I don’t know if anyone else has a “travel” day of the week, but I’m going to start one! This fits really well as I began my latest travels a week ago Thursday, March 31. I added 3 more states to my list of those I’ve visited or traveled through. One I had been to but only when the plane stopped there and we were able to get off and outside the terminal (pre-9/11). Didn’t think that really counted.
In early March I started thinking about my dad – he was getting ready to turn 90 years old. I haven’t seen him in several years – since his and his wife’s last trip from Florida to Texas around Christmas. Age and some illnesses have curtailed their long road trips so I knew that they probably wouldn’t be back for a visit. Wishing there was some way I could see him around his birthday, I thought about how I could pull it off – especially with all my responsibilities at home plus my college course. I thought about checking for an inexpensive flight – but I wasn’t sure what the nearest airport would be and really didn’t want to add the expense of a rental car or having my dad drive any distance to pick me up. I went to sleep that night thinking that I’d think some more about it in the days to come. The next morning I woke up with the thought that it would sure be nice if my sister also decided she wanted to see Dad on his birthday and perhaps we could ride together. Our road trips have become famous (if only between ourselves)! As I was thinking about it, I checked my email and saw that she had sent me one about 30 minutes before. Her first sentence said that we needed to take a road trip to see Dad for his birthday because of his birthday and the second sentence mentioned that it felt like she’d been hit over the head with a hammer with that thought while she was out walking her dog. Sister ESP!
So with the opportunity, I made the necessary arrangements and she contacted Dad to let him know that we would like to come to visit him – there’s no way you surprise a 90 year old man like that. I’m not sure who was more excited – my sister and I or our dad.
So last Thursday morning she picked me up and by 7:30 am we were on the road going east toward Florida. We traveled through Louisiana – even going through the town of the airport I’d seen briefly back in early September 2001. Then on through Mississippi and we stopped for the night on the east side of Mobile, Alabama. We arrived at our Dad’s about early afternoon on Friday. My sister has been to his home a few times. I have never been to Florida – it was never a state I really wanted to visit.
The next day my sister’s daughter – who is only a few years younger than me – drove down from her new home a few hours from Dad’s and spent the rest of the weekend with all of us. They took us out each evening to the club they go to and the meals fixed at the house were delicious. We talked and visited and took pictures and relaxed!
My dad’s birthday was the day we left so we all went out to breakfast that morning to celebrate. He had not wanted a birthday cake or party or any fuss and at his age, he can get or not get what he wants. Yet I ask you – does he really look like he’s 90?
Dad and I
Leaving was bittersweet. Not knowing if I’d be able to get back and see him soon but so very thankful I had the opportunity to spend just a few days with him.
Where do your travels take you?