I took a drive yesterday, leaving Tuvia's place in the Poconos for Scranton, Pennsylvania, in search of a nice dress for a black-tie bat mitzvah coming up (about six days after we're married, actually). I failed in my search at the less-than-impressive Steamtown Mall, but I did find a Starbucks (ah! civilization!) and happened to pass by Mifflin Drive. I spotted the Osaka hibachi restaurant, which isn't a Benny Hana, but it's a hibachi joint anyhow, which is featured in one episode of The Office. I was hoping that the Dunder Mifflin building was real, but it turns out that it's on a soundstage in California. There are a lot of local hotspots that are referenced in The Office -- the university, restaurants, deli joints, etc. I even discovered a kosher deli while there: Abe's Kosher Deli. No clue who gives their hashgacha, however. I drove by, but not seeing a certificate in the window was a turn off. So I drove on, heading off to the Crossings Outlet Mall about an hour away. There, at last, I found a dress, which cost a lot more than I wanted, but it worked. I hopped back in my little Yaris and schlepped off back home, a day well spent and driven.
The interesting thing to me about my lengthy, round-about schlep, was that I drove through a lot of what can only be called "bumpkin" country. The trees were thick, the roads narrow, and the breaks of town -- or remnants thereof. One of these small towns, complete with an ages-old church, general store, aging gas station, and other typical shops, touted a golf course. As I drove by, a man poured out of his Ford Truck, sporting Carhart gear -- steal-toed boots, plaid shirt, jeans -- with golf clubs in tow, making him the antithesis of the usual golf course crew. The golf course, of course, was nothing more than a large, open field with a few holes and few rolling hills. How simple, how lucky.
I'm solitary in the Poconos for another few days. The trees keep the house cool, and the Carpenter Ants get free reign of the wood above the fireplace until Thursday when the pest guy comes. I'm horrified and spend most of my time in the bedroom, watching reruns of Law & Order: SVU. I brought a dozen things with me to do -- including blog posts on the am ha'aretz, Rahab, and mashiach ben david/mashiach ben yosef -- but aside from my adventures yesterday, I've been doing a lot of nothing. It's almost more stressful not to be doing anything. It's times like this that the mind overworks itself.
T-minus less than 6 days. Let's get this show on the road.