When three months passed without seeing our grandchildren, Larry and I realized that we had to go to Atlanta. If our various aches and pain intensified with travel, so be it. We had to go. We’ve never been away from them this long in their lives before, but this year has been difficult. Calvin and Julie had assorted surgeries, and then my shoulder fell apart. We couldn’t seem to get together except on Skype on the computer. I admit that this program is wonderful. We can see each other and talk, but it’s just not the same as being there. We can’t reach into cyberspace for hugs or snuggle on the biggest bed in the house to read the Berenstain Bears before going off to sleep. We left Baxley around noon on Friday, Atlanta bound.
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip up as far as Forsyth. Wisteria grows in profusion along I-16 and I-75, covering miles and miles of trees with lavender pods. Azaleas in white, pink, and purple helped paint the landscape along with the dogwood trees. My eyes feasted as I drove. Occasionally a twinge in my shoulder reminded me of my torn rotator cuff, but I ignored it and drove on.
As we neared Stockbridge, the traffic increased and slowed to turtle pace, reminding me why I hate this part of the trip. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day we come through that area, it’s always congested. We crept along at 10 mph when we moved at all. We sat stuck in a traffic jam for at least an hour, but it seemed far longer. Mostly we sat behind a big truck and wondered what was happening ahead of us. We couldn’t see a thing. When we finally sped up again and got to downtown Atlanta, the traffic was amazingly light and we made good time. It was too late though to save my frazzled nerves.
As we pulled into the driveway and saw Will and Jakey lined up on the front porch waiting for us, all the stress disappeared. Grins covered their faces and ours. We had to wait to see Trey, who was off partying with his friends and celebrating a birthday. Friday night we praised good report cards, read and read and read, and caught up on the last three months. I knew for sure it had been too long when Jakey asked if I had taken my Christmas tree down yet.
Saturday’s rain didn’t slow us down at all. We went shopping. Two-year-old Will got his first pair of shoes with flashing lights. He walked bent over to watch the shoes flash, so we grabbed him often to prevent his falling on his face. Everybody-well, the three boys, that is-got some new spring clothes, even though the weather had a distinctive chill. On Saturday, Jakey’s friend had a birthday party and he was off to celebrate. Weather certainly doesn’t deter six-year-olds. The car thermometer never rose into the 60’s and it rained all day. The really bad weather came Saturday night though. I didn’t realize trees were down and some people had lost power until we were leaving and heard the news on the radio. I had heard the thunder and seen the lightning the night before, but I just didn’t know the extent of the bad weather. I think it’s probably better to find out after the fact anyway.
When we left on Sunday, three sad little boys were lined up on the front porch, waving. Two sad grandparents drove away, waving. Barring complications, they plan to come down here soon, and I hope they can. Living in Atlanta amid the congested traffic, Calvin and Julie are pros at driving up there. Nonetheless, even though the horrendous traffic jam is quite fresh in my mind and the weather was abominable, we had a great time. We won’t wait another three months to see the boys. That’s too much for them and us. We’ll have to do better.