Well I put up a post yesterday concerning the second part of the trip but it ended up in another blogger account I have - and haven't used in years. In fact, it was quite ironic that of the only 4 posts in that account, the one that came up was a trip to Dad's in Sierra Vista some years ago. Just a bit eerie.
Anyway, I stopped last night at around 11:30 pm in Amarillo, Texas. I found another great deal on Expedia for this HUGE hotel property. My $109 room was $36 plus tax. The room was huge. I was amazed at what I got for the money paid. However, the hotel I ended up in Sierra Vista, though not as big, I liked much better. Still, I got a decent night's sleep, got up around 8:30 am, ate their free breakfast - standard nothing breakfast but since it was free I figured better than shelling out even more money.
Got out on the road and burned up the rest of the fuel in the car, filled it up again somewhere well outside of Ft Worth, and kept right on driving. I hate, hate, hate driving through Dallas. the freeways are all torn up for construction and they've been torn up for years now. I held in the need to go to th bathroom, got through there and held it in for another 150 miles lol.
Almost 2,600 miles covered. That old car had no more problem than a bad tire, which I would have had to replace regardless of the trip or not. I'm going to check my account for how much money I spent on fuel. Actually, I put some of it on a Chevron card as well. 4 hotel stays, all last minute deals that all turned out to be either good or very good. Visiting dad, Caleb and my mom. had a lot of thinking time. Saw some places I haven't seen in decades, especially on the trip back since I went up to I40 from mom's property. Driving through New Mexico is some interesting stuff.
I can't remember that last time I took a road trip that far. And it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was really worried about that old car. It runs like a champ, but still. Who knows what might happen on that much driving constantly 5 days in a row.
It was an exceptional trip in that I found out that for as much as I dislike driving for work anymore, I could enjoy myself driving on pleasure. Well this wasn't exactly pleasure considering my dad's condition. I expect a phone call soon enough that he has passed away. But for as much driving as it was, it was definitely worth the drive to see him, visit with him, prod his memory so he could remember who I was. Cause' at first, he had no clue. I had to tell story after story of mainly stuff we did together as a young boy and he finally connected the dots.
His wife was gracious enough, more than I expected, though it was obvious elongated visits were not welcomed. But I had driven all that way, I ignored the clues and just sat there, looking at day, conversed with him and she finally sat down and joined in, which really helped a lot because my dad really isn't comfortable around anyone without her around. Played some Gospel music and sang to it. Reminisced of days gone by. Talked politics. Talked about the Lord. I was intent on getting whatever conversation I could out of my dad for the time I was there, because I am quite certain that trip will be the last time I see him alive on this earth. Now I don't have to regret not seeing him. I don't have to wonder what it would have been like to see him in his final days of life. I don't have to stress about things not done. I am at peace now. My dad will pass, he will go to be with the Lord, my life will go on however much longer it will and I will go to the same place and be with him again someday.
But you see, I have a friend that is about 700 miles from here that I was scoffing at airfare pricing, but also scoffing at the idea of driving over there. Not anymore. Driving, especially nowadays with fuel at the price that it is, is not that bad You just need the time to do it. But, I can't take any time off until they get another driver. However, that will be overlooked if/when dad passes.
My mom. You know, I probably would have stayed longer up there, but it's quite hot up in those mountains right now and as always, she doesn't care anything about using AC. She just doesn't. She complained that it costs her a hundred bucks a month to run the AC in the afternoon. We were sitting outside and it was quite warm. I did that for almost 3 hours and that was it, that was all I could take. I have always attributed to her love of the dry heat to it's effect on her fibromyalgia, somehow make the pain subside or lessons it.
And I forgot the irritation of the next door neighbor's 15 year old son, speeding up and down the street, always in someone's truck - a different truck it seems all the time - burning out tires, it gets old. The peace I was just experiencing here dismantled by this bs.
Well anyway, I just got home a while ago and trying to settle back into to "real life". Meaning in a little over 12 hours from now, I have to be at work. It is an ending to a trip that isn't quite so wonderful. I always schedule trips to have a buffer day - a complete day back home - to get my mind back into the daily grind. Time to anticipate what's coming, which isn't really all that wonderful.
I understand now the need to get out of here more often though, on top of everything else. It is a very nice readjustment. Working is not what life is about. It is an end to a means. If it doesn't do that, then it is worthless. I am considering that my place of employment, without the OT, is worthless. The last 2 or 3 weeks the hours mysteriously came back. No rhyme, no reason. I get suspended on this bridge in between my current place of employment and finding a new job.
Anyways, I don't want to go into that right now. I drove 700 miles yesterday and I enjoyed that. The car is old, some things don't work (and not worth fixing) but it's comfortable. I have long resisted the temptation to get into a newer vehicle with payments and I"m glad I did.
What's next? Caleb's wedding. Perhaps a funeral. That kinda takes up any fund and time off that I can do right now. In fact, I intend on approaching the manager tomorrow and telling him that whether he has a new driver or not by August, I am taking time off to go to my son's wedding in CA. It isn't his fault though. He has had 3 drivers go through our company's background check - and all 3 failed. Our company doesn't hire people with felonies or other wild stuff in their background, at least not if it is recent. All nice and fine, but he needs to get someone in there or simply deal with that fact that there is only going to be one driver when I or the other driver- who has been wanting to take time off as well - needs to take time off, we are going to do so.
In all of this, as I already said but feel the need to reaffirm: I am at peace now. That is what I needed on this trip. It doesn't matter how much traveling or time it took or that in 5 days I only spent 5 hours over 2 days with my dad, it mattered that I connected with my family in a meaningful way that brought us together. I wish I could say that I had that relationship with my brothers, but considering my oldest brother just told my son he isn't coming to his wedding - though I don't really hold that against him - and won't go visit his father in his death throes and won't be going to his funeral. My middle brother has disappeared off the "family" text so I haven't heard from him in months. I'm not sure I would miss not ever hearing from him again.
Well that's it I guess. I need to make more trips like this one.
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