Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home, sweet home.

The title merely indicates where I am: at home. Getting here, today, was a challenge; at more than one point today we were stopped on I-65 South between Birmingham and Bay Minette (that's the exit we take, exit 37, on the way to our home in Daphne). It's hard to see in the pic (unless you click the pic to maximize it), but we're doing 18 in a 70 (I think it's 18; actually, the speedo isn't "cut in half" the way it looks in the pic, not sure why it came out that way, other than perhaps a refresh cycle that the pic managed to grab half-way through the speed update). That's the dash on my "new" Cadillac, a 1996 Sedan Deville with (now) a little over 107k on it, the replacement for the Lexus. That Lexus is no longer mine: in an interesting vehicular trade, I ended up with the Cadillac that had been my grandmother's husband's that she gave to my youngest brother when she quit driving, and he ended up with my parents' Honda Odyssey minivan (they couldn't reach their two girls in the back seat of the Cadillac from the front), and my parents bought a "new" (used) Odyssey (a top-of-the-line Touring model with every option except built-in nav; it's a REALLY nice van!), and I gave the Lexus back to my dad (who had originally bought it used in 1997 or so) to trade on the van (didn't get much, but maybe it covered their sales tax).

As for the Caddy, despite my penchant toward more "sport" oriented cars, I've found that I actually enjoy it - I think it knows more what it was meant to be than the Lexus did, and does what it was meant to very well (and it's terrific on the highway - better, probably, than the Lexus was; then again, the Lexus had nearly twice the mileage of the Caddy). It is big, though; I think the length is about two football fields or something like that. My two youngest children said, "It's like a mini-limousine!" Superbly comfortable on the highway, though, and plenty of power when you need it.

Oh, by the way: if you have a phone that gets internet, and you don't have a GPS that lists rest areas (or maybe even if you do), be sure to bookmark this site; it will give you a list of interstate rest areas by state. We used it twice to optimize our stops on the way home today, a way that was plagued by accidents (our normal four-hour trip took more like six, or a 50% increase in travel time).

This week was an interesting and difficult one, but also had its share of bright moments. Early Thursday my wife and daughter left to head to Birmingham where my daughter participated in the All-State choir, her fourth consecutive year to qualify for All-State (twice in the SSA choir, and more recently twice in the SATB choir). My wife was chaperoning for the girls that went. We are both very proud of our daughter (who, by the way, has qualified for additional scholarship money on a vocal scholarship! Woo-hoo!). Friday night after work I took the boys and we headed up to B'ham. Saturday was the concert, and this year's concert was the best of the four that we have attended.

Afterward, we met up with my dad and both my brother's families for dinner, and then headed to my grandmother's house. Grandmom 'B', who is in the final stages of a battle with cancer. It was a wonderful, but tough, visit. Grandmom B was always "the constant" when we were growing up; despite the various moves throughout our childhood, Grandmom B's house was always "home" - I can't even recall the number of times we stayed there, the times we "camped out" on the back porch (we were real outdoorsmen, we were!), "TG&Y Days" (toys to be had!), mashed potatoes - Grandmom B's are the best (I like my wife's, too, but she understands), Christmas Eve at Grandmom B's... oh, the memories. We didn't move around as much as "army brats" do, I'm sure, but I can recall four different homes between Kindergarten and Graduation; during all that time, Grandmom B's house was still "home" - the place that we could go that never changed.

A wonderful, but tough, visit.

This morning we all went to church with my middle brother and his crew, where his kids were baptized into the Methodist church. Afterward, we parted ways with "my side of the family" and went to visit my wife's grandmother, also in the final stages of a battle with cancer. This, too, was a difficult visit; perhaps not as tough on me, I could tell that it weighed heavily on my wife.

Following lunch, we said our goodbyes and started the journey home. The journey took quite a bit longer than we'd anticipated, but we did (eventually) make it, all still intact.

We have some tough days ahead, and would be grateful for prayers offered on our (and our families') behalf over the next few weeks and months. I'll try to get back to my more "usual" posts in days to come, but it's been a long, emotional weekend.
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Marie said...

Glad y'all made it home safe.
Sweet post.

Tony M said...

Thanks, and thanks.

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