Home

Home.

Amidst the clutter of my memories- photographs reflecting moments I treasure. 

Jingle of keys mark entrances and exits. 

Barking greets me at the foyer. 

Home. 

Where kids retreat to private spaces. 

Where love reigns. 

Home. 

Familiar welcome.

Tennessee 

Chattanooga- rock forms to peak: the highway is busier here. The scenery makes up for our slowed pace. In places, ragged rock of amber, brown and grey color frame the road shoulders. High up on hill, large houses look out over the landscape. Cherokee influence is on the many signs . Roadside crosses memorialize loved ones. Dilapidated barns butt against modern homes.  Relics of the past echoed in advertisements for antique-ing. My stomach does somersaults, maybe it’s the Krystals, but it’s more likely the rise and fall of the highway as it cuts through the mountains.  550 miles till home.

Accident

Three officers wander around the shoulder cautiously. Their cars are flashing blue and red to warn us to move over.  Three young men stand, eyes trained on their van as it is settled onto a flatbed. The golden ride is sans bumper – that lays 20 feet away in a crumpled mess. The tires are deflated, much like the posture of the man who stands closest, his bucket hat and shades shielding his face, his beard showing purple in the center and black everywhere else. The Google warning said crash, but only one vehicle remains on site.

On the road

Riding down the highway in Daddy’s Cadi. Ri looks up at the clouds through the sunroof, watching them blow into recognizable formations and transforming moments later into something new.   Chi sits shut away from us, headphones entertaining her as she clutches her phone and plays personal deejay.  Ya is already sleep, resting his head on a fist of his bent arm.  Occasionally, Dad belts out a verse from the Classic Soul line up on satellite. 

The road is nearly empty and the scenery is a series of trees sometimes breaking apart to show a lake or stream. The towns are tucked away from our sight. Were he awake, he’d  be nervous about the blue HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE signs.  He’s spent the week inquiring about the potential for disasters near the Gulf. Aside from heavy rain, these southern storms have held off during our trip.

There’s miles upon miles of travel for us – 984, to be exact.

Big girl

Currently: wet and unhealthy. A bad combination. 

I’ve walked more in these 5 days than the entirety of my summer break. No excuses, I have an excess of my entity that must be eliminated. 

So here I am. Staring at the image of myself in this supersized wall mirror. Watching the calories  burned tick upwards far too slowly… 15 minutes, 3 miles to nowhere. The kid is on a treadmill stomping the track at a steady fast pace.  I’m sliding off my seat to reach the peddles. This could be easier if I were a little bit taller… 86 calories, that’s what, half a soda? I’ll be here all night to counter that beignet!

100 percent chance of rain

The sky lights up a haunting orange for several seconds, then the color pales to an eerie peach.

Fog hangs over the tall, illuminated buildings, holding them so tight in places that they disappear in the grasp.

A steady tap teases the windows of our hotel room. Thunder claps chase the lightening. The heat of the last few days has been squelched.

When he wakes up, his disappointment will rain down like this storm.

No fishing in City Park unless this lets up, and it’s all mom’s fault for picking Thursday.

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