notes from a road trip

5 05 2011

Recently returned from a lovely little vacation to visit our families in Louisiana. Made it south and back again, squeezing right between crazy weather systems both ways.

Driving down, I ooh’d and aah’d over the passing blossoms of mid-spring. Dogwood trees, whose blossoms seem to hover at the edge of each branch like a cloud of upturned hands, in the shaded undercanopies of the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge Highlands, and the Appalachian mountains. Later the coming-home happiness of seeing towering magnolias trees with their huge, fat blossoms beginning to open up as we passed through through southern Alabama, Mississippi, and south eastern Louisiana.

Driving back, we saw some of the devastation caused by tornadoes in Alabama, Tennessee, and Virginia. It’s a terrible situation for hundreds of families, cities, and towns. Huge chunks of forest uprooted and flung around; immense traffic signs and billboards snapped and toppled; metal cargo shipping containers twisted like a piece of tinfoil and flung across a valley; farm silos bent and cracked open; homes and businesses left in splinters. And really, our route bypassed most of the damage. That was just the edge of the disaster zones. Our hearts go out to those communities.

It has certainly been a year to support the Red Cross, whose resources must be experiencing significant strain with all of the crises across the country. Praying hard for calmer times and continued support for rebuilding in the second half of the year.

On another note, all of those traveling hours meant plenty of stitches done.

road trip crochet

road trip knitting

Another giant rose brooch, slow progress on my lurvely wristwarmers (PurlBee link), and experimenting with a summery linen camisole pattern from the Brave New Knits book (Ravelry/Amazon links respectively).

rows of rocking chairs

Bebe was also a big fan of the wide array of rocking chairs he was able to try out while we stopped for meals along the way. We actually came home with a small one one crammed into the back seat – a gift from his grandfather, not something from the restaurant chain – and he has been completely delighted with that new piece of wee furniture. “Oh!” he says with high excitement, “Look at my rocking chair!”

coloring easter eggs

Best of all, we had a wonderful time visiting family, including a big pack of cousins who traveled in from all over for the Easter holiday. Lots of swimming, manic egg hunting, a mess of melted chocolates, and a huge and happily crowded crawfish boil (including the care and feeding of some young proselytizers whom my mother had met earlier in the week – and then invited over because she was concerned they’d be alone & far from home for the holiday).

Other advantures? We got to catch up with several old & very dear friends. Bebe had his first canoe ride. I introduced my young nephew to the touchable, lovely wonders of yarn at a charming and wonderfully well-stocked LYS (McKneedles in Lacombe, LA). We ate too much of a lot of delicious food. And time, time, time with family.

The only cloud in our family sky: my almost-recovered sprained ankle immediately decided to flare up into random, hobbling pain, so most of my Easter day festivities and the following week was spent laid up with a brace on and lots of books to read. Not so bad, but certainly not as active as I’d planned. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have gone from 2 days of car-squashed stillness to immediate hours of bouncing, dancing, and twirling with the family babies and toddlers. But seriously, how could I resist all of that adorable cuddliness? Impossible!

Home again, we are rested and ready for the wonders and adventures of spring and summer.

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