Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sneaking Home

After going through two huge locks (80 feet plus!) on the Tennessee River, we arrived in Joe Wheeler State Park Marina on Tuesday afternoon, October 12th. We had an easy time with locking (we’re old hats at this now!) and our transit up the river to here was a beautiful ride on a perfect fall day. We were traveling with “C-Life” and “Freedom’s Turn” and had a good time taking pictures of each other’s boats in front of the mammoth locking doors—what pictures we’ll have to share once we get home!

Wednesday morning, Louis was immediately able to secure a rental car and that accomplished, we decided we had just enough time to go home for a few days—we had until Monday noon at which time the Fall AGLCA Rendezvous would begin here at this marina. Others were making plans to go by car to either Nashville or Memphis, but we hadn’t seen our children in almost six months! I was way overdue in needing hugs and kisses from our precious grandchildren—and the last couple of weeks have taken their toll on us as we have talked with them on the phone about Halloween costumes, pumpkins, school doings, scouts, and the State Fair. Without a doubt, it was time to “sneak home”.

We had inquired a few days earlier about our children’s plans for the weekend, not letting them know we were even contemplating coming home—so we knew they both would be at their respective houses during the time span we had available to surprise them—they would not be camping, having evening parties to go to, having company, birthday parties, going out of town, etc. We knew it would take one full day of traveling (just about 620 miles to our lake house) and then one whole day (ugh!) to get back to the boat, but we didn’t care how far it was—we were grabbing the time and going home specifically to see all our children. Yippee!! So, with lots of help from friends here, we got the boat off-loaded with lots of stuff and the car loaded down and we were underway at just past 1pm when we texted a message to Geni and Catherine saying what our surprise was. Everyone was jubilant—me especially!

We arrived safely home just after midnight Eastern Time—boy, what a great feeling to see that everything was all right there. We were tired after a 12 hour driving trip—but still so excited to be home that it took another two hours for me to calm down and get to sleep! Louis hit the big bed immediately and had no trouble at all falling asleep—lucky him. We had (earlier in the afternoon) made impromptu plans to spend Thursday afternoon/night in Cary with Catherine and her family—then drive over to Oxford for the same on Friday afternoon/evening with Geni and her family. We would spend Saturday night back at home and leave for our return to the boat early Sunday morning—“o dark” 5-ish—we wanted to get back to the boat before dark. Whew—it was Wednesday, we’d be back Sunday afternoon—a lot to accomplish in just a few days. Around 1400 miles--no problem, “Let’s go!”

Suffice to say, it was well worth the huge push to make it all happen. Our children were thrilled to see us, and I think even more, us them—thankfully, we had comfortable and safe traveling—our home and yard were in surprisingly good shape (thank you, Rick!)—we were able to see just a few of Southern Coach’s office staff Thursday at lunchtime—I got to sleep in Taylor’s bed Thursday night and Clay’s bed Friday night—we had great meals at Neo-China in Cary, La Coquina Mexican in Roxboro, Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ in Henderson, Oxford’s famous George’s pizza, and Cracker Barrel somewhere on the way back to the boat—we got to see both boys play their Saturday morning soccer games (sorry we missed yours, Katie!)—we were able to get to the post office in Leasburg and continue to have our mailed forwarded—we got to “trick or treat” with Katie and Taylor and see their cute costumes—we changed out light bulbs and rotated timers at home—we pulled under a shelter our potted plants and brought back fall clothes—we slept blissfully in our own king size bed two nights (our bed on the boat is a double!)—I had time to take two long, hot, tub baths (my first in six months as there is no tub on the boat!)—and we got "just barely enough” hugs and kisses to last us until we come home for the holidays.

When I titled this blog, “Sneaking Home”, I did so for a specific reason—we called no one other than our girls to say we were coming home—there just wasn’t enough time to get a chance to see our friends in three short days. How could we call one person and not others? We both decided it was a Solomon’s choice we just couldn’t make. But as fate would have it, we were just several hours into our trip home when we got a call from Frank—and we couldn’t lie!—so he was the only one who knew how our plans were unfolding—and it must have been telepathy—we were bringing off the boat the last of Buddy’s things for his dog, Dixie. We had planned to leave those things at Catherine’s house for Frank to pick up later, but wound up going over to his house and delivering the "dog stuff" in person and getting great hugs there from Mimi too—so glad we did that. (We love your new hairstyle, Mimi!)

Hopefully in the 4-5 weeks we’re home for the holidays, we’ll be able to connect with others whom we’ve missed so terribly too! Both Louis and I are looking forward to seeing friends and other family members during that time—both at home and at the beach—it will have been since the first of May that we left. Seven months then, we're half done----unbelievable!


Geni Slaughter said...

We sure did enjoy having you home too. You are welcome to sneak home any time to stay with us.
See you in a month or so.
Love - Geni

Jay Stockard said...

I'm so glad you got the chance to get home and recharge the love batteries! Wish we too could have seen you, but look forward to the holidays, and we WILL find a place and time to get together! Have fun, stay safe, and know that we love and miss you both.


nancy dallas said...

What a great treat for you and the family! So glad the opportunity was available......I know how it would be to not see those kids! Be safe and hope to see you at some point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jan said...

Glad you got to sneak home for a while! Can't wait to see you over the holidays and compare notes! Have fun on the rest of the Tenn-Tom!