Easter Sunday. We tried to rest up for the long day ahead. The Saturday night hotel crowd would have none of it. So, after a fitful night of sleep, we got ready for morning worship at the campus church.
It was a joy to have six family members together for church: Mama, sister, sister, Jessie, brother, and me. That made Easter special. The music was really, really good. The sermon, of course, was on the resurrection, with special emphasis on Jesus’ victory over death.
After church, the three travelers said good-bye to the three college students. Mama and Jessie changed clothes at the college. At noon, Mama, Jessie, and I were at Burger King. Jessie particularly likes the chicken nuggets (something she seldom gets). We had coupons for our three meals. Mama gave a homeless shelter guy an order of French fries. We hit the road.
The trip north is a dreary trip, no two ways about it. It’s ten to eleven hours of monotony. Sundays are even more monotonous without talk radio. To make it even worse, it rained all the way through Florida and Alabama. As with the trip south, there were two gas/bathroom stops going north. Mama drive 90% of the way. Not having her foot elevated caused her ankle to swell from her tumble earlier in the week. Off and on, I read Anne to Jessie. Jessie, on and off, read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms. We snacked. Mama ate Easter Reese’s. Jessie and I are cookies and cream Easter eggs. Mama ate tortilla chips with hummus and peppers. Jessie and I played “yellow cars.” If it all sounds terribly boring, you’ve read the last paragraph correctly.
There was an hour or two without rain. But, the storm seemed to be following us. We were in the middle of a lightening display. The rain came down in buckets, torrents, gallons, oceans, or whatever synonym you choose.
We switched drivers about 10:00pm. Jessie dozed in her car seat. We puzzled about how to return the rented car at midnight and finally came up with a plan.
We drove to Jessie’s grandpa’s house where two of our cars were waiting. We transferred Mama’s stuff to her car in the rain. We took the rental and the other car and went to the rental place. I have a habit of spontaneously getting out of the car at a red light and I run around to the other side to steal a kiss from Mama. Mama worries about traffic, but I still do it. Anyway, it was after midnight and we were in two separate cars. Her car was in front. I jumped out, ran to her stopped car, opened the door to kiss her, and scared the living you-know-what out of her (wits, dear reader, wits). She yelled so loudly, Jessie heard it plainly back at the other car. We got gas. Under the gas station canopy, we transferred Jessie and the rest of the stuff to our car. We dropped off the rental in the wee hours. We unloaded the stuff from the trip. I put the stuff from the cooler in the fridge. We left the luggage in the front hallway. We brushed teeth. Jessie donned P.J.s. We read Bible. We prayed. We read some Anne. We skipped listening to the end of day song. Day 299 ended back at the house.
Blessings: Sleeping in my own bed. Not sleeping in a hotel room in which Jessie thought it would be interesting to pull the plug on the drain at the bottom of the food cooler so that all the melted water drained on the carpet and for the rest of the week the doorway was soppy and the room smelled like mildew. A safe trip back home. Getting to see three siblings. Ending a week of crazy conversations. Ending the trip (give or take an hour) on Easter Sunday with a reminder of the promise of the resurrection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcbKWT10z34