We left very early Thursday morning, 4:04 am to be exact. We stopped at Buc-ees for coffee and continued on making our regular stop at Sulfur La, only after leaving Cracker Barrel we decided to get gasoline on down the road but not in Lafayette. Once we made the turn north in Mississippi we began to see rain showers and some of them torrential. Alabama proved to have the worst rain on the trip and one time I was nearly blinded by a wall of water from the back end of an 18 wheeler. We made it to our intended destination of the night, ordered pizza and I was asleep by 8:30. That night in the hotel proved to me how ideal conditions have been for recovery because the too soft mattress was an enemy and nearly got Roy a black eye from my elbow. It was one of those I Love Lucy moments. The joy of doing all the hard driving the first day is that the second day of back road beauty makes it all worthwhile. So we drove the familiar roads but this time there wasn't that sense of excitement that I usually experience. No, it was more a calm reassurance of knowing we were getting closer to home and seeing the scattered snow on mountain tops was a wonderful welcome back. Before we could head home we needed to stop at the Toyota dealership and drop off some Goode Company brisket and sauce to the two men that were so helpful on what seems to be that long ago day when this journey began. God's timing is a wondrous thing. We found Colby but Phillip was at lunch and we trusted him to give Phillip his dinner. Colby was obviously touched and I thought, wow what a sensitive man that he cries at the delivery of BBQ but then we found out the reason for the tears. Once of his best friends had passed away and on the next day Colby was driving straight through to Missouri to attend the service and then he was driving straight back to Asheville. He told us that the delivery of good BBQ created his first smile since he had learned the news of his friend. He was also blown away by the phone call Roy had made to him when we were awaiting surgery in Lafayette because I didn't want him to think I wasn't going to follow through on the delivery of BBQ. The timing of delivery on Friday was perfect.
After a quick stop at the Post Office to stop the forwarding of mail, we made it home. Such a welcomed sight and knowing there was a surprise in the refrigerator from Vivian was a huge bonus. Coconut pie for me and homemade apple butter for Roy. The reception that Buddy gave us was not the typical mad cat because you've been gone too long reception. She was in my lap as soon as I sat down. We began, or rather should I say, Roy began unloading the truck and then our next order of business, stop in to see Bill and Vivian. I had missed them so and I don't think there will ever be enough thank yous for their great care of Buddy while I recuperated in Texas. Buddy had a great gift for Bill since he had introduced her to the Lone Ranger TV show, a Lone Ranger book published in 1941. Some have Paris, others have The Lone Ranger. Then we took some BBQ and sauce to Brenda and then we went to see Inez with BBQ in hand. I always enjoy visiting with Inez and Cumin and now Roy knows why, he loved our visit with them.
Saturday morning we were up early and Roy made breakfast...scrambled eggs and biscuits with homemade apple butter. We were out the door and at the mall early with the first stop being Barnes and Noble. I knew they would have the two magazines I had been looking for in Houston and I was not disappointed. Then we went to Sears and purchased a new washer and dryer. I have never liked the washer here and when we had to duct tape the dryer, we knew it was time. Then we went across the street to Whole Foods where Roy asked around and got some sliced oranges for me as well as getting a loaf of cranberry walnut bread when there was none to be found. I had already retreated to the truck because I was feeling it, the lack of endurance. We ate lunch and then did the big grocery shopping. We spent the afternoon and into the early evening working on things around here and getting stuff to the right place.
My PT guy did a great job of getting me prepared for stairs and I haven't had much difficulty with them at all. My knee gives me more of a problem than my hip. Now the hilliness of the land, that is giving me a few problems but once again it is the endurance thing and regaining my mountain legs. That is if I had ever had them before.
Sunday morning...oh my how wonderful to return to Newfound Baptist. Just as it should have been Louise and I walked into church together. When we came in I heard my name and welcome backs from the end of the hallway. How wonderful to walk into the classroom filled with friends I have missed. It felt so good to be back in the service. Roy had worked so hard on Saturday that he stayed home to rest up. He has done a lot of hard work these past six weeks.
So this morning I am easing into the day. Happy to see a few birds returning to the feeders, a cardinal last night. Had a brief sighting of Michael the one eyed cat on Saturday. The cows across the road have new hay mangers on the top of the hill so I see them longer each day. There are a bunch of new little calves and so glad I am not emotionally bonded with any of them so that I can just enjoy watching them romp and play. I have lots to put away but I know that taking it slow is the better choice and the better result. On this bright sunny morning, I am home.