Pap's Road Readiness Kit

My (full) name atop an envelope from Northwest Savings Bank

The envelope and change purse full of mostly quarters

January 11, 2010

This envelope and pouch got me to NYC.

"Are there tolls on the roads?" he asked.
"For some of them," I said, "out in Jersey. I usually take 80."
"Well, there's some quarters in there if you need 'em" he said. 

With that he handed me a little old change purse heavy with coin and an envelope of crisp bills. My name was coarsely scrawled across the top. Pap's penmanship has suffered old age.

He'd asked if I was taking any sandwiches or cans of soda, if I needed any - these were our staples (Sprite in that can, always) when we'd go out working for the old ladies in the summertime. Maybe I could buy a whole pizza in the morning and eat it along the way, he suggested. After the dazzling shock of Pap even using the word "pizza" faded, I told him I had enough to get there, I had snacks, and I'd canned some chili to get me through the first week when I arrive. "I'll be fine," I said.

He also gave me a dented, rusty flat shovel and a worn window brush for the uHaul. The shovel was for digging myself out of the snow, though none was predicted for the drive. I tossed them in the truck anyway. Where am I going to put a shovel in an New York City apartment?

The envelope and pouch allowed my to break even on travel costs.

I feel like I'm leaving my grandparents and my life behind.  

 

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