Over The River and Through the Woods

At last, the great insane Alabama trip of ’04.

Right. For those of you who fell asleep, which I clearly did not get nearly enough of so I’m going to have to confiscate your sleep, TheMan and I did a one day jaunt down to ‘Bama to visit my grandma. She’s been living in a really nice high rise community for about ten or so years now (maybe about six of them have passed since my grandpa died), has a boss place with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen and an amazing view. Unfortunately, grandma has been declining fairly steadily for the past couple of years and now she’s mostly blind (macular degeneration), hard of hearing, a bit boggled in the brain and wheelchair bound. She is pretty happy despite her mental fogginess so that’s pretty good.

Anyway, TheMan and I got up at way too early in the morning to catch an 8am flight out. We boarded the world’s smallest plane that could still be considered a commercial flight and had a really nice trip down. Fabulous landing too, very schmoooove. I think I even saw the Mighty Mississip at one point in time, but I’m not entirely sure since I saw a dam plonked across the river and I wouldn’t think that the Mississippi would be dammed. Would it? Well anyway, whatever large ass river that one would see from the air traveling out of Detroit and going to Birmingham I saw. I LOVE looking out the window of an airplane, especially during take off and landing when everything looks like a tiny model train landscape. Hee!

Mumses came to pick us up at the airport and then we zoomed over to G’ma’s place. I had forgotten that Alabama has some pretty respectable hills until we wound our way up to the tippy top of the one my g’ma’s place was perched on. It made for a good view though. Grandma was waiting in the lobby when we got there but I don’t think she recognized me right away. I introduced TheMan and completely confused poor g’ma. She was all “boo’s married? When did she get married?” so we took some time to tell her that TheMan and I have been married for a year now, yadda yadda. We went back to g’ma’s room(s) and then puttered on to the lunch buffet. Mumses and TheMan got the food and g’ma was confused once again about who TheMan was. She had forgotten he was my husband.

We spent some time with g’ma and I gave her the cookies I had made (yeah, I know it was going to be pie but I decided since g’ma forgot I was going to bring pie and since cookies travel better that I would just make a whole bunch of holiday cookies and give her them instead) and we watched some TV. Poor g’ma has a really hard time staying awake and all through the show (and our yakking) her head kept nodding onto her chest and she would be out like a light until my mumses would throw a question her way. Mumses says it’s not good for g’ma to sleep all the time so she periodically wakes g’ma up. During one of those wake ups, g’ma had totally forgotten that we came (and that I was married). Eventually, g’ma grabbed the concept that I was married, but it took a little while longer for her to figure out that I was married to TheMan, who was also here.

Hee! Funny anecdote: We got to talking about this and that, having to do with dates, and TheMan told my g’ma that our anniversary was in November. My g’ma was all surprised at that and asked TheMan “You know her anniversary?” to which TheMan said “I’d better! Otherwise I’d get in some serious trouble!” Later on, and after a couple deep head bobbing snoozes, g’ma woke up, sat bolt upright and said “So, boo’s married!” Heh, it takes a while but I’m pretty sure that we established that I was indeed married, had been married for about a year and that TheMan was my husband. All that thinking, however, tired g’ma out so she took a (real) nap and TheMan and I went to our hotel to also take a nap.

We napped, we returned, we went to dinner at the community (We attended their fancy “steak and wine” dinner, which consisted of a choice of Cornish game hen or pork medallions. Oh yeah, and wine) and met some of my g’ma’s friends. Then we hung out for a couple hours with g’ma and the Mumses until it was time for my g’ma to go to bed. Mumses dropped us off at our hotel and the rest of the night was ours.

We moseyed on over to the mall which was across from the hotel and found a pretty cool bookstore. Yeah, in the south, whoda thunk? Hee. OK, but it was a two story book store and had a selection that would rival Borders so that was pretty cool. We bought the first two Lemony Snicket books for TheMan to read on the way back and then motored through the rest of the mall looking at this and that. Eventually we got tired and headed back, which took us over the “moat” (the mall was surrounded, or half surrounded by a nice little stream). We were looking down at the stream when a large blue heron came winging out from under the bridge we were walking on and set up heron camp about twenty feet down the stream. Tres cool!

We got back (about 7ish pm), took a peek at the movies playing on Pay-for-View and ordered us up a helping of Spiderman 2. Great movie! I have a couple nits to pick with it (like dude! Keep the mask on your head if you are all about the anonymity) but all in all I thought it was the BOMB! Great action sequences (better than the first), nice angst and at least one really cool scene reminiscent of the comic book.

Did y’all know that Kate Hudson was originally asked to play the part of Mary Jane in Spiderman but turned it down? Did y’all know that she is also Goldie Hawn’s daughter? This and many other tidbits of knowledge we learned from our short stay. We also discovered that Birmingham drivers drive like southern ASS, which is twice the ASS that I am used to. Daaaaaamn! No really…daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. We got caught at a green light because the oncoming people turning left refused to yield to the greeness of our light. It wasn’t just a couple people squeaking through on yellow either, seven cars piled in succession through the intersection totally ignoring the fact that we, as right hand turners (or even if we had been going straight) had the right of way. I had to triple check the light to make sure that it was in fact green for us. Wow.

We got up at 5ish in the morning, headed to the air port, squished into a DC9 and headed home where we promptly fell over dead for about an hour or two. We then went to the Sunday game, finished up with the Nazis, went out to eat and came back home. At one point in time I was shocked to realize that we had actually been in Alabama that morning, it seemed like a day or two had gone by. G’ma called at 9ish (her time) to say that she really enjoyed our visit and that the cookies were very delicious. My g’ma has called me maybe twice this year, we made a really big impression on her!

Hey, as long as my g’ma is as happy as she can be I’m all right with that. I think our visit really cheered her up (and if not us, then the cookies. G’ma took a shine to the M&M cookies). We might think about going back for a visit in the spring (when Alabama is much prettier).

Last year at the booniverse: After my fourth nap I was feeling better so I went out SHOPPING!

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