It’s taken longer to get internet service at our new place in Alabama than we expected, but we finally did, and I wanted to post a blog to let you all know we are still alive and kicking, even if barely. I say barely because Terry and I have both come down with nasty colds that are kicking our butts. But the good news is, we’re here and we are slowly getting settled in.
In my last blog post, from a week ago today, I said that I would be driving the 26-foot U-Haul truck pulling a car hauler with my Mustang on it and that Terry would be driving our Ram pickup pulling the 14-foot cargo trailer. In that blog I said we would probably stop in Dothan, Alabama for the night and go on to Gordo the next day, but that didn’t happen.
I have ridden in Army tanks that offered a better ride than that U-Haul, and it about shook my teeth loose every mile of the trip. We stopped at the Flying J in Saint Augustine to fill the fuel tanks on both trucks, which turned out to be a pain because the guy at one of the RV fuel islands that accommodate larger vehicles was inside and hung around there for a long time before he finally came out with some food that he apparently ordered and put it inside his pickup. Then he began to fill his tank. I was in the opposite lane and was able to fill the U-Haul and then pulled to the other side of the parking lot to wait for Terry, who was stuck behind him.
Flying J has several lanes that are specified for RV parking and they were pretty busy, but I found one open spot. There would have been more except for the clowns in this RV, who parked their car next to their motorhome so nobody could get into the space next to them. I think they probably didn’t want somebody to hit their slide-out, but if they had faced the opposite direction, they would have been over a small island and somebody else could have used the space next to them. I call people like this OPOPs because they seem to think that they are the only people on the planet.
Once Terry was finally able to fill the truck, she found a parking spot and we went inside for a pit stop, then got back on the road. About 25 miles north I suddenly saw her behind me, flashing the headlights off and on. I pulled onto the shoulder of Interstate 95, wondering what was wrong, and she came to me shaking and said that somehow she had left her phone in the bathroom at the truck stop. Terry never does things like that, but with the trip ahead of us and then having to wait so long at the fuel island, she was flustered. I called Terry’s phone and a Flying J employee answered and said it had been turned in and was at the front counter. Fortunately, there was an exit just ahead of us and we took it, crossed over the highway and backtracked to Flying J to get Terry’s phone. We lost a little bit of time, but it’s all just part of the adventure, right? I kept telling Terry I wasn’t mad at her, but it didn’t matter, because she was mad enough at herself.
The U-Haul was a dog, and it was all I could do to keep it on the road at 55 mph. Between that and the time lost going back to Flying J for the phone, we didn’t make it to Dothan as planned. Instead, we stopped at the Hampton Inn in Quincy, Florida for the night. It was right off the Interstate, and they had a large grass parking lot next to the hotel where we could park both rigs.
There were no restaurants open close by, and we did not want to unhook the cargo trailer to go find one, so we settled for frozen dinners from the hotel. Not exactly fine dining, but it kept us going. Terry more so than me, as she was up several times during the night.
We were back on the road bright and early the next morning, crossing into the Central Time Zone, and then entering Alabama on US Highway 231. We followed it north through Dothan and Troy to the Montgomery area, where we eventually got onto 82 and followed it west to Tuscaloosa. We arrived at our house in Gordo sometime mid-afternoon, and I sure was happy to climb out of that damn U-Haul!
Our son Travis and his wife Geli greeted us with lots of hugs, and then they got busy helping unload the cargo trailer. We managed to get it about three-quarters emptied before darkness fell.
That was our 25th anniversary, but since there’s not much of anything in the way of restaurants in Gordo, and even fewer choices after 6 PM, we settled for Subway sandwiches. What a way to celebrate our big day! But as somebody said, it’s not about the meal, it’s about the person sitting across the table from you, and I am so much in love with this lady who’s been sitting across from me all these years, through good times and bad.
The kids were back early Tuesday morning to help us, and then a bunch of folks showed up around lunch time – friends of Manara Payne, our real estate agent, and people who go to her church, some young people from the local high school, and some neighbors. I will tell you something; I’ve moved around a lot in my life and have lived all over this great land of ours, and I have never experienced a reception like we got here. Talk about small-town southern hospitality, we experienced it firsthand! By the time it was all said and done, it only took a few hours to get everything unloaded and into the house, with boxes stacked up in every room. Thank you, everybody. We appreciate you all so much.
Actually, we didn’t get everything inside the house. It had been raining for a couple of days, and with so many people going back and forth across our yard, it had become a sea of mud. We managed to get my gun safe out of the U-Haul and into the garage, but at 675 pounds, there was no way it was going to make it through that mud to the front porch, even with the help of our heavy-duty appliance dolly. So it will sit in the garage for a few days while we recover from the trip and our colds, and then we’ll figure out how we’re going to get it where it needs to be in the house.
We have a lot more going on than I have room to tell you about today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with more to share with you.
Thought For The Day – A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.