Thursday, November 15, 2007

Slow, Steady and One Hour Late

Mark & I returned this evening after checking out the new retirement community Mark’s dad & step-mother are moving to in June. It is near Griffin Georgia, which is south of Atlanta. They were looking at the same type of community in Charlotte, which is closer to us, but decided on the same house in a different location because it’s much less expensive. As a result, Marilyn can retire a year earlier, and they’ll be in the same financial circumstances as they would if they had waited another year and moved to Charlotte.

The leaves were changing and the drive was magnificent. We had an hour of extra time to enjoy it because Lou suggested that we take highway 16 (which was a “shorter” route) vs. the Interstate (which would have taken us “out of our way”). While Mark knew all along that he should have taken the Interstate, he decided to do what is father suggested, and take the highway.

As I said, the drive was beautiful, and we had an extra hour to enjoy it. Not only did the road wind over creeks and rivers, through quaint little towns, past farms and beautiful old southern homes, we also got behind a “wide load” for about 45 minutes. It was very wide and tall, and accompanied by two pick-ups and two state troopers. It was, therefore, impossible to pass.

It was a boat. No, actually, I think it would be technically called--a ship. A ship. It was a mid-sized coast guard craft that had a crane on the back of it.

At first we laughed at it. Ha ha: a Coast Guard ship—boy won’t that be a good excuse for Mark’s dad (already waiting for us at Denny’s)? So we took pictures with the camera phone. As the hours—I mean minutes—wore on, the flashing lights became irritating, and the big black hull of the ship was not a complementary centerpiece to the majestic autumn colors framing it.

Fortunately, as we were driving through one of the little towns, the ship ran aground—or “a-curb” as the case may be. As the captains were negotiating their way out of it, we tore through back streets and around corners to find the highway again. There was no getting back to the Interstate now. Just as we were beginning to feel the freedom of the open road, a mile ahead of us there turned a pickup truck hauling a busted-up car. Its front wheels were propped up and chained inside its bed of the truck and it was going about –hmm—10? 15 miles per hour?

Decorum suggests that I bleep out what happened here.

But we arrived safely and returned home safely, thank God.
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