One of my older posts popped up in my feed today and I thought it was worth reposting. “Old and Lost River” was inspired during one of my epic road trips. Damned Covid-19 has shut down my solo travels for the past ten months, so I’m reliving a few in my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy this.
I’m in a hotel room somewhere in Georgia. I believe the town is named Milledgeville. Why am I in Milledgeville? Because Studly Doright came home from work this afternoon and said, “Let’s go somewhere that’s not here,” so I called a pet sitter to watch over Gracie and we got into our car and drove north for five hours or so.
COVID messed with all of our vacation plans this year, so Studly had several days he needed to take off before the end of 2020. Hence, the road trip.
Tomorrow we’ll push further north to Dillard, Georgia. He visited there last year on a motorcycle trip with our now deceased, and much loved friend, Jim, and it’s held a special place in his heart ever since.
I packed in a hurry, so there is no telling what essentials I left behind. I packed the wine, though. I never forget the wine.
On Saturday afternoon Studly Doright and I drove out to the Tallahassee RV Park to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law who were spending the night there before moving on with their big adventure.
They’d stopped by on Monday on their way to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’d pick up their new Airstream trailer. After several days of orientation and practice with their new trailer they were ready to hit the road. First, though, they needed to collect a few things they’d left at our house. Rather than have them drive all the way to Doright Manor and back to the RV park, we loaded their stuff into Studly’s pickup and met them at the park.
Their new trailer is beautiful—very posh and spacious. We enjoyed wine and cheese with them and their adorable dog, Gus.
We had a wonderful dinner with Kelly and Susan before bidding them goodbye and safe travels. Kelly says he’ll start a blog about their journey. If he does, I’ll share it with you all. It’s bound to be good.
In the evenings during our quarantine, Studly Doright and I have been watching a series of YouTube videos shot by a 31-year-old solo female adventure motorcyclist from The Netherlands. Her name is Noraly, and she is fearless.
I’ve subscribed to her blog and am enjoying every minute of it. Many of the videos are quite recent. On her planned trip from Patagonia to Alaska, she had a harrowing experience while trying to get out of Peru to keep from being quarantined there due to COVID-19. Her bike had to stay in Peru while she made it home to The Netherlands, and she’s unsure when, or if, she’ll be reunited with it.
She makes me want to be brave, but I have trouble being brave riding a motorcycle on smooth American roads. Noraly rides on all terrain—gravel, sand, rocks. She stops at checkpoints and speaks whatever language is necessary to get through. I can only speak English and a smattering of Spanish. What have I done with my life?
Motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy Noraly’s adventures, but even non-motorcyclists will find something to enjoy in her videos. She meets so many lovely people who welcome her with open arms. These videos have restored much of my faith in humanity. And, they’re kind of addictive.
I have no idea what brought so many people to like this little post about Quincy, Florida, but whatever it was made it numero uno. If only I could replicate it!
If you’re ever in the area, give me a holler. That’s what we do here in the Florida panhandle. We holler.
Studly Doright and I are traveling south to Silver Springs, Florida, today. I wasn’t sure I’d come up with a post en route, so here’s a photo of a squirrel in our yard. Let’s call this one, Autumn Squirrel.
Monday evening I was in the Atlanta airport waiting to board my 10:35 p.m. flight to Panama City Beach. I’d been in Port Byron, Illinois, since Thursday visiting my daughter and her family. I was tired and knowing that even after I landed in Panama City Beach I still had a two hour drive to reach home was making me a little cranky.
As I sat at the gate I watched a frazzled mom trying to corral two young children, a girl who looked to be four, and her younger brother. The mom was at her breaking point. The little boy kept dashing away from her while his sister wasn’t much better. The girl child wasn’t running around, but she was noisy and annoying. Selfishly my thought was, “Please, oh, please don’t let this family be seated near me!”
The mom’s last nerve frayed past the breaking point when the little boy laughed at her attempts to get him to sit still. She lashed out and spanked him, and when that didn’t work, she spanked him again. He continued laughing.
I made eye contact with a woman seated near me, but while I remained frozen, she went to the mom and patted her on the shoulder then began to speak with the little boy to take some of the pressure off of the mom. It worked beautifully. The kids calmed down, and the mom relaxed.
After the gate attendant called for pre-boarding the mom and her children left to board the plane. I made a point of thanking the woman who’d gone to their rescue when she returned to her seat. What a wonderful gift she’d given to that mom.
When my group was called I got into line and was about to scan my boarding pass when I realized the gate I’d been waiting at was 27, the one for Nashville, Tennessee! I’d been so engrossed by the drama that I almost missed my own flight at gate 29. Thankfully, I made it on time. But also thankfully, I was fortunate enough to watch a beautiful act of compassion. I was in the wrong place at the right time.
(Note: I had a photo of the mom, her children, and their compassionate helper, but even though none of them were facing the camera I didn’t feel it was appropriate to share on here. I found the photo below on Pinterest in an article about a group of women who rallied around a mother under similar circumstances.)
I’m recovering from a day of travel on Monday. From a 6 a.m. central time zone wake up to a 2:00 a.m. eastern time zone bedtime with no naps in between, I was a zombie for most of Tuesday.
That’s why you’re only getting this picture of my grandcat, Snuggles, who wanted to kiss me goodbye before I left Illinois.
Let’s call this one, I Wonder If I Could Smuggle Her in My Luggage.
I snapped this one while waiting in line at the Atlanta airport.
I call it, “A Humor Door.” Not to be confused with a humidor.
On Tuesday night I drifted off to sleep as gently as an innocent little lamb, only to awaken twenty minutes later with my mind raging like a caged lion. My trip to Illinois was still two days in the future, yet my brain paced restlessly inside my head as if my flight was imminent and I was woefully unprepared.
Truthfully, I was unprepared, but I still had ample time to do laundry and pack and straighten the house before I had to leave Doright Manor for the airport. So why was I all abuzz? Welcome to Anxiety Central.
Irrationally I began worrying that my car would break down on the way to the airport. What would I do should that happen? I worried that I’d forgotten to get cash from the bank, so I got out of bed and wrote myself a note that I then taped to the bathroom mirror where I’d be certain to see it first thing the next morning.
I became concerned that I’d finish the book I was reading on my kindle and wouldn’t have ample connectivity to download a new one. Most worrisome was the state of the liquids I NEEDED to pack for the trip. Liquids that might not be able to fit into a clear plastic quart baggie. Damned TSA requirements. How’s a girl supposed to cram all of her necessary liquids into such a small bag?
Zip, zip, zip went the thoughts in my brain. I was electric, and not in a good way. Poor Studly must’ve felt my frantic vibes causing him to adjourn to the sofa in the den at some point in the night.
When he left for work on Wednesday morning he planted a kiss on my cheek and told me he’d see me when I returned on Monday. I’d forgotten he had to be out of town on Wednesday and Thursday and wouldn’t return until after I’d departed on my trip. Sheesh. One more thing to worry about.
You know, I might not have many talents, but I excel at worrying over absolutely ridiculous stuff. Anxiety is my middle name, and that’s no joke.
I fly on Thursday. Just get me to the plane on time.