Waking up on this morning was filled with mixed emotions. I was going to miss the campground and the many things we could be doing there. I was wishing for more time for more adventure and more quiet by the river. I looked forward to being home and seeing family and friends. I seriously dreaded the drive and having to follow my son leading the way, especially on the interstates. I prefer back roads, but we would probably still be driving if we had done that.
Once I was up and dressed I walked Bella a couple of laps around the campground. Early morning was easy as the heat from these sun baked summer days had not settled in yet. Once she was back in the camper and set up, we headed out for breakfast. We returned to the pancake place since it was close and easily accessible. This time I did not get pancakes but a biscuit and gravy plate with scrambled eggs and sausage. My son got an omelet and pancakes. After breakfast, we headed back to make our preparations for leaving. We had to be out at noon and that was only a couple of hours away. That gave us plenty of time but I’m a worrier.
Once back, I walked Bella one more time as my son began the process of our leaving. I made sure that everything in the camper was secure. As I did, I found the small, colorful rubber duck that someone had placed on Star the night before. My Jeep’s first truly random ducking. Most of the ducks given to her have been from friends, at events, and even one at church. This was from people I did not know and still do not. My son was laughing at the joy that simple act brought me. Yes, the duck is on the dash of Star, riding in style. After everything was secured for the ride, I got Bella secured in my Jeep. Making sure I had her bowl and a water supply. I had to move Star out of the way so I drove to the end of the campground and waited for my son to pass by.
As he drove by, I fell in behind. We were headed home. We stopped briefly to fill up both vehicles with gas so that we wouldn’t need to stop for a while. Both of us were ready to be on our way and get this trip over with.
At one point, not too terribly far from the camp ground my son made a rather erratic move. It was later that I found out he was trying to get my attention so I would see the bear. I didn’t see the bear, I was too busy wondering why he would make that move.
On the way home, I again made sure to keep a check on traffic all around me. I wanted to be prepared for what ever move my son made. While doing that, I noticed that there are some very reckless drivers out there. I’ve seen them around here, but it seems that you put a regular reckless on an interstate and it ramps up the stupidity to absurd levels.
As we were driving through the mountains we did stop at a scenic spot and let Bella out to walk. I needed to stretch as well as my muscles were not happy with confinement at the moment. Once we returned to the road, I felt better and ready to take on what might come.
Going down the mountain, my son mostly stayed in the slow lane. I’m sure there were those whose encounter with us was brief wondered why I didn’t pass, but there were some who stayed behind long enough to see I was following him. When my son would pass a vehicle, he made sure to leave enough room for me as well before he moved back over. At one point on our final leg, he moved to pass a slow moving truck and I put on my turn signal as well, but a white car that had been behind me for miles also moved to pass. I stayed to allow them to go on but instead they signaled for me to go ahead. Manners are still out there.
As we finally pulled down our driveway Molly was excitedly greeting us. I let my parents know we were home then began the process of hauling stuff from the camper into the house. We were not finished with our adventure, so not everything came in but I did need to do laundry and replenish the pantry. The next leg was going to be a completely different sort of fun. And yet, I look forward to it just as much.
Here I sit, a week after returning from Tennessee and still enjoying that trip. My inner child feels re-energized and ready to return to life rather than hide away in seclusion. To sit here and know that I did things that I would not have before, makes a difference. For many, what I did might seem small, and maybe even laughable but for me, it was a big deal. I do not like heights, and yet, there I was. I had no idea what riding that mountain coaster involved, and yet there I was. The reclusive, don’t take chances, don’t take risks me, was doing just that. Small steps, yes. Baby steps, yes. But it was a beginning. We see how a device that is recharging has that battery symbol that fills as the process continues. That is somewhat how I feel. Like that confined inner child has stepped out into the light and is slowly recharging into a more adventurous sort once again. Over the course of four days I spoke to people I did not know. In the parking areas of truck stops. At the campground. At the Skybridge. People I will never see again, but for that brief moment, we were connected. I drove on interstates without the usual anxiety I feel, even though I was alone in my Jeep. In my heart, with all my heart, I feel that my Lord was with me reminding me, He is always with me. There is no reason to fear. That I need to live and enjoy the life He has given me. This trip, this adventure, went a long way into teaching and reminding me. I’m so very glad we went.