A few days after my previous post the Ford Service Department in Foley contacted us to say our truck was ready. Don had a fellow full timer drive him up to the dealership to pick up the beast while I made preparations for us to leave on our journey northward. Don’s trip from Ford’s back to camp was uneventful. We tested it further by driving to the supermarket later that same evening to pick up groceries for the week. All went well again. Maybe three times really is the charm.
The next morning I told Don we needed to go to the bank before we hitched up. We piled into the truck, Don started it up and What’s this? The 4W drive dashboard light was flashing again!!! For the fourth time!!! To make a long story short, we picked up a rental car and I followed Don over to the service department to drop off the truck. Back at the Suite Pea I packed travel gear for the three of us then Don loaded it into the Jeep Compass we’d rented. We were heading out early in the morning sans our home on wheels.
Saturday we drove from lower Alabama to Bloomington, Indiana to hand Tucker off to my mother. On Sunday we picked up our youngest daughter and granddaughter to tag along on the way to northern Michigan. While our oldest and her two daughters traveled in tandem in their car. The trip was uneventful until the last 50 miles where we ran into snow and slick road conditions. We saw three cars slide off the highway as we made our way much more slowly to our destination.
My cousin Carol and her husband Vito graciously offered the seven of us the use of their beautiful rental cabin in Lewiston, of which we were most appreciative as my parents own small two bedroom home was already bursting at the seams with people. We probably should have called it a day and gone immediately to the cabin, unpacked, and notified my father we’d be there in the morning. Instead we drove directly to my parents. We found ma alert and in good spirits, and my father while delighted to see us was obviously overwhelmed. With the weather worsening, we said our goodbyes for the night and headed to Lewiston.
It was dark, cold and snowing hard. The county roads had yet to be plowed or salted. We were tired, hungry and our nerves were raw. But the GPS wanted to lead us on a wild goose chase. Needless to say the drive from my parents to the rental cabin took twice as long as it should have. We were so happy to see the lights shining out from the cabin when we arrived and bless Vito’s big heart, he not only plowed the drive, he also plowed the dirt road out front all the way to the main drag, making it easier for us to navigate. I think we all were fast asleep before our heads reached our pillows. It snowed 8-10″ that night. The first of two 10″ snowstorms during our stay.
Monday through Friday, the days all flowed the same. Arise, eat, clean up, then drive to my dad’s where we’d spend our day helping out in whatever capacity we could then returning to the cabin each evening. Ma had good days and bad, with the bad days usually coming after too much visiting on the previous day. We met with her Hospice nurse, aide and social worker. By Friday we all had a pretty good grasp on mom’s needs and schedule. Don and I had a pretty good grasp on just how little my father actually knew about running a house and handling finances. Knowing that two of my stepbrothers along with their wives would be alternating visits to aid dad in caring for ma, Don and I bade everyone goodbye with a promise to return with our rig in tow soon as our truck is repaired.
Our plan is to spend the Summer on the family property not only to assist in my stepmom’s care but also to help my father around the house. My father is a stubborn, bullheaded old goat and I am a chip off the old block. This should make for a very interesting Summer, especially for laid back, easy going Don.
On Saturday we made the trip in reverse, depositing our daughter and granddaughter back at their home and picking up Tucker at my mother’s. We arrived back in LA (Lower Alabama) late Sunday night after having made one little side trip while homeward bound. We stopped to stretch our legs at the Jack Daniels distilery in Lynchburg, TN. It was a welcome reprieve after all that sitting.
Here’s looking at you kid…..