I’m returning to the scene of many a days of drama and trauma. Yep. I’ve joined sis and company on their road trip. They left their home in Northern Virginia and made a stop in Alabama to spend a few days with Rocket-man and me. And, with that, I decided to accompany them the rest of their way to their destination.

Carefree.

Yep.

Call me crazy if you will. Yes, I know. I’m fresh off a three-month stint in Carefree following the passing of my step-father and with all the sadness, angst, and hard work (including many a head-banging-born-of-frustration days) that followed and yet I’m going back to all of that?! I’ve got a person or two shaking their heads over it. At least Rocket-man understands…as does my sis and a few other folks. Lest you think I’m completely mad just know there is more here than meets the eye. There is an ulterior motive….a grand agenda if you will….

It’s a ROAD TRIP and though I’ve done this exact road trip a total of six times now, this one is different. It’s with sis and company. Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona……

How’s it going you ask? I’m having fun! Even the two-day drive through Texas has been a blast. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve driven through Texas and loathed the miles upon miles of …well…MILES. Nothingness miles. No Starbucks….not even a Cracker Barrel in site for hundreds and hundreds of miles. But this time was different. Country music (can you believe it?), Pink Floyd, The Eagles, and occasionally classical pieces kept us musically entertained along with Go Fish, picture-taking, pit stops, lots of silly-ness, and more.

And, after more than ten years of having him as part of the family, I’ve gotten a real appreciation for my bro-in-law’s LA roots (LOUISIANA that is!) to include some excellent “low-fat” (um….sadly not) cuisine. And tonight I did something I haven’t done in decades (though I won’t elaborate on just how many decades)….I went bowling!

Yes indeed. I probably won’t be able to write my name tomorrow after two hours of bowling but that matters not. I had fun groovin’ to the exceedingly loud music under the glittery disco-lights, throwing many gutter balls and watching Alexandre-the-Greatest throw strikes! Best yet…totally out of character for me…..I drank a WHOLE bottle of beer! Rocket-man didn’t believe it until sis snapped a photo of me, beer in hand, and sent it to him. It took me two hours to finish the bottle, but I did it!

Bro-in-law is still smiling with satisfaction. “Country music, bowling, and beer! You stay with us long enough and we’ll thoroughly corrupt you!”

I may be crazy, but I’m having fun on my first road trip with Alexandre-the-Greatest and his parents. Yep, family has its ups and downs but this adventure is definitely coloring my world in a happy way and its just what I needed to put certain things into perspective.

Of course I cannot say this adventure has been perfect; Rocket-man isn’t at my side. I do feel many twinges of guilt that he is at home working the salt mines while I enjoy a cross-country adventure. I am thoroughly blessed that he understands my Chihuly Blue heart and supports the twists and turns and ups and downs of every part of me. “Have fun,” he lovingly says “But do NOT stay gone for three months!” No worries there my dear!

So tomorrow late, we’ll arrive in Carefree and the work–and no doubt lots of drama–begins again. I’ll help sis with things for a week or two in our continued effort to get mom settled (although folks, prayers would be greatly appreciated as things on that front are NOT going anywhere near as well as we had hoped)….and then….I’ll fly home to my Rocket-man and The Poodle. With any luck, we will be on the homeward stretch to figuring out this whole Carefree chapter and getting things settled in the best way possible for our mother.