Saturday, July 12, 2008

We're Heading for Home

I forgot to mention that we ran into my cousin Sis, her fiancé and mother at Argosy. He had just won $1000! My aunt is having surgery soon and I was able to wish her well.

Monday Ted attended the Enquirer Retiree Monthly Luncheon where he saw my other cousin, sister to Sis, who worked at the restaurant. We have seen so many people this trip and it’s wonderful. He had dropped me off at Karen’s to do laundry and my friend Mary picked me up there so we could go to lunch. Later Ted picked me up with the laundry and we headed home.

Karen and Ron came by later on so Ted and Ron could put a piece of Plexiglas over our damage. We had taped a plasticized corrugated sheet but it probably wouldn’t hold up too long in rain. It seemed wise to protect the hydraulic hoses that are behind the damaged panel. When they were finished the damage hardly showed because the Plexiglas was white.

One last trip to LaRosa’s and it was time to say goodbye to them. We will see them in the Florida panhandle in August and it is their grandson getting married in November so they are encouraging us to come back. If we did, it would not be with the RV at that time of year. We would stay with them; maybe stop for a long weekend at Dan and Sue’s and then go on to Michigan for Thanksgiving. We’re still tossing it around.

I received a phone call from Carol in TX who said our friend Elmira had died the night before. She had been sick for a year and fought so hard. She was at our May Newcomers luncheon and we all hoped she could beat this thing. But there were too many things wrong and it just wasn’t to be. Rest in peace, Elmira.

Tuesday morning we were on the road a little after 7:00 am. We drove to Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park in Chuckey, TN. This is way east and less than 50 miles from the Virginia border. Ted’s friend Howard moved here from DeBary, FL and we promised him we would stop some day. Howard came to the park immediately and visited with us. His wife has MS and stays pretty close to home.

After Howard left to attend rehearsal for a production he is in, I fixed dinner very early. We hadn’t had breakfast, grabbed a bite at a rest area enroute so we were hungry. Then it started to rain. Once it stopped we took a walk.

Right across from our campsite is an overlook to see the small rapids in the Nolichucky River. Two men were fly fishing. It’s a peaceful setting. Then we walked to the replica cabin and stone monument dedicated to Davy Crockett.

There was another old, carved stone. We could make out On This Spot, Davy Crockett, the word Born and the number 17. He was born in 1786 and died at the Alamo in 1836. My favorite story about him is that supposedly when he lost his run for the Senate in Tennessee, his farewell speech contained this remark, “You can all go to hell and I’m going to Texas.” My sentiments exactly!

We had watched the news during the rain and it was reported that a Lake Orion, Michigan man had drowned. His body was found next to a houseboat by divers. The TV station was Knoxville so we didn’t know exactly where this had happened. At 10:15 my phone rang and it was Kara. This man was the husband of a gal she worked with. We had met her and her daughter last month at Sam and Morgan’s birthday party. They were vacationing on a houseboat, actually two lashed together, with lots of family members. He had epilepsy and I’m sure that will be a focus in any autopsy or investigation. This is the fourth person who has died in the two months we have been gone. Everyone really needs to treat people as if it is the last time they will see them, because eventually it will be. It seems the peaks in life are further apart and the valleys are long and low as we get older.

Wednesday morning Howard picked us up to go to his house to visit Nancy and to have lunch. She is getting around pretty well with a cane but she must take her time and stairs present a problem. Howard has two 2-car garages and a full basement where he has his shell loading equipment. There were more pictures of Ted (shooting) on the walls than there are in our house.

After lunch we took a ride through Greeneville, the county seat and birthplace of Andrew Johnson. We saw a cannonball from the Civil War still imbedded in a house. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant, scouted diesel prices, bought some milk and came back to the RV. Nancy made it in and out with no problem. They watched the DVD of our 40th anniversary that the kids had made and then they headed for home.

Thursday was shooting day and Howard came by to pick up Ted. The weather wasn’t the best so I opted to amuse myself at the RV. They did manage to get a few rounds in plus lunch before Howard had to leave for practice for the production he is in.

Ted and I drove back into Greeneville to visit the Andrew Johnson Historical Site. We watched a film and then had a private tour of their home. Johnson was the 17th president succeeding Lincoln after his assassination. However, he was a Democrat and Lincoln was a Republican. He is the only president impeached (but not convicted) besides ol’ Bill. His “crime” was firing his Secretary of War which violated a law later declared unconstitutional. The contents of the house had been burned during the Civil War so the present furnishings were purchased by the Johnson's after the war to refurnish the house. The traveling chest has Greeneville spelled incorrectly. The quilt on the bed was made by his wife.

We went to the Gray Fossil site in Johnson City on Friday. This was a sinkhole 4.5 million years ago and was discovered during a road project in 2001. It is the most significant find in the eastern U.S. Fossilized skeletons of entire extinct animals have been unearthed. Then we went on to Jonesborough to meet Howard before attending his practice. We walked through the old part of town. I’ve never seen so many “historical site” markers in one area as this part of eastern Tennessee.

We also learned that eastern Tennessee tried to be a separate state named Franklin but it just didn’t happen. Even during the Civil War, the east and west parts of the state had different views on slavery. Johnson had pushed for emancipation prior to the Civil War. His position was not popular with a good deal of the population and he was branded a traitor. But he stood true to the Constitution and did what he felt was best for the country.

We met Howard in Jonesborough where we shared a malt and then we attended a rehearsal of the entire program that he is involved with. It is the play “Swing” and will be a great evening’s entertainment for the next two weekends. We are sorry we wouldn’t be around long enough to see the “real” thing.

This morning we left Tennessee and stopped south of Birmingham, AL. We are in the small town of Hoover and staying at the city park. I found Prince of Peace church not too far away and we went to church at 5 p.m. and then stopped at a small restaurant before coming back to the RV.

Tomorrow we are heading to Vicksburg, MS. We should be there for two nights. The new panels were not shipped on Wednesday as promised. They were “overlooked!” So they went out Friday and probably won’t be delivered to Bailey’s in Lufkin until Wednesday. We are hoping our repair will be made Thursday and we can get home that evening. It sets us back a few days but we don’t want to make a trip back to Lufkin for this. I think we’re good with the post office until the 19th. Let’s hope so!

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