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» Saturday, June 11, 2016Long Day's Journey into a Journey
Thought we might sleep until 8:30 this morning, but yet another alas. So we were on the road by nine o'clock, having stopped at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. Oatmeal and a fruit cup with a milk chaser hit the spot.
We were headed down to Warner Robins on a twofold mission: (1) meet up with James' mom to get her birthday and Mother's Day gifts to her and (2) go to the model club's annual show at the Museum of Aviation. We used to go down quite regularly, but haven't in the past few years because the traffic has been so horrendous.
Well, apparently nothing has changed.
The weather alone was horrendous; it wasn't so bad when I walked Tucker, but even heading out after stopping for breakfast the sun was headed up to the zenith with a cloak of heat trailing in its wake. James and I usually get sunburned driving anywhere long distance in the summer, so I made sure we had our hats and we each wore one of his long-sleeve dress shirts. (Despite the hats and the shirts we still arrived home with red cheeks and irritated skin.) Then we reached the part of the road where I-675 splits to the east. They have been fixing and widening this part of I-75 southbound for what seems like eons, and sure enough, traffic stopped dead and started inching along. And this went on for about fifteen miles. Now, certainly if the traffic was funneled down to one or two lanes you would certainly expect a holdup. But three lanes were open the entire route, and when the construction was finally over, there were still three lanes—but the traffic vanished! I mean, poof! One minute everything was backed up, a second later everyone was zipping up to 75 m.p.h. again.
Anyway, we got on the road at nine and arrived just a few minutes after noon for what should be a hundred-minute drive. When we shut off the engine and opened the truck doors it was like stepping into the desert. Heat was radiating off the pavement as if out of a toaster. We offloaded the power chair and went into the new hangar, where they had tables set out for the models and some others for model dealers.
Now, I'd thought about taking the truck and maybe going back down to Books-a-Million, but I didn't want to stir back out in that heat, not even to go to the main building and get some lunch! So I took a few pictures of the models, including a funny "cow abduction by aliens," went over to say hi to James Corley at his sales table, then took a couple of photographs of the planes in the hangar (including the drone that looks like a whale with wings), and then walked back out in the foyer and extracted the "Mouse" (the little Nextbook Walmart was selling so inexpensively last year). Archived some magazines on Zinio, read a little of my newest "Reader's Digest" on Nook, and then took everything over to a nearby table and hitched up the keyboard.
Of course James appeared just as I'd pulled up a manuscript. He called his Mom and arranged for us to meet her and Candy at Applebee's for lunch. Then we had to go out in that inferno to get to the truck. I pointed to some greyish clouds and wondered if it was going to rain. James didn't think so, so we left the power chair on the back of the truck flagged with the red bandanna from the emergency box so people would notice it was there and not run into it.
So about twenty minutes later James looked outside and said, "Oh, my God, it's raining!"
I don't remember even getting out the door; I was off like a shot and already had the cover almost on the chair as James limped up behind me. We tied the tarp down, and, you guessed it, by the time we got back inside and sat down, it had stopped raining. It rained again in a bit, but we waited it out and by the time we left it was dry. In the meantime, we had lunch, which Candy sweetly paid for, and gave Mom her gifts (a series of books set in north Georgia) and her card.
We left about 4 p.m. after getting gasoline (25 cents a gallon cheaper down there; damn right we filled up). I-75 northbound was delayed forty minutes between Locust Grove and Jonesboro, so we got off the freeway at Route 16, drove a few miles east, then north, and then west again—after seeing an extraordinarily awful accident at the intersection of Route 23 north, where a car had gone nose first into one of those drainage ditches—before going north paralleling the freeway. We saw the little main street of Locust Grove and bopped along the country road until we got to downtown McDonough and turned northwest on Jonesboro Road. When we finally got to the freeway we had skipped the entire mess, but it still took us 2 1/2 hours to get 100 miles. Ugh.
James was wiped out after driving both legs and pretty much fell asleep in his chair the moment we got home. I sat watching Lassie because Grit TV is finally showing something besides the 200 episodes Angel2 keeps repeating and repeating and repeating. I think "Lightning" and a couple of other episodes have aired once a week for the past year. They're actually showing season 12, and I discovered just how much Jed Allan and Jack DeMave were a letdown after Robert Bray. Damn that "old demon rum" and its hideous hold on some people.