I am writing this on October 8, 2019. It is a Tuesday and I am hoping to punch this out before I meet up with my bike group and ride on the wonderful Withlacoochee Trail today with friends.
I left off the last post at Deep Creek Camp Ground near or on the edge of Smokey Mountains National Park.
Yesterday when I went by Dollywood in Tennessee I remembered driving through the area in 2017 when George and I were escaping Hurricane Irma. This morning, after packing up in the dark, I drove toward Bryson. We had stayed in Bryson a few nights as the storm blew through, following us all the way to Tennessee.
I remembered going to a restaurant and getting a newspaper, but I was unable to sit and enjoy the newspaper because George couldn't sit still. I wanted to return to that very restaurant, get a paper, and just sit for an hour or two because I can.
I drove into town and passed the areas we had walked, the restaurant doesn't open until seven and it was six. I stopped instead at a gas station for coffee and kept driving.
I stopped a while later at a McDonalds somewhere and wrote out a blog post. This McDonalds didn't have a playground for kids, it was more like a coffee shop.
Alzheimer's Trippin' with George - Diagnosis to Discovery in 10,000 Miles. It is the kind of book that would be enjoyable and helpful to not just Alzheimer's caregivers, but to any person whose life is altered by the duty of care-giving.
I ran to the car to get a copy, but I wasn't fast enough. So I took the book and presented it to the people remaining at that table and asked them to pass it on to that woman when they next met. Later one of them came over to chat and shared with me a test he takes regularly to monitor his cognition. I wrote down the website to share with you, but I see it requires a log-in.
I aimed to get back on I75 south of Atlanta, just north of Macon. It was Saturday and though I was aiming for Reed Bingham State Park, I was afraid that if I arrived late in the afternoon there would be no camp sites left. I needed a break from driving.
I ended up at a KOA near Tifton, Georgia. Where I did laundry and used the electric to cook a healthy meal and blog.
Maybe it is because this trip is coming to an end. I have gotten to see my sister and my son and others I love. I am done. I don't EVER want to drive this distance again. Ever! ever! ever!
Yet the idea of not seeing my family again is not a thought I want to dwell on. I will fly, I suppose, or take a train... or ride my trike.
Driving on I75 listening to a program on a study now being conducted that will add healthy years to us aging folks. The number of folks over 60 will out number children soon. I don't remember any of the statistics, just that the average age of the population is getting older, as we know.
Part of the longevity program is 45 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. I stop at a town square and go for a walk. I set the timer. I make it 35 minutes, then I am anxious to keep moving toward home.
The town square still has their civil war monument to the Confederate soldiers.
Maybe it was because my hip has been hurting, sometimes I have numbness and pain in my lower leg. I am aging and becoming one of those old folks with limp and hand on hip. I don't want to limp and sit for years waiting for the final exit.
When I think of getting a job for next summer, I think, "Well, I can't stand for long periods, I can't sit still all day... What can I do?"
I was thinking how we don't have a way for people to say, "Ok, I have lived a good life, now it is time for me to get off this planet and make room for the next generation." Why are we so adverse to self-determination in our end?
It isn't like we don't allow human interference in our longevity. We replace hearts, lungs, kidneys, hips, knees, and much more. Why is it we can't allow for a peaceful end? Even when a person is going to die, they are in pain, somehow we think the moral thing to do is to not interfere. Can we not give them an out somehow?
Though states and some countries allow for physician assisted suicide, that isn't what I am talking about. I am talking about individuals determining when they will step off the planet.
Anyway, these are some of the thoughts I am having as I drive and drive and drive on I75.
I stop to wash the car at one of those self service car washes after I cross the Florida border. It feels great to move around a bit. Sometimes the hip cooperates wonderfully.
Home!My mood and thoughts change as soon as I walk into my place. I am not ready to die. Maybe I will travel again someday. It wasn't that bad.
The house sitter is out somewhere so I have the place to myself to unpack and check mail.
Of course there is always some kind of crisis in the mail. This time, my homeowners insurance was canceled due to a miscommunication before I left. How can an insurance company require you to replace all your plumbing and electric when your place is only 30 years old?
It makes absolutely no sense to me and the insurance broker just kept saying it the same way over and over again. I asked, "You mean I am to blast up the foundation of my home in order to replace the pipes in the cement?"
I arrived home on Sunday. My house sitter came home and she made me dinner! It was lovely.
On Monday I was able to do exercises with my friends.
Replacing my drivers license was a breeze. They have remodeled the DMV and it was more comfortable. The staff have obviously been trained in customer service. I had a star on my license which made replacement so easy! I didn't even need to show my passport.
I was contacted by someone on Facebook. "Did you lose your license in Tennessee?" It turns out that a pastor from Inverness had moved to Tennessee and someone had found my license by itself in a corn maze. They turned the license into the church he is part of and someone asked him if he knew me. The search began.
I don't know if I am going to be able to go to the Everglades and do the moonlight ride and camp with other recumbent bicycle riders. It will be hot in my tent-cot I think. And the charge cards have to arrive by Friday.
It is what it is.... whatever that is.