By: Mary Ann Ellis
Driving up I-95 for 9 or 10 hours is not one of my favorite things to do, but visiting my youngest son in Virginia is, so on occasion we make the necessary arrangements that travel requires and head out to see Josh.
Unfortunately travel requires packing, unpacking, and leaving my dogs behind. The packing’s not too bad, but my poor black Lab, Charlie, turns big sad eyes on me the minute he sees the suitcase come out of the closet. Those mournful black eyes beg me not to leave him and almost drop tears on my feet. It breaks my heart, even though we’ve arranged for people he loves to stay with him while we’re gone and play ball to his heart’s content. He wants Larry and me there. We are his people and he can’t think of any reason for both of us to leave at the same time. He surely knows how to make me feel guilty.
The trip to Richmond is such a long one that we always plan 2 days for traveling and 3 for visiting. Furthermore, I recently decided to drive toward Statesboro to access I-16 instead of through Fort Stewart. At my age, life is too short for the military route. My nerves won’t take the strain of creeping through 37 miles of endless wooded terrain. It’s just too much for me. I used up all my patience in the classroom and have none left for such torture. Once we hit I-95 in Savannah though, it’s a straight shot; we stop only for food and bathroom breaks.
During this trip I saw only one accident. It involved an eighteen-wheeler and a compact car and could have been catastrophic, but wasn’t, thank goodness. I don’t think anyone was hurt, but the small car took some real damage. Considering all the traffic and the high speeds on the interstate, I am always amazed that more accidents don’t occur. The sight of the big semi and the little car in the ditch made me slow down a bit and leave a little more space between me and the car in front of me.
Practically in sight of Richmond, I took the wrong turn to exit I-95 and had to pay a $4 toll for traveling ? of a mile. To make matters worse, I had to do a U-turn and pay another $4 to get back to where I needed to be. It’s really expensive driving up here if you’re prone to making wrong turns as I am.
We brought winter clothes because the weather in Richmond is much colder right now than it is in Baxley, where it’s practically been summer lately. In the 20s here in Richmond for a couple of nights, the weather is even cold in the daytime with highs in the 40s and 50s. Friday afternoon, we went downtown to a bookstore and the wind cut right through my coat.