Time to Remember
I had just moved to Florida from New Orleans- a post break up emotional mess- and Mom invited me to go with her to visit our dear family friends Dyan and Mark in Douglasville, GA. I leapt at the chance- Dyan and Mark were more family than friends- we've known them 40 some odd years and it had been awhile since I had seen them both.It was about a six hour drive to their doorstep, not bad at all.
Everything started off fine. Then we reached the loop around the city of Dothan. It was rush hour and the cars were bumper to bumper as motorists hurried home. Mom had visited Dyan before but her sense of direction was never ...precise. (A trait I inherited much to my chagrin.) I saw the turn coming up . "There's where we turn. It's coming up. Okay there it is. Turn now. Now. NOW! Okay, that was our turn. Let's go back. "
She smiled and murmered , "Uh oh."
I tried to guide her to a place to make a u-turn but the heavy traffic was intimidating so we just continued around the loop.
Two more times.
Once we successfully made our turn, the trip was uneventful. Mostly. Dyan, who is a whiz with directions and backroads, had given Mom new directions to reach her house. Unfortunately, Dyans' directions were not as concise as we needed- both Mom and I were very literal people and Dyan's idea of a marker was not a hwy or exit number but more in the line of "Go to the exit with a Stuckeys and get off there."
We were doomed.
I'm hazy on the details, but I do know at some point I called Dyan to let her know that we would be there soon. After taking the Stuckeys' exit we drove and drove...and drove. We should have seen her subdivision by this point and I began to panic. We stopped at a gas station and I asked the clerk for directions. Unfortunately she had no clue where we were going- had never heard of it. So we ended up backtracking and getting back on the expressway.
An hour and a half later, we finally saw the real Stuckeys exit.
We finally reached Dyans who greeted us at the car, phone in hand, having just called the highway patrol to find "a tiny woman and her big gay son"( She didn't really call me that, but I think it would have worked on the A.P.B.) My nerves were shot, Dyan was in a state of panic but relieved, and mom was nonplussed at all the fuss. In her mind, we made it, everything was a-ok. So it took eight and a half hours for a six hour trip.
Once inside, I quickly downed the valium Dyan offered me.
Needless to say, when we returned home.a few days later, I took the wheel.
Not all trips were stressfull. (The Dyan trip was actually delightful besides the driving and especially after I emerged from my 24 hour valium haze.)For her 60th birthday, I took her to Disney World where she was an absoloute trooper. Her favorite park was Animal Kingdom (she always had a soft spot for nature and animals), but we hit all four parks and she rode everything. I mean, everything. Space Mountain, Aerosmith Rock and Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror, you name it. She never faltered, never said no, just smiled and sucked it up even if she was nervous about the ride.
My favorite response on a ride: On Tower of Terror, after it's first plunge down and we are catupulted back up, she turned to scream at me, "Why am I doing this? No, really. Why?" Then she let out a hearty laugh.
It was one of my favorite trips.
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