Adventures in Tennessee

Laura, Wally and I made it safely to Tennessee and back and had a really great time while we were there. Praise the Lord! It was so awesome to be able to spend time with Emily, Cameron and Caleb. Speaking of Caleb, he is a riot! He is 2 and a half years old and cracks up laughing more than any other kid I’ve ever met. When you ask him what his name is, it sounds like he says “Jeb”. He has the most expressive little face and is so full of personality. He and I had a ton of fun when I watched him for a bit while Emily and Laura ran errands. We watched “The Bucket List” together. He literally sat next to me on the couch and watched the movie. Too cute!

We arrived at Emily’s house in Clarksville around midnight or so Saturday night and went to sleep shortly after. Wally’s friends came and picked him up Sunday morning to take him to the church he attended when he lived in TN. He then stayed with a friend for the remainder of our trip and Laura and I stayed at Emily’s. That afternoon we took the boys to a park in Dover where they played with their cousins while we adults sat in the shade and visited. I was somehow able to talk Laura into swinging on the swing set there with me. It was the first time either of us had been on a swing in years. I felt free swinging high up in the air and reminisced about swinging at the park in the neighborhood where I grew up. I took a video of Laura swinging and sent it to her husband Josh. She taped me swinging and yelling, “Non-scale victory!” It was an accomplishment for both of us.

Lunch at CiCi’s Pizza followed by a fun-filled afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese was the agenda for Monday. It was a laid-back, mellow day at Chuck E.’s, the first of which I have ever experienced. “Jeb” had just as much fun playing the games without putting any tokens in, which is nice. He kept climbing into the little jeep in the Toddler Zone and looking at the plastic man inside who was slightly reminiscent of Woody from Toy Story. “Woody!”, he exclaimed and leaned in as if to give him a kiss. Auntie “Lala”, as Cameron and Caleb call her, said to him, “Give Woody a squeeze.” Caleb wrapped his arms around the little man in the jeep… and needless to say, our hearts melted.  🙂

Cameron was having a blast making new friends and playing all the games. He came and asked me if I wanted to play with him, and, of course, I obliged. Then he lead me to a game with two leaned back seats and handles on the sides. There was a screen above each of the seats and several numbered button options underneath. Cam put in his token and chose a number. Our seats began vibrating and tilting and moving about. On the screens, we were coasting through a railway in a cave or mine, weaving up and down and turning corners. It reminded me of the 3D roller coasters at the old Science Center’s laser light shows. I always loved those. Speeding down a race track was our next adventure and then that was about all I could handle of that game.

That evening Emily and Laura made taco salads and homemade guacamole. Yum! After supper, Cameron and I had the greatest conversation. He told me about school and read some of his words to me. He asked how I’ve been and how D has been lately. He asked about my dog and then had me remind him what her name is. When I told him her name is NdNd he said that we should change her name. hehe  🙂

Tuesday morning I woke to Laura making strange noises down the hall. I found her trembling in the bathtub and saying, “I can’t get warm!” I sat on the bathroom floor in front of the tub and talked to her while she tried to warm up. When the water started to cool, she got out and laid on the couch. I piled several blankets on top of her for a few minutes so she could try to retain some warmth. After that we decided to take a couple of the blankets off and she took a short nap. When she woke we took her temp to find out that she had a fever of around 102. She took some Aleve and it helped bring her fever down some before she and Emily went and took care of some errands.

We spent the afternoon and early evening visiting with Emily’s sister-in-law Melissa and her little girl Raven. After they left, Emily made a delicious pot roast in the crock pot and baked potatoes with sour cream, cheese and turkey bacon. Laura made her cheesy corn casserole and, as always, it was out of this world. I ended up eating way too much that night.

It stormed overnight and we woke to find that there was no power and Emily’s lawn chair had blown away. Wally’s friends brought him back to Emily’s and we had brunch before we set off. Saying our goodbyes Wednesday morning was hard, especially for Emily and Laura. It was hard to see the pain they felt as they hugged for the last time until Emily and the boys move here to Iowa in about 6 weeks. We headed out on the road and found that the storm had done a lot more damage than any of us had realized. There were phone poles and power lines down and trees uprooted. We even drove past a building or two that had been damaged and a truck with some sort of structure on top of it. We were then thankful that the worst of the storm that we had gotten was losing power and a lawn chair.

The drive home went by a lot quicker than the drive there, thankfully. We stopped midday and shared a pizza at Pizza Hut for lunch. That was our only stop that day. We were determined to get home as quickly as possible. We had a lot of fun on the road by keeping ourselves entertained and laughing a lot. By the end of the day, we were all very ready to get home and relax. Another successful road trip!  🙂

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