Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Crash Time

There are no pictures, no long winded memories, no funny dog stories, no cats. Just a post so that should anyone actually read this, they will know the long trip is over. I think I know where I am but do not say this with great conviction.

Left Monday morning at 2 AM for twelve hour drive to Sewanee, Tennessee. I either misjudged the trip or drove a little too fast (probably the latter) because I got there in eleven hours even after considering the time change.

About 1 PM I walked into a freshman girl's dorm room. I cannot say anymore. Well a little bit. There was no one there. The doors were open. Boxes, half full, were everywhere as were shoes, clothes, food items, toiletries, mementos, computer cords, dishes, fans, bookshelves, dust on some things at least one-half inch thick; these were just some of the things I saw. The occupants were in exams. I started loading the things I knew were my daughter's. She finished her exams and showed up to pack, tote and sort. After seven hours of packing, climbing up and down stairs with boxes, suitcases, trunks, lamps and all other manner of things; after having the campus police come to cut the bicycle lock from her bike (it was half in and half out and would not budge); after loading a Honda Odyssey and a Honda Civic to the maximum we were finally done. I had hoped to get to Chattanooga that evening but decided we still had additional "chores" to do.

So I stay in motel for the night so she can vacuum her room (at least her side of it) and say good-bye to a few friends. This is a bit traumatic for while she hated Sewanee's social scene in general because of the general party attitude, she had a few friends she would miss. Tuesday we turned in keys; to the old room, to the new room, and to the music practice hall. We had to hit the registrar to arrange for the new school to get the final grades; the student post office to make sure of forwarding addresses; the student book store to sell back some books; the library to say goodbye to her boss; and the final farewell to her friend and my second daughter Blount. This takes much time and effort and we do not get away until around 11 AM CDT.

On the road like a herd of turtles, we caravan. She has her satellite radio and I have an audio book, The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens. We walkie talkie each other occasionally. We are doing pretty well along the way until Knoxville, Tennessee. This is always a challenge to get through, no bypass to speak of and always a slow-down. Not today! Today we come to a complete stop.....for 30 minutes. Semis just turned off engines, opened doors and drivers walked around, talking to each other. I never found out or saw remnants of what happened. We started back up and within a few seconds the speed was back up to 50 MPH. Tuesday night we stay in Roanoke, Virginia. Fortunately, no drama.

Today (has it really only been two and a half days) we drive on into Virginia Beach, arriving at 1 PM. But then we unload a room full of STUFF into the small house here and DRIVE to the airport to pick up my brother.

But we are here, we are safely back. Now there is just the next step in this journey of life to figure out; but not right now. Right now, I am just too tired. The hours on the road have finally caught up with me and I am almost asleep where I sit. Maybe I'll download the pictures of the mountains I took while driving up the road, or the dog in the passenger seat of the semi in the next lane........Tomorrow.

No comments: