We have slowed a bit.
Our passion for the open road (at least on the part of our youngest member) has cooled some. I still feel like I could drive for another two years before my anger subsides. But the ten year old runs the roost these days. He gets car sick.
So we were slow to leave my uncle’s home in New Orleans and head out to Alabama to my granddaddy’s house. Fortunately the drive was the shortest we’ve done yet beside Arizona’s to Sierra Vista.
We met my granddaddy and his wife for lunch at a nice little Mexican restaurant and then headed to their beautiful, quiet home in the small town of Bay Minette. It didn’t take long for my granddaddy to tell me that he had to catch himself because my son reminds him so much of my dad. Especially when he opens his mouth.
I should explain here that my father passed away when I was only four. He was training to be a helicopter pilot with the navy and the helicopter he was in apparently had a malfunction where the engine stopped and then the helicopter exploded mid-air.
He was only 28.
My grandfather sat me down with photo albums and newspaper clippings and I spent the entire afternoon taking photos of everything to preserve them. They were almost destroyed (and many photos were) during Katrina. Many pages are water damaged or ruined.
It was then that I realized that the new home my granddaddy and his wife now live in is only a couple miles from where my daddy crashed.
I held back tears as I drove into Alabama remembering that my daddy had died in this state but I had no idea how close I would be staying.
The day was rich in stories, emotions and recollections. Tomorrow we plan to visit his grave and the base where he was stationed. Last time I visited where he was buried I was eight. I took him blue flowers. I hope to find some more blue flowers tomorrow before we head out.