Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The long way home - part 2

My drive home from Oklahoma City to Montgomery took 14 1/2 hours.  Not too bad, really.  I think I enjoyed the Dallas route better than the Memphis route.  It felt cleaner.  If you have ever driven I-40 between Memphis and Little Rock, you know what I mean.  And it wasn't that much longer.

A drive that long gave me lots of time by myself.  I wasn't alone, though.  Ben, David, and Jackie all called to wish me Happy Mother's Day, I was in touch with both sisters, my mom called to let me know about the river levels on my route, and I talked to Daryl all along the way.  He somehow always knew where I was before I told him.

Mississippi River on May 8, 2011
Even with all of those conversations I still had time for mental ramblings.  And part of having a blog is being able to bore you with, I mean share with you my ramblings....

 - On the other side of the river from where I stood to take this picture, the water was almost up to the bottom of the highway out across the river bottom.   I wonder what will happen if both I-40 and I-20 are flooded?

 - While driving on the outskirts of Dallas I saw an exit sign for Farmer's Branch, TX.  We lived there for a year while Dad got his Master's Degree at Southern Methodist University.  I was in the sixth grade and have pretty good memories of my time there.  It is not uncommon among children who move many times, but I don't remember the names of my teachers in school.  Or the names of many of my friends.  It is a very strange feeling.  But yesterday, when I saw the Farmer's Branch sign, I remembered Mrs. Hess.  She was my sixth grade teacher and I haven't known her name for a very long time.

 - I saw a sign for Ruston, Louisiana.  It made me think of church and preachers.  Do I know someone who lives there?

 - When I looked online to see the route I was planning to take home, I noticed the exit I would take off of Interstate 20 after I got into Alabama.  At dinner the night before I left I was talking about it with my family and couldn't remember the name of the town.  I said, "It is a four-letter word.  I think it is a person's name.  Like Ezra, but not Ezra."  Later, when I looked it up again, I saw that it was Cuba.  Why did I think of Cuba Gooding, Jr., and not Cuba, the country?

 - There is a pattern here - I have a bad memory!

 - While I was packing the car early on Sunday morning, Dad was in the kitchen packing snack bags for me for the trip.  He cut up apples and grapes for one bag and put chocolate and crackers in another bag.  Mom had just gotten home from the hospital the night before.  I had gone in her room to tell her goodbye, but just before I left she came out, on a walker because she is pretty weak, and made sure I had everything I needed. What a blessing it is to still be a daughter!

 - At one point in Mississippi the interstate had some great rolling dips!  I haven't had that much fun since the last time I rode a roller coaster.  Thanks, Mississippi!

 - We have the 13-year cicadas around here.  More about that in another post, but Mississippi has them too. I was driving 70 mph with a book on tape playing in the car, but when the woods got close to the sides of the road, I could hear the eeriest, loud sound outside.  It reminded me of aliens.

 - I saw an exit sign for Philadelphia.  Not the Philadelphia of Pennsylvania, but the Philadelphia of Mississippi. It made me miss you, Jackie.  I wish I could have taken the exit and dropped in for tea.

 - The Mississippi Welcome Center is on the banks of the river.  I got out to stretch my legs and snap some pictures.  There is something very moving to me about big American flags.  I love this flag!  Just thinking about a group of people deciding to fly this flag so high over the river makes me feel all patriotic and fuzzy inside!

The End.

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