Highways, Bridges & Tolls – #SoCS

It’s Saturday and we’re about to head over to the bar for some adult refreshments and some fun with Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, which for today is:

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘xp.’ Use it as a word, or find a word with ‘xp’ in it. As always, use any way you’d like. Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be worried about me.

“Hey there. It’s good to see your car out there.”

“Because that means I’ll be in here?”

“Yes, but I half expected to hear that you tried to get around the barriers at your park.”

“Ha ha, no, ‘Park Closed Due to Flooding’ usually keeps me out.”

“But not always, as I recall.”

“Faith and I once walked in, but we parked the car outside the gate.”

“Anyway, I thought you might be suffering from withdrawal.”

““Withdrawal? Did someone give up something? I hope it wasn’t alcohol.”

“No, Cheryl. Not that I know of. David is worried about my not having been to Great River Park.”

“One Corona and her lime and you’ll be on your way to forgetting that sorrow.”

“Thanks Cheryl, but it’s been closed for over a week. “

“So, have a second Corona. What about you, what will you have today?”

“I will enjoy the experience of sipping some John Howell’s Bourbon, prepared by an expert as opposed to the inept substitute behind the bar last week.”

“Aw, thank you. You pick on Brad, but I think you really like him.”

“She might be right, you really should stop letting him get to you. You need to roll with the punches.”

“Excuse me, Dan, if I ignore your advice. I think I’m senior man here. You know the saying, older and wiser.”

“Well, you’re halfway there.”

“Ha! I wish I knew who was paying before I laughed at that. Here’s your Corona, Dan, and here’s your Bourbon, David.”

“The cherries in my bourbon make up for almost anything, Cheryl.”

“I know, you’re a softie. I’ll be back with the other stuff in a minute.”

“Speaking of other stuff, were you on vacation this week, Dan?”

“Nope, five days in the office for me.”

“Here you go, seltzer and ice.”

“Thanks Cheryl.”

“Why did you think I was on vacation?”

“I could swear I saw you at the light by the Mobile station about eight-o’clock on Wednesday.”

“You might have. I had to stop at Quest for some blood work.”

“So, you got to experience driving to work at a normal hour. How did that feel?”

“Normal ‘hour,’ is the right expression, I didn’t get to work until five after nine.”

“Yikes! Which way did you go?”

“Don’t ask. The highway was a mess. I cooked up a back way that would have made Lewis and Clark proud.”

“That back way might come in handy once they add tolls to those highways.”

“I will be retired before they get those gantries installed.”

“Sure, sure, cash out before paying your fair share, Dan.”

“I paid my share of tolls crossing that river in the eighties before they removed the tolls.”

“How much were the tolls back then?”

“Twenty-five cents.”

“Ha! Thanks for your contribution.”

“I’m just saying, I paid my share.”

“Speaking of contributions, did you get your pictures to Teagan?”

“I did. Episode One went live today.”

“How’s is it?”

“Um, I think you have to read it for yourself.”

“I’m going to, I just thought you could explain the plot.”

“Just get over there and read it.”

The gallery includes pictures from one of the nice days we had this week. And, while you’re heading off to read stuff, check out Cheryl’s take on the XP thing..


  1. Saturday morning, hot coffee in hand, Dan at the bar, photos of Maddie, and I’m off to a good day. Well, except for the pouring down rain. Someone must have asked Mother Nature for a little water for their flowers, and she forgot to turn the spigot off. :-)


    • We had almost thee inches of rain yesterday, Judy. I’d hate to have Mother Nature’s water bill for April. CT is trying to join the states on all sides of us, by adding tolls. Looks like you’ll need to set a few dollars aside for that ride through Hartford in the future (2022).


        • They are planning to accept EZPass, but we will only get the in-state discount if we get a CT transponder, which they will sell. I have a free transponder from NY, and I save a bunch of money on their bridges, so I’ll have to think about which is the better option when the time comes. The first article describing the rates they’re considering means it will cost as much for me to go from here to New Haven as it does from here to Burlington, MA on the MassPike. It’s ridiculous,

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Great job, Dan with the “xp” words. Somehow I anticipated seeing Windows XP from you. As for me, the only word that came to mind that you did not use was expiation–I may be going to church too much. I loved the sunrise and Maddie shots, but particularly enjoyed the squirrel on the chain link fence. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mike. My first though was Windows XP, but it reminded me too much of work, and I knew this would post on a Saturday. Expiation is something, perhaps, that I should include. That might tie into Teagan’s story as well.

