Monday, December 12, 2011

One More Round of Chingle Bells Then I'm Off

Whew!  It's Monday again and hard to believe all that has happened in a week.  I had planned to work my last shift on Tuesday night and then go home for some sleep before getting up around noon and calmly hooking up in the warm sunshine.  So much for plans.

The water was rising.  Yes, because of all the rain lately the lake, the one I was camped beside, was rising quicker than anyone had thought it would.  So my plans changed.  What's new about that?  I got some sleep after my shift on Monday night then with the able help of my neighbor Jeff, tied the kayak on top of the car and after thanking him, ran off to the Work Campers Job Fair at Amazon.  I really wanted to see what that would be like.  I did talk to an outfit with a job I'm interested in but won't talk about it here for fear of jinxing it.  Then I rushed back to my campsite and did a quick tear down.  I struggled a little with getting the tv antenna down since I had never used it before but did finally get it all down and secure.  Once the car was hooked up it was on to the dump station (no honey wagon visit this week).  I was able to dump but since the water at the dump station was turned off to keep pipes from freezing I had to just shove the sewer hose back in the compartment.  Will get that taken care of soon.  Finally I found a place to park the rig across from Amazon and left the furnance running for Gus while I worked my last shift.

After work my friend Tonya gave me a ride back to my rig to check on Gus.  He was OK but I discovered that my house batteries were too low to keep the furnance running and it was 44 in Seeker.  Brrrrr.  Even for Gus that's cold.  So I started the engine and charged the batteries a while and then started the furnance again.  Once it was up to 60 inside we decided to leave the heat running for Gus and go eat some breakfast at Huddle House.  Ran into my friend Amey from work there and had a nice farewell chat with her and Tonya.  Then my camping buddies Sue and Roger came in so Amey and Tonya left me in their hands.  Don't worry girls, I survived and even managed to escape. 

Upon returning to Seeker I saw that again the batteries hadn't held their charge and it was cooling off inside.  That's when Gus and I said our good byes and headed south.  But it was dark out and I hate driving in the dark.  And did I mention the rain?  Yes, it was still raining.  Not hard, but I really hate rain and dark for driving.  So, once we got to the Walmart in Columbia Gus and I decided to park it and take a nap.  When we woke up around 8:30 the sun had come out, albeit a bit of a gray day, and the rain had stopped.  So we hopped on the Cumberland Parkway and in an hour we were on I 65.  Only 90 miles to Nashville!  I was feeling good.  Even picked up a Nashville station which began to talk about the "wintry mix:".  Sure enough, just as I was crossing into Tennessee I began to see the wintry mix.  The good news was that it was more rain than snow, too warm to stick to the roads, and I was coming into Nashville around 10am so traffic was at it's lowest.  But of course I was taking the 2 worst roads for foul weather accidents in the city: 65 and Briley Parkway. 

Just as I turned on my street the snowflakes got fatter and fluffier, but I just laughed.  I was home, or at least next door.  Since my place is rented I had to claim squatter's rights in my neighbor's drive.  When I let Gus out to run he looked very confused.  Then he ran to Louise's back door to bark for her to come out.  Sorry Gus, she's still at work.  He ran all over the back yard then went down to the back door under my carport to be greeted by the renters' 6 month old German Shepherd pup.  Needless to say he ran back to Seeker quickly.  He was more than happy to nap with me inside Seeker till Louise came home.  We had a lovely dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant and caught up on gossip and family news.  On the way home we visited with Buster and Dawn who are neighbors down the street and parents of my renter.  Then Gus and I went to visit Brenda and he decided to stay for the night, so I went back to Seeker alone.  Since Louise had let me plug my shoreline in at her laundry room I had a toasty warm bed despite the temps outside in the 20s.

On Thursday I ran a few errands, collected Gus, and headed down the Natchez Trace to Hohenwald.  It's my favorite route and since I had the time and knew it would be a while before getting back to here, well, I had to travel it.  Of course I had forgotten the construction at the Hohenwald exit and the detour threw me for a minute, but I got to town just fine.  And it was, as usual, a whirlwind tour.  Stayed out on Buffalo Road with sister Nancetta and Bill the first night.  The next morning I unhooked the car from Seeker and ran out to NAPPA to get new house batteries.  No more running out of charge for me.  Johnsy followed me in Seeker out to NAPPA to get my new batteries then on to the station to top off my LP.  Now she's good to go.  Johnsy drove Seeker back to his house and parked her next to his shop and plugged in my shoreline.  And that's where I spent my Christmas.  That night all 3 grandkids were there so we opened some presents and played and laughed and sang songs.  I was exhausted when I went to bed.  The kids made Christmas cookies and watched videos.  The next day we took Aiden's new telescope up into his treehouse to look for deer.  I whacked my head on the low ceiling.  He laughed and I tried not to cry.  Addy kept singing into her karaoke machine trying to find the perfect song.  All the while little Drake, who is 4, walked around singing his own unique version of Jingle Bells which somehow morphs into Old MacDonald.  Ahhh, to be 4 again.

Sunday morning was chocolate gravy and biscuits (you're the best Darlene) and country sausage.  Then load up and hit the road.  Gus and I drove about 300 miles on Sunday with my first time of driving the rig through Birmingham traffic.  What was worse was the traffic near the malls which I was in and out of along highway 280.  But it's Monday morning now and I'm in Columbus, GA touring the Confederate Naval Museum with big brother Mike and his lovely wife Linda.  I wonder how things looked to her since she's had the cataracts removed from one eye and in a week will have the other one done.  Seems like it would be confusing.  I should ask her.  After lunch at a very elegant Burger King in the historic district of Columbus Mike and I walked a little of the river walk downtown and he helped me find the answers to an earthcache about the river.  Hard to imagine big naval warships on that river. 

About 2:00 we parted ways since they had about 170 miles to cover returning to Winder and I wanted to get to Tifton before dark.  Drove through Plains again but didn't stop since I'd covered most of that this summer when I was down this way.  I did stop at the GA Veterans Memorial State Park in Cordele which made me think of Reelfoot Lake.  Lots of cypress trees and swampy areas.  I did a 5 stage multicache which took me around to all the monuments and gave me and Gus a good leg stretching.  I didn't get to do the GA Parks cache for a stamp on my passport because it's near the primitive camping area and I could get in but couldn't get out with my full rig.  Maybe next time.  By 5:00 we were headed south on 75 and I was glad because as you know, I don't like driving after dark and it was getting that way.  And here's one really big reason why:  About 6 miles from the exit I needed there was no way for me to avoid running over a huge piece of "road gator".  Had it been day time I probably could have seen it in time to switch lanes, but not in the dark.  I did pull off right away and checked both vehicles and luckily all seems OK.  I eased on down the road to the Pilot Truckstop in Tifton where I am nestled in among the truckers for the night.  I walked Gus with my neighbor who was walking his miniature pug.  Life on the road is just not right without a four legged companion. 

So Gus, tomorrow morning we'll drive about 100 miles to our winter home.  I hope you like it.  I hope I like it.  We'll let you know soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment