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Carol Perkins: For better and worse

By Carol Perkins

Having not seen our Texas grandchildren since Christmas, Guy suggested that we turn a working trip for him into a visit with them.

Actually, they were going to meet us in Shreveport, LA, which was about five hours from Austin. Guy was working in Montgomery and then on to Mobile, so we made our way up to Shreveport from there.

Not having to be at my store any longer, I felt free to leave when he wanted, do nothing but "lay up" in the hotel and read, and then eat at a nice place. From Wednesday until Friday night, I nothing but "lay up" in hotels, read, and eat before meeting up with Jon and the kids.

They arrived around 11:30 that night in Shreveport. Jon texted, "Tell Dad to come down and help me get three sleeping kids out of the van." (Beth had taken a girls' trip to Utah with her friends.) Naturally, I wasn't going to stay in the room. By the time Jon drove into the parking lot, all three of them were awake. We hugged ever so long and made our way to our rooms. Luke, the oldest, has surpassed me in height. That is a measuring stick for adulthood in the eyes of the grandkids. At twelve he is now 5'4". He wasn't that tall at Christmas. Eme sported her new hairstyle, having given 14 inches of her blond curls to Locks of Love. Noah didn't have a tooth in his head. They were like seeing the sunshine in the middle of the night.

Basically, we had all day Saturday together so we went to a hands-on science center downtown and then we shopped a little, ate, and talked. Time flew. Jon, famous for finding out of the way eateries, did just that for lunch. Herby K's is known for its Shrimp Buster. When I saw the bars over the windows, I didn't know just how safe we might be, but the line waiting outside changed my mind.

This was a tiny place but obviously a favorite for locals. Down a back alley in the middle of boarded-up buildings might not be an ideal location, but the food was worth the lack of ambiance. The space was so tiny that a man in line stood with his back so close to Guy that he could read his jean size on the label. "You know him well, now," I smirked.

"Better than I want to know him."

Soon the short visit was over and Jon rounded up the kids into the van and they headed west and we headed for Kentucky. "This has been a wonderful Mother's Day. All that is missing is seeing Joseph," I said as we drove away. We had planned to stop in Nashville but by the time we got there, we were DEAD.

Along about Memphis my feet had swollen from so much riding (over 2,000 miles) and fearing blood clots, I made a bed in the backseat. I used two bags of dirty clothes as a pillow and propped my feet up in the window. Drivers passing could see nothing but a driver in the front and feet in the back. "I'm not physically fit enough for these long drives anymore," I stated to Guy as he held to the road for ten hours. He didn't even take time to eat.

Another important aspect of this trip was that I forgot my C-Pap machine. That is critical for a good night's sleep; therefore, I didn't get much rest and snored so loudly I woke myself up. I won't do that again.

By this Friday we will be on the road again. My niece graduates from law school in Florida and we will head out Thursday for a two day more ten hours. "Maybe we should have flown," I said, lying in a fetal position in the back seat dreading the trip to Jacksonville.

"I think it was your idea to drive," Guy reminded me, glancing over the back seat.

I was thinking as I was stretched out that 49 years ago Guy had no idea that his bride would be piled up in the back seat, lying on two plastic bags of dirty clothes, with her feet swollen the size of a child's head. This was, indeed, for better or worse.

Carol Perkins, the writer of this popular CM Column, is an author, owner and operator (until May 2015) of Main Street Screenprinting, 601 S. Main Street, Edmonton, KY, Phones 270-432-3152 and 270-670-4913 and is co-host of Susan (Susan Shirley Chambers) & Carol (Carol Sullivan Perkins) on 99.1 The Hoss, regularly live at 10amCT, each Tuesday.

This story was posted on 2015-05-14 08:41:33
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