It’s been well over a week since I last updated this blog. There are many reasons why. But those are nothing compared to the loss of one of my family members.
Last Sunday, after the first Rock 92 Summertime Brewsfest, I got out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and put on a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, a pair of socks, and my shoes. I put together my overnight bag in the pre-dawn darkness with little regard as to what was being packed. I just made sure to have my supplies for my contact lenses, a toothbrush, and my eyeglasses. Oh yeah, and deodorant.
The night before I put together some tunes for the road that included two mix tapes by my friends Chip Kinney and Brad Kesler as well as the new CD’s by Gwen Stefani and The Tremors.
The day before, my mother got a phone call from Penny and her husband Harry. Penny is my aunt who is 3 years older than I am. Penny never really cared for me calling her “Aunt Penny”. She thought that it felt strange with the closeness of our ages and I think that it embarrassed her in front of her friends.
Well, it turns out that Penny had taken a turn for the worse with her cancer and we should get up to West Virginia ASAP.
The family came from all over the southeastern United States to meet her for possibly the last time on Saturday, July 23rd. I was the only one that couldn’t make it because of my obligations. So Mom and I decided that we would drive up for the day on Monday, August 1st. We bumped up our departure time a day.
I drove because my mother was in no condition to drive. Mom is the oldest of five with Penny being the youngest. My mother hasn’t had her mind on much of anything except Penny for the past year or so.
Mom usually sleeps on car trips, but not this time. She was wide-awake and we chatted all the way up. Chip’s tape had some crank calls made by another friend of his. That kept our spirits upbeat and made the trip a little easier. How can you not get cheered up with a phone call from a “homosexual” man inquiring about getting 3 men and a truck, 5 men and two trucks, or any other combination with the moving crew naked?
I kept Brad’s tape for times when Mom wasn’t in the car. Brad’s has a bit of profanity littered throughout. What I didn’t know about was the profanity on Gwen Stefani’s CD. Jeez, what a potty mouth that little tramp has.
We took a different route for me this time. We took 220 up to Roanoke to I-81 to 311 to 3. I had been that way many times but I just never really paid attention to it since I was never behind the wheel. So, I was a little concerned about making a wrong turn. Mom was confident that we wouldn’t get lost because she knows that particular way up.
Tomorrow, I’ll share with how one of my father’s predictions came true when it comes to Long John Silver’s.