's nothing to do and no place to go unless you have a boat. Ted and I were preparing to move to New Mexico and we had disposed of our boat. On the day Kendell was to arrive, I worried about how we could entertain a sophisticated rock star who was obviously accustomed to more action than we would be able to provide. I knew my anxiety would grow as the hours passed.

Kendell, however, arrived several hours before he actually got to our house. He called from the highway in New Jersey soon after he left home. He called again as he was crossing over the Potomac River from Maryland into Virginia and stayed on the line as he drove the 50 miles of back roads from U.S. 301 to our house. After spending all that time on the phone with him, I was quite at ease (at least for me) by the time he pulled in to our driveway late in the afternoon.

It didn't bother Kendell at all that we lived in a muggy backwater that is culturally 30 years behind the times. We chatted for a while and then he asked for directions to the nearest grocery store and refused our offer to accompany him there. He returned shortly with the fixins for ice cream sundaes and we all set about the important business of getting high on refined carbohydrates.

Along with disposing of our boat, another part of preparing to move to New Mexico was getting our house ready to put on the market. That involved putting things right that had never been right since the house was built--such as fixing a sticky sliding door that was sticky because the opening in which it sat wasn't square. Ted and I had always treated the problem by cleaning the track and lubricating the rollers, which worked more or less, but more less over the years. The rollers weren't quite round anymore. The doors were grindy and gritty and hard to operate and they wouldn't stay on the track.

Major surgery was indicated, which had to begin with removing the heavy doors to assess the problem and devise a repair strategy.