Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vacation Part 1, Day 4 The Joy of Nothingness

Got up, looked at beach, ate, went to swim at beach, ate, slept, read book, looked at beach, went to swim at beach, went out to eat. Food not as good as beach. Had coffee with Sweetie, looked at beach at night. Read book until I fell asleep.

I think I could get used to the vacation stuff. Is there any way to do this and get paid for it?

Number one son borrowed car to go get new cell phone. Why did we turn around yesterday and get the old one?

Does not matter. Look at beach and be calm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Vacation, Part 1, Day 3 The Bama Saga

Today is my Brother Richard's birthday. Received and returned email from him. Prayed for his continued saftey on fulfilling the mission he is on in the field. Go Air Force!

Before leaving we take time to cross Stuckey Bridge over the Chunky River. It was built in the early 1900's and is a great example of a small suspension bridge. Ronnie says the local legend is that they hung a man on the bridge for killing a local judge in the 20's and the bridge has creeked ever since.

We stop at Dunne Falls. This has got to be the most natural creation of man I have ever heard about. There were no Falls. In the late 1800's someone noticed the cliffs and got the idea this would make a great place for a gristmill. They diverted the flow over one or more streams over the "Falls" and created a beautiful three tiered Falls into the Chunky.

As Dr. Seuss would say, "But that is not all." There is an old gristmill at the top of the Falls but it was not originally there. It is actually a mill from Georgia that was moved there and reassembled. We got to see the owner turn the big wheel pn for our enjoyment. Amazing what you can find just a little off the beaten track.

Leaving Enterprise, Mississippi to head through Alabama and on to Destin, FL. Turn around in Quitman, MS to go halfway back to Enterprise to retrive number one son's cell phone. Leave MS and enter the great State of Alabama.

Sweetie learns an interesting little fact about Alabama. All of the two lane highways in good 'ole Bama are 55 MPH. Nice State but in Texas we actually drive. Let's face it, 55 speed limit was the bad answer to the energy crisis of the 70's. Smilin' Jimmy from Plains, GA ain't the President any more so change the number and let my horsepower go!

Arrived, finally, USS Alabama in Mobile. Feelings for State of Alabama renewed after above dissapointment. We did not have time to tour the ship as our progress had been somewhat impeded by above mentioned driving fiasco. Still, we looked around and too a few solemn moments at the Korean and Vietnam memorials.

"You ain't gonna believe this" moment: I picked up a plastic model of the USS Alabama, turned it over and saw "Made in Japan". I'm all for free market forces but it would be nice to see "Made in the USA" on our models of military vessels.

Arrive Destin, Florida, white sand and emerald water. God had his game face on when He created this little slice of beach. Our Condo, paid for by my friend as I am doing the wedding, has a big window and balcony overlooking the beach. We are right on the water. Take the elevator down, through the double doors and you are on the beach. Life is good.

Beginning to think I may be able to relax.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vacation, Part 1, Day 2 Emotional Rock and Roll

Someone asked what the difference in part 1 and day 1 is. The "Part 1" stands for the current trip to Florida for one of my buddies' weddings. "Part 2" will be the upcoming family trip to Yellowstone.

Ronnie loves to get up early and cook breakfast. I love Ronnie. After a relaxing morning in the country he takes me to retrieve a chest filled with stuff about my natural Father that my Grandmother had saved.

It was an emotional and difficult/rewarding experience. I did not grow up knowing my Father. My "Dad" is my Step-Father, Bill. Dale was my natural Father and I did not see him from around age 6 to around age 18. I call those the "missing years".

Anyway, you find out some interesting things about someone by combing through their history. My Father was an LSU fan, go figure.

Supper with more kinfolk at a Bar-B-Q restaurant in Waynesboro, MS. Since I did not think my Buddy Kevin McKenzie from McKenzie's Barbecue in Huntsville Texas would find out I went ahead and ordered "pulled pork". There are some things that other parts of the country actually does better than we do it in Texas. Barbecue ain't one of 'em.

Up late debriefing the trunk contents with cousins. They have really helped to sort though the emotional baggage and to fill in the blanks in my missing history.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Vacation Part 1, Day 1 (Sort of)

Worked a few hours in the morning, the sign of a sickness. The first step to beating the problem is admitting you have one. I have a problem, vacation is the answer.

Now begins the great drive. The first leg is from Huntsville to Enterprise, Mississippi. We arrive about an hour and a half later than we expect. Still, we have a great visit with Cousin Shirley and her husband Ronnie, their grandson Zack and "Harley", a cute and hyper little black dog of questionable heritage who loves my daughters.

We also have in tow for this trip one of Charissa's friends, Laken. We are very nervous about having Laken with us. We are not nervous because she has barely ever been out of Texas before. We are not nervous because she will be so far away from home. We are not nervous that this is the longest she has ever been away from her parents. We are nervous because she is so well behaved we are afraid we will corrupt her and send her home less than the perfect Jewel she is!

Trying to relax but did not sleep well. Why is it that the most difficult battles in life seem to be the battles of the mind. I was battling the idea of relaxing.