Saturday, my feet hit the floor at dawn.
Bridget and Spike run outside for their morning duties, come back in, and keep their eyes on me constantly as I continue to pack the PTV. What started as a neatly organized arrangement quickly turns into a tangle of folding tables, buckets of cleaners, tools, and all sorts of oddball-shaped stuff. I check my phone. It’s 10:43! I throw a few more things on top of it all and leave the driveway by 11:00.
The crew sleep the entire trip!
The only time they wake up is when we stop for gas. They make their mark on a few bushes, have a drink, hop back into the PTV, and go back to sleep.
By 5:30 we pull into my sister’s driveway in Rienzi, a town of 400 residents.
You Civil War buffs may be familiar with the name Rienzi. While in this town General Philip Sheridan of the Union army received a gift of a handsome, black, long-legged horse from his cavalrymen. He named the horse Rienzi. That’s the “northern version” of the story. The “southern version” is that his men stole the horse. Anyway. General Sheridan described Rienzi as “an animal of great intelligence and immense strength and endurance . . . . He was as cool and quiet under fire as any of my soldiers.” Rienzi served Sheridan well and carried him to the battle at Winchester, which became the horse’s new name. You can see Winchester (stuffed) at the Smithsonian.
Back to our arrival!
We pull into the driveway and my sister Pauline comes at me with arms flung out for a long, sweet hug. Pauline has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is presently halfway through her chemo treatments. We are so glad to be together!
Pauline is a remarkable person.
She is a courageous woman who relies on the three Fs . . . faith, family, and friends! A few weeks ago her doctor let her take a break from chemo so she could attend her high school’s alumnae association’s get-together held each year in our hometown in Cambridge, New York. At first Pauline didn’t want to go as she hadn’t adjusted to the awful shock of losing all her hair and having to wear a wig.
Eventually she was talked into going and ended up having a glorious time! People were wearing pink ribbons for her. The bald men banded together to show her how much she’s loved.
Isn’t she gorgeous? Aren’t these men wonderful?
Back in Rienzi, the entire family arrives!
Lots of hugs and excitement . . . many questions about my camper and upcoming plans. Soon a spread of grilled meats and “fixins'” is laid out, and we sit together eating, laughing, and enjoying each other. Bedtime comes and my Coleman air pump blows up the air bed.
Bridget, Spike and I sleep without waking the whole night.
Today is more feasting and family talk, photos, sharing stories, tears, and laughter. The crew enjoys the attention of grandchildren and being walked on a leash around the property.
Tomorrow morning we leave early for Texas!