I guess it’s about time I chime in on the blog with what the last month has been like for me while Steve’s (or should I say, Fob’s) been hiking. I can guarantee you that I haven’t hiked any tall mountains, or slept in a tent, or slept with a bunch of strangers in one room!
As stated in an earlier blog by Steve, we had a terrific weekend in Blue Ridge and Springer Mountain, GA for the big send-off on March 12th. It was wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends, which helped me to not totally lose it mentally as my husband of 28 years takes off down a path to Maine ALONE! I can’t really describe what I was feeling inside, but I was definitely having two very specific thoughts…”I am immensely proud of my husband for sticking to a goal he has had for quite some time.” and “I am very sad that he’s leaving me and heading out ALONE!” It was at that moment that I truly wished I was going with him. Unfortunately, that’s not something you can decide at the last minute and fortunately, for me, I came to my senses very quickly!! I prayed, and have prayed over and over during the last month, that God will keep him safe, sane and healthy!
After the group watched Steve head up the trail, we all hugged and said our goodbyes as everyone headed back to their destinations. My sister, Carol, and I had our own adventure ahead of us as we were heading to Florida to attend a friend’s wedding. So, after the 30-minute drive down the worst road I’ve ever been on and sharpening my Mario Kart skills, we reached the bottom and headed South for 10 hours! My sister and I had not been on a long trip together in a very long time and really hadn’t had a lot of time with just the two of us in years. I can’t say that anymore! For the next 4 ½ days, we were going to have plenty of time to talk, sing, sleep, and enjoy just being together!
We arrived in Brandon, FL at our friends, The DeBoef’s, about 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. We were welcomed by the 3 DeBoefs and my son, Jason and his wife, Rachel. Carol and I were both tired from our day of driving, but it was wonderful to see all of them and catch up just a bit before heading to bed. Jason and Rachel were staying for church the next morning and then heading off on Sunday afternoon. It was great to see them and hear all that’s going on in their lives in the big city of Dallas. One of the many blessings in my life is watching my children become the men that God is molding them to be and watching them love the women in their lives the way they’ve seen their daddy love me. Playful and teasing, but loving and honoring at the same time. I also enjoyed seeing friends that I miss since we left this past summer. Going to church that morning at Bell Shoals was truly like a little slice of a heavenly reunion. The wedding of our friends was on Monday night on the beach in St. Pete. It was a sweet, beautiful ceremony and I am so happy for both of them. We had fun after the ceremony with good food, good fellowship and a lot of laughter thrown in! To the new couple, Bobby & Brittni, I pray that your union will be blessed everyday by the love you have for each other and for God!
As we prepared to leave Florida on Tuesday morning, Carol had a “bucket list” item that she wanted to try to complete. It wasn’t quite as drastic as Steve’s bucket item and I thought surely I can make this happen. Carol wanted to go on an airboat ride and see some gators! So we headed to Tom & Jerry’s Airboat Rides on Lake Panasoffkee, FL. It was a warm, beautiful day and the scenery was great, but better yet, Carol got to see a gator up close and personal….looked him right in the eyes.
Once we arrived back in SC, I began to settle into a regular routine of what life was going to be like as a “single, but married” woman. I kept myself busy during the day doing a few projects for the wedding and helping my niece get her house ready for new renters. Of course, in the evening we played lots of cards (Hand & Foot and Pegs & Jokers), but at the end of the day, I had to go to bed alone. I must admit, the first few days weren’t too bad, but as the days went on, I really missed that man snoring in my ear and taking up my bed space! It just doesn’t feel right! But I must look on the bright side, at least I’m sleeping in a nice, comfortable bed, unlike Steve.
My next adventure was a trip to Harding University in Arkansas for Spring Sing. I rode out there with my niece, Dana, and her family. Their oldest son is planning to attend there in the Fall and I played tour guide and entertainment coordinator for the weekend. Many of you know that I LOVE Harding and always get very excited about being there. This was a whirlwind quick trip, but still it was “great to be at Harding” (this is their cheesy slogan, but I truly believe it)! I was able to spend some time with Kyle and Laci and Jason and Rachel, along with seeing some other friends that were there. All in all, it was a great weekend and I hope that I was able to help my niece and her husband feel a little more comfortable sending their “baby” off to college 12 hours away from home. Being there with them and witnessing their feelings of letting their son go, brought back lots of memories of just a few years before when I was doing the same thing. My advice to her was, that it’s okay to be sad and to miss him, but letting him go and grow on his own is what you’ve raised him to do. Things are forever changed when they leave for college, but change is not always bad. Embrace the changes and develop a deeper appreciation for who they are as their own person…not just your kid! Having said that, I cried like a baby when I dropped both of mine off there and I expect she will do the same!!
After returning back to SC from Harding, my days have been spent with my family. I have enjoyed just hanging out and being a part of their daily routines and getting to know their church families. Everyone has been so sweet and always asks how that husband of mine is doing. I usually respond, “He’s still walking and as far as I know he’s still having fun!” My middle sister, Cathy, came down from Virginia for about a week and that was fun having us all together again under the same roof. We reminisced about old times, had chocolate gravy for breakfast, went shopping, played games and then I got to do something that I had never done. My brother-in-law, Scott, took us girls to the shooting range. I was the only one in the group that had never been shooting, so Scott gave me the short tutorial of what to do and what not to do (like don’t point the gun at anyone) and then we started shooting a variety of different guns. I have never really been a fan of guns, but I do now at least understand the thrill of pulling a trigger and hitting a target! It was actually a lot of fun and wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Of course, in silly “Climer” fashion, we had to take a funny picture to commemorate the day.
The last little bit of excitement this month is that I met some of my old Middle School and High School girlfriends for dinner in Spartanburg. I have reconnected with several of them through Facebook and wanted to take this opportunity to get together. I’ve done this a few times when I’ve come to town and it’s always such a treat to see them and relive some old memories and just catch up with what’s going on with each of them. One of them told me the other night, that when I moved from here in the 11th grade, she was afraid she’d never see me again and she was grateful that has not been the case. I’m grateful for that as well! There’s been a lot of water under the bridge and changes in my life (for the good and the bad) since I was in Middle School, but these girls are part of who I am and of my past and I think it’s good to remember that.
Well, I’ve rambled on quite enough. I am very excited about my next trip because it will bring me back in the arms of my loving husband (after he takes a shower, oh ok probably even before!!) I plan to pick him up near Hampton, TN, and take him to a secluded cottage near Lake Wautaga for a few days. I plan to pamper him and feed him lots of good, fatty foods! So for at least a few days, I won’t have to be a “single, but married” woman and I’m going to really like that!
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