      I love watching the squirrels sit and eat. They munch through the shell like an ice cream cone (spitting most of it out) but I’ve never seen them drop one of the nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done Dan. Congrats on the first episode going up. I hope you guys have funwith the project. Toll roads. Uggg…Florida is full of them, BTW. I hope all went well with your check up. I feel like I have been pardoned from a jail sentence after last week week. Lol. Happy Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cheryl. I’m learning a lot by participating in this project. I struggled with this post, but it was a long week at work, and it ended on a sour note. I got a pretty clean bill of health from the Doc, so I’m happy to start planning summer projects and beyond.

      I can’t believe the number and type of calls you had. I’ve done off-hours support, but not like that.

      I hope this is an extra-nice #Free48


      • Thanks Dan. It already is. We got to the movies yesterday and the only phone I have is mine and I will be using it for only important stuff. I’m sorry about your end of the work week. My whole week is a blur. I hope your weekend is relaxing and fun. Let me know if you don’t get notification for my post today. WP is being hinky this morning. Thanks! Congrats on the good health checkup.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your thoughts on Highways, Bridges and Tolls are very e-XP-licit! Well, you’re a pro at e-XP-laining yourself.

    Beautiful sunrise shots. Those lilacs are going to be gorgeous. I just love them. And our friend Smokey is definitely here to stay. I love the smiling e-XP-ression on Maddie’s face.

    We were buried in rain yesterday, but this morning it’s dry….although showers in the forecast for several days. Hope you and the redhead get in a walk that doesn’t involve meeting up with Galloping Grandma!!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha – Thanks Ginger. Grandma finished her walk before we got to the park, but she was sitting outside her apartment! Can you imagine the nerve of that woman, sitting, on a bench, outside her home! Maddie was not happy. I tried explaining “she’s allowed to sit there, Maddie” but she was having none of it.

      No rain this morning, but lots of puddles left over from yesterdays storm. We used to have a weatherman here that called those storms “gullywhompers.” Driving home from work was a challenge.


  5. Enjoyed the photos, but the word “tolls” always annoys me. Where I grew up and lived most of my life, there weren’t any. But to live in northern Illinois is to experience tolls, unless you have a lot of extra time. In fact, if I drive to Philadelphia, I have the dubious pleasure of paying tolls the entire way! However, if I head west, I’m free as soon as I get out of Illinois.

    No rain here yet, but we’re expecting some soon and then it’s supposed to turn into snow, 2-8 wet, heavy inches of the stuff. Still hoping that won’t happen, but…


    Liked by 1 person

    • Snow? I’m sorry for you, Janet. I hope that doesn’t happen. You can’t drive beyond CT’s borders without paying a toll, so they figure it’s an easy way to make money. They won’t be collecting them before I’m done working, so it won’t affect me, but it’s going to hurt a lot of people who already pay enough taxes to live in this state. We avoid tolls, except for the NY bridges, on our trips to Pittsburgh. My brother avoids Illinois and Ohio when he comes to Pittsburgh from Iowa, but he’s been perfecting that route for 45 years.


      • You can take 80 without paying tolls (such as from Nebraska, where I grew up). But to do that from here would be much longer and not really worth it. I’ve been avoiding the tolls by flying. A Southwest ticket isn’t the much more than gas, tolls, wear and tear on the van, and I get almost two extra days. Oh, yes, and I avoid the 12-13 hour drive each way (which I don’t really mind, but those two extra days are SO nice.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Southwest stopped flying to Des Moines from here. If I want to fly to Iowa, it’s three legs and about 8 hours. I’ve been flying to MSP on Delta. It’s non-stop out, and for about $30 more, I can return from DSM through Detroit. Unfortunately, since Southwest dropped the BDL-DSM route, Delta punched their prices back up.


