Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Florida or Bust...

  Have you ever had the dream about the long hallway?  You know, while you are running down the hallway it gets longer and longer and longer.  Seems like you will never reach the end until POW, and it is right there at the tip of your toes.   

That was my weekend!!

  We loaded the Uhaul in Chattanooga on Saturday.  Pulled the utility trucks up the steep steps that sat off the side of the mountain stacked with boxes, rolled them to the Uhaul and loaded up.  We had an assembly line going on in side my sisters apartment.  First we would load the two utility truck {also know as hand trucks} with boxes, then get them out the door to the bottom of the steps, then my sister and I would pull one of utility trucks up the stairs, while my mother help push the truck from the bottom... up each of the 15 steps.  We did this over and over and over again.  Once my sisters neighbors, George and Tabatha joined in, things seemed to take off.  They are younger.  Stronger.  Powerful.  Plus, they had more energy.  George brought one of his friends to the moving party.   I can't remember his name, except for some reason it sounded like pa-toe-son.  I don't know, it's an age thing, I forgot his name soon after he told it to us.

A box filled living room

  There were boxes all over the place.  Organized, but my sisters apartment was packed and ready to go.  All we needed, was the energy of a youngster.  Thank you George, Tabatha, and Pa-toe-son for bring energy to the packing party!

Cassie chilling in the empty space

  Poor Cassie, she was ready to get the show on the road.  So were the adults.  Because we had a 17 foot Uhaul, we loaded the area that extends over the cab of the truck, with boxes first.  We packed that area to the tippy top.  It was jammed full. Then we loaded the box springs and mattresses, dressers and night stands, head boards and foot boards, and with the space that was left over... we crammed in more boxes.  The Uhaul was packed and overly packed.  From the floor to the ceiling.  Every inch, nook and cranny was used.  Because of the rainy storm weather, I wanted us to get through Atlanta and the 7 lane highway before it was pelted with rain.  So by 7pm Saturday night; we were on the road.

  I was in the lead with the Uhaul, and the GPS.  Christina drove behind me, and Marry Ann drove my car {with my mother} to bring up the rear.  We each traveled with walkie talkies in our possessions.  It made traveling so much easier.  I would say things like "OK ladies, lets ride this money train home."  and "Break lights ahead, slow it down."  of course there was plenty of  "Move over one lane to the right Marry Ann slow truck ahead."  I was on a mission, ready to get us all settled into our place and bring a stress free relaxation week to my sister. 

Christina packing her bedroom
   I kept close contact with my brother Mark in Florida, so they knew when to be ready to help unload.. and so my brother wouldn't worry about us during our travels.  And, I kept close contact with my daughter Tabitha in Texas; so she would know where we were in our travels.  I mean you never know these days... so many nut jobs out there.  Plus, my sweety pretty much knew where we were at all times; and so he would have enough time to clean up our place.

Come on, a man on his own for two weeks; you know my house was anything but spotless.

  We got through Tennessee with no rain, flew through Atlanta's 7 lane highway without a single drop and, didn't run into to much traffic.  We were driving as if we didn't have a care in the world.  Flying like the wind.  Right up till the clock in the Uhaul hit midnight.  

  It was like a ton of bricks fell on us.  No one could travel anymore.  I found a rest area to pull into and park, we all needed a few hours of sleep.  From the minute my sister and I picked up the Uhaul at 9:15am Saturday morning, until the second we stopped at the rest area; we were all on the move.  It was time to just relax for a few hours.  My sister and I figured, if we set our cell phone alarm clocks for 3am, we would still make it to Florida [my front door} at about 10am.  So that is what we did, we would sleep at the rest area for three hours, and then ride the highway home.

  Sounds like the perfect plan, right?  Except for the first two hours of our "sleep time", we were all trying to unwind.  Trying to get comfortable in front seats that wouldn't lay back far enough to allow sleep.  Trying to close our eyes next to semi's as their engines roared.  Trying to relax our brains as they screamed 'we are sleeping in a strange place right off of a major highway', four women alone off of a major highway, isn't necessarily a good plan .  Needless to say, we all only slept for one of that 'three hour sleep time' plan.  At 3am, I hit snooze.  At 3:15am, I hit snooze.  At 3:30am there was a knock at my window.  "Ready?" my sister said.  We were up and going again.  A little while later, while traveling down I-75 through Georgia, I look in my mirror and notice my sister was traveling kind of slow, and was way back far behind Christina and I.  "You guy alright Marry Ann?" I asked through our trusty Walkie Talkies.  "Jos, We have to pull over." I hear my mother say  "OK, let me find a get off." I respond.   I searched for a place we could exit so my mother and Marry Ann could switch places. 

