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Posts Tagged ‘road trips’

The passing of time has always fascinated me. At times it drags on like a boring lecture while most of the time it seems to fly by like a shooting star; yet, the amount of time is the same. As a child, time feels unlimited. Since I’ve turned 50, time now feels limited and has become more valuable to me. It feels like yesterday that my Daddy and I were enjoying a cup of coffee with my Uncle Manuel in his kitchen in Kentucky although it was a month ago to this day. And, so much has happened to all of us in a month that our time together feels like a distant memory.

Aunt SueMy Daddy had been wanting to visit his older brother for quite awhile. He is one of five siblings (three brothers and a sister) and the baby of his family. In the last three years, two of his brothers have passed away, and it began weighing on his mind that he might not see his remaining brother before either one of them departed from this Earth. Sadly, it took the passing of my Aunt Sue to make the trip to Kentucky a reality. My Uncle Manuel’s beautiful bride died at the end of July, and my Daddy was unable to attend the funeral services. So, he and I talked; and with the help of my cousin Mark, we hatched a plan that I would drive him to Nicholasville, Kentucky.

I was excited about the prospect of seeing family and finally visiting Kentucky since I had never been, but I was also a tad bit apprehensive because I would be driving which is not what I do on a road trip. Thankfully, my excitement outweighed my apprehension. So, on Wednesday, 02 September, Son #1 picked my Daddy up on his way home from work and dropped him off at my house. Then, we loaded up my car and pulled out of my driveway at 6:30 that evening. Our plan was to drive a few hours, spend the night at a hotel in Grenada, Mississippi, and get up early the next morning to drive the rest of the way to my Uncle Manuel’s home in Kentucky. After a few pit stops along the way, we made it safely, and our adventure in bluegrass country was underway.

Road Trip

Kentucky is a beautiful place. Parts of the state are mountainous while other areas are hilly with plenty of farms in between. Near my Uncle Manuel’s home there are many horse farms. What a joyous moment when we eventually arrived at his home! My Daddy and I were greeted by my Uncle Manuel, his new puppy Rocky, and my cousins, Mark and Junior. Even though the last time we had seen each other had been at a family reunion many years ago, it felt like hardly any time had passed at all while we were all hugging and smiling our big smiles. Conversations started up, and the comfort of family surrounded us like a warm blanket on a chilly morning. The next couple of days were wonderful. We stayed with my Uncle Manuel which is a few steps away from my cousin Mark’s house. The weather was gorgeous and provided much cooler temps than back home.

Uncle Manuel's Home

My Uncle Manuel and Aunt Sue had six children: Junior, Mark, Denise, Connie Wayne, Kimberly, and Lelia. Growing up, it was always a big deal when they would come visit. They would stay at my Nanny and Paw Paw’s house for about a week. As time passed and my grandparents were no longer alive, our paths would cross again at family reunions held in Monroe, Louisiana where both my Nanny and Paw Paw were originally from and many of our extended family members still live today.

Manuel Walters Family

Back row: Denise, Mark, Junior, Connie Wayne Front row: Aunt Sue, Uncle Manuel, Kimberly, Lelia

So, it was nice to have the opportunity to visit my cousins in Kentucky. Except for Denise, who was out of town, my Daddy and I were able to spend time with the rest of the bunch and their families. Even though we didn’t get to see Denise during this visit, we did meet Denise’s daughter Jessica and her family. The hospitality shown to us during our visit was amazing.

On Friday evening, Dempsey, my cousin Kimberly’s husband, drove my Daddy, Uncle Manuel, and me to Junior and Betsy’s house for dinner in an old-timey car that he and my Uncle Manuel rebuilt. I believe it took the two of them three years to rebuild it. Riding in that beautiful car was like stepping back in time. It was really cool! I had never ridden in a car like it before and will cherish that memory.

