Tuesday, July 06, 2004

So this weekend I went to Louisiana. Yes, you read right, I went to Louisiana. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll gladly tell you.


So that means that I’m going to be moving in on Wednesday and that means that I need stuff. So Jimmy and I decided that a spur of the moment trip to the big LA was in order. (A lot of my personal belongings got left with my parents when I moved up here to be a US/C-2. After all, I only had one bedroom to keep all of my stuff.) So we decided Thursday afternoon that we’d leave on Friday. I got the OK from my parents and my supervisor around 3 pm and we set off at 3 am on Friday morning. After a long, long, long, long, long trip south, we made it. And let me tell you, it was WONDERFUL…mostly. So I’ve decided to break down the trip for you in two sections.

Lowlights of the trip:
The bathrooms at a nasty Citgo and a nasty Philips 66. Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. I was blessed enough to be asleep for the Philips 66 stop, but Jimmy assures me that it was DISGUSTING. Then, on the way to see my parents at one of their many houses, we both had to go, so we stopped at what we thought was an ok looking Citgo. For some reason, the lady asked me for a key or credit card in order to secure the key to the bathroom. I didn’t have anything, so she just gave in and kindly gave me a GIANT PLANK OF WOOD with a tiny key attached. This bathroom HAD to have been as gross as the one Jimmy went to. I’ll spare you the details, but I honestly have no idea why anyone would want to keep the key to that place. I felt dirty having just stepped inside. And, of course, there was no water to wash my hands with. Grrrrr. So I come back feeling better about my bladder and worse about the rest of my body and return the key. I tell Jimmy that if he can hold it, he should. Unfortunately for him, he can’t and off he goes. While he’s gone, I move the van to a parking space (for some reason Jimmy always pulls up to the pumps at gas stations, even when he’s not going to go get gas) and begin playing with Parsnip. And then I see Jimmy. He is white as a sheet and has the most disgusting look on his face. I actually thought he was going to puke when he got in the car. Apparently, his bathroom was WAY worse than mine. I’ll let him give you the details, but suffice it to say, those were the WORST BATHROOMS IN THE WORLD.

No snowballs from Louisiana. Boo! We missed our chance to get authentic southern snowballs because we were so busy filling up on awesome home cooked meals. This was a crying shame, because we passed the snow ball stand by my house at least twice everyday. A tragedy, I tell you.

Highlights of the trip:
Getting to hang out with Gina. I love that girl! She is so freaking awesome and she always makes me laugh. We also got to spend quality time with her brother, Chad. The two of them are like a sitcom, seriously. Jimmy and I just sat and watched them for a couple of hours Saturday night. We were HIGHLY entertained. And did I mention that Gina is awesome? I love friends who you can tell them anything and they aren't surprised or judgmental.

Maw Maw’s house. My Maw Maw is my grandma on my dad’s side and she is my hero. She got married when she was 13, raised three boys (including my physically handicapped father…even after the doctors told her to put him away in a home and try to forget she ever had him, since he’d be a vegetable), survived having a still born baby, lived through a bazillion hurricanes, learned to speak English, went to school at the age of 50 to become an LPN, and has survived all of her family except her sister. And she’s a diabetic….who’s had heart surgery. AND she’s been single for 12 years now (my Paw Paw died back in ‘92), at which point she had to learn how to balance the checkbook and pay bills. Unfortunately, she’s even had to bury one of her sons and that has got to be one of the most difficult things in the entire world. And did I mention that she is an AMAZING cook? The woman is just incredible. And I’m her baby granddaughter and so she treats me better than I ever should be.  So I always love spending time over there. She played hostess to Jimmy and his friend Jon and even puppy-sat Parsnip. I love her sooooooooooooo much. Oh yeah, and she’s turning 83 on Wednesday.

My parents. They are just too funny. I appreciate them more and more the older I get. I think we are getting to know each other better as just people and not as a parent/child relationship. It’s taken them a really long time to realize that I’m not a baby anymore. But they take good care of me and are just fun. I think we’ve come to respect each other, even though we all disagree ALL the time. They still want me to come “home” to Louisiana. And maybe someday I will. But I still think it’s important for me to forge a life out here away from all that is very familiar. It’s good to be alone.

Car rides with Jimmy. We laughed and joked and sang songs and danced and talked about important stuff. Jimmy is just the best and if anybody ever questions that, I will BEAT YOU UP. ‘Nuff said.

Alright, those are just the REALLY LOW lowlights and the REALLY HIGH highlights, but I assure you much, much more happened. Lots of good food was consumed and new people were met and old friends were revisited. It was a necessary trip to help close this chapter in my life. I sort of feel like I’m entering “real” adulthood now. Like, the past two years were just pretend. ;0)

So here’s to a future that will probably include more heartache and pain, but hopefully much more joy.