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All unpacked 2 days after we got home? Unheard of!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thought I'd drop in with a longer post about the trip. Dh and I just finished with the last of the unpacking and putting everything back where it belongs. It's insane that we have everything back in order so fast. Our modus operandi has always been to dig things out of the suitcase as they are needed and never empty it. Then when it was time to pack the suitcase again, we'd find a bunch of stuff already in it that we forgot about. But not this time, by golly!

Okay, so, the trip...

As I've mentioned here before, I have a real anxiety problem with driving at high speeds. My most comfortable speed is 45 mph. Unfortunately it is quite impossible to travel anywhere and not do more than 45 mph. The way I had gone to Virginia with our old roommate in years past, the speed limit was 70 mph most of the way. That was totally out of the question. But I decided maybe I could make it at 55 mph going the way we went when we first moved here. So, after having not gone anywhere in 4 or 5 years, we decided to go.

I was feeling okay when we started, but the first 45 minutes to an hour of the trip is just driving from the north side of Columbus to the south side of Columbus, so the speed limit is like 35 all the way. When we got outside the south outerbelt and into open country, I was preparing myself for 55. Only to find that the speed limit has been increased to 60 since I was last down there. That set me on edge immediately, but dh was like... do 55, and let anyone that doesn't like it kiss your butt. Don't stress yourself out trying to do 60. So I took his advice and did precisely that. Even at 55, though, I was a ball of stress. The small area that used to be 65 mph is now 70 mph and that was also quite unexpected. I was afraid of getting a ticket for going too slowly, so I managed 60, but wow did that suck.

Over the course of the 7 1/2 hour drive, we stopped like 4 or 5 times. I could only drive for an hour and a half or so before I had to stop and give myself a break. Dh rubbed my neck and back for a couple minutes every time we stopped to ease some of the tension I had built up. While I was DEFINITELY stressed, I was definitely much less stressed than I had expected to be. So that was nice.

We finally arrived at my grandmother's house in the middle of the afternoon. There's a Chinese restaurant in my hometown {that was not there when I lived there}, and we went that for lunch. That was a bit of culture shock. Country music was playing in the restaurant. I definitely never expected to listen to country music while I ate Chinese food.

After we finished eating, we drove to the grocery store and picked up some stuff for sandwiches, and for me to cook dinner the following day. The rest of the evening we just sat around and visited with my grandmother and watched the Olympics. I had printed out some pictures for her and she looked at them and talked about them.

We had Ginger with us, and we took her outside lots and let her run around in the yard. She had to stay on a leash because of the road and because there are unrestrained dogs that live near my grandmother, and we weren't taking any chances. But we let her run anywhere she wanted and we just followed along behind. I think she was nearly as stressed as I was by the drive down there, so it was good for her to get some of that tension out.

The next morning, we woke up to find that my grandmother had made us a huge breakfast. My favorite food in the whole world is sausage gravy and biscuits. You can take the girl out of the country... Anyway, my grandmother had made sausage, bacon, eggs, gravy and biscuits for us. It was amazing. I had told her not to go to any trouble because she has a bad back and hip and I didn't want her to hurt herself or tire herself out. But, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to wake up to a pan of her homemade gravy!

After breakfast, we headed off on the first real mission of the trip: Going to the new Walmart in town to get an HD tv and stand for my grandmother. The Walmart is built on top of a parking garage. Very strange. But we got the tv and stand, and came back home. Despite our insistence to the contrary, my grandmother won and I finally agreed to go back to the grocery store and pick out some groceries for her to buy for us. She used to do that when we were just starting out on our own and desperately needed it, and I tried to tell her it wasn't necessary now, but she started getting all weepy about how she never gets to have meals with us and she wanted to help and I decided it was easier just to go and do it than to hurt her feelings.

Dh stayed home to work on building the tv stand while my grandmother and I went to the grocery store. I picked out a little bit of stuff that was on sale at good prices, and she was satisfied.

After we got home, I helped dh take out the old tv stand and put the new one in, and then while he was hooking up the tv, I made dinner. I had told my grandmother we would only come visit if she would let me cook our dinner, and she agreed. I made chili, and she was not at all convinced she would like it. In the end she loved it, and decided to write down the recipe for herself. That was the first time she ever ate a meal I cooked, and I was glad she enjoyed it. She can be really picky and stubborn about what she eats, so that was kind of a surprise victory.

Once we were done with dinner, I did the dishes. By the end of the dishes I could barely move. The drive down there, plus moving the tv stands, cooking dinner, and then the dishes was about more than my back could handle. Fortunately I was smart and brought anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers with me. We didn't do anything else for the rest of the evening but watch the Olympics and visit with one another some more.

I'm happy to say, the second night went considerably better than the first. I forgot to mention that earlier, but yeah, my first night down there was rough. I get really bad anxiety there, and I hadn't slept away from home in years, so there was anxiety from that, too. Also, I was hot. I keep the apartment cool and have fans everywhere. So that first night sucked. I couldn't sleep, I was anxious, blah and yuck. The second night was much improved though. It was cooler in our bedroom that night for some reason, and that helped a LOT. And knowing we were going home the next day helped too. So I slept pretty well that night.

The next morning we woke up to breakfast again. Then it was time to get everything in the car. She gave us a nice vacuum she bought that was too heavy for her to use, so we were pretty excited about that. And then she gave us this...

It's a breadbox that her late boyfriend made. He was around before I was born, and I grew up with him as the closest thing I had to a grandfather. He died about 5 years ago. He was a long distance trucker before he retired, and he had a million and one stories. Dh loved to visit with him and listen to his stories. So it meant a lot to us that she gave us the breadbox. If nothing else good came from the trip, it would still have been worth it just for that.

Once we were all packed, it was time to head for home. Here are a few other random pics from the trip. To show how mushed in by mountains it is down there, here are pics taken from the front and back yards....

After so many years, it felt odd to be fenced in by mountains again. And here's a pic of my grandmother and Ginger...

The drive home went better than the drive down there. I'm sure in large part that's because I was coming home instead of going away from home. Also we found a way to go that bypassed the 70 mph area, so that was a huge relief. We still stopped a lot, though. And we got an appropriate welcome home... we hit downtown Columbus right at rush hour, so we got to spend a couple hours driving through. But we were home, and I was happy. Tired... REALLY tired... but so glad to be home. My Beto cat was excited to see us, Ginger was excited to be home, it was just all good. Good good good.

Yesterday we put away the groceries she bought for us and organized our food. Today we unpacked the suitcase and other random stuff from the trip. And now it's time to get up and try out the new vacuum.

Sorry this was so long, and probably quite boring, but I am quite bored and thought I'd share about the trip.

Hope everyone is getting their weekend off to a great start!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • HOLLYM48
    So glad that you had a great visit with your grandmother! Time spent with loved ones is always precious even if it is stressful coming and going! Glad you are home safely!
    1522 days ago
  • JO88BAKO
    Sounds like a wonderful time!! Your grandma sounds like a sweetheart. How very lucky you are to have her in your life. I'm glad you had a good time, got to get out of town and do something different. Hope you go much sooner again!
    I'm excited. My DGD will be here Monday to look at a couple of Cosmetology Schools. We want her to live with us and go to school.
    1523 days ago
    1523 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Oh!! It sounds like your grandma is a sweetie, she sure looks like it!! Now that yo have made the trip there, it will be easier each time down the road(no pun intended)

    how sweet of her to buy you some groceries.. You were probably cooler the second night because you were more relaxed from not driving,, less stress.

    so glad you went,, wish I had a grandma..
    1523 days ago
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