It seems fall is ambling along masquerading as summer. With weather still quite warm, it is a debate some days as to whether we will turn on the AC or not.
Fall still hasn't settled into a routine... unless lack of routine is the new normal.
Just over a week ago, I had a call from Chris. We chatted the allotted time, during which Mr C came home for lunch. I reviewed Chris' call with him, and Mr C remarked how we needed to get to see Chris more often. It had been nearly a year since I last saw him, and the previous time was more than THREE years back.
I spoke to Becky, who hadn't seen Chris in quite awhile. She would like to go with me on a visit. She arranged child care with "Granola" (Thank you SO much, Nola!). The best time for both of us was either immediately, or quite a distance down the road. We opted for immediately. So, last Thursday I headed to Texas.
On the way down, I made a spontaneous decision to stop in Shawnee to see if I could find where my great grandparents were buried, and where my Great Granny Daisy Gibson had lived. I knew the house was gone. OK, last time I was at Great Granny's house I was not quite 10 years old. Shawnee has grown tremendously in the last 45+ years. From the freeway (Which probably didn't exist in 1970!) there are five (Three, sir!) exits. I chose one at random. I remembered the cemetery had large rock walls surrounding it, and knew GG's house was west of the main road where the cemetery was located. If you ever read Dean Koontz, you have probably heard of psychic magnetism. I seem to have the same ability as Odd Thomas in that regard. I drove down the highway, hoping to see the rock walls. Suddenly, there they were- but on the opposite side of the road I had expected. So I was in the wrong lane entirely... and the gates were closed. But being in the wrong lane meant the GG's house should be an easy right turn, and over a block or so. I turned... and sure enough, found where her house had stood. It was a tiny, tiny lot- I doubt anyone would THINK of building on one so small these days. Turning around, I went back to Fairview Cemetery.
As I wandered around with my camera, the maintenance crew asked if I needed assistance. They marked off where the graves should be, and assisted me in locating them. I learned that Beard's actually founded Shawnee. I didn't stay long, but was glad to "pay my respects".
"remember" the exact way... I forgot a zigzag in Coleman... and ended up almost back to Abilene before I realized my mistake. (Add an hour and 20 minutes on for the shortcut!)
Ben and Paula didn't stay too late, as Ben had to work Saturday, and Becky and I were hoping to be on the road by 4:00.
It was actually closer to 4:30 before we were finally underway.
We hadn't gotten terribly far- the second town past Becky's house- creeping along at the town's very slow speed limit, trying to see the lanes (Boy, do they need to repaint the stripes!) when suddenly- THERE WAS A DEER!
I couldn't avoid it- I hit a wee small deer. It wasn't much bigger than a medium sized dog. I pulled over to check for damages... there were no damages! And looked for the deer. It was gone. So whether I just knocked it over and the body of the car passed over it, or whether it was injured to the point it hobbled away and died, we don't know. I know the tires didn't hit it.
The rest of the trip was without incident.
It was Picture Day, which we didn't know before we arrived. I got the first "good" picture of Chris in more than six years. It was good to get to visit. I wish it were not so far to travel- or that I could of stayed overnight.
Since we had traveled all that way, and were only another 45 miles to the Gulf- Becky and I headed down to spend a few minutes on the beach. Sadly, the wait for the Port Aransas ferry was 90 minutes. Becky and I both needed a potty break- so we turned around. After grabbing a bite to eat and relieving ourselves, we drove to the Corpus Christi end of Mustang Island. There was much going on in Corpus- we were on a minor surface street, and got quite turned about. It probably took us a good hour and a quarter to find the causeway to the island. Once we were actually on the beach, we didn't have much time. Becky did a bit of wading... her first time to get to play in the waves without having to keep an eagle eye on children! There were almost NO shells along the beach- most of the ones were saw were happily occupied by the pretty little mussels we watched burrow beneath the sand with each incoming wave. All too soon, we had to face the five and a half hour drive back.
We walked in the door, wiped the salt water residue from our bodies, and collapsed into bed. It was a wonderful, first time ever Mom-Daughter road trip.
Sunday, we decided to just visit with Ben and Paula, rather than go to church. Tyrel opted for church with Granola, Stephen had to work, so Becky and I and the girls went to San Angelo. It was dark as we got back... and I had to head home early Monday.
I headed out before 1:30... my planned route altered due to construction warnings and lane closures. And so much for altering plans to avoid construction and lane closures. After enduring something like 200 traffic lights (do not even SUSPECT I exaggerate!) and 80+ miles of road construction (with lane closures, flagmen, and one spot that even had the highway dug down to compacted soil with NO pavement!)... I made it home after 8:00pm.
Yesterday was back to the detox program.
Sam called in the late afternoon. He had been headed to school (after work!) when his truck just stopped running. As we were already down to three vehicles for four people, it is good I was home with the car! A friend helped Sam get it towed home. Mr C took off early and also assisted. Today, I am the chauffeur. Tom studied some YouTube videos... and found a reset button on Sam's truck this afternoon. It started and ran! So, MAYBE? it is fixed.
This has been a long one... but you are caught up with me now! Write me a letter, give me a call, send me a card... or even comment here! Thanks for reading!