Monday, October 8, 2012

Winding Roads

"I am going to kill you," she said through her pasted smile and gritted teeth. When my mother's jaw sets like that, it means she is only mostly kidding.

Under the glow of the hotel lobby florescent lights, I decided that was not the moment to declare "what an adventure!"

We had just finished a three-hour drive through bumpy, windy roads of central Louisiana. In the pitch black. And maybe through some heavy fog. Earlier in the day, I had decided this route would be better, as I wanted to avoid the traffic in Baton Rouge. That is a decision I believe we both questioned repeatedly during that three-hour drive. We packed the truck on Thursday and decided to leave that evening to get a jumpstart on the nearly eleven-hour drive to Tennessee. After a shower, a pseudo-nap, and some dinner, Mom and I got behind our respective wheels; she would drive the moving truck and I would drive my car.

I am pretty sure I ran over six frogs on that leg of the trip. Mom said she stopped counting the frogs she hit. We also passed raccoons, rabbits, armadillos, and possums. Some of the animals were alive and some were roadkill. Some stretches of the road was just pavement and a sharp drop on either side. Some of the drive ran across long bridges that were probably scarier to drive during the day if we knew what we were driving over. We bumped, rattled, and wound our way through Louisiana, stopping just across the Mississippi border in Natchez. Those hotel beds provided comfort if for no other reason than the fact they were still places to rest for the night.

Friday morning we hit the road again, taking a brief visit at Natchez National Historical Park (I can't pass a National Park Service site and NOT stop!). We arrived in Stewart County on Friday night with the cold and drizzly rains, unloaded the truck on Saturday under a pleasant autumn sun, and I have spent the past few days trying to breathe. I have been non-stop for the past several weeks. You know that muscle spasm that happens after you stop doing a movement repeatedly? Your muscles still think they need to move, so they keep moving in an odd and uncontrollable manner. I am currently in muscle-spasm mode. I know I need to keep going, keep doing! Wait, wait. No, I don't. I can sit a minute and it is okay. Is it!? I have to keep going, keep doing! No, no. I don't. Some habits just die hard.

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