Monday, June 02, 2008

On to more craziness - GA trip cont'd

On Saturday, we had to leave early for Atlanta to be able to meet with the gravestone salesman and go to the cemetery in Newnan (south of Atlanta.) Seeing my dad's grave was strange. Since last October patchy grass has regrown over it and there is only a very small marker that the Albany funeral director left with his name and dates on it. I guess many people of my generation don't want to think about or talk about death and funerals, but with our parents aging, it is definitely on the radar to reckon with.

old homeplaceWe drove out to see my uncle, who's living in the old home place in the country. It's sad that the house where my mother was born and that to me is one of the most special places on earth is about to fall down. I walked around and took some sad pictures and detached a little bit behind the lens.


Once we reached the western Atlanta area of Lithia Springs, I visited with my elderly aunt who has been ill and in and out of the hospital. I was so glad I got to see her as she is failing so rapidly, and I don't know when I'll get back. Her long life of excellent health has not prepared her for the limitations in mobility and heart trouble and all she is encountering now. She just wants to go home.

irish band The wedding was in the evening at the gorgeous event center (Le Jardin Blanc) which one of my cousins owns.While my mother and aunt went to the wedding I got to hang out with another cousin and her husband in Douglasville. We walked to their town center with a neighbor couple and heard an Irish band in concert. Sitting on the patio of an Irish pub with great food and great music for hours was fun.

Elementary aged kids started dancing in the open concert area as soon as the music began. Smaller children watched for a minute, then pulled away from moms to join them. No one seemed to know how to dance, but they knew freedom! I had an interesting conversation with the neighbor couple, who, as it turns out, are in a "non-traditional" Presbyterian church with many emerging church values and specifically seemed to resonate with what I shared about The Refuge. Who wouldda thunk? I love to talk about whole-life faith, grace, creative expression, good food, and the challenge of parenting older teens all at the same time (to live Irish music, no less!)
first dancer
pub table group

Oh No, Sirens

Because there was a forecast of bad weather, my cousin warned me that the tornado sirens were right across the street from the house (just in case they went off in the night.) They are very loud. They woke us up the first time at 2:15 a.m. We got up 2 times about 2 hours apart, stumbled into the den and turned on the weather channel to see if indeed we needed to take cover in the cellar until all clear. It looked like the most intense weather (rotation detected) was 30 mins. west of us, then later, south of us. As we were back in our respective beds finally about to drift off (5 a.m.), my aunt called to be sure we knew of the weather! No real sleep was to be had. Cuz and I too soon had to get up and start the food prep for the Mother's Day meal for 11. Thankfully the sun came out and dried off things enough we were able to set tables outside.

While we were cooking we found out by phone that our elderly aunt was taken to the hospital after I saw her the previous night. She reached up and something popped in her shoulder. X-rays showed a chip in the bone. So, before we went back to Albany we visited with her. The stressful situation continues for her and several family members.

Driving south we passed through some of the worst tornado damage in S. Fulton County. We slowed for crews still cleaning up trees and power lines that were down. I remembered one of the houses they showed on TV earlier in the day with a tree impaled in the roof. This was that area.

Back to Albany by dark, tired and hoping for sleep, I pulled into the driveway and looked around for wind damage (broken limbs, pine cones, etc.) Not too much to deal with. The next morning a funeral for a 22 yr-old packed one of the largest church sanctuaries in town. It was a real show of support to the 3 generations affected. Many people stood and more were not even able to get inside for the service.

Just try to get home from there

Plan carefully if you travel by plane to ABY (the southwest regional airport.) My flight home at 5:25 was delayed 3 times and left around 9 p.m. I missed my connecting flight to Denver. Apparently this is not out of the ordinary. My dad used to say if they didn't have a full plane they would just wait until they did. The Delta desk attendants will always say there is a computer glitch or a mechanical problem being dealt with in Atlanta and the plane will be on the ground as soon as possible. The plane has to fly from Atlanta, load up and head back there with a lot of disgruntled passengers. Over and over they do this, but this is my first time being one of the disgruntled. What made it ever so much more bearable was sitting with my new friends who were on their way to Memphis to cook barbecue for a panel of judges for the weekend. Our delay gave them plenty of time to imbibe a little bit and tell funny stories of pig roasts past. In Atlanta we all found out where our hotel rooms would be and they got me an upgrade to their hotel. We were told we could get our bags, but after a lengthy wild goose chase in the baggage claim area we were handed toiletry kits and sent away. So some of them found a bar in the airport and the rest of us went straight to Atlanta Bread Co. for a late dinner on our vouchers. I learned a lot about BBQ--your whole hogs, your shoulders, your ribs, your spices and sauces. It was midnight by the time we got off the shuttle and got our room keys. Even though the room was quite nice and the bed comfortable, with a nice fluffy duvet and high thread count cotton sheets, I could not get to sleep--all night. It is also weird not having your "stuff" in the morning to make your sleep deprived face and hair look better. I was zombie-woman who just wanted to get back to Denver. Don't mess with me. If not for the good breakfast at the hotel, the whole thing would have been a wash, and the plane taking off late could have made me cranky. And the tiny little airplane seat. And some rude people. But I focused on having a nice talk with my flight attendant who was sitting in his little flight attendant seat across from me. I wasn't going to talk to anyone, but 3 of us got on the subject of Memphis and the civil rights museum. If you've read my posts from 2008, spring, you will know that was significant enough to come out of zombieness for, at least for a few minutes.


Post a Comment

<< Home