It wasn’t planned as a pleasure trip. It was a medical trip. We were seeking help for Charles’ gnarly hands–scars, crooked fingers, etc. from various episodes as a veterinarian and an avid yard worker. He said he didn’t have to have me along but he’d like me to go. How wonderful to be wanted! Maybe it wasn’t planned as a pleasure trip but that’s what we made it.
Charles’ appointment was at 9:00 in Macon so we were up and pulling out of the yard at 5:30. It was still dark when we said goodby to the cats Cramer and Sassy who must have wondered why breakfast was so early. Charles drove to Camilla where we stopped for breakfast at McDonald’s, the only place open. It’s always a pleasure to find friendly folks behind the counter so early in the morning. And breakfast after twenty-five miles of travel is so delicious!
Charles loves to read the paper while riding, catch up on the news and editorials and read the comics to me with all his special sound effects and vivid descriptions. I laugh much harder when he reads them to me than when I read them myself! And I have motion-sickness tendencies so do not read while riding. So I took the driver’s seat in Camilla. Up the road toward Albany, in between his editorial comments, I exclaimed over the sunrise and then turned jubilant when the sun, a perfect red disk, rose above the treetops to our right. I don’t know why I don’t get up in time to see the sunrise more often, it is such a thrill. But of course you can see it much better on that road from Camilla to Albany, such a wonderful view of the sky all the way. After the sun came up, Charles put his seat back and went to sleep. I found myself with Fox news, the road, and God’s beautiful morning work.
In between hearing about a horrible plane crash in Indonesia and alarming details of the New York prisoner nabbing, I saw a beautiful doe just standing beside the road looking alertly about as if surprised to find such activity. I hope she went safely back into the woods and very quickly!
In Macon at Ortho Georgia our visit was pleasant and painless, at least for me! Charles did have a shot of steroids in one finger, hopefully to relieve scar tissue and let it straighten out. Our doctor was very young, looked like a baby to us! But he seemed to know what he was doing and gave Charles advice about each problem. Charles, as usual in situations such as that, enjoyed teasing and encouraging him. He insisted the shot didn’t hurt and we headed back down the road.
In Cordele we lunched happily at Cracker Barrel, then purchased some old movies to enjoy at home, movies like “North and South” and “Black Beauty.” There was a Home Depot next door so we ambled over there and found some new cheerful chair cushions for our porch, adding wasp spray to our purchases so we’ll be prepared for those intruders. Back in the car, we set the radio on Willie’s Roadhouse and sang along with some of our favorite old songs like “If I Had to Do It All Over Again, I’d Do It With You.”
It was while we were stopped at Striplings purchasing smoked sausage for our 4th of July Low Country Boil that the storms began. It had been such a beautiful afternoon until then. The clouds were soft and piled in unbelievable mountains of snowy light in the big sky. But then those soft clouds disappeared and in their place were hovering black clouds with lightning shredding them to the tune of kettle drums.
I had intended to drive from Striplings and let Charles have a good well-deserved nap. But when the sky opened and began dumping water in blinding bands he had mercy on me, knowing how badly I hate to drive in heavy rain. (Probably he was interested in preserving our safety!) He said he was awake enough after browsing around in Striplings. We waited for a break in the storm and then ran for the car. The break didn’t last long. By the time we were five miles down the road the rain was so heavy we put on our emergency blinker until Charles found an old road he could pull into. We put back our seats and slept like babies. The storm raged around us like wolves trying to break into a mountain cabin.
We drove fifty miles or so stopping at intervals when the bands of rain were so heavy they were like barrels of water splashed in our faces by a giant hand. It was a remarkable display of God’s power right before our eyes, the sky split by fierce streaks of lightning, thunder that rattled our teeth, and the pouring, sluicing rain. It finally let up south of Albany and our trip home was safe, broken by a stop at our Camilla veterinary office to see the folks there.
Home looked so good to us! The cats arched their backs from afternoon naps and swished tails around our legs. We put new cushions in our porch chairs and sat watching the rain come in from the south. From sunrise, to God’s healing through a young physician, to storms on the highway, we met God at every turn on our day trip. Though it was a necessary health trip, we made it into a pleasure trip, one to remember!