          • We’re ideally placed for SWA–direct flights to Philly, Mesa, and LA. When we move to Arizona, all that will change, although SWA will still fly to those places. Of course, LA will be much closer, so we may just drive to Pasadena instead. :-) No tolls except on some LA freeways.

            Liked by 1 person

            • My friend in Chicago used to rub it in that he had a direct flight almost everywhere he ever had to travel. I’m lucky to get a direct flight to MSP, but that’s a 3-hour drive for my brother. We’ve been breaking that up by staying overnight in Minneapolis.


            • Makes sense. Try getting to Wyoming, where we go in the summer. First, you have to get to either Denver or Billings, Montana. Then you can fly, at great additional cost, to Sheridan’s tiny airport or rent a car and drive (not bad from Billings, but a haul from Denver) or someone has to pick you up, in which case you’d better be in Billings!

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember leaving for work at 4:30 in California to avoid the traffic. I would drive to work and then go to the gym (which was close). I had an hour work out and got to my desk by 6:45. The boss didn’t get in until 8:00 so I had an hour to myself. I did that for about ten years. Beautiful shots, Dan. I’m heading over to Teagan’s to see what you two have produced.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on the collaboration post – your photos looked great with the story! I shared your post with mine today, to spread the news. I hope you don’t mind! PS – I loved the picture of how you pointed out it might be time to mow the lawn soon and how Maddie loves Spring, too! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Shelley – I saw your post and I appreciate the mention. I love the four seasons, but as each one arrives, it reminds me of what I like about it. Each will ultimately remind me of what we don’t like – 3″ of rain yesterday, for instance, and 98° days in July. Still, we find ways to enjoy all of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! I so agree with you on the seasons! We do survive through all of them. Even when I’m complaining, I remind myself they keep life interesting. Happy Saturday, hope it dries out for you so you can mow the lawn.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m focusing on your green, flowers, pretty skies and the Mad-girl. I don’t want to think about road construction. As I was traveling down to Madison on Monday and while perusing the city for three days, I saw a lot of electronic road signs that read “road work starting 4/29” or “lane closures the week of 4/29.” Yeah, I will be headed down there again on 4/29 and I’m thinking I’ll be sticking close to the hotel area after training. Might be time to catch up on blogging or reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE these posts, Dan. It’s like a great HUNT for me to see IF you missed anything. Um, I found this … “Excuse me, Dan, if I ignore your advice.” Ya missed one. Do I get a BONUS POINT? And as always so did enjoy your gallery. I now know the secret to having a gallery. Your stats go sky high. (wink!) Hope you are having warmer weather your way then we are. We have um . … …. … so reluctant to even say that word …. …. .. .. ……. snow. Brrrrr….. and these poor flowers and trees and bushes!! Darn it anyways!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy. I do try to get those words in for the prompt. Galleries do bump your stats, if people tap into them. I try to arrange them so people can get the gist of it from the collage. I figure, if the step in and read the descriptions, then they are reading a mini-post.

      The stat I pay attention to is Visitors. How many people stopped by. I prefer viewing photos in a gallery slide show. I like that there aren’t any distractions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I too like viewing images in a gallery slide show, Dan. I’ve been shooting so many pictures that when I do have the time to edit I will set up a gallery. I wish I could show everything I shoot. And … did I get a bonus point for finding an “ex” you missed? LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh–remember tossing a quarter in the toll booth and driving on? Now we have reloadable Sun Passes cause all the highways in south FL are toll roads. There was talk of raising the toll on one nearby bridge cause no one was using it. Yeah, think about that for a minute….. Oh dear, are we going soft on Brad. Skippy. Bradley. Whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha – no! Not going soft on Skippy. We can’t have that. I run into too many bad bartenders, I need him to represent.

      I remember those little basket-like toll things, and having quarters in the arm rest. The first idea out of the box was for some pretty steep tolls. I think that’s been shot down.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Loving these photos as always, Dan. Things look like they’re turning a nice solid spring there, and that always puts a smile on my face. Spring and fall are my two favorites. Laughed at Maddie and the squirrel — do they get along? She looks pretty chill in your photo. :)

    Liked by 1 person

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