Yellow Car

On Saturday, Mark and Teresa provided their house for a huge family gathering. Mark barbequed and everyone else brought lots of food. Everything that was prepared was delicious. Before we ate dinner, Mark revealed a surprise to my Daddy and Uncle Manuel. He had purchased my Uncle Ronnie’s motorcycle from our cousin Cindy who had decided to sell it. Mark felt it should be kept in the family since it was a reminder of my Uncle Ronnie who had passed away about three years ago. Despite being a little teary-eyed, they were both happy and definitely surprised.

motorcycle

Uncle Manuel, Mark, and my Daddy

 

The time with my Uncle Manuel and Kentucky cousins was certainly not long enough. However, it was pleasant, memorable, and a much-needed boost of happiness for everyone. As my Daddy and I journeyed back to Louisiana on Sunday, we reminisced about our brief but lovely time spent with our family, appreciated the time traveling in the car together, and planned our future visits. Time will not stop, dear reader, and we should all take advantage of spending time with the ones we love. It will be time well-spent. Happiness!

“Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness.”             ~ John C. Maxwell

Brothers

Uncle Manuel and my Daddy

Me & Uncle Manuel

Me with my Uncle Manuel

 

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Just when you think that 2020 can’t get any worse, Mother Nature decides to send not just one hurricane to Louisiana, but two. What the heck! The school I work at has only been in session since 05 August, and we face being shut down for an entire week to weather the storms. Marco arrives sometime on Monday followed by Laura on Wednesday. Do you think it’s possible that the storms could take out COVID when it rolls in and out?

On a happier note, a good friend of mine has started a blog. It’s called Kelsi Explains It All. She’ll be writing about her passions which include: the 90s, Halloween, horror movies, cartoons, TV show binge-a-thons, and much more. Her first post features a Halloween movie marathon list that she created, and it includes some helpful links and resources to help other folks create their own marathon lists. I have already subscribed to Kelsi’s blog and plan to use her Halloween movie marathon list starting in the fall. Mwahaha!

For my dear readers who enjoy podcasts, I have two new recommendations.

Desert Island Discs is the first one. Guests are invited to the show as a castaway and choose eight recordings, a book, and a luxury item that they would like to take with them on a desert island. While discussing their lives with the host, a snippet of each recording is played and the guests explain the reason it was chosen. Before the guests are cast off to the imaginary island, they are given the Complete Works of Shakespeare, the Bible (or other religious/philosophical work), name their luxury item, and indicate one of the eight songs they would save above all if the discs are swept off the island. I’ve absolutely enjoyed learning about the guests and listening to some terrific music. I’ve even added some new tunes to my playlist.

The Gratitude Diaries is the second one. The host, Janice Kaplan, provides practical tips on how to add more gratitude to your daily life. She touches on gratitude in every aspect of your life. I find listening to this podcast on my way to work helps me to get in the right mindset to tackle whatever craziness will happen that day. School life amidst a pandemic is difficult even on a good day, so having a little pep talk about facets of your life that you can be grateful for prior to facing the day helps immensely.

Even though all of my plans have been cancelled in 2020, I will soon be embarking on an unexpected adventure with my Daddy in a couple of weeks (unless the two storms interfere). He asked me to drive him to Kentucky to see his older brother. He has been wanting to visit my Uncle Manuel for quite some time, and with my uncle’s wife passing away a few weeks ago, his desire to visit has become more urgent. Therefore, on 03 September, our journey to the Bluegrass State will begin. I’m sure the road trip will be exciting, albeit terrifying and arduous at times; however, I’m up for the challenge (I think).

In Other News:

Good News! My BFF Shelly does NOT have cancer. It has been determined that her damaged heart is the culprit that caused the pleural effusion on her left lung. She is not completely out of the woods and will eventually need to have surgery to repair her heart; however, NO cancer is awesome news, and she is feeling terrific. Sophie’s tail is healing properly, and if she continues to cooperate with her wound care, her tail should be back to normal soon. As for my dental issues, I had my barrier removed this past Monday afternoon. I have been pain-free all week. My next dental appointment is in early November and will likely be the start of the implant process.

Before logging off today, I want to express how grateful I am for all of you, dear readers. The Kat Files: Finding Adventure in Everyday Life has turned 10 years old. I’m in the process of thinking about how I want to celebrate this momentous milestone. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has been on this ride with me. Happiness!

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie.

white house beside grass field

Photo by Brandon Randolph on Pexels.com

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