The Words

My Hurrication has come to an end.  I didn’t come up with that term.  That was Krystal.  But it’s cute isn’t it?  Anyhoo, I think I left off with I wasn’t happy about fleeing but I was safe and sound in Virginia.  And I was safe and sound with electricity.

As usual I couldn’t make myself sit still in Virginia and just be peaceful.  Instead my week was filled with errands, cooking and cleaning.  My mom really does keep the house nice but it’s because she wants it to look nice that I know when I see she has missed a corner and I know she would want it cleaned well I just do it.  I don’t have to.  Nobody else that visits cares and she can’t see it.  But really she cares.  If she could see she would care.  That’s why I do it.  However, I did sit every night with her and we listened to a book a tape, John Grisham’s Sycamore Row.  It is a good book!  Total of 18 hours so my last day/night there we were on a marathon to finish.  Pretty funny.  We had a nice week. So that one picture of the “man in the woods” turned out to be a tree.  But my goodness it looked like a ghostly pair of pants and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  I didn’t notice it until dusk and there was no way I was going out to investigate until full daylight.  The full daylight showed the tree.

Since school was closed all week and I was pretty sure I had no electricity (although didn’t really check) I stayed in Virginia until the last minute with mom. Once I got the notice to get back to work on Monday I planned to leave Saturday, spending the night in Savannah, planned to get back to my apartment on Sunday and get it all put back together.  Saturday went off without a hitch.  A nice goodbye, didn’t forget anything, even got to bring some “fall” clothes that I had left there from last year (left winter clothes there still) anyway, got to Savannah and my bargain basement hotel by 6 pm.  I called Krystal, who used to work in my office at Stetson, until she quit to go to law school in Savannah, and met her for dinner. We went to Paula Deen’s restaurant “Lady and Sons” – worth the trip for sure.  I just love Savannah.

The next morning I left for home.  Traveling at a comfortable speed of 80, slow for I95, bumper to bumper traffic at 80 mpg basically,  I was in the fast lane when I heard a pop and a bit of a shake.  I thought I hit something in the road, pulled off on the shoulder on the left – you know the fast lane side – where I was sure to die, but did not.  Got out to see if I popped a tire, I did not and did not see anything under the car that looked out of place or that I was possibly dragging.  Back in the car – back on the road to more shaking – pulled of an exit that was right there.  One gas station, still boarded up from the storm but open.  Nothing else in site.  Asked the nice gentleman who worked there what to do who suggested being Sunday he thought the only possible place open was Walmart, about 6 miles away.  I went back outside to ponder what to do.

There was this small motorcycle group also at the gas station.  They were actually a little on the small and scrawny side physically as well as small in number (about 5 of them)but still wore the black leather outfits so popular with motorcycle gangs that can really be a little off-putting.  I walked past the one who remained with the bikes (while the rest were in the store) and then decided to approach him and said “do any of you guys happen to be mechanics” – to which he said “scuzzi?”  Seriously?  A French speaking motorcycle gang in the middle of Georgia.  His English was good enough to say that none of them were mechanics and when he saw me checking that the liquid on the ground was indeed water from the AC and not oil he came over to confirm that it was just water like you get from a refrigerator.  I thanked him. But he wasn’t helpful.  But funny story isn’t it?  French motorcycle gang in Georgia.  I just couldn’t make that up.

Again since I didn’t see anything under the car, tires looked okay, I headed back onto I95.  Before this, when I was talking to the French guy, I accidentally Facetimed Stephanie.  So she was still on the phone when I pulled onto the highway and the car started shaking vigorously and then the flapping noise and well clearly I couldn’t drive it.  I pulled off and I was parked at the beginning of the ramp between the highway and the off ramp and she talked me through next steps.  I called AAA, cried when they said 90 minutes, figured I was going to die because you always hear about people dying when they pull off on the shoulder for various reasons, but after about an hour I had to pee and once again Stephanie talked me through some suggestions on what to do…lol…well the important part of this part is I pulled the car over to the other side of the ramp – I don’t know why I didn’t do that in the first place.  I think I was afraid that whatever was wrong with the car would prevent the car from getting to the other side of the road.  But it did not. And then I was able to get out of the car and get some air and there was this butterfly garden or something.  All these beautiful butterflies flying around.  A couple of them I think are called bearded something.  Just beautiful.  I forgot I had to pee. It helped to have the distraction.

AAA finally showed up, took me to a Tire Kingdom, my choice after talking to Mike, Janice’s mechanic who suggested anywhere but Walmart.  Tire Kingdom said they didn’t have time to look at it that day and assured me that even if they did they wouldn’t have the part and nobody in the area would have a Mercedes part. So I left the car, I found a Hampton Inn nearby, they called me a taxi.  I checked in and walked to IHOP for food. I hadn’t eaten all day.  I missed the free breakfast at the hotel.  Anyway, after spending hours being emotionally distraught the Tire place called me and said they had time to look at it and that it appeared to be a tire issue, not mechanical.  I was thrilled.  Financially I don’t think it could have been a better outcome.  But he didn’t have the tires in stock, which was probably good since I had already checked in to the hotel and who knows if I would have gotten my money back.  After IHOP I walked back to the room, got a long bath and watched the Emmy’s.  I slept really well

Today I picked the car up around 11 am and asked again what was wrong with the tires.  I said people were going to ask and I needed to say something.  I didn’t want to say “I have this blog…” But he said he saved the tire to show me.

Kinda leaves you speechless doesn’t it? I was in shock.  I thanked him for saving my life and meant every word of it.  The damage was on the inside of the tire and all the time when I was checking the tires and looking underneath I didn’t see it.  The tow truck driver suspected a tire problem but said he looked and didn’t see anything either.  Well anyway it was well hidden to the naked eye.  I was pretty freaked out for most of the way home.

Other than hating the drive through Jacksonville the rest of the drive – about 2 hours – was uneventful.  Thank God. Once in DeLand I ran into my house to change my shirt, plugged in my AC’s, and went off to work.  It’s been a little hellish trying to get caught up – plus I missed the morning but I know by tomorrow I’ll be back up to par.

My place seemed unaffected but as I was uncovering things I found this big water stain on my chair.  Which is a bummer.  I don’t know where it’s from.  I mean obviously from the storm but did the ceiling leak?  Come through the window?  Where is it from?  It’s not wet now so it had to have happened during the storm and has since dried out.  There are no water stains on the ceiling or walls.  It’s a mystery.

The streets are filled with large piles of debris – on the sides of the roads – evidence of people cleaning up their yards.  I have not seen any big trees down…yet…some along the highway but not a lot on the few streets that I’ve been on.  Tomorrow I hope to make it to the grocery store.  We’ll see what that’s like.  Right now I don’t have internet but I did earlier.  I think it’s been spotty.

I’m waiting to watch the 11:00 news to hear about Hurricane Maria.  I am so sorry to think of the people in Puerto Rico and the other Islands.  I don’t know that I will evacuate again.  I mean it was nice to have electricity at my mom’s and lord knows there is more work to do there but I just don’t think I could do that drive again.  Not so soon anyway.  I just hope I don’t have to think about it.


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