Catching Curve Balls

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What a week – seriously…can I just say, what a week. *sigh* I’m sure we’ve all had those weeks that are both good and bad at the same time; weeks that prove to be both a blessing and…well, not a curse but not a blessing…all at once. This past week was one of those weeks – filled with both good memories made and remembering good memories made in the past.

Weeks also play out very differently than we plan them and this week was certainly a fine example of that. As I type this, I was supposed to be soaking up the sun on the last day of a week long trip to the beach with my co-workers, but life happens and while the past week involved a road trip, it was of a different sort – there was no beach involved and not a whole lot of relaxation achieved, but it was a good week all the same. Just in a much different way.

Watson & his baseball cookie that’s as big as him – talk about a home run!

Monday evening walk on the golf course – it sure helps to have pretty scenery to walk in!

My Dad received a call on Monday afternoon that his Mother was not doing well; hospice had been called and my Mamaw would probably not be with us for much longer. She passed away early Tuesday morning and our lives were thrown into a rush of packing, parceling the dog off to the kennel and making the 13 hour drive to Mississippi on Tuesday afternoon. I have a wonderful job, run by equally wonderful people and so everything with my office worked out so easily – having a good job with great people really does make such a difference in life – I didn’t know what that difference was until I started my job in March, but it’s such a blessing. Truly.

Breezing through Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon….

Watson playing his heart out at Cavalier Kennels – he is such a good dog!

Watson was taken to Cavalier Kennels on Tuesday morning; thankfully they had an opening for him for almost the whole week and based on pictures and reports, he did just fine. I was a nervous wreck leaving him for a full week…especially so suddenly, but he appears to have rolled with the punches like a champ. He always does, I don’t know why I expected any different! We stopped for the night in Fort Payne, Alabama and set out on Wednesday morning for the most eventful 3.5 hours of driving I’ve experienced in quite some time…

Coffee – there is never a time when coffee isn’t a good idea.

Our drive started pleasantly enough; we only had a little over three hours left to go and the day was nice and sunny…and cool! Alabama in August and it was cool; who knew it was even possible??? The first hiccup came when my Aunt called to let my Mom know that they were admitting my Nanny into the hospital; her acute bronchitis was getting out of hand and it required hospitalization to tackle and defeat the stuff. So now we were going to be splitting the week between the funeral home and the hospital – yikes! The second bit of fun came in the form of crazy roadside workers in Alabama…

A road crew was busily clearing limbs from some roadside trees as we cruised through Greene County, AL (yep, I know the county…) and bits of limb debris were littering the road ahead. As we cruised past the crew at 70 miles per hour, a limb the size of my arm came flying from the trees, rocketing straight for the windshield and slammed into it with a loud BANG! The only explanation for it not shattering the front windshield is divine intervention because I threw my hands up to block my face…just waiting for impact. 
I called the Alabama Department of Transportation and reported the incident; hence my knowing the name of the county, ha-ha! My Dad also stopped and talked with a State Trooper who asked about reporting the incident…but since there was minimal damage (a small dent in the hood & sap smeared on the windshield) he declined. Shortly before we rolled into Meridian, the 18 wheeler ahead of us lost it’s tire, slinging chunks of rubber our way and causing us to have to quickly cruise into the other lane and away from the path of the projectiles. I’d never been so glad to get out of a car in my life!

I didn’t think I’d be back here so soon…
I’m standing on my tip toes…because she’s taller than me! Stop growing people!

After a quick lunch at my Uncle’s house, we parted ways – my Dad with his brother to go plan things out at the funeral home and my Mom and I to the hospital to see my Nanny. She was hooked up to oxygen but I knew pretty quickly that she’d be just fine because she was her same sassy and fierce self, laughing and chatting in between our jokes and trying not to clothesline herself on her oxygen line when she hopped in and out of the bed.

My other little “sister” stopped by the hospital on the way home from school and visited with us for awhile; I hadn’t seen her in months and she’s almost a high school graduate and she’s driving her own car and she makes me feel SO old. Plus, she’s taller than me and I don’t really think that’s fair. Granted, it seems like everybody is taller than me…so whatever. Ha-ha! When all was said and done, we all met back up and headed for Columbus, AFB to stay with my sister and I finally got to see her house! She’s made quite the happy home for herself and I must say, she has a good eye when it comes to decorating – her house is so cute!

