A Month of Family and Flitting Around

December 13, 2015 (by Angela)

Has it been a month?! It seems almost impossible that we’ve let an entire month pass without adding a post. Have we ever done this before?

So much of what we have been doing involved family, a great amount of travel, and a busy work time for Jim.

As you know, the weekend of Our 1st RV-Versary Celebration my dad and step-mom and son and daughter-in-law were here with us. Nathaniel and Rachel asked us to go car shopping with them the following weekend, so Jim and I went all the way to Fort Payne, Alabama, in search of the right “new to them” SUV. Ultimately, Nathaniel and Rachel purchased one we found that day. Since the following week was the week of Thanksgiving, and also Nathaniel and Rachel’s anniversary, we had lunch to celebrate both of these occasions. Finally, we (actually me – Jim went to the Hallmark store) had the pleasure of helping Rachel make her first “mom to be” purchases at Motherhood.  Yes, they are expecting their first child (and grandchild #9 for us) in June 2016. 🙂

Between the excursion with “the kids” (our children and their spouses will always be “the kids” to us; their children are “the grands”) and Thanksgiving, I had to make the every-two-week shopping trip with my mother. Mom’s eyesight has been too bad for her to drive for quite some time, and for many years she had an alternate transportation source. Since this past spring, this source has not been dependable, so I make the 4-hour round trip to her house every two weeks to take her to the bank, pharmacy, grocery, etc. This is in addition to taking her to various medical appointments throughout the year. When it is impossible for me to provide the transportation, other family members help, but the week before Thanksgiving was one of our shopping days, so I did that on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. That evening, I also had a “girls’ night” with crafts, food, and drinks. I got back from Mom’s just in time to make my food and head up the hill to Diane’s house.

When Jim got off work on Wednesday, we loaded up the dog and drove to Paducah, Kentucky. Jim and I have found that La Quinta hotels are good options for us when traveling with a dog, so we checked into the one there. Then, he and I headed out to meet his middle son John and John’s family at Chong’s for a pre-Thanksgiving family meal (yes, Chinese food) and visit since they planned to go to Kelly’s (daughter-in-law) parent’s house on Thanksgiving. It was a great visit, but I was shocked to learn that Jim had made plans to go deer hunting with John the next morning; Jim’s not gone hunting since I’ve known him.

Grandpa Johnson practicing selfies with the grands Dylan and Aiden

Grandpa Johnson practicing selfies with the grands Dylan and Aiden

The hunting blind

The hunting blind

John in the blind

John in the blind

Up at 4 a.m., which meant I also was awake whether I wanted to be or not, Jim headed out to join John for the 5:30 a.m. hunting expedition. The male-bonding ritual did not result in any deer meat being brought home, but I know Jim and John enjoyed some father/son time that resulted in stories to tell on each other for years to come. As soon as Jim returned from the “hunt,” he and I headed on over to his Mom’s house. I was honored by Julie as she had asked me to help prepare lunch for the family. After plenty of food and family conversation, we headed back to the RV in Savannah.

Jims mom, Julie, hugging Sheri, his sister in the kitchen

Jim’s mom, Julie, hugging Sheri, his sister, in the kitchen at his mom’s house

Clarissa, the youngest, hanging out on the steps and on the phone, making her usual "face" for pics

Clarissa, the youngest, hanging out on the steps and on the phone, making her usual “face” for pics

Saturday after Thanksgiving, Jim and I went over to Mom’s together to have a late Thanksgiving meal with her, and then we returned home again: me to prepare for the trip to Virginia to help a very pregnant Amanda (grand #8) whose husband is in Korea, and Jim to prepare for another busy and stressful week of work. Sunday morning, we awoke to a leak around the skylight in the RV. With me leaving, Jim had to add another issue he would have to address to his list.

On November 30th, Chewie and I began our journey by car in rain to Hampton, Virginia. Less than five minutes from the RV park, an SUV going the opposite direction through up gravel, putting several chips and one good chunk into my windshield. Ten minutes later, thankfully in full daylight, two deer walked across the highway in front me. From the start, it was a challenging two days of driving that included pouring rain while in the mountains. I’m very thankful that we (Chewie and I) made it safely to Amanda’s home and nothing worse than what I’ve mentioned happened to us.

The type of weather I had when not pouring rain on the trip to VA

The type of weather I had when not pouring rain on the trip to VA

From the time I arrived at Amanda’s the afternoon of December 1st through leaving around lunch time on December 9th, it seems like I was in “go” mode the whole time. Sometimes the activity was doing chores for Amanda that are difficult for a pregnant lady in the third trimester; sometimes it was playing with and caring for Sammy while his Momma was at a medical appointment or trying to do some toddler-free shopping. We did a couple of Christmas-themed activities together such as going to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and driving through the Celebration of Lights at the park in Newport News. I was honored to be there for Sammy’s birthday celebration, a bit early, at home as well as at his “school” (Mother’s Day Out).Yet, most of the time was simply spent enjoying being with Sammy and Amanda.

Sammy's "school" birthday party

Sammy’s “school” birthday party

Opening birthday gifts at home

Opening birthday gifts at home

One of the light displays at Celebration of Lights

One of the light displays at Celebration of Lights

Mommy and Sammy waiting for the train at Christmas Town

Mommy and Sammy waiting for the train at Christmas Town

Grandma and Sammy, with hot chocolate in hand, riding the sky lift

Grandma and Sammy, with hot chocolate in hand, riding the sky lift

Sammy, Mommy, and the penguin Sammy won

Sammy, Mommy, and the penguin Sammy won

Hanging out at home with Sammy

Hanging out at home with Sammy

The drive home was much more enjoyable weather wise; I love the mountains, so getting to see them better as I drove was pleasant. The trip was split up differently, with two hotel nights, so that I could time my return in a manner that allowed me to go by my Mom’s to take her on the every-two-week shopping expedition. Yes, it had already been a bit over two weeks; she was due to go to town.

Morning sky as I prepare to leave the Virginia mountains going home

Morning sky as I prepare to leave the Virginia mountains going home

While I was away, Jim was busy with the usual work stuff, but he also had to take care of the home “stuff.” Being the holiday season, the consultant team had planned a Christmas party, which was held on the evening of December 9th, so he was taking care of both business and home, which included getting in touch with Mr. Shelby to repair our leak.

Upon finally arriving at home this past Friday, I was exhausted. I’d missed my dear hubby, and he and I had two weeks worth of visiting and things we needed and wanted to do together. We’re still in the process of “catching up,” and part of catching up is getting back to our blog.

So, hello again!

One thought on “A Month of Family and Flitting Around

  1. Pingback: Trials and Tribulations in the RV | Home On The Roam

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