Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Home again, home again

I hope you all had a good labor day weekend. I had a really good time in Alabama visiting my family. My parents are finally getting their second wind after their visit to Venezuela in July & August. My brother (a marine policeman in the Cullman area) and his family are doing fine. I got to see their place, and it looks nice: my sister in law is really good at choosing home decor; no matter what she starts with, she has a way of making things look really "together" and cozy, and I SO wish I had that gene!!

My mom & I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning out the garage. My sister in law and her three girls came over to see us Saturday morning about 10:30-11:00 a.m. - and my mom and I were still sleeping, because it had been a long drive for me the day before, and of course, we didn't go to bed until late because we were up all evening talking! :)

Anyway, we got up, had something to eat/drink, and spent a little time with her and the girls before they left to go to their little cousin's third birthday party. That was when my mom and I ended up cleaning out part of the garage. After that, we walked around their yard - they have 2 or 3 acres, I think. It's hard to tell because of the shape of the lot and because a chunk of it in back is sort of overgrown. Plus, they have a garage, two outbuildings/sheds, and a playhouse on the property in addition to the house, so it's size is deceptive.

My mom wants to do all this gardening and planning for a nice yard, and they have the room to do it, but it's a lot to keep up, and her back and legs won't let her do the things she did 20-30 years ago. My dad's physical condition is worse, so between the two of them, they have a hard time doing things when the weather is hot, which is 5-6 months out of the year, so sometimes, things get away from them a bit. That was why I worked on the garage. At least this time, I didn't end up with a massive spider bite!! :)

Sunday was church, and Monday was kind of a lay low and relax day. We left for Cullman at about 1:30 p.m., because my brother wouldn't get off work until later, and it takes an hour and a half to get there. We wound up leaving their house at about 8:30, but it worked out fine. I'm trying to get them to come up to Michigan for a visit - just them and their kids - and I hope they can come.

Tuesday was the day I'd reserved to drive home, and let me tell you, I am really glad I did that. My right front tire blew out right around Dayton, and I was so thankful that there were kind people to stop and help me set the jack and to direct me to the right tire place where I could get a new tire. This nice man stopped because he thought it wouldn't be safe for a woman to change a tire out on the highway alone, and while we were changing the tire, the freeway patrol stopped and made sure everything was OK - actually watched to make sure I got back on the road safely, which was nice.

Then, as I realized I wouldn't be able to drive from Dayton to Detroit on my little donut spare, I pulled off where I saw a Goodyear tire place. They didn't have the right size tire, but they directed me back to this other place - Cooper Tires, right off of I-75 - where Kim (bless her heart) checked her stock to see if she had a tire that would fit my car. When she didn't have it, she called the Tires Unlimited place down the road (all of these places were within about 2 blocks of each other), and they had what I needed. She told me where to go to get there, told me who to ask for, and was so nice about it!

Then, the Tires Unlimited people were nice enough to sell me the right size tire for what I could pay for it - I had told them I only had about $40 to spend, and they found something new that fit - and they put the tire on and sorted everything out. It was fortuitous (yeah, right!! :) ) that all of this happened where/when it did, because the tire place closed at 6:30-7:00 p.m., and I could have been stranded overnight.

Puppy-boy and I were tired when we got home, but thankfully, we got home in one piece - and we slept in this morning!! :) My folks are coming up for a visit in a couple of weeks to attend my dad's former church's 20th anniversary, so they will be here before we know it. There's nothing like having family around, and I am so glad I had the time to spend with mine this weekend. However, there is nothing quite like being in your own house with your own bed and your own pillow..... (Sigh!) There really is no place like home.

BTW: Not to brag, but my little Honda Civic got about 31 MPG for the trip. 1335 miles round trip, 12-gallon tank, about 1 gallon left at each end, 4 tanks of gas. All things considered, that's pretty good. Also, gas was cheaper in central & southern Ohio than it was in Alabama or in Michigan. Go figure.....

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