  Now, my mother is 70 yrs old.  God Love her, but driving at night is not her thing, not at all.  Yet, she reassures me that she will be fine driving for a while.  "Are you sure mom?"  I ask  "Yeah.  I can drive."  She tells me.    The switch is made, and we are on the road again.  For about 4 exits.  If you've traveled through Georgia, on 75, then you know that the speed limit is 70 mph max and 40 mph minimum.  With a fully loaded Uhaul, up and down the mountains at 40 mph, doesn't cut it.  It wasn't long before my mother was further back then I would have liked.  I slowed down from 65 mph to 40 mph and looked for a place for us to rest.  It was about 4 AM.  

  There wasn't a rest area anywhere close by.  The only place I could find for us to park until sun up; was a closed Clothing Carnival parking lot.  We all parked next to each other, and slept until the sun shined through our windows.  It was the best sleep any of us had encountered since Friday when we all laid in our beds.  Marry Ann sent a text her eldest daughter Patricia at that time and told her we would not be at our house until about noon on Sunday.  Patricia and her husband, Brian, were apart of the unloading team we had assembled to be at my place.  If everyone took part; we were going to have quite a team to help.

  Once the sun was shining, we stopped for coffee and bathroom breaks, and it was nose to the grind stone, sort of speak.  We were on a mission to get to our finial resting place, only stopping for gas when we hit a half of tank.  We were sick of driving at this point.  Sick of no sleep, in fact, I am pretty sure our butts were the only thing that did fall asleep.  Enough was enough.  It was like something out of the movie 'Homeward Bound'.  Each encouraging the other to push forward. Closing the gaps between us when they grew to long.  "OK ladies, the speed limit is 65 mph" I said one time.  "Watch your speed Jos" My mother said another time.  "Ho ho Christina, Wake up" my mother said once.  When I did stop talking [for those who know me, it not normal for me to be quite} for a while there "Hey, you OK Jos?  You're awful quite" my sister asked.  I was listening to the Top 40 during this time, and singing to the music.  

  This was the number one song.  I heard it that Saturday morning for the firt time, except not quite the way I heard it on the radio, I seen it via You Tube video like this....

  There's something about seeing Military Men and Women dancing in uniform while away from home that warms my heart.  Making light of being so far way from their families.  So, while Carly was singing 'Call Me Maybe o the radio, I had soldiers dancing in my head.  It made me chuckle a time or two while going through Georgia, it was the longest drive that I have ever been on.

  It felt like the hallway I spoke of earlier.  The end seemed to evade me.  I kept thinking Does Georgia Ever End?  I even asked the others "Do you think Ga. grew while we were gone?"  My mother said "What's that Jos?"  So I put it another way "Maybe Ga. got longer in the past few days, it just doesn't end!!"  All agreed with me.  Sure felt longer then the drive to Chattanooga.

  But the sky was pretty.  Once we did reach the end of Ga and crossed into Florida.  I noticed the only thing different... was the humidity.   Man is Florida hot!!!  The biggest thing I like about Tennessee, there wasn't any humidity, not like Florida anyway.  Still I could not wait to get home.  Walk into my sweetys arms.  Lay next to him at night, and repeat over and over again...




Now to unpack it all.  Here is just a small hint of what we are facing...

My place...

  Now to turn two households, into one.  We are all going to hang out together for a while.  A long while.  With my sister failing health, my failing health, and my sweety who I am madly in love with, we are all going to take care of each other.  Plus, Christina and her up and coming baby, until she gets her own place that is.  

Life is just as it should be.  Perfect.   Think I just might take a break from unpacking, and mow the yard.

 **** Oh and my house ~  As clean as if I done it myself.  Thank you sweety!! You're the best.

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