Is it really only Wednesday? I’m tired already…

Early Thursday morning my Dad headed back to Meridian to help with more arrangements; my Mom and I stayed in Columbus to wait for Lindsey to be done with her workday so all three of us could head back to Meridian as well. While we waited for Lindsey’s work day to end, we busied ourselves just fine in and around Columbus – we started the day with a 4 mile walk (yep – 4 miles people), then met Lindsey to relax outside her work building for a bit. I finally got to experience lunch at Proffitt’s Porch, which I’ve heard so much about (and yes, very yummy) and I also got to make some purchases at Deep South Pout, another place I’ve heard so much about from Lindsey. When Lindsey was all set to go around 2:30, we headed back down (up/out/across…) the road to Meridian to visit my Nanny again, meet up with my Dad and spend the night in Meridian….and get to catch up with one of my best friends, Nickolee.

Thursday smiles in the cool(ish) MS weather…

Happy to see this girl again – I do miss her so!

The view from Proffitt’s Porch – it would have been mean to also share a picture of my yummy food.

Friday…like almost every day this week was a complete whirlwind. We remembered my sweet Mamaw on Friday morning and I saw so many family members and friends who offered kind words and shared sweet memories of my Mamaw. I had some flashbacks early in the morning before we left for the funeral home – it was so strange to look out across the yard and see the place I used to live. So different but in some ways, not that changed at all. The sweet church ladies at Midway fed our family so well and loved on us before we parted ways again – my Dad to pick up plants and finalize things with the funeral home, the three of us ladies to visit my Nanny at the hospital again. We headed out of Meridian and back to Columbus around 5:30 and had supper at Huck’s Place before all falling into the bed exhausted.

Did I really live over there for almost 4 years?
Lindsey was a big fan of the homemade Sourdough bread that a sweet church lady made…this was when she was on her 3rd piece.

Friday night dinner at Huck’s Place – some seriously good food.

Saturday we really just tried to relax and spend some time together before the unavoidable 13 hour drive on Sunday…but if you know us, you know we can’t just sit still and relax. Relaxing for us involves exploring and since we were only 25 minutes from Starkville, we headed over to Bulldog Country for the morning. Saturday was definitely my cheat day – between to die for Raspberry Peach biscuits at the Biscuit Lady, a Pimento and Cheese Panini at Oby’s and of course, Bop’s Custard…I almost made myself sick indulging in some deep South goodness. I also indulged in a tiny #15 MSU jersey for Watson to wear on football game days – I know he’s going to look great! 

Raspberry Peach Biscuit – Pimento & Cheese Panini – Bops’s Custard…
The Biscuit Lady Bucket List – who has she served so far?

A plantation in Columbus; Byrn Bella!

We ended the unexpected week together with good news and a cook-out! My Nanny called my Mom on Saturday afternoon to let her know she would be going home from the hospital on Sunday; an answered prayer for sure! We headed down to the little lake on the Air Force base (I think it should really be called a pond…) and grilled some hamburgers for supper and just generally goofed off; I was busy announcing and shouting the Nationals score updates throughout supper – much to my families’ delight. Actually, they were probably like “please shut up already” but they were too kind to say it. Ha-ha! We ended the night and the week on a high note, planning our upcoming trip to London!

Sunset after supper by the lake.

We left Lindsey’s at 6:30 on Sunday morning and started the long(ish) and thankfully uneventful drive back home to Virginia. I narrated the Washington Nationals game as we cruised through the end of Tennessee and into Virginia – they won – and played several levels of Angry Birds 2. We made good time; only 3 gas stops and 1 major food stop…we cruised through Woodstock, VA around 7:30 and grabbed gas and supper from Burger King before the last thirty mile push up the interstate and rolled into the driveway around 8:15! I was so happy to be home and especially happy to see my sweet Watson again – and he seemed just as happy to see us, even if he did give us a look or two, ha-ha!

The Peach State!

Home Sweet Home State – so glad to be reunited with Virginia!

Watson was less than impressed with his Dak Prescott jersey…

So – there was my week in a nutshell. So much happened in what seems like such a short time – and now another week that is packed to the brim with things to do has started. I’m so thankful for time with family, even under the grim circumstances; I’m also thankful for sweet memories that I was able to share with family and friends. This week certainly threw a curve ball…but I think I managed to catch it and make a couple good plays, what do